Are we now living in the type of Dystopian World Orwell warned us about? With every passing week there's a new dictat, a new politically-correct phrase or a new science 'emergency' all moving us in one direction; towards a Dystopian Society. Some think we're not just moving towards it, we've already arrived.
University courses on Sociology rarely touch on the idea of a Dystopian world. This is probably because, in a recent poll, 81% of American University Professors in the Social Sciences identified themselves as Marxists. What we would think of as a dystopian nightmare, they think of as a Marxist Utopia. The idea of a Dystopian society is taught in modern universities but only in English literature classes. It is there that we can see what a dystopian world is really like, immortalised by such people as Orwell, and Philip K. Dick.
In a textbook provided to English Literature students the description of a dystopia resembles more than a few characteristics of our current society:
Dystopia: A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control, and the illusion of a perfect society, are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral or totalitarian control.
It goes on to give a list of Characteristics of a Dystopian Society:
Propaganda is used to control society.
Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.
A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of that society.
Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.
Citizens are in fear of the outside world.
Citizens live in a dehumanised state.
The natural world is banished and distrusted.
Citizens must conform to uniform expectations. individuality and dissent are bad.
The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world.
The textbook goes on to say
Types of Dystopian Controls
Most dystopian works present a world in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through one or more of the following types of controls:
Corporate control: One or more large corporations control society through products, advertising and/or the media.
Bureaucratic control: Society is controlled by a mindless bureaucracy through a tangle of red tape, relentless regulations, and incompetent government officials.