“Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.” Margaret Atwood, The Handmaids Tale
My stepson is in the interview process for a teaching position at a prestigious private school. His next step is to teach an hour long session on Dystopian Literature. I had to look it up to see if I really knew what the subject was and found: 1984, Animal Farm, The Handmaids Tale, The Jungle, The Time Machine, and Hunger Games, among many others.
Dystopian stories are the antonym of utopian literature that holds a vision of a future with promise and hope. These tales demand that all who read them abandon hope and travel down the alternate path toward darkness and despair.
Recently on NPR a psychologist was talking about Prince Harry’s admission of dealing, often poorly, with the trauma of his mother’s death when he was 12 years old. The only thing that anchored him to life had been Diana, who in an instant was there no more. Harry has millions of admirers and his message of seeking help to deal with trauma and grief 20 years after the fact, is powerful.
I’ve lived a long time. I’ve seen firsthand the up and downs, trials and tribulations of life, but always I found a more utopian outlook. That choice has allowed me to emerge from all of them bruised but not defeated.
A defeated populace, living lives of grim desperation, is easier to control than a smaller number of educated, inquisitive people. That’s why would-be tyrants go after the intelligentsia early in their purges. We are now living under a system of government that was once the idol of the world. That, however, has been hijacked by the wealthiest, most power hungry people in the world for their own nefarious purposes. They are scheming and overseeing the destruction of public education, a social safety net, health care, and any care for the future of the environment in which we live.
We are being degraded into a third-world country in a well-planned plot. It is only ourselves who can turn the tables. It has never been easy, but it has always been necessary to stand up to tyrants.