I cannot remember the term for a system in which an existing product was redefined and developed into a new product and then marketed as better and sold to the public, even though it works almost exactly the same as the product that came before its generation.

I believe there is an ‑ism word in Brave New World which describes part of this about their society and I can just not remember what it is and it is killing me not knowing.

Does anyone know what this word is?

  • "Smile and grin at the change all ... No, no! Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss ." Nov 8, 2020 at 20:07
  • 1
    Are you thinking of consumerism? Nov 8, 2020 at 22:17
  • @Weather Vane Good find, and almost certainly what OP is thinking of. // 'Repackaging' is often used pejoratively. A metaphorical usage from Associate Justice: This repackaging does little to cleanse [the policy] of the appearance of discrimination that the president’s words have created[;] based on the evidence in the record, a reasonable observer would conclude that the proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus. Nov 10, 2020 at 14:39
  • @EdwinAshworth at one time I was involved in data processing for the "rag trade" and came to know that the exact same garment would be packaged and branded to appeal to different segments of the market. Although that is not quite the same thing. Nov 10, 2020 at 14:43
  • @Weather Vane 'Varipackaging' sadly hasn't been worded. Nov 10, 2020 at 15:03

1 Answer 1


I believe the "word" used in Brave New World is Fordism.

The World State is built upon the principles of Henry Ford's assembly line: mass production, homogeneity, predictability, and consumption of disposable consumer goods. While the World State lacks any supernatural-based religions, Ford himself is revered as the creator of their society but not as a deity, and characters celebrate Ford Day and swear oaths by his name (e.g., "By Ford!").

However, my initial thought was that you were referring to planned obsolesence.

In economics and industrial design, planned obsolescence (also called built-in obsolescence or premature obsolescence) is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so that it becomes obsolete (i.e., unfashionable, or no longer functional) after a certain period of time. ... It is the deliberate shortening of a lifespan of a product to force consumers to purchase replacements.

  • 1
    Congratulations on hitting 10k! Dec 10, 2020 at 11:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.