The Conundrum that is Dystopia

Stories with dystopian endings can be characterized as stories within which revolutions turn out to be successful, induce replacements of people in authority, but result in maintenance of the status quo. Given revolutions in reality ought to be about overturning of the status quo, else there does not exist any social welfare rationale for revolution, dystopian endings are parodies of selfish motives of most revolutionaries. Examples of stories with dystopian endings are the “Hunger Games” and “Divergent” movie series. It is perhaps the case that Che Guevara, the Argentine revolutionary is revered because his motives for participation in revolutions appear to be mostly unselfish.

I hate dystopian endings — whether they be incorporated into movies, novels, or blogs. Dystopian endings suck the life out of everything. There you are investing some days in a novel, hours in a movie, or minutes in a blog only to be sucker punched at the end with some dystopian ending. Historically, the “sucker punch” was reserved for the guy who allowed a gal to induce him to do something wrong, immoral, or illegal out of some misplaced notion of meaning of love — no thanks in part I think to renowned novelist James Hadley Chase who penned a novel titled, “The Sucker Punch.” In literary works that have dystopian endings the sucker punch now is universal, reserved for everyone hoping for new beginnings from out of revolutions.

Truth be told, dystopian endings have some basis in reality. In Russia, the people merely exchanged Czars for Communist Leaders. Most other revolutions have resulted in similar outcomes — changes in leadership accompanied by minor or insignificant changes in welfare of average citizens or residents, and sharing of wealth formerly concentrated in top 1% among the (new) top 5%.

Tunisia is an example of a country that seemingly had avoided a dystopian ending to a revolution. The people’s will was respected, new and fair elections were held, the country seemingly was on a path to resurgence, then came two attacks by Islamic militants that delivered serious blows to the country’s tourism industry — an important source of employment and revenue. I do not know the extent to which Tunisia has recovered, suffice it to say Islamic militants were determined to inflict a dystopian ending on an otherwise hope inducing peaceful revolution by will of the people — the essence of democracy.

If citizens merely resist every dystopian government, they end up in a zero sum game they cannot play ad infinitum. Within this context, each dystopian government takes advantage of the people then is revolutionized out of government. It would be wise for a dystopian government for instance to contract out the revolution that sweeps it out of government so erstwhile leaders can go on to enjoy spoils of governance.

Outside of presence of pure or unselfish motives, there do not exist any solutions to dystopian endings to revolutions. In this realization, however, resides the solution to dystopian endings, which is, recognition of and support for people who have character, learning, education, and objective evidence of professional success for leadership of a country. If those who lead revolutions, people who typically do not have character and learning required to lead effectively post revolution, will cede leadership post revolution to people that have character and learning, and protect themselves with golden parachutes (financial incentives to be paid out if somehow they were to be hedged out of government in future periods), revolutions perhaps can avoid dystopian endings.

If people (leaders of revolutionary movements inclusive) have capacity or freedom to choose their leaders, dystopian endings are possible only if people do not care for combination of character, learning, education, and evidence of past professional success in choice of leaders.

Written by

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store