There is no war, poverty or crime. Society is stratified by genetically-predestined caste. Intellectually superior Alphas are the top-dogs. Servile, purposely brain-damaged Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons toil away at the bottom. The lower orders are necessary in BNW because Alphas - even soma-fuelled Alphas - could allegedly never be happy doing menial jobs. It is not explained why doing menial work is inconsistent - if you're an Alpha - with a life pharmacological hedonism - nor, for that matter, with genetically-precoded wetware of invincible bliss. In any case, our descendants are likely to automate menial drudgery out of existence; that's what robots are for.
Notionally, BNW is set in the year 632 AF (After Ford). Its biotechnology is highly advanced. Yet the society itself has no historical dynamic: "History is bunk". It is curious to find a utopia where knowledge of the past is banned by the Controllers to prevent invidious comparisons. One might imagine history lessons would be encouraged instead. They would uncover a blood-stained horror-story.
Perhaps the Controllers fear historical awareness would stir dissatisfaction with the "utopian" present. Yet this is itself revealing. For Brave New World is not an exciting place to live in. It is a sterile, productivist utopia geared to the consumption of mass-produced goods: "Ending is better than mending". Society is shaped by a single all-embracing political ideology. The motto of the world state is "Community, Identity, Stability."
In Brave New World, there is no depth of feeling, no ferment of ideas, and no artistic creativity. Individuality is suppressed. Intellectual excitement and discovery have been abolished. Its inhabitants are laboratory-grown clones, bottled and standardised from the hatchery. They are conditioned and indoctrinated, and even brainwashed in their sleep. The utopians are never educated to prize thinking for themselves. In Brave New World, the twin goals of happiness and stability - both social and personal - are not just prized but effectively equated.
This surprisingly common notion is ill-conceived. The impregnable well-being of our transhuman descendants is more likely to promote greater diversity, both personal and societal, not stagnation. This is because greater happiness, and in particular enhanced dopamine function, doesn't merely extend the depth of one's motivation to act: the hyper-dopaminergic sense of things to be done. It also broadens the range of stimuli an organism finds rewarding. By expanding the range of potential activities we enjoy, enhanced dopamine function will ensure we will be less likely to get stuck in a depressive rut. This rut leads to the kind of learned helplessness that says nothing will do any good, Nature will take its revenge, and utopias will always go wrong.
In Brave New World, things do occasionally go wrong. But more to the point, we are led to feel the whole social enterprise that BNW represents is horribly misconceived from the outset. In BNW, nothing much really changes. It is an alien world, but scarcely a rich or inexhaustibly diverse one. Tellingly, the monotony of its pleasures mirrors the poverty of our own imaginations in conceiving of radically different ways to be happy. Today, we've barely even begun to conceptualise the range of things it's possible to be happy about. For our brains aren't blessed with the neurochemical substrates to do so. Time spent counting one's blessings is rarely good for one's genes.