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Child Conditioning in Brave New World

How the media conditions children in Aldous Huxley's World State, and how it connects to the world of 2013

Brian Conor

on 24 January 2013

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Transcript of Child Conditioning in Brave New World

The World State (632 a.f.) "And that, that is the secret of happiness and virtue- liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny" (Huxley 16). The Effects of Conditioning Huxley begins his book where George Orwell left off in his 1984. In Orwell's novel, the government (Big Brother) was still in the process of controlling the minds of the citizenry. In Brave New World, the World State has already accomplished this goal, and is now in the process of maintaining its control.

(Don't) Blame the Messenger While many turn to blaming the media for most of society's problems, the root of many problems lies in the actual system which allows the media to operate the way it does. Our current society, filled with individualism, consumerism, and addictions to violence, allows for only more of it. And while some turn to the government for assistance in helping perfect their society, others oppose the idea.

Was Huxley Right? He could soon be. The Modern World (2013 c.e.) How the Modern World Conditions Its Children and How Predicts the Downfall of Humanity When the Government Raises Children: Brave New World Classical Conditioning The process of using conditioned stimuli to create a conditioned response from unconditioned stimuli. Little Albert - In 1920, researchers performed an experiment using classical conditioning on a human child. They conditioned "Little Albert" to fear stuffed animals.
This type of experiment is now deemed unethical. All five castes (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon) were conditioned to live in specific climates, react to various stimuli, and prefer various conditions based on how the World State wanted them to live.

Through "erotic play" throughout their childhood, children are conditioned to engage in recreational sex later in life, and truly believe in the maxim that "everyone belongs to everyone else." Hypnopædia (Sleeping-Learning) This technique was used by the World State to indoctrinate its people into liking their work and social caste, while disliking anything different, as well as teaching the citizens to do what is best for the society, such as constantly buying new things, constantly being around others, and constantly engaging in sex, drugs, and other distractions. Operant Conditioning A technique of conditioning that teaching people based on consequences. This differs from Classical Conditioning because the latter deals with reflexes and is not maintained with consequences. Operant Conditioning must be maintained.

Citizens of the World State are conditioned to take Soma in order to avoid sadness (depression is unheard of). The Children are Watching "The older generation which finds faults in the newer forgets who raised it."
"You reap what you sow." Huxley makes an important point: what the children learn in their childhood is what they form their lives around when they grow up.
But until the time in which every child born is raised the same way, children will have different childhoods, different values, different experiences.

But what society finds difficult to grapple is that the world in which the children grow up is not the same as their parents'. “The best utopian — Or anti-utopian — fiction is not really about the future; it is an indirect [or perverted] view of the present.” (Frank N. Magil, author of “Masterplots") Beauty Diet Drugs Consumerism Violence From an early age, children (especially girls) are given the image of an "ideal" form: a body image that is truly beautiful, but also unfortunately very difficult to achieve. Even the types of toys children play with are used to indoctrinate them with ideas of their gender roles and place in society. "Barbie" has received substantial criticism for portraying an unhealthy body figure as the ideal. Industrialized nations have recently taken steps to help curb childhood obesity by regulating the types of food offered at public schools. Schools are required to increase fruits and vegetables, offer a meat alternative, provide fat free and low fat milk, incorporate whole grains, reduce sodium, remove sugary drinks from vending machines, and eliminate meals with trans fats. Children are also more subtly conditioned to eat food which looks utterly unnatural. A newborn baby would consider the candy on the left to be a toy, not food. How a child learns to eat healthfully is an important development in any childhood, but our current society conditions children to eat the way they do in the classical way - that is, they subconsciously want to eat the way they do, and it is must harder to teach them otherwise. From an early age, children are given vaccines and shots to prevent disease, they are given drugs to alleviate any kind of pain they may have (almost like magic!), and then taught to avoid many kinds of drugs because of the awful effects they may have. Children are exposed to the Capitalist, consumerist culture from the moment they are first taken home, to a room filled with items bought from a ceremonial baby shower. They are persuaded by the media to constantly want new toys, clothes, and devices which aren't as necessary as perceived. The most widely known criticism of media saturation, violence in children has been linked to increases of violence portrayed in movies, on television, and most recently in videogames.
In the past, extreme violence, such as murder, was thought about with utter contempt. With the popularity of first-person military shooting videogames, children are encouraged to kill and destroy as much as possible, in order to gain as many rewards for doing so. In "A Clockwork Orange," the main character, Alex, is conditioned to feel nausous at the sight of violence. The opposite is happening now: children are killing and destroying alongside the sounds of laughter from friends and the smell of snack food. What Controls Their Minds Controls Society In Brave New World, the government was able to control the thoughts of the people, and thus was given almost absolute power.
In the Modern World, we are subject to our market economy. Whole livings are created and destroyed in the stock market. The way people live is determined by how much money
they make. Income levels are our
social castes. Children Are Our Future How a society raises its children is how it can predict the fate of its future. The established generation must ensure what they want to keep in their culture is instilled in the minds of the rising generation. Conditioning the children is the most effective way to accomplishing this goal. The World State is the expert in conditioning the young to be exactly the way they want them to be. The children are raised to maintain order, and keep the status quo. In their social system, there is no room for deviation of the norm; that was intended to be quite literally unthinkable.

In the Modern World, our values and morals can change as rapidly as between generations. Until the time in which our society is ample for a rise of the mechanization revolution and a socialist dictatorship, also in which no change in morals or ethics is permissible, these changes will continue.

There is no telling what technology can do to a culture- just look at the Internet. Humans are defined as:

Animals of the highest order with the capacity for self-awareness, complex relationship development, and the ability to use higher-order thinking skills to further the development of a society Are the citizens of the World States even human? No. They possess no higher-order thinking skills nor any ability to develop their society. They are merely capable to maintaining their society. Can it be derived that humanity must be sacrificed for stability? "The only constant in life is change." Ultimately, to prevent a World State from taking over, society must be, well, different. As the world becomes more globalized, children are speaking the same languages, eating the same food, practicing the same customs, and most importantly, learning the same things. If at some point, our world culture is able to condition all children with food, toys, games, and schools, the opportunity has arisen for a government to take power, and use that to their advantage. Thus, the conditioning of children must be slowed, if not stopped, if we want to prevent this takeover from happening. The worst thing we can do to the next generation is let them think all the same way. It is our differences, faults, and conflicts that lead to developments, advancements, and progress. That's what makes us human.

Predestining our children will destroy any concept of a human. Works Cited "Conditioning Kids to Kill." Killology Research Group. Academic Press, 1999. Web. 23 Jan. 2013.

Johnson, Ryan. "School Menu Changes Too Harsh?" Training & Conditioning. Mag, Inc., 13 Sept. 2012. Web. 23 Jan. 2013.

Morsella, Ezequiel, Ph.D. "Classical Conditioning in Everyday Life." Conciousness and the Brain. Psychology Today, 13 Nov. 2010. Web. 23 Jan. 2013.

"Mass Conditioning in Media." Higher Than Most. N.p., 14 May 2012. Web. 23 Jan. 2013. Through the conditioning of the citizens, the World State has created a race supposedly incapable of any kind of psychological or emotional pain - which creates a situation where the government is absolute, because there are no grievances against it doing so.

The people are bred to love their life and desire no more. The children are conditioned to believe the words that fuel their governmental, economic, and social structures. They are indoctrinated from their very conception into a mechanized world, where individualism is despised and collectivism is coupled with social stratification. Unlike the World State, the Modern World doesn't control the thoughts of its citizens, and thus differences, faults, and conflicts arise.

In our market economy, the product that can persuade the most is what is sold the most. And the most persuadable market is of course children. Our market economy is what conditions children: between what is cool to wear, cheap to eat, fun to play, and easy to do, children develop their minds, morals, and experiences (in addition to input from their family and schooling).
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