Dystopian Societies in Literature and Our Complicit lives


 

Literature abounds with gripping depiction of Dystopian societies, Orwell’s 1984, and Huxley’s Brave New while maybe the most celebrated are not the only standout pieces of literature in this sub-genre.  Since the two World Wars and the Cold War many writers have approached the future of mankind with some trepidation. In our society there are many elements of dystopian societies and for the sake for conversation I thought I would list some things and see if anyone wants to comment.

1984 George Orwell (1949)

“1984″ is synonymous with tyrannical governments, fascism, and dystopian science fiction. Even the phrases “1984″ and “Big Brother” are now part of the common culture. Orwell’s detailed novel shows how a government can manipulate the people by manipulating the truth and manipulating the news.

Edward Bernays

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democraticsociety. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind

ARTICLE

Primetime Fox News And WSJ Editorial Climate Coverage Mostly Wrong

An analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientsts finds that 93 percent of climate info on Fox News prime time and 81 percent on the Wall Street Journal Opinion pages is misleading. Read Here: Scientific American

Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury (1953)

Fahrenheit 451 speaks against the dumbing down of society, specifically on how Hollywood pop culture slush and TV entertainment can create an entire nation of people who are not only incapable of fighting for their rights, but who don’t even realize the importance of doing so.

Brave New World Aldous Huxley (1932)

This novel shows a society where left leaning thinking and self hedonism is taken so far to the extreme that one person’s utopia turns out to be an appalling place where the irony of a peaceful existence has caused society to lose all concept of art, honor, religious beliefs, or anything that often defines culture. The “utopia” has people who have no sympathy, no empathy.

Human Trafficking Happens More Than We Know

Human trafficking is a very ugly topic that people don’t like discussing, and it gets tied to prostitution far more than I would like. There is a big difference between coercing and choosing. Men, women and children that are taken into slavery, especially sexual slavery, have things happen to them that we simply cannot imagine. Human trafficking is something that I believe is on the rise. Human beings are seen as commodities that can be sold again and again, generating billions of thousands of dollars each year.

Read Article Here: Human Trafficking

Iron Heel Jack London (1908)

Iron Heel is about the rise of a tyrannical corporate oligarchy in the United States. It stresses changes in society and politics, with the oligarchy formed by robber barons whom bankrupt all the middle class and seize power before enforcing a “caste system” of workers. This was a fantastic dystopian novel that was far ahead of its time.

Speech Bill Moyers: “Welcome to the Plutocracy!”
Bill Moyers speech at Boston University on October 29, 2010, as a part of the Howard Zinn Lecture Series.

Now, most people know what plutocracy is: the rule of the rich, political power controlled by the wealthy. Plutocracy is not an American word and wasn’t meant to become an American phenomenon – some of our founders deplored what they called “the veneration of wealth.” But plutocracy is here, and a pumped up Citigroup even boasted of coining a variation on the word— “plutonomy”, which describes an economic system where the privileged few make sure the rich get richer and that government helps them do it..[..]… Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder.

Some Thoughts?

“The point is, there is no feasible excuse for what are, for what we have made of ourselves. We have chosen to put profits before people, money before morality, dividends before decency, fanaticism before fairness, and our own trivial comforts before the unspeakable agonies of others”
― Iain BanksComplicity

Some references not listed above

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/mitt-romneys-america-makers-vs-takers/2012/09/21/687dd204-0384-11e2-9b24-ff730c7f6312_blog.html

http://listverse.com/2008/03/12/top-12-dystopian-novels/

 

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One thought on “Dystopian Societies in Literature and Our Complicit lives

  1. Iron Heel – that’s one I haven’t read. I think I’ll try that one. It’s funny how Brave New World sometimes seems like a good idea, if you haven’t read the book. Like – world peace, free love…

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