Is Dystopia At Our Doorstep?

There are many interpretations of what a dystopia is. Many will argue that we are living in a dystopia already. I believe that a dystopia is a society where the things that make us human are stifled, and while we may not be currently living in one, it is closer than we think.

Our key characteristics as humans are our ability to love, foster community, and collaborate with others. It is how we create businesses and families and continually strive for greatness. But do we live in a society today that is encouraging these characteristics? In a world where people report seeing someone steal necessities for their family and companies buy housing to create short-term rentals and destabilize the housing market, we are further away from the sense of community than ever.

The definition I’ve created is broad, and that is because there are many ways to stifle the innate characteristics we have. In Fahrenheit 451, books were burned with the purpose of creating uncomplicated happiness for its citizens. But sometimes, the best way to connect with others is through struggle. Reading of similar struggles happening across oceans and across time can create a stronger bond within yourself and the people around you. In The Handmaid’s Tale, the handmaidens are allowed no family of their own and live in isolation, even while surrounded by people. There is no community, freedom, or acceptance. Only seclusion, captivity, and shame.

Societies with this kind of whatever are not able to flourish. What is our purpose if we are not allowed to collaborate, create communities, love, and be loved? At our core, these are the things that make us human, and without them, what are we?

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