A dystopia is an imagined society where there is an immense amount of exploitation, violence, and distrust between social classes. A dystopia doesn’t always follow a cataclysmic or apocalyptic event which is what I previously thought before learning about different types of dystopian elements and aspects. After reading The Five Faces of Oppression by Iris Young, I realized the amount of violence that looms over citizens in a dystopian society. Random and unprovoked violence is encouraged to “destroy the person” just to keep them under the thumb of whoever is in the seat of power. Keeping the citizens in check is essential for exploitation because if you don’t fear those in power then the appropriation of “the product of the labor of others” can’t happen. All in all, those that any significant power over other people make a lower class feel the difference in their superiority.
This is what makes it hard trust in a society with centralized fear. Distrust is a breeding ground for violence between citizens of the same standing and to feel safe they adopt a “strike first” mentality. I feel like the strike first mentality usually happens in a post-apocalyptic dystopia because the environment is chaotic and the fear of waking up to something gone, makes people want to fight for they have or what will make them have the advantage. This kind of the of following the ideas of the Hobbesian Jungle. For me it still reigns true that in any dystopia the people are suppressed and their personalities are muffled because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves.