How marxism applies to the novel Brave New World
Marx has developed during the industrial revolution a philosophy that applied to the workers of his time. Even tough Aldous Huxley was born a lot of years after Marx’s death, the problem of the abused and replaceable worker is still apparent due to the development of the assembly line by Henry Ford and the explosion of mass production. Marx was the predecessor of the idealism of communism. One of his renowned quotes, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”, really applies to the novel Brave New World. First, in the novel and Marx’s philosophy, everybody serves the society according to his ability. Secondly, the society makes sure everybody’s needs are fulfilled in both Marxism and the novel and thirdly, some characters of Brave New World really incarnate this quote in the way they act.
Marx a long time before Huxley wrote Brave New World thought about a world where everybody serves the community. Marx’s philosophy was that you have to do as a profession your abilities enables you to do, to help people. In the novel, Huxley created a society where certain human qualities are produced to make sure everybody fits in the system. In other words, certain qualities of beings are made responding to a certain demand of the society to keep it stable and controllable. The leaders are the Alpha people, the middle class is Beta to Gamma people and the poor workers are mainly Deltas and Epsilons. Everybody serves the society for what he was trained for and this idea connects to Marx’s quote to achieve a level of social stability.
The need of the society is more important than our individual need for Marx, because everybody has a role and a goal to accomplish. Serve the need of someone and everybody will make sure your needs are covered. In the novel it is illustrated by the fact that people are easily replaceable and that the only priority is the society’s efficacy. Also, the modern world fulfills the primary needs of the population, like giving soma for happiness or encouraging feelies for entertainment. By also controlling everybody’s needs they ensure that the society’s stability is strengthened. In Brave New World, people just fit into a certain preconceived mould.
Finally, there are a lot of resemblances between some characters of the novel and Marx’s according to his famous quote. For instance, Mustapha Mond is the perfect example of the incarnation of this quote in BNW. In chapter 17, when he tells John that he chose to stay in the modern world instead of going to an intellectual island to pursue his sciences research, he explains he chose easy happiness and steady stability. This is a huge proof that Marx’s quote connects to the novel in a huge way, because the modern world leader is encouraging this ideology. Huxley point if view is different from Marxism so that’s why the principal characters "fight" against the established authority to return to a more human world which is the island.
In conclusion, Marx’s quote “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” represents in a strong way the background of the novel. In both BNW and Marxism, people serve the community by their respective ability and the society makes sure everybody’s emotional or rational needs are covered, all this for the social stability. Also, Mustapha Mond incarnates Marx’s ideology in an explicit way. Huxley was a really good foreshadower of the future in the way society has become towards individuals. Maybe we should evaluate our own modern world to see how far we have come into the dehumanisation process of people in favour of stability or productivity.