List of Dystopian Traits Now Scarily Close to Real Life

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:

  1. Propaganda is used to control society.

  2. Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.

  3. A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of that society.

  4. Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.

  5. Citizens are in fear of the outside world.

  6. Citizens live in a dehumanised state.

  7. The natural world is banished and distrusted.

  8. Citizens must conform to uniform expectations. individuality and dissent are bad.

  9. 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.

  • Technological control: Society is controlled by technology - through computers, robots or scientific means.

We only have to look at what is currently happening in our society to see that most, if not all, of these dystopian characteristics are already embedded in our society. The difference from the literary world to our reality is it is a combination of all these characteristics, not a single one, that controls our lives.