Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

DracMonster: A well thought out, excellently written, valid trope idea that didn't go through YKTTW first? I'll be damned, they do exist!

Hylarn: This is terribly written. It's mostly a an essay about how history indicates that dystopias won't exist in real life, with the only actual trope bit being the claim that people stopped writing about them after the fall of the USSR, which is patently untrue.

Animeg- Yea, but I can see a germ of a trope here- that all consuming totalitarian dystopias don't run smoothly. We could mostly edit out the real life stuff, and make this about fictional things.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: I'm on it!

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Rewritten. I hope it's better. Putting Real Life examples here, just in case. (I'm sure we can find another USSR flag when we need it.)

Real Life
  • The most prominent example in modern history by far is the Soviet Union, which was generally regarded as the nearest actual thing to Dystopia on Earth for most of the 20th century. As the government of the USSR became ever more incompetent and uninterested in actually governing, however, the situation got worse and worse until the entire country exploded in a spectacular fashion at the end of The '80s. This more or less put to bed the idea that a Dystopia could be permanent or wholly self-sustaining, and the USSR's exit from the world stage marked the rapid decline of the Dystopia in fiction.
  • Nazi Germany is another example that was well-noted even by 1950; even setting aside the whole "Hitler eventually went off the rails and conducted the war in a terrible manner" thing, economists note that a Nazi Germany not perpetually at war with somebody would eventually collapse under its own economic weight, and even though the truth of the Holocaust was kept from the huge majority of Germans during the war, there was an ever-increasing feeling that even the visible persecution of the Jews and other minorities wasn't right and could not be sustained. There are dozens of ways in which the Third Reich would have lasted a lot less longer than the thousand years Hitler claimed it would.
    • This was even goddamn lampshaded, if you can believe it, by Heinrich Himmler of all people. He knew that if the truth of the Holocaust was ever made manifest to the full German public, nobody would want to go along with it and so it had to be kept secret otherwise Nazism itself might fail. Quoth the man himself:
      "I am now referring to the evacuation of the Jews, to the extermination of the Jewish people. This is something that is easily said: 'The Jewish people will be exterminated', says every Party member, 'this is very obvious, it is in our program elimination of the Jews, extermination, a small matter.' And then they turn up, the upstanding 80 million Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. They say the others are all pigs, but this particular one is a splendid Jew. But none has observed it, endured it. Most of you here know what it means when 100 corpses lie next to each other, when there are 500 or when there are 1,000. To have endured this and at the same time to have remained a decent person with exceptions due to human weaknesses has made us tough, and is a glorious chapter that has not and will not be spoken of. Because we know how difficult it would be for us if we still had Jews as secret saboteurs, agitators and rabble rousers in every city, what with the bombings, with the burden and with the hardships of the war. If the Jews were still part of the German nation, we would most likely arrive now at the state we were at in 1916 and '17..."
    • How's that for the villains realizing that Dystopia Is Hard?
  • Red China might have suffered a similar fate due to Mao's ridiculously hard-line anti-intellectual pogroms, which were only heaping misery on misery on the Chinese people. Deng Xiaoping, however, instituted reforms in the 1980s which basically consisted of moving to a market economy and instituting democracy at the lowest levels of government; in other words, basically making the country work like America, except that the top echelons of power weren't democratically elected. This led to a huge increase in quality of life for (most) Chinese and opposition to the government cooled somewhat; the DPRC is still around, but only because it took steps to move away from being a seeming Dystopia.
  • And let's not forget Facist Italy. When your political ideals don't involve any type of economic or governing theory, it's hard to run an economy and government. No wonder it is so easy to call someone a facist. It has no meaning other than "let's bully people!".

Daibhid C: I'm sure there's a Doctor Who story where the villain wants to rule the universe, and the Doctor asks him if he's considered the paperwork involved, but I can't recall the details.