Science Fiction authors have been writing about dystopian societies for years. Some have said authors such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and Kurt Vonnegut predicted the future in their short stories and novels. They wrote most often about society, making observations around them and working these observations into the worst case scenarios they observed could happen. These predictions turned into novels like 1984 and Brave New World and short stories like “Harrison Bergeron.” All three of these stories are unique in their approach to the dystopian future. In fact, Orwell’s and Huxley’s versions are direct opposites of each other, however, you can see elements of both their versions of our future budding their heads into our lives and sometimes in very literally senses. Check out this sign posted at a UK bus stop:
Yeah, that’s a legit poster for CCTV security, though it doesn’t seem anyone is sure whether it’s supposed to be a satire of Orwell’s vision of the future or a hint at totalitarianism. Quite honestly, I don’t think any good person should want to aliken themselves to Big Brother if they’ve ever had the chance to read 1984.
I’ve been reading through some of these great dystopian classics and despite the obvious differences, I’ve found a couple of key elements that it seems they all have which I can’t help but think the contributed to the condition of the world. I thought about them in comparison to other future stories of maybe less serious nature and I feel like I’ve seen some of the same elements in them too and I can’t help but think they attribute heavily to the development of a dystopian society and I worry a that if these three characteristics take hold of any major power in the world, we are on our way to a Brave New World. Take a look at these and tell me what you think.
Step 1: Give Government Complete Control Over Health Care
One of the major things to note in Brave New World is that all humans are genetically created to be similar. They are created in mass production, outside of family and instead in a facility run by the government. This facility creates people for specific purposes and through their development and childhood growth, they are mentally and physically trained to behave as the working ‘cog’ they are to become for society. In 1984, childbirth and rearing is done as a duty to the government. People don’t have sex for fun and societal pressure stops most couples from copulating for any reason other than procreation. In”Harrison Bergeron” the Government is in charge of making sure everyone is literally equal by placing shock devices inside of humans to stop those with high mental capacities from out-thinking those with lower brain capacities and even going so far as to disfigure people so there are no ‘unfair’ advantages.
If we look at the VA as an example of government-controlled healthcare, we see that it fails. If we look at anything the government tends to ‘throw money at’ to fix, we see that it fails. If you put the government in charge of healthcare, what makes you think they that if any corruption were to show up, they wouldn’t use healthcare control to remove those who were rebellious to them and breed their own worker bees who stick to doing their duties?
Step 2: Destroy the Family
In 1984, children are encouraged to report their brothers, and parents if they believe them to be committing thought crimes. There is no loyalty, there is no privacy, and you cannot be sure that if you say something to a family member, that the police will not be there to arrest you within the next 24 hours. This creates distrust, fear, and even unhealthy competition to catch them before they catch you, pulling the families apart.
In Brave New World, families are not a thing as children are born and raised in government facilities. Individuals are told that it is virtuous to sleep around with many partners and that being monogamous is bad. Early on in the novel, we find out that Lenina has only dated one person for four months and her friend is worried then tells her that if her boss found out, she would be in a great deal of trouble. Family is not a part of the equation and when mentioned in ‘history,’ those in charge discuss how bad it is to be raised by parents, while the narrative also tells as the students being told about the past really had no idea that parents were once a thing anyone.
In “Harrison Bergeron” people are supposed to be equals, but if some have two parents and some have one or none, then some individuals are put at a disadvantage. Having two parents is discouraged because then it puts all those other children at a major disadvantage for not growing up in a loving, two-parent household. In order to create equality, there must be less love. This is only made crazier by the fact “two-parent household privilege” has been a REAL discussion in recent times.
If you abolish the family, who is left to raise the children?
It’s the government. Look at our public school system as a less formal example of this. Some parents already claim it’s not their job to raise their kids, it’s the schools. If you take away parenting because some parenting is unfair to those who have shitty parents, then… well, the government is already in charge of their health, now to be even, they’re in charge of education. The government pretty much owns your child’s life at this point.
So what’s left?
Step 3: Remove God
In all of these societies, Christianity has been removed. Brave New World specifically mentions ending Christianity. The only religion in 1984 is Big Brother and everything that the party says, basically, the government is the religion and the government has taken the place of God–not that hard to believe when the government also controls life, death, and punishment to the fullest extent. Then since everything must be equal in “Harrison Bergeron,” religion can’t exist. Not all religions are equal, not all gods and prophets are equal and so they are removed and replaced with societies selected replacements.
I also couldn’t help but think of the South Park episode series, Go God Go and Go God Go XII in which every religion was dead but ‘atheism’ but the different societies were continuously fighting anyone. God, in His purest sense, is truth and goodness. When He isn’t there, the power is shifted to someone else, usually humans, and that someone else is not usually equipped to remain impartial, just, and truthful. Once the power of God is bestowed onto an individual (or a government organization) totalitarianism takes over because they’re the ones making the rules, of course they can do whatever they want.
If you want to see what kind of corruption surfaces when power is at play, look at the DNC Leak from this year.
So in closing, with most futuristic dystopian societies, I’ve noticed they became garbage because the government was in charge and the more power the government has, the more screwed everyone else is. Elysium, Hunger Games, Divergent are just a few more current examples of the government being too big and screwing over everyone else.
Next time you watch a dystopian society or you even evaluate your own, take these three steps into considering. Next time you read history and find a society crumbling or corruption rampant, think of these three steps and check off a list of how many are in action.
I truly belief that if all three of these ideas are engaged at the same time in a power country like the USA, it will be the end of good on a global scale and the dystopian world will already have taken hold. It’s not hard to believe when most of these are only partial between Obamacare, rising divorce and single parenthood rates, and the removal of God from schools, songs, currency, and in some cases chuches, our world and many nations across the earth are beginning to look a lot like Brave New World, 1984, and many, many other warning stories.
If you haven’t ready any of the books mentioned in this blog, I strongly urge you to pick them up. They are excellent reads and you will find far too many parallels to sit comfortably.