Science Fiction is full of dystopian stories, with futures grim, dusty, and hot. They have advanced technology, at least in some sectors, but in general, it’s not available to the masses, or used for the greater good.
With all that’s going on in our world these days, it almost seems that we should just pick our favorite dystopian story and admit we’re heading in that direction.
I am a cynical person. I’m not proud of that, necessarily, it just is. People almost can’t surprise me with how nasty they can be. I’m always disappointed when they are nasty – I’d much rather see people be nice. Or dare I say, be reasonable?
You know, at the very least.
Invariably though, most people go for the jugular and brag about it. There are a whole bunch of them in this country coming out loud and clear about how nasty they are and how nasty they want to act in public. They’re voting for Trump.
It’s possible the slim majority of British folks who voted for Brexit just want to be nasty, too. Certainly, they want to close the gates to their country and wall themselves in so they can have their own quiet little kingdom without having to acknowledge that “other” people exist.
Good luck with that.
But here’s the thing about dystopian stories. They always have hope. There are always people who refuse to be nasty and want to do something about the general nastiness surrounding them. Seriously, would you read a novel that didn’t have these characters? Probably not.
A novel that just glorifies a nasty, ugly society would be… boring, possibly. Damn sad, for sure. Cringe-worthy, even.
So it would be in real life. And in my most cynical moments, I’m truly afraid we may end like that. It’s hard for me to think hope can win. But cynicism doesn’t mean I give up. I’ll always be one of those people fighting for reason.
In novels, we always win in the end. I want to believe that’s also true of real life, with the caveat that sometimes we’re reading a trilogy. Things can get pretty nasty before the good guys prevail.
Worst case: humanity goes extinct. That at least ends the suffering.