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This is my first grandchild who will be born at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in November 2012. No day passes without me thinking about him and praying for a safe delivery.
But I also ponder on the society which he will be joining. Will it be a ‘Brave New World’?
This phrase comes from ‘The Tempest’ Act V Scene 11 when Miranda is overcome with excitement when she sees new people for the first time:
‘How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world.’
In 1931 Aldous Huxley wrote and published his definitive novel set in AD 2540 which saw future society inspired by the utopian novels of H. G. Wells which contained hopeful visions of the future’s possibilities. The book actually dealt with contemporary issues including the industrial revolution and the political upheavals of the Russian revolution. Perhaps the most important comment was Huxley’s own observation that his work focused on the fear of losing one’s individual identity in the faced pace world of the future. Perhaps Huxley foresaw the need for The Freedom Association.
So what brave new world faces my grandson?
a) According to the actuarial tables he will live to 78.2 years (82.3 years if a female)
However nearly 20% of the current UK population will live to be 100.
b) Medical services are improving all the time and therefore he should live a healthy
life. A neurosurgeon friend of mine is working with several US physicians on a
computer programme which is using DNA advances to predict health trends. As
one example they expect to irradiate cancer within twenty years
c) He is likely to be wealthy. Educational standards are improving and such has been
the severity of the current recession no Government will ever again allow the
economy to grow to such excess borrowing levels.
d) There will be more people. The current population of the UK is 62.6 million. It is
expected to reach 70 million in sixteen years time.
e) At each general election the percentage vote taken by the Conservative and
Labour parties decreases. Turnouts generally fall. His politics is likely to feature
the greater empowerment of the minority parties.
f) Her Majesty the Queen will pass on to become remembered at perhaps the
greatest monarch of the modern world. The Royal Family will fall away as a
national institution and the constitutional role will wither.
g) Marriage will continue but there will be more variations in the way people co-
h) There will be no more conventional wars with merely local skirmishes decided by
the better armed side.
i) Oil will be replaced by cheaper fuels and the oil producing nations will struggle.
My grandson is likely to travel the world and perhaps go into space. Will he have what Aldous Huxley so feared: a loss of identity.
The one thing you should never bet against is the human spirit. Man has worked hard to gain his individual freedom. He will fight to the death to hold on to it.
Welcome to your brave new world my dearest grandson.
Article written by Tony Drury. He tweets at @tonydrury39
- Freedom in the City on 22nd May with JP Floru on May 22, 2013 12:30 pm
- The Freedom Association’s Magna Carta Pimms and Politics Cruise on June 15, 2013 12:30 pm
- Conservative Renewal Conference on September 14, 2013
- The Freedom Zone on September 30, 2013
- The Freedom Zone on October 1, 2013
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