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|Brave New World (1932) is one of the most bewitching and insidious works of literature ever written.
An exaggeration? Tragically, no. Brave New World has come to serve as the false symbol for any regime of universal happiness.
For sure, Huxley was writing a satirical piece of fiction, not scientific prophecy. Hence to treat his masterpiece as ill-conceived futurology rather than a work of great literature might seem to miss the point. Yet the knee-jerk response of 'It's Brave New World!' to any blueprint for chemically-driven happiness has delayed research into paradise-engineering for all sentient life.
So how does Huxley turn a future where we're all notionally happy into the archetypal dystopia? If it's technically feasible, what's wrong with using biotechnology to get rid of mental pain altogether?