It would surprise me greatly if Wiki/TVTropes has gone this long without this trope. But if it has indeed, then How Did We Miss This One?? Within a work, the government is a secretive and oppressive regime where everyone is afraid to speak out, for fear of being disappeared. They are a combination of the Police State (Order is enforced through extreme measures), Sinister Surveillance (Everyone is monitored), and totalitarianism (Every aspect of citizen's lives is controlled by the state). No free speech or free will is permitted. You are a mere cog in the system. Conform or die. Will invariably feature a Secret Police.
ExamplesComic Books Film Literature
- Nineteen Eighty-Four is the Trope Namer and most prominent example. Everyone is monitored through use of telescreens that both receive and transmit simultaneously. Thinking anything against the government is an actual crime punishable by death, with the Thought Police arresting people in the dead of night. Language is being fundamentally altered to stamp out any hope of rebellion against the government by removing the very language of rebellion and political freedom. News and literature are also constantly being altered in order to favor the powers that be and/or erase people who fall out of favor from legal existence. Those who step out of line are arrested, taken to the Ministry of Love, tortured and executed, their very existence disavowed and removed from every public record. To call life under the Party's rule a totalitarian nightmare is putting things quite mildly.
- Fahrenheit 451: Haven't read it, but I know it's about this in some way. - Zero-Context Example
- Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut. The government enforces the 211-213th amendments to the Constitution to make sure that everyone is equal in every way. If you're stronger than average, they make you wear weights to hinder you. If you're smarter, you have to wear special gear that basically gives you tinnitus to keep you from thinking. Etc.
- Babylon 5: The Clark administration - Zero-Context Example
- Star Trek
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