History Main / BreadAndCircuses

10th Dec '17 1:58:20 PM lakingsif
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* In the ''15MillionMerits'' episode of ''Series/BlackMirror'', the people are distracted from their dreary existence by an array of reality shows, including an American Idol knockoff dubbed "Hot Shots" that's the focus of much of the plot. In fact, citizens must watch commercials for these programs or they are fined monetarily.

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* In the ''15MillionMerits'' ''[[Recap/BlackMirrorFifteenMillionMerits 15 Million Merits]]'' episode of ''Series/BlackMirror'', the people are distracted from their dreary existence by an array of reality shows, including an American Idol knockoff dubbed "Hot Shots" that's the focus of much of the plot. In fact, citizens must watch commercials for these programs or they are fined monetarily.
8th Dec '17 11:32:54 PM Antronach
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The nastier, more blatantly dystopian sorts provide BloodSport and GladiatorGames - or, God forbid, PublicExecution, for the amusement, while the general population, of course, ''knows'' this, but doesn't care. After all, [[MoralMyopia the savages who participate in such things probably can't appreciate true civilization anyway]]. A more benevolent ruler might arrange TheTournament and even participate in it.

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The nastier, more blatantly dystopian sorts provide BloodSport and GladiatorGames - or, God forbid, PublicExecution, for the amusement, while the general population, of course, ''knows'' this, but doesn't care. After all, either [[MoralMyopia the savages who participate in such things probably can't appreciate true civilization anyway]].anyway]] or [[UsefulNotes/VictimBlaming they probably deserved it for ''some'' reason, one way or another]]. A more benevolent ruler might arrange TheTournament and even participate in it.
2nd Nov '17 7:51:37 AM IdumeanPatriot
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* In ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'', the decaying future America in the years before the collapse is portrayed this way. As long as the food stamps continue to flow and TV keeps running, the ApatheticCitizens remain somnolent. When the government runs out of borrowed money to pay for the show, however, chaos ensues.
31st Oct '17 3:42:04 PM SinDustries
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* '''[[BetterTheDevilYouKnow The Devil you know]] is better than the Devil you don't'''.

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* '''[[BetterTheDevilYouKnow The Devil you know]] is better '''BetterTheDevilYouKnow than the Devil you don't'''.
19th Sep '17 10:04:40 PM JMQwilleran
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* In ''Literature/LockwoodAndCo'' another series from the author of the Bartimaeus books, Creator/JonathanStroud, this is used almost word-to-word by the head of one of the major ghost-hunting agencies while explaining the rationale for throwing a huge festival in the middle of one of the worst ghost crises ever.



* This trope is more or less how the Imperial Order stays together in the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series, complete with BloodSport.

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* This trope is more or less how the Imperial Order stays together in the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series, complete with BloodSport.///BloodSport.
23rd Jul '17 1:18:43 PM nombretomado
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* In ''Anime/PsychoPass'': The Sibyl System uses holograms, virtual worlds, psychiatric medications, high-paying jobs, {{Kawaisa}} Drones, and anything so that the masses' Psycho-Passes would be reduced. If that does not work, then they would use either rehabilitation (which seems to be pretty comfortable as the rehabilitated were allowed to keep their cherished possessions in life) or enforcement.

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* In ''Anime/PsychoPass'': The Sibyl System uses holograms, virtual worlds, psychiatric medications, high-paying jobs, {{Kawaisa}} {{UsefulNotes/Kawaisa}} Drones, and anything so that the masses' Psycho-Passes would be reduced. If that does not work, then they would use either rehabilitation (which seems to be pretty comfortable as the rehabilitated were allowed to keep their cherished possessions in life) or enforcement.
18th Jul '17 1:09:30 PM LavonPapillon1
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* In ''Series/Supergirl2015'', Kara said that the reason why Daxam was considered a pleasure planet was that the citizens were kept fat and happy so that the aristocracy could get away with various injustices, slavery and racism being a few.
16th Jul '17 9:53:25 AM MoPete
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* ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog'' has Breezie use the line "Panem et circenses" verbatim to explain why she's running a fighting tournament with a Chaos Emerald as the prize.
14th Jun '17 9:34:41 PM DustSnitch
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[[{{Dystopia}} Evil governments]] are usually depicted as {{Crapsack World}}s of greedy, corrupt, backstabbing despots who each want to cut themselves the largest piece of the pie before it rots completely, at the expense of the rabble they [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny claim to represent]]. When a revolutionary hero rises from the masses and sets everything in its proper place, everyone's happy and all ends well. [[FullCircleRevolution (Or not.)]]

Sometimes, however, the evils of such a government (whatever they may be) may not actually filter down to the lower levels of society. Perhaps the leaders realize that a happy population is usually a supportive one, or maybe they just aren't ''that'' despotic in most of the more utilitarian areas of government. The workers all get paid, everyone has enough to eat, and TheTrainsRunOnTime. And it's not a LotusEaterMachine or an especially efficient PropagandaMachine; the stuff is real. As a consequence, as long as the people are contented, who's going to care about petty things like restrictions of basic freedom, environmental destruction, WMD research, or random abductions...

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[[{{Dystopia}} Evil governments]] are usually depicted as {{Crapsack World}}s of greedy, corrupt, backstabbing despots who each want allowed to cut themselves be evil because they appeal to the largest piece needs and desires of the pie before it rots completely, at the expense of the rabble they [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny claim to represent]]. When a revolutionary hero rises from the masses and sets everything in its proper place, everyone's happy and all ends well. [[FullCircleRevolution (Or not.)]]

Sometimes, however, the evils of such a government (whatever they may be) may not actually filter down to the lower levels of society. Perhaps the leaders realize that a happy population is usually a supportive one, or maybe they just aren't ''that'' despotic in most of the more utilitarian areas of government.
general populace.

The workers all get paid, everyone has enough to eat, and TheTrainsRunOnTime. And it's not a LotusEaterMachine or an especially efficient PropagandaMachine; the stuff is real. As a consequence, as long as the people are contented, who's going to care about petty things like restrictions of basic freedom, environmental destruction, WMD research, or random abductions...
10th Jun '17 5:40:19 PM HalcyonDayz
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* In ''VideoGame/SecretofMana'', the protagonists eventually get [[HumanCannonball shot]] into [[TheEmpire Empire lands]]. A GenreSavvy player might be expecting to land in a CrapsackWorld only to find calm mellow music, green pastures, and a mix of ordinary citizens and resistance fighters moving about in a quiet country town. Even the empire soldiers, while strict, appear to be genuinely helpful to the populace. Eventually it's implied that there is peace and happy citizens in all empire towns.

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* In ''VideoGame/SecretofMana'', ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'', the protagonists eventually get [[HumanCannonball shot]] into [[TheEmpire Empire lands]]. A GenreSavvy player might be expecting to land in a CrapsackWorld only to find calm mellow music, green pastures, and a mix of ordinary citizens and resistance fighters moving about in a quiet country town. Even the empire soldiers, while strict, appear to be genuinely helpful to the populace. Eventually it's implied that there is peace and happy citizens in all empire towns.



* ''Webcomic/DomainTnemrot''. The title stadium is one of these. The people who can afford anything are all entertained with these, or compete with their slaves, and the slaves themselves are generally better off that the horrid scavenging we see at the beginning.

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* ''Webcomic/DomainTnemrot''. The title stadium is one of these. The people who can afford anything are all entertained with these, or compete with their slaves, and the slaves themselves are generally better off that than the horrid scavenging we see at the beginning.
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