The political spectrum of Dystopia

Many science fiction novels deal with a future that is united by one world government. The question for the aspiring writer of these probably dystopian masterpieces remains simple: what kind of government is it? There are a plethora of options, on all ends of the political wheel.

The answer to the question often lies within the author: what do I fear the most?

Disclaimer: I hate all of them. Don’t comment about political systems or your personal preference unless it has something to do with writing. If you want to rant about how much one of them sucks and how America or whatever country you live in is turning into it, I will become whatever totalitarian establishment you hate and delete your comment.

OK?

1. Fascism

Are you a strong independent woman reminiscent of Kelly Clarkson or Beyonce? Then you should be scared of fascism. Are you a homosexual who enjoys meeting other homosexuals? Then you should be afraid of fascism. Are you a proponent of a strong national pride coupled with far right social and moral laws?

Then you are probably a fascist…

Ok maybe not really. But the principles stand as far right and strong nationalism. The liberal author would find living like this appalling and unbearable. The Nazi author would love it. The liberal mind finds a government that oppresses people on the basis of race or social orientation sickening. This world would definitely be a dystopia for some. Think V for Vendetta.

2. Socialism

Are you a successful business man who donates to charity and enjoys the fruit of his labor? Then you should be scared of socialism. Are you a farmer who enjoys the great outdoors and the freedom to grow whatever you choose? Then you should be afraid of socialism.  Are you a poor person who thinks the government should do everything for you?

Then you’re probably a socialist…

Or maybe just a poor person. Socialism strives to make all citizens equal in every way. This takes away the entrepreneurial spirit and the drive of the open market. The conservative mind finds this reprehensible because of the economic implications. While less popular in fiction, it is definitely an inviting setting. Think 1984.

Most dystopias revolve around these two governments taken to their totalitarian extremes. The USSR and Nazi Germany are often cited as the basis for these extremes and the fears that come with them. Which makes sense because “Nazi” and “Commie” are pretty much universal terms for “I hate you”.

Conclusions

In essence, a totalitarian government is everyone’s fear no matter which end of the spectrum this government is on. That makes it great fodder for sci fi novels. Especially novels written during a World War or the Cold War.

Speculative future fiction has always been a favorite genre of mine, and I think it’s worth considering as a writer. If you need some inspiration, see such novels as Atlas Shrugged, Fahrenheit 451, The Giver, The Hunger Games, Brave New World, Watchmen, or for a more comprehensive list, click here.

So what is the answer to all of this totalitarian, far right, far left ridiculousness?

Libertarianism or Anarchism of course…on next week’s blog!

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3 thoughts on “The political spectrum of Dystopia

  1. I’d be interested to see more dystopias that managed to break away from these two models. I think everything tends to be socialist or fascist because they’re still in our minds from recent history, but what about something more historical or speculative? I’d like to see a dystopian absolute monarchy or theocracy, or something new that we’ve never seen. Just to mix things up.

  2. Pingback: Anarchy in the USA | Silly Robots

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