Consumerism plays a major role in the economy of today. In fact, consumption is a key factor in calculating country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The more the consumer buys, the more the economy grows. In the United States, for example, the Obama administration created a stimulus package in hopes that citizens would put the money back into the economy by buying goods. While money and goods stimulate economic growth in the Western world, every aspect of life affects the economy and politics of the World State in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. In the World State, everything from reproduction to sports is affected by consumerism, therefore consumption is imperative to the survival of the political economic system in the Western world as well as the World State.
The United States may be the world’s largest consuming country. We have bigger houses, bigger cars, and bigger people than almost all other countries in the world. Although it makes up only five percent of the world’s population, the US uses about a quarter of the world’s fossil fuel resources—burning up nearly 25 % of the coal, 26 % of the oil, and 27 % of the world’s natural gas. It has a great effect on the health of Americans (particularly obesity), and also correlates with “a decline in health indicators in many countries, as obesity, crime, and other social ills” (http://www.worldwatch.org/node/810”. In the World State, consumption covers more than just goods; it covers all aspects of life. In order to keep society functioning, the people must mindlessly and happily consume. From infancy, lower class citizens are bred to hate nature because it “keeps no factories busy.” Although they hate the countryside, the love country sports, thus they spend money on transportation and elaborate gizmos. All games are required to use complex gadgets because “allowing people to play elaborate games which do nothing whatsoever to increase consumption” is just “madness” (Huxley 31).
Hypnopedia, or sleep- teaching, is used to morally condition the citizens of the World State from a very young age. While the children sleep, slogans of consumption are repeatedly whispered to them until it is engrained into their minds as the truth. “Ending is better than mending. The more stiches, the less riches.” These