Posted by: markfender | July 1, 2014

Brave New Wrong

There is a fine tradition of dystopian literature that posits a totalitarian future.

1984comparisonThis literature is wrong.

Now, let’s be clear. It’s not wrong in the way that it portrays the horrors of totalitarianism. As warnings against this type of government, these books are deserved classics. I’m certainly not disparaging the imagination, writing, or emotions of these novels. Just their warning.

I just don’t believe that totalitarianism is the future. It’s a constant urge from those in power to hold onto their power, sure. And it has been known to work as a form of government for extended periods of time. But as the all-encompassing future? I don’t see it.

Because I’ve worked in corporate America. I’ve watched the news. And it appears that humans are really good at being incompetent. Despite the numerous checks and balances put in place, lone humans manage to upset the “natural” order time and time again. So, despite the best efforts of those in charge to stamp down on dissidence, that dissidence eventually does manage to win out. Whether that be sympathizers in the government, outside influence, or what, something always tends to break up the rigid control exercised by those in power.

Call it entropy, call it the human condition, call it conscience, or whatever. But there just aren’t a lot of efficient humans who have nothing but the bottom line as their mantra. Eventually, a crack appears in the regime and it crumbles. Granted, “good” governments crumble as well. It’s just the nature of the beast, letting humans run an organization.

I guess what I’m saying is that dystopian literature can act as a warning to be more vigilant about the rise of such structures. But, if that fails, the structure will eventually collapse. It may not be in your lifetime (in which case, I highly recommend fighting against it when you first see the signs of its rise) but it’s probably gonna happen. Big Brother will eventually make a huge mistake. Because Big Brother is just a human – like you.



  1. And when Big Brother isn’t a human just like you, you run into another whole line of dystopian literature…

    • And then we’re in the Matrix and have to endure Toronto-masquerading-as-Chicago forever.

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