Where Are The Healthy Dystopias?

This semester, we have been granted many different opportunities to look into what a dystopia is and what it means/has meant to other people in history. With this being the final blog post, I can say that I am leaving this class with many different definitions and opinions in mind. The two opinions on the structure of dystopias that have stuck out to me the most were that of Hobbes and Young. Before I delve into what Hobbes and Young have said about dystopias, I want to give the definition of a dystopia that I have come to accept the most. My definition of a dystopia is a society that is filled with injustice and oppression, a society that is only truly beneficial to a select few, usually of a higher social class. I can say that my definition of a dystopia has changed slightly since the beginning of this course. At the start of this course, my definition of a dystopia was more aligned with governmental systems only. Now I think that my definition is more broad spectrum, and it can orient itself with government and class systems, as well as the lay-person’s definition of a dystopia, which is what I started out as in this class. Now, moving onto my two sources, I think that both Young and Hobbes shaped my definition of what a dystopia is for the better. While Hobbes is more radical (than Young) with his descriptions of a dystopia, I think that they are both equally important for me to recognize. Using Hobbes as one form of justification for my definition of a dystopia is easy, because Hobbes saw a dystopia as something that worked, but was ultimately created out of fear. This justifies my definition of a dystopia further because Hobbes acknowledged the oppressive side of our dystopian society, but he also made sure to note the functionality of it. It should also be noted that Hobbes has many different perspectives, but this is the one that I chose since it supports my definition. Next, I want to turn our attention towards Young’s Five Faces of Oppression to justify my definition. Young used oppression as the basis of defining a dystopia, while I used injustice as my basis. I think that these two are closely related, but it is also important to note this difference. The five faces that Young made the audience aware of were: exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism and finally, violence. All five of these “faces” tie into my definition of a dystopia. The class difference is the basis of oppression and injustice, which ties into the faces of cultural imperialism, marginalization, and powerlessness. The “face” of exploitation aligns with my statement of the dystopian society only being beneficial to some. If a society only benefits a select few, there has to be some exploitation involved for the said select few to get what they want. All in all, the question that I want to leave the audience with is; are there any “healthy” dystopias? Or are all dystopias toxic for at least one sect of society? 

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