Coined irony, and disgust, for example when the
Coined in 1928 to describe the Italy of Mussolini, the
term ‘totalitarianism’ pointed to the way the modern state could be used to integrate
(violently if necessary) and to control the whole of a society, its public and
private spheres. For example, the ‘Fascist conception of the state is
all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less
have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarianism’1. This
is what is true for the Director of the
World State saying, ‘there is no civilization without social stability, no
social stability without individual stability’2. This is confirmed in the
narrative voice. In the first section it is an odd third person mixture of
impersonal irony, and disgust, for example when the inhabitants are first
introduced to the World State they are described as, a bunch of “‘newly arrived
students, very pink and callow’ being given an introduction to the work of the
Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning who is ‘tall and rather thin but
upright … with a long chin and big, rather prominent teeth, just covered when
he was not talking, by his full, floridly covered lips'”3. The students are meek and
humble, the Director pompous and smug. The controllers of the World State want
everyone to be pompous and smug as they are not weak. This naivety from the
students reflects the narratives of this time. The failure of the ruling
classes after The Great War along with the 1929 economic depression caused a
collapse in narratives of civilization, progress and prosperity. The social
order proved itself incapable of beating off the contradictory monstrosities it
had itself created, therefore although the conditioned babies may advocate
stability, it is undermined as it denies personal development.
1 Mussolini, The Doctrine of Fascism
(1936), cited Claeys, p. 114.
2 Huxley, p.28.
3 Huxley, p.16.