Is anybody alive in here?

26 11 2009

It’s far easier to end things than to figure out things past the end.

Upshot: I’m having difficulty with the dystopias.

I did manage to put together a chart, but it’s pretty spongy. I’d put in ‘violent’ here or ‘charismatic’ there, then take it out, move it around.

I don’t have it—I’m missing something; no flow, here.

So let’s just call this Dystopia-Beta

  • I. Cause
    • A. Collapse
      • i. catastrophic (SEE Apocalypse)
      • ii. gradual breakdown
    • B. Evolution
      • i. of species
        • a. human
        • b. non-human
      • ii. of society
  • II. Type
    • A. Chaotic
      • i. non-violent
        • a. few people
        • b. hostile environment
      • ii. episodically violent
        • a. individual predation
        • b. criminal gangs
        • c. militias
      • iii. war
        • a. criminal gangs
        • b. militias
        • c. organized armies
    • B. Corporate
      • i. workers controlled
      • ii. consumers controlled
    • C. Party government
      • i. everything-is-good
        • a. dissenters marginalized
        • b. dissenters jailed/killed
        • c. dissenters re-educated
      • ii. everything-is-grim
        • a. populace atomized
        • b. populace enslaved
        • c. ongoing genocide
      • iii. behind-the-scenes
        • a. omnipresent/tracks behavior
        • b. omniscient/tracks affect & intellect
    • D. Military government
      • i. military in sync with society
      • ii. military opposed to society
      • iii. entire society militarized
    • E. Theocracy
      • i. elite/exclusive
        • a. exploits populace
        • b. suppresses populace
        • c. forcibly converts populace
      • ii. populist/inclusive
        • a. cultic/centered on charismatic leader
        • b. pietistic/communitarian
        • c. dogmatic/authoritarian
    • III. Stage
      • A. Immediate post-
        • i. no control
        • ii. begin control
      • B. Semi-stable
        • i. partial control [against chaos]
        • ii. organized fight for control
      • C. Stable
        • i. evolving
        • ii. eternal

(I have to say, this was a total pain in the ass to put together—all those damned ‘li’ and ‘backslash ul’—but I did it. Still, I am lazy enough that if flow charts require anything near the persnickety-ness of a nested chart, fuggedaboudit. )

Not so great, I know, but it’s a start.

Suggestions welcome.

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2 responses

26 11 2009
Christine

It’s hard with dystopias, because so often the books don’t tell you how they got that way. Like 1984 – I don’t remember it being clear how it happened, except by a sort of slow breaking down of people’s will to resist? I reread it a year or so ago but I don’t remember.

What about making a note of which dystopia fits where, in your list? I.e., “Brave New World” = a sort of type C-i-c. Tvtropes.org does that, gives examples of all its tropes, and it’s incredibly helpful.

Corporate dystopia – aren’t the workers also the consumers? Again, if you could note which book/film gives a nice example, it would help, though I get that you’re trying to be exhaustive.

And under “Cause”, what about War? or does that count as a catastrophe?

So you’re not reinventing the wheel, you know about this, right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dystopia

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dystopian_literature

Kind of put the keibosh on my exhaustive list of apocalyptic lit and film when I saw they’d already done it (though I’m still assembling a list of what I’ve read and seen, with my reviews).

And yeah, HTML’s not hard, just tedious, sometimes incredibly so. :)

13 03 2013
Jhon

All are dystopias. All deal with the mtapiulnaion or distortion of reality. In 1984 and BNW, much more subtly in BNW, reality is distorted by the state for political purposes. In almost all Dick novels, reality is inherently unreliable the story often centers around the protagonist discovering that he is someone or something entirely different from what he believed. Also what it means to be human. it’s obvious in Dick’s novel, with the battles between human and android. In BNW, those living on the Reservation are seen as not really human, and in BNW, one character states directly that the proles aren’t human.

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