Huxley's Brave New World: The Early Bourgeois Dystopia
At about the same time that Zamyatin was writing We to warn against a possible dystopian turn in Russian Communism, the specter of fascism was already beginning to raise its head in Weimar Germany. The resulting social and political chaos in Germany during the 1920s produced a number of dystopian warnings in that society as well. For example, much of the work of Bertolt Brecht is informed by an attempt to delineate Communist utopian alternatives to the bourgeois nightmare that would eventually lead to fascism in Germany, but (especially in his early work) Brecht also often depicts bourgeois society itself in dystopian terms. This tendency is probably shown most clearly in the libretto to the opera The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogonny. In this opera a group of fugitives found a potentially utopian community (based on complete individual liberty) somewhere in the American West, but the fundamentally capitalist inclinations of the settlers lead to disastrous consequences. Despite the American setting, the real referents of the play are Weimar Germany and capitalism in general: "Mahogonny is Germany. Mahogonny is the world of capitalism" ( Ewen197). Meanwhile, many of Brecht's later works (e.g., Roundheads and Peakheads and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui) are specifically directed at the Nazi regime in Germany, depicting Hitler's rule in clearly dystopian tones.
The dystopian flavor of Brecht's early drama participates both in the sense of cultural crisis that informed modernist literature and in the more widespread sense of economic and political crisis that led to