What’s The Difference Between Anno Domini 2014 and After Ford 632?

Ed Raymond

In preparing to write a “dystopian” (negative) response to H.G. Wells’ “utopian” (positive) novel of the future called “Men Like Gods,” British novelist Aldous Huxley decided to visit America because he had heard so many negative things about our culture prior to 1930.  He often criticized the youth culture, the materialism, the sexual promiscuity, and the “me-me-me” attitude of capitalist Americans, and many English did not want to be”Americanized.” Huxley concentrated on one of the richest men in the world, Henry Ford, reading his books and studying the genius of Ford assembly lines and worker wage structures. He saw our “talkies” movies, later turning that new film form into “feelies” movies in his novel “Brave New World.” In “feelies” the viewer feels the emotions and the physical reactions acted on the screen.  Sex scenes in “feelies” aroused theater audiences in his book. Huxley: “There’s a love scene on a bearskin rug. They say it’s marvelous.”  He turned the American habit of chewing gum into the necessary chewing of sex hormones in his future world.
Many of the predictions Huxley made for 632 After Ford, or 500 years from now, are coming true within this century. Published in 1932, the introduction to “Brave New World” has a great summary: “The story is set in London six hundred years in the future, People all around the world are part of a totalitarian state, free from war, hatred, poverty, disease and pain.  They enjoy leisure time, material wealth, and physical pleasures. However, in order to maintain such a smoothly running society, the ten people in charge of the world, the Controllers, eliminate most forms of freedom and twist around many traditionally held human values....These controllers create human beings in factories, using technology to make 96 people from the same fertilized egg and to condition them to their future lives. Children are raised together and subjected to mind control through sleep teaching to further condition them. As adults, people are content tm the intelligent Alphas, who run the factories to the mentally challenged Epsilons, who do the most menial jobs. All spend their free time indulging in harmless and mindless entertainment and sports activities.”
In Huxley’s World: Procreational Sex Is Banned, Recreational Sex Is Encouraged

Huxley’s citizens are raised in human hatcheries through processes related to cloning. The intelligence, physical strength, and emotions are controlled by the amount of oxygen and nutrients the babies receive in their birth decanters. After “hatching” the five classes are carefully prepared for their roles in the world. The Alpha class is the top class, prepared to be world controllers and city and plant managers. They are the clever ones. The next four classes-Betas, Deltas, Gammas, Epsilons-are prepared to handle the regular functions and the menial scutwork of  society.  Alphas wear grey, Betas mulberry, Deltas khaki, Gammas green, and Epsilons black. Each of the five classes have Pluses and Minuses. As an example, the lowest class, Epsilon Minuses, are only capable of running elevators, a make-work job to keep that class busy. Other classes do construction, sanitation, sewer, and data processing jobs.
The lower the caste the shorter the exposure to oxygen, which first affects the brain. At 70 percent of oxygen the skeleton is affected and decanted babies turn to dwarfs. The lower classes are taught to hate books and flowers through loud noises and electric shocks. They are also taught to hate country life and love all kinds of sports. Sports are emphasized to keep citizens occupied. Lower classes are obliged to work about four hours a day because they can’t handle more leisure time.

George Orwell’s Big Brother, Google, Is Now Following Your Every Step

Over 80 years ago Huxley predicted what the world would look like in 2495 Anno Domini  or 632 After Ford. The evidence is growing that he may have missed many elements of his predictions by hundreds of years. The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Project has developed a bullet which can go around corners. Wall Street has developed high speed trading equipment which can conduct complicated stock trades in three-thousandths of a second. Wall Street banks have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on fiber optics and computers so they can make billions making trades that take three milliseconds.
In the July 22 issue of USA Today, reporter Tyler Wells Lynch reported that by 2020 we may have over 50 billion city “things” connected to the Internet. Doors, thermostats, dishwashers, and other appliances will be operated by your computer. Your fridge will be able to tell you when you’re out of milk. GPS data will be determining traffic congestion you can avoid by coordinating traffic patterns.  Park benches are now wired to charge all kinds of battery-operated electronic devices. The first one was installed by the White House. They are called “Soofas.”  Cities have been using smart traffic lights and solar-powered trash compactors for years. We are on the threshold of reducing and changing many jobs. This century will be both scary and exciting for the young, particularly if you are Alphas or Betas.
We now have surveyor drones for farms that can measure soil conditions such as PH and nitrogen levels and organic matter in one pass over fields.  According to an article in the May 22 issue of the Guardian we have a group of architects, designers, and scientists who are now planning a modern starship-ark that could be sent into space in 100 years. It would act as a sort of lifeboat for some on earth, capable of sustaining life for many generations. Several designs include complex ecosystems of plants, microbes, and some animal life.

The Creative Minds Of Huxley And Orwell

By 632 After Ford English cities had paving machines called Crucibles that melted solid rock and poured new roads for vehicles. Everyone lived to 60 in perfect health and then was cremated. Have to make room for all those babies in the decanters. By a four-stage process 98% of the minerals and chemicals in the human body were recovered for industrial use and for plant fertilizer.  Monorails carried thousands to and from tennis courts and other athletic fields so caste members could participate with their own “kind” in leisure activities.
In 1949 George Orwell published “1984,” another dystopian novel about perpetual war and its aftermath that resulted in a totalitarian state similar to Huxley’s answer to war in “Brave New World.” Big Brother is the dictator of Oceania (Planet Earth), presiding over a cult of government emphasizing NSA-type surveillance and propagandistic public manipulation of all citizens. Big Brother is everywhere, listening, spying, recording, and taping.
In 1955, courtesy of the Marine Corps, I spent about a week in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The ruler of the Dominican Republic at the time was Rafael Trujillo, who even changed the name of the capital Santo Domingo to “Ciudad (city of) Trujillo.” He was a very brutal “Big Brother.” Every public place and private residence had to have his picture displayed in a prominent place. Trujillo slogans were displayed on banners in the streets and churches. I remember watching his son practice polo. There was a guard about every 15 feet around the field. Mardi Gras was celebrated while I was there. One of his daughters was named “Queen.” One soon learned not even to whisper about the government in this Big Brother state.

Now Google Wants To Be Our Big Brother

I use Google every day. It is my dictionary, history book, encyclopedia, speller, source of breaking news, thesaurus, chronicle–and Big Brother.  And it wants to be my new brave new world Controller and even bigger Big Brother in my future. It wants to be my driver, my perpetual GPS, my traffic controller, my ignition key, and the unit that recognizes my face so I can perform certain tasks. It wants me to have a fridge that tells me I’m out of milk and eggs–and coffee creamer. It wants to run my house, operating the heat and AC, the lights and drapes, the security system, the windows whether opaque or clear, whether open or shut. Google wants to “smartify” everything through a type of governance called algorithmic regulation. I’m not going into the details, but it is the method that makes Wall Street fortunes in three-millesecond trading.
Observer reporter Evgeny Morozov wrote a fascinating article “The Rise of Data and the Death of Politics” describing the Brave New World and Big Brother technology that is bringing us ever closer to Centrifugal Bumble Puppy, Orgy Porgy, Soma, cloning of humans (the Bokanovsky Process), and the Malthusian Belt to carry contraceptives. Everyone needs to read “1984” and “Brave New World” because that’s where we are going, like it or not.      England is now equipping sections of its “interstate” with sensors that will monitor traffic through auto smart phones. A centrally controlled system will impose variable speed limits during rush hours and will also force driverless cars to change routes in case of accidents or unforseen heavy use. Speed will be constantly managed by the sensors. Police will be able to stop all cars using remotes if European governments have their way. Intel and Ford are developing a system that will use face recognition technology before you can start your car. Apple is working on a smart phone that you can use to text only if you stop the driverless car. Proctor and Gamble has developed and put in to use the SafeGuard Germ Alarm. If you leave a restroom without using soap and water to wash your hands, an alarm will sound and lock doors until you actually do it. Welcome. We are already in the future.

What Will Happen To The 99 Percent?

We already have nursing home residents snuggling up to SociBot, social robots capable of mimicking others, detecting gestures and movements, and judging human emotions. Developed by the English for use in nursing home situations, they have two cameras in the head and multiple sensors in the chest area. Selling for about $22,500, the designers say they have tried to make it as human as possible. It can tell how the resident is feeling and knows how to respond accordingly. It does not get a paycheck.
   The Associated Press has started using reporter robots to write 4,400 quarterly U.S. corporate earnings reports. Robot developers suggest that up to 80 percent of construction and factory jobs could be handled by robots.  A 20-ft tall 3-D printer is now producing walls of buildings that can be made into a 13-room house. The word “robot” comes from the Czech language meaning “drudgery” and “servitude.”
We have about 25 percent of our population in underemployed and unemployed ranks. If we didn’t have millions of employables involved in national defense, whether military or civilian, what would we do with all of those people?
   In the highly technical world of “Brave New World’ the Controllers keep one-third of the population producing food by hand. Machines are banned because they replace too many workers. We presently involve only about two percent of our population and we ship our surpluses around the world.
Our Alphas represented by the rich One Percent will probably be our controllers because they have had their full portions of oxygen and nutrition through their inherited wealth. The Betas will probably fill most of the other necessary jobs. What do we do with our Deltas, Gammas, and Epsilons who have oxygen and nutrition-starved brains and bodies, poor educations, and food-insecure, poverty-stricken living conditions? Even now, other countries are beginning to experiment with six and four-hour working days for workers.  The world will have to feed over seven billion people instead of the two billion in Brave New World. Can we put three billion back on farms with hoes and rakes after we have used 60-foot seeders and 40-foot combines?
Huxley took his title from Miranda’s speech in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” when she celebrates her marriage to Ferdinand: “O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! O brave new world! That has such people in it!”  Huxley and I say: “Yah. Right.”