Brave New World 2: What is "freedom"?
Near the end of the book, Savage and Mond argue about the nature of freedom. Savage argues that people in the Brave New World have no freedom and therefore lead unfulfilled lives. But Mond counters that people have just enough to do, and that makes them happy. People work, enjoy the feelies, take soma, and they're conditioned to be satisfied with their lot. Savage replies with his call to arms: "I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin."
How much freedom is required to have a fulfilling life? How much risk, and how much consequence, should society allow for for individuals? When should society intervene to prevent someone making mistakes or poor choices? If people are prevented from making bad choices, are they also prevented from living life to the full? How much pain and hardship should we allow to happen?
For instance, should we provide a welfare state, to provide some basic level of food, shelter, and medical care for all? Should we provide some work, or meaningful work, for everyone? Should we provide free education to all, and to what level (primary school or bachelors degree)?
Does it make a difference if the society that intervenes is The State, or more local groups such as a church congregation?