We all love Dystopian tales in fiction. But have you ever stopped to think we’re living in one now?
What’s a Dystopia?
A dystopia is a society rife with injustice. It’s a place where people suffer, but cruelty is the point. The society aims to enrich the already rich and powerful while everyone else suffers.
Are We in a Dystopia?
Some argue that the US is already dystopian. An internet thread asked users to provide examples that support the theory, and boy, did they deliver.
Here are some valid reasons to think we’re already living in a dystopian nightmare.
We’re bombarded with advertisements everywhere we look. They’re on buses, along roadsides, in our newspapers and magazines, and plastered on walls throughout the city.
We can’t escape marketers’ insidious grasp no matter where we look.
The shift to subscription models for goods and services reeks of dystopian vibes. We can no longer buy a product and own it. We must continue paying a monthly fee to use it.
A subscription model makes sense for things like phone service and television, but even automakers and software developers are shifting to subscription models.
Advertiser Approved Language
Content creators must constantly bite their tongues for fear of offending the almighty advertiser’s sensibilities. Unapproved words and phrases get struck down, never to see the light of day.
Algorithms decide that vital topics aren’t “ad-friendly”; thus, they never appear. Many platforms restrict conversations about depression and self-harm, while others block content about smoking, even if the content is about quitting.
All the Cameras
Someone is always watching. Cameras lurk on most street corners, constantly monitoring everything that happens.
People actively contribute to the problem, filming folks at their worst for a brief moment of social media fame.
Homelessness in Wealthy Countries
Many wealthy countries swim in abundance, yet a large subset of their populace remains unhoused. Is there any better evidence of a dystopian society than tent cities lined up along bustling city streets?
In the US, three companies control your life. These three companies look at your financial past and assign you a score based on creditworthiness.
If you’ve had one or two mistakes in the past seven years, you’re screwed. You can’t access credit to buy a house or a car, and even some jobs won’t hire you because they deem you “untrustworthy.”
No Living Wage
Millions of people work full-time jobs that don’t pay enough. Despite working hard, they rely on a partner’s income or government assistance to make ends meet.
The fact that a full-time job doesn’t pay enough to survive is striking evidence of a dystopian society.
The entire system around healthcare represents dystopia at its finest. Medical bills thrust thousands of people into poverty. People who can’t afford the outrageous cost of medical care die from preventable and curable diseases.
We’d rather watch people suffer in agony than provide affordable medical care.
No Sick Leave
The US is the only developed country without a mandated sick leave policy. Low wage employees must come to work when sick, or risk losing a paycheck they desperately need.
With rising inflation, some people can barely afford to eat. Food prices are through the roof, and even traditionally “poor people’s food” is too expensive for some families.
Corporations Are People
The Supreme Court ruling, which elevated corporations to personhood, paved the way for many of society’s ills. Corporations now control everything. They can buy politicians and write legislation. And because money is speech that can’t be regulated, there’s nothing standing in their way.
Controlling Women’s Bodies
The fall of Roe ushered in a new era where states have control of women’s bodies. A system where 50% of the population lacks bodily autonomy is truly dystopian.
Most Americans are trapped in debt’s horrifying clutches and don’t earn enough to escape. They’re forced to toil in jobs they hate because they need to claw out from piles of debt.
America’s Poverty Trap
We often think of third world countries when we talk about poverty, but it’s thriving right here in the US.
The Toxic Work Culture
Our work culture prevents us from leading happy lives. Here’s the problems with American work culture and ways to address them.
Poverty is a generational problem. Here’s how folks get trapped in cycles of generational poverty.
Things America Could Learn from Western Neighbors
Is America the greatest country in the world? If it is, why don’t we enjoy the same perks other Western nations do?
Here are great examples of beneficial programs other countries have we wish America would copy.
The Awful State of Sick Leave in the US
The best country in the world should allow people to get sick, right?
America doesn’t. Here’s the harsh truth about sick leave policies in the United States.