Every now and then, as I am watching the evening news I get this feeling of deja vu. I know I have heard all this somewhere before. Things like:
- deadly viruses ravaging people
- riots with heavily armored police and troops
- record setting drought in the American southwest
- flash floods carrying away cars and trucks
- the Polar Vortex
A dystopia is a community or society that is in some important way undesirable or frightening. It is the opposite of a utopia. Such societies appear in many artistic works, particularly in stories set in a future. Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society. Dystopian societies appear in many sub-genres of fiction and are often used to draw attention to real-world issues regarding society, environment, politics, economics, religion, psychology, ethics, science, and/or technology, which if unaddressed could potentially lead to such a dystopia-like condition.I realized that such dystopias can occur with no warning. All of a sudden we stop and realize that the world is much more hostile to us than we thought.
But I have a feeling that this has always been true. Dystopian societies have always existed. They are not something we have to wait to see happen in some future.
Just look at the evening news.