July 26, 2006
I learnt a new word today: dystopia.
Amongst the characteristics of a dystopian society are:
- State propaganda programs and educational systems that scare most citizens into worshipping the state and its government, in an attempt to convince them to believe that life under the regime is good and just, e.g. Alan Moore‘s V for Vendetta.
- Strict conformity among citizens and a general assumption that dissent and individuality are bad, as in We, where people are permitted to live out of public view for only an hour a day, and are not only referred to by numbers instead of names, but are neither “citizens” nor “people”, but “numbers.”
- A state figurehead that people worship fanatically through a vast personality cult, such as Nineteen Eighty-Four‘s Big Brother, We‘s The Benefactor, or Equilibrium‘s Father.
- Fear of, or disgust at, the world outside the state.
- A common view of traditional life, particularly organized religion, as primitive and nonsensical.
Why does this feel vaguely familiar?
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