An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. The opposite of utopia- Oxford Dictionary

Being an English Literature student , I have read many novels of dystopian fiction such as The Handmaids Tale and 1984. We tend to think of dystopia as fiction, something that could happen to our society in the distant future but what does it matter, we’ll be nested in a safe grave by then. But inspired by a recent episode of Panorama, centred around North Korea, it is plain to see that dystopia is closer to us than we imagine.

A leader, executing those who oppose his regime, poverty, closed from the outside world, primitive in technology, George Orwell couldn’t have written it better himself. This is happening in our world, right now, and we have no superhero to save the day.

In similar times in the past, Germany being an example, the regime was struck by a war that had dire consequences not only for the country but for a group of people, millions had to suffer for things to get better. That can’t happen again. The weapons such regimes possess and the fragility of foreign amicability allows for it to happen. The only way human beings can seem to make things better, is going through the worst first.

On the mentioned episode, young people were not allowed to say that they weren’t allowed the Internet even though it was clear to see that it was prohibited. From the bottom, to the top, people and leaders alike are insecure: the ones at the bottom fear for their families and the one at the top fears for his power. They are both scared of eachother and unless fear is put out of the equation, nothing will get better but it can get significantly worse.

What can we do?

To say we cannot do anything surely must not be true. For most people in our society, the problem is elsewhere, it does not affect them so there is no reason for cause of concern. However, that simply isn’t true, surely the dozens of missiles they possess and hold, ready for one slip up, do affect us. For now, all journalists can do, is expose the regime such as Rupert Wingfield-Hayes but then what.

That is a question for another day.

Emily Simms: 11:12




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