Πως θα βγάλουμε άκρη; Τι πραγματικά ισχύει, αυτό δεν μπορεί να το γνωρίζει κανείς μας! Μήπως τελικά ζούμε ό,τι προέβλεψε για τις κοινωνίες του μέλλοντος ο Aldous Huxley ήδη από το 1931 και το αποτύπωσε στο βιβλίο του A Brave New World;
Δείτε το παρακάτω βίντεο και διαβάστε στη συνέχεια το πρώτο κεφάλαιο από το Θαυμαστό Καινούργιο Κόσμο του Huxley και βγάλτε τα συμπεράσματα σας!

Σημείωση: Το κείμενο είναι στα Αγγλικά μια και πουθενά στο διαδίκτυο δεν υπάρχει η ελληνική μετάφραση του βιβλίου.


Aldous Huxley- A Brave New World
Chapter 1

A SQUAT grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over
the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON
HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and, in a
shield, the World State's motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY,
STABILITY.
The enormous room on the ground floor faced towards
the north. Cold for all the summer beyond the panes, for
all the tropical heat of the room itself, a harsh thin light
glared through the windows, hungrily seeking some
draped lay figure, some pallid shape of academic gooseflesh,
but finding only the glass and nickel and bleakly
shining porcelain of a laboratory. Wintriness responded to
wintriness. The overalls of the workers were white, their
hands gloved with a pale corpse-coloured rubber. The
light was frozen, dead, a ghost. Only from the yellow
barrels of the microscopes did it borrow a certain rich and
living substance, lying along the polished tubes like
butter, streak after luscious streak in long recession down
the work tables.
"And this," said the Director opening the door, "is the
Fertilizing Room."
Bent over their instruments, three hundred Fertilizers
were plunged, as the Director of Hatcheries and
Conditioning entered the room, in the scarcely breathing
silence, the absent-minded, soliloquizing hum or whistle,
of absorbed concentration. A troop of newly arrived
students, very young, pink and callow, followed
nervously, rather abjectly, at the Director's heels. Each of
them carried a notebook, in which, whenever the great
man spoke, he desperately scribbled. Straight from the
horse's mouth. It was a rare privilege. The D. H. C. for
Central London always made a point of personally
conducting his new students round the various
departments.
"Just to give you a general idea," he would explain to
them. For of course some sort of general idea they must
have, if they were to do their work intelligently–though
as little of one, if they were to be good and happy
members of society, as possible. For particulars, as every
one knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities
are intellectually necessary evils. Not philosophers but
fret-sawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone
of society.
"To-morrow," he would add, smiling at them with a
slightly menacing geniality, "you'll be settling down to
serious work. You won't have time for generalities.
Meanwhile ..."
Meanwhile, it was a privilege. Straight from the horse's
mouth into the notebook. The boys scribbled like mad.
Tall and rather thin but upright, the Director advanced
into the room. He had a long chin and big rather
prominent teeth, just covered, when he was not talking,
by his full, floridly curved lips. Old, young? Thirty? Fifty?
Fifty-five? It was hard to say. And anyhow the question
didn't arise; in this year of stability, A. F. 632, it didn't
occur to you to ask it.
"I shall begin at the beginning," said the D.H.C. and the
more zealous students recorded his intention in their
notebooks: Begin at the beginning. "These," he waved his
hand, "are the incubators." And opening an insulated
door he showed them racks upon racks of numbered testtubes.
"The week's supply of ova. Kept," he explained,
"at blood heat; whereas the male gametes," and here he
opened another door, "they have to be kept at thirty-five
instead of thirty-seven. Full blood heat sterilizes." Rams
wrapped in theremogene beget no lambs.
Still leaning against the incubators he gave them, while
the pencils scurried illegibly across the pages, a brief
description of the modern fertilizing process; spoke first,
of course, of its surgical introduction–"the operation
undergone voluntarily for the good of Society, not to
mention the fact that it carries a bonus amounting to six
months' salary"; continued with some account of the
technique for preserving the excised ovary alive and
actively developing; passed on to a consideration of
optimum temperature, salinity, viscosity; referred to the
liquor in which the detached and ripened eggs were kept;
and, leading his charges to the work tables, actually
showed them how this liquor was drawn off from the
test-tubes; how it was let out drop by drop onto the
specially warmed slides of the microscopes; how the eggs
which it contained were inspected for abnormalities,
counted and transferred to a porous receptacle; how (and
he now took them to watch the operation) this receptacle
was immersed in a warm bouillon containing freeswimming
spermatozoa–at a minimum concentration of
one hundred thousand per cubic centimetre, he insisted;
and how, after ten minutes, the container was lifted out
of the liquor and its contents re-examined; how, if any of
the eggs remained unfertilized, it was again immersed,
and, if necessary, yet again; how the fertilized ova went
back to the incubators; where the Alphas and Betas
remained until definitely bottled; while the Gammas,
Deltas and Epsilons were brought out again, after only
thirty-six hours, to undergo Bokanovsky's Process.
"Bokanovsky's Process," repeated the Director, and the
students underlined the words in their little notebooks.
One egg, one embryo, one adult-normality. But a
bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide.
From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow
into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a
full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow
where only one grew before. Progress.
"Essentially," the D.H.C. concluded, "bokanovskification
consists of a series of arrests of development. We check
the normal growth and, paradoxically enough, the egg
responds by budding."
Responds by budding. The pencils were busy.
He pointed. On a very slowly moving band a rack-full of
test-tubes was entering a large metal box, another, rackfull
was emerging. Machinery faintly purred. It took eight
minutes for the tubes to go through, he told them. Eight
minutes of hard X-rays being about as much as an egg
can stand. A few died; of the rest, the least susceptible
divided into two; most put out four buds; some eight; all
were returned to the incubators, where the buds began
to develop; then, after two days, were suddenly chilled,
chilled and checked. Two, four, eight, the buds in their
turn budded; and having budded were dosed almost to
death with alcohol; consequently burgeoned again and
having budded–bud out of bud out of bud–were
thereafter–further arrest being generally fatal–left to
develop in peace. By which time the original egg was in a
fair way to becoming anything from eight to ninety-six
embryos– a prodigious improvement, you will agree, on
nature. Identical twins–but not in piddling twos and
threes as in the old viviparous days, when an egg would
sometimes accidentally divide; actually by dozens, by
scores at a time.
"Scores," the Director repeated and flung out his arms,
as though he were distributing largesse. "Scores."
But one of the students was fool enough to ask where the
advantage lay.
"My good boy!" The Director wheeled sharply round on
him. "Can't you see? Can't you see?" He raised a hand;
his expression was solemn. "Bokanovsky's Process is one
of the major instruments of social stability!"
Major instruments of social stability.
Standard men and women; in uniform batches. The
whole of a small factory staffed with the products of a
single bokanovskified egg.
"Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical
machines!" The voice was almost tremulous with
enthusiasm. "You really know where you are. For the first
time in history." He quoted the planetary motto.
"Community, Identity, Stability." Grand words. "If we
could bokanovskify indefinitely the whole problem would
be solved."
Solved by standard Gammas, unvarying Deltas, uniform
Epsilons. Millions of identical twins. The principle of mass
production at last applied to biology.
"But, alas," the Director shook his head, "we can't
bokanovskify indefinitely."
Ninety-six seemed to be the limit; seventy-two a good
average. From the same ovary and with gametes of the
same male to manufacture as many batches of identical
twins as possible–that was the best (sadly a second best)
that they could do. And even that was difficult.
"For in nature it takes thirty years for two hundred eggs
to reach maturity. But our business is to stabilize the
population at this moment, here and now. Dribbling out
twins over a quarter of a century–what would be the use
of that?"
Obviously, no use at all. But Podsnap's Technique had
immensely accelerated the process of ripening. They
could make sure of at least a hundred and fifty mature
eggs within two years. Fertilize and bokanovskify–in
other words, multiply by seventy-two–and you get an
average of nearly eleven thousand brothers and sisters in
a hundred and fifty batches of identical twins, all within
two years of the same age.
"And in exceptional cases we can make one ovary yield
us over fifteen thousand adult individuals."
Beckoning to a fair-haired, ruddy young man who
happened to be passing at the moment. "Mr. Foster," he
called. The ruddy young man approached. "Can you tell
us the record for a single ovary, Mr. Foster?"
"Sixteen thousand and twelve in this Centre," Mr. Foster
replied without hesitation. He spoke very quickly, had a
vivacious blue eye, and took an evident pleasure in
quoting figures. "Sixteen thousand and twelve; in one
hundred and eighty-nine batches of identicals. But of
course they've done much better," he rattled on, "in
some of the tropical Centres. Singapore has often
produced over sixteen thousand five hundred; and
Mombasa has actually touched the seventeen thousand
mark. But then they have unfair advantages. You should
see the way a negro ovary responds to pituitary! It's
quite astonishing, when you're used to working with
European material. Still," he added, with a laugh (but the
light of combat was in his eyes and the lift of his chin was
challenging), "still, we mean to beat them if we can. I'm
working on a wonderful Delta-Minus ovary at this
moment. Only just eighteen months old. Over twelve
thousand seven hundred children already, either
decanted or in embryo. And still going strong. We'll beat
them yet."
"That's the spirit I like!" cried the Director, and clapped
Mr. Foster on the shoulder. "Come along with us, and
give these boys the benefit of your expert knowledge."
Mr. Foster smiled modestly. "With pleasure." They went.
In the Bottling Room all was harmonious bustle and
ordered activity. Flaps of fresh sow's peritoneum ready
cut to the proper size came shooting up in little lifts from
the Organ Store in the sub-basement. Whizz and then,
click! the lift-hatches hew open; the bottle-liner had only
to reach out a hand, take the flap, insert, smooth-down,
and before the lined bottle had had time to travel out of
reach along the endless band, whizz, click! another flap
of peritoneum had shot up from the depths, ready to be
slipped into yet another bottle, the next of that slow
interminable procession on the band.
Next to the Liners stood the Matriculators. The procession
advanced; one by one the eggs were transferred from
their test-tubes to the larger containers; deftly the
peritoneal lining was slit, the morula dropped into place,
the saline solution poured in ... and already the bottle
had passed, and it was the turn of the labellers. Heredity,
date of fertilization, membership of Bokanovsky Group–
details were transferred from test-tube to bottle. No
longer anonymous, but named, identified, the procession
marched slowly on; on through an opening in the wall,
slowly on into the Social Predestination Room.
"Eighty-eight cubic metres of card-index," said Mr. Foster
with relish, as they entered.
"Containing all the relevant information," added the
Director.
"Brought up to date every morning."
"And co-ordinated every afternoon."
"On the basis of which they make their calculations."
"So many individuals, of such and such quality," said Mr.
Foster.
"Distributed in such and such quantities."
"The optimum Decanting Rate at any given moment."
"Unforeseen wastages promptly made good."
"Promptly," repeated Mr. Foster. "If you knew the
amount of overtime I had to put in after the last
Japanese earthquake!" He laughed goodhumouredly and
shook his head.
"The Predestinators send in their figures to the
Fertilizers."
"Who give them the embryos they ask for."
"And the bottles come in here to be predestined in
detail."
"After which they are sent down to the Embryo Store."
"Where we now proceed ourselves."
And opening a door Mr. Foster led the way down a
staircase into the basement.
The temperature was still tropical. They descended into a
thickening twilight. Two doors and a passage with a
double turn insured the cellar against any possible
infiltration of the day.
"Embryos are like photograph film," said Mr. Foster
waggishly, as he pushed open the second door. "They
can only stand red light."
And in effect the sultry darkness into which the students
now followed him was visible and crimson, like the
darkness of closed eyes on a summer's afternoon. The
bulging flanks of row on receding row and tier above tier
of bottles glinted with innumerable rubies, and among
the rubies moved the dim red spectres of men and
women with purple eyes and all the symptoms of lupus.
The hum and rattle of machinery faintly stirred the air.
"Give them a few figures, Mr. Foster," said the Director,
who was tired of talking.
Mr. Foster was only too happy to give them a few figures.
Two hundred and twenty metres long, two hundred wide,
ten high. He pointed upwards. Like chickens drinking, the
students lifted their eyes towards the distant ceiling.
Three tiers of racks: ground floor level, first gallery,
second gallery.
The spidery steel-work of gallery above gallery faded
away in all directions into the dark. Near them three red
ghosts were busily unloading demijohns from a moving
staircase.
The escalator from the Social Predestination Room.
Each bottle could be placed on one of fifteen racks, each
rack, though you couldn't see it, was a conveyor traveling
at the rate of thirty-three and a third centimetres an
hour. Two hundred and sixty-seven days at eight metres
a day. Two thousand one hundred and thirty-six metres
in all. One circuit of the cellar at ground level, one on the
first gallery, half on the second, and on the two hundred
and sixty-seventh morning, daylight in the Decanting
Room. Independent existence–so called.
"But in the interval," Mr. Foster concluded, "we've
managed to do a lot to them. Oh, a very great deal." His
laugh was knowing and triumphant.
"That's the spirit I like," said the Director once more.
"Let's walk around. You tell them everything, Mr. Foster."
Mr. Foster duly told them.
Told them of the growing embryo on its bed of
peritoneum. Made them taste the rich blood surrogate on
which it fed. Explained why it had to be stimulated with
placentin and thyroxin. Told them of the corpus luteum
extract. Showed them the jets through which at every
twelfth metre from zero to 2040 it was automatically
injected. Spoke of those gradually increasing doses of
pituitary administered during the final ninety-six metres
of their course. Described the artificial maternal
circulation installed in every bottle at Metre 112; showed
them the reservoir of blood-surrogate, the centrifugal
pump that kept the liquid moving over the placenta and
drove it through the synthetic lung and waste product
filter. Referred to the embryo's troublesome tendency to
anæmia, to the massive doses of hog's stomach extract
and foetal foal's liver with which, in consequence, it had
to be supplied.
Showed them the simple mechanism by means of which,
during the last two metres out of every eight, all the
embryos were simultaneously shaken into familiarity with
movement. Hinted at the gravity of the so-called "trauma
of decanting," and enumerated the precautions taken to
minimize, by a suitable training of the bottled embryo,
that dangerous shock. Told them of the test for sex
carried out in the neighborhood of Metre 200. Explained
the system of labelling–a T for the males, a circle for the
females and for those who were destined to become
freemartins a question mark, black on a white ground.
"For of course," said Mr. Foster, "in the vast majority of
cases, fertility is merely a nuisance. One fertile ovary in
twelve hundred–that would really be quite sufficient for
our purposes. But we want to have a good choice. And of
course one must always have an enormous margin of
safety. So we allow as many as thirty per cent of the
female embryos to develop normally. The others get a
dose of male sex-hormone every twenty-four metres for
the rest of the course. Result: they're decanted as
freemartins–structurally quite normal (except," he had to
admit, "that they do have the slightest tendency to grow
beards), but sterile. Guaranteed sterile. Which brings us
at last," continued Mr. Foster, "out of the realm of mere
slavish imitation of nature into the much more interesting
world of human invention."
He rubbed his hands. For of course, they didn't content
themselves with merely hatching out embryos: any cow
could do that.
"We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies
as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as
future sewage workers or future ..." He was going to say
"future World controllers," but correcting himself, said
"future Directors of Hatcheries," instead.
The D.H.C. acknowledged the compliment with a smile.
They were passing Metre 320 on Rack 11. A young Beta-
Minus mechanic was busy with screw-driver and spanner
on the blood-surrogate pump of a passing bottle. The
hum of the electric motor deepened by fractions of a tone
as he turned the nuts. Down, down ... A final twist, a
glance at the revolution counter, and he was done. He
moved two paces down the line and began the same
process on the next pump.
"Reducing the number of revolutions per minute," Mr.
Foster explained. "The surrogate goes round slower;
therefore passes through the lung at longer intervals;
therefore gives the embryo less oxygen. Nothing like
oxygen-shortage for keeping an embryo below par."
Again he rubbed his hands.
"But why do you want to keep the embryo below par?"
asked an ingenuous student.
"Ass!" said the Director, breaking a long silence. "Hasn't
it occurred to you that an Epsilon embryo must have an
Epsilon environment as well as an Epsilon heredity?"
It evidently hadn't occurred to him. He was covered with
confusion.
"The lower the caste," said Mr. Foster, "the shorter the
oxygen." The first organ affected was the brain. After
that the skeleton. At seventy per cent of normal oxygen
you got dwarfs. At less than seventy eyeless monsters.
"Who are no use at all," concluded Mr. Foster.
Whereas (his voice became confidential and eager), if
they could discover a technique for shortening the period
of maturation what a triumph, what a benefaction to
Society!
"Consider the horse."
They considered it.
Mature at six; the elephant at ten. While at thirteen a
man is not yet sexually mature; and is only full-grown at
twenty. Hence, of course, that fruit of delayed
development, the human intelligence.
"But in Epsilons," said Mr. Foster very justly, "we don't
need human intelligence."
Didn't need and didn't get it. But though the Epsilon mind
was mature at ten, the Epsilon body was not fit to work
till eighteen. Long years of superfluous and wasted
immaturity. If the physical development could be
speeded up till it was as quick, say, as a cow's, what an
enormous saving to the Community!
"Enormous!" murmured the students. Mr. Foster's
enthusiasm was infectious.
He became rather technical; spoke of the abnormal
endocrine co-ordination which made men grow so slowly;
postulated a germinal mutation to account for it. Could
the effects of this germinal mutation be undone? Could
the individual Epsilon embryo be made a revert, by a
suitable technique, to the normality of dogs and cows?
That was the problem. And it was all but solved.
Pilkington, at Mombasa, had produced individuals who
were sexually mature at four and full-grown at six and a
half. A scientific triumph. But socially useless. Six-yearold
men and women were too stupid to do even Epsilon
work. And the process was an all-or-nothing one; either
you failed to modify at all, or else you modified the whole
way. They were still trying to find the ideal compromise
between adults of twenty and adults of six. So far without
success. Mr. Foster sighed and shook his head.
Their wanderings through the crimson twilight had
brought them to the neighborhood of Metre 170 on Rack
9. From this point onwards Rack 9 was enclosed and the
bottle performed the remainder of their journey in a kind
of tunnel, interrupted here and there by openings two or
three metres wide.
"Heat conditioning," said Mr. Foster.
Hot tunnels alternated with cool tunnels. Coolness was
wedded to discomfort in the form of hard X-rays. By the
time they were decanted the embryos had a horror of
cold. They were predestined to emigrate to the tropics, to
be miner and acetate silk spinners and steel workers.
Later on their minds would be made to endorse the
judgment of their bodies. "We condition them to thrive on
heat," concluded Mr. Foster. "Our colleagues upstairs will
teach them to love it."
"And that," put in the Director sententiously, "that is the
secret of happiness and virtue–liking what you've got to
do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their
unescapable social destiny."
In a gap between two tunnels, a nurse was delicately
probing with a long fine syringe into the gelatinous
contents of a passing bottle. The students and their
guides stood watching her for a few moments in silence.
"Well, Lenina," said Mr. Foster, when at last she withdrew
the syringe and straightened herself up.
The girl turned with a start. One could see that, for all
the lupus and the purple eyes, she was uncommonly
pretty.
"Henry!" Her smile flashed redly at him–a row of coral
teeth.
"Charming, charming," murmured the Director and,
giving her two or three little pats, received in exchange a
rather deferential smile for himself.
"What are you giving them?" asked Mr. Foster, making
his tone very professional.
"Oh, the usual typhoid and sleeping sickness."
"Tropical workers start being inoculated at Metre 150,"
Mr. Foster explained to the students. "The embryos still
have gills. We immunize the fish against the future man's
diseases." Then, turning back to Lenina, "Ten to five on
the roof this afternoon," he said, "as usual."
"Charming," said the Director once more, and, with a
final pat, moved away after the others.
On Rack 10 rows of next generation's chemical workers
were being trained in the toleration of lead, caustic soda,
tar, chlorine. The first of a batch of two hundred and fifty
embryonic rocket-plane engineers was just passing the
eleven hundred metre mark on Rack 3. A special
mechanism kept their containers in constant rotation. "To
improve their sense of balance," Mr. Foster explained.
"Doing repairs on the outside of a rocket in mid-air is a
ticklish job. We slacken off the circulation when they're
right way up, so that they're half starved, and double the
flow of surrogate when they're upside down. They learn
to associate topsy-turvydom with well-being; in fact,
they're only truly happy when they're standing on their
heads.
"And now," Mr. Foster went on, "I'd like to show you
some very interesting conditioning for Alpha Plus
Intellectuals. We have a big batch of them on Rack 5.
First Gallery level," he called to two boys who had started
to go down to the ground floor.
"They're round about Metre 900," he explained. "You
can't really do any useful intellectual conditioning till the
foetuses have lost their tails. Follow me."
But the Director had looked at his watch. "Ten to three,"
he said. "No time for the intellectual embryos, I'm afraid.
We must go up to the Nurseries before the children have
finished their afternoon sleep."
Mr. Foster was disappointed. "At least one glance at the
Decanting Room," he pleaded.
"Very well then." The Director smiled indulgently. "Just
one glance."