Dystopia… Not a World, but a Mindset

I believe that a dystopia is a mindset, one that is linked to the idea that there is a way to escape a greater evil by allocating power or control to one specific group of people who will “lead” in the same manner of immortality, just more subtly. Most fictitious books or films follow the common definitions that a dystopian society must be post-apocalyptic or the solution to the brink of a catastrophe. The solution tends to result in an imaginative society or world where the common people are brainwashed to believe that they are the future and they must save their world by any means necessary. Yet, in each and every movie or book this world is not really a world in itself, but a collective mindset that conducts people to believe that they are doing what is best even if their best acts are questionably inhumane. 

A dystopian society is naturally defined as a bad place, but there is no existence of bad places without vile minds running them. I believe that is why dystopian-based works usually tend to fall apart or have the true wickedness that keeps the community afloat revealed by those who don’t fully buy into the wrongful practices of those in power. This is evident in The Giver, Divergent, Hunger Games, etc… There is always a group who don’t believe in what the higher-ups are doing is necessarily right or just, which leads to defiance through truth-seeking. I also feel that a dystopia is “the easy way out” instead of having to actually put the work in to fix serious issues at hand, such as overpopulation or climate change. This fear comes at the risk of overcoming capitalistic precedents. Stories and movies are meant to describe dystopias as imagined worlds, because that is what fiction is about: believing. Yet, more recent dystopian works are hitting very close to home, such as What Happened to Monday. They are touching on dealing with issues we face in the real world. Dystopian societies are no longer a pigment of imagination, but possible alternatives to the world we know today. In What Happened to Monday, the society was most definitely led by poor judgment. Other policies or actions could have been put into effect to control the issue of overpopulation besides mass extermination.

A world or society cannot exist or function properly without guidance; dystopias thrive on egregious guidance and lack of compassion for all people. They operate on the notions of fear, obedience, control, and corruption. I feel as if a dystopia relies on the mindset “sacrifice the few for the many,” but at what cost? At what point does the few become the many? We can watch all the cinemas in the world or read all the books available on dystopian societies, and buy into the thought that they are just imagined worlds, or we can face the fact that dystopias are the product of poor thoughts turned into even poorer actions. With that being said they are more real than imaginative.

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