What is a dystopia?

A dystopia can be defined as a made-up society that is flawed oppressive and dehumanizes the individuals that live in it which can be characterized by oppression and removal of individual freedom.

Dystopias often come about from the pursuit of utopian ideas and beliefs that are taken to the extreme which can result in the suppression of individual liberties at the stake of the greater good. In Thomas Hobbes “Leviathan” it describes the formation of a a powerful government that avoids the state of nature this is a condition of conflict and insecurity. It was intended to establish order and security but the power that was granted to the government could lead to a dystopian society and things like individual rights are suppressed for the main reason of the government maintaining control. Animal Farm and Brave New World depict dystopian societies where the government or higher powers exploit and oppress the poorer classes by propaganda and misinformation by using force. Michael Foucault’s concept of the panopticon is a made-up prison that allows for constant surveillance this exemplifies dystopian theories where individuals are subject to constant monitoring that is out of their control. The idea of a society that is under constant discipline is copied in many contemporary dystopias where many citizens are conditioned to conform to the ideology of the government and if they fight back or disagree they are forced into severe consequences. This relates to modern examples of dystopian elements like censorship, mass surveillance, and disinformation which we can see in many countries around the world. Another example of a dystopian society is The Hunger Games which explores the consequences of a totalitarian government that maintains control through manipulation and even elimination of individuals. In these societies, the individuality and free will of citizens are completely taken away and the citizens are forced to conform to the ideals of the government which is sometimes at the sacrifice of their own individual beliefs. The ever-changing society that we live in puts constant fear in individuals that we can eventually end up in a dystopian world.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.