Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 1

Despite my pen name I am optimistic about the future and believe that people will find ways to live and thrive whatever happens. The vast majority of people aspire to a peaceful life and there is, innate in the human, a concept of justice, of fairness. This general outlook informs my view about any post-apocalyptic world that might emerge.

The sort of future life portrayed in many post-apocalyptic books and films, for example Blade Runner or Mad Max are either de-humanising and oppressive, or utterly lawless. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Blade Runner and it asks many fascinating questions about what it means to be human. I simply believe that these societies could not exist, at least for any length of time.

My objections include basic questions about human nature and societal organisation. Would people actively choose to live in a world like that? The majority always seek a level of order, predictability and peace that curbs the maniac. Large scale oppression and coercion is a lot easier in a populous, urban state with a high level of technology to enable the use of surveillance and provide the manpower to enforce it – societal collapse and the loss of specialist technical skills makes both the urban living and the oppression more difficult. Finally that the basic needs of these dystopian worlds could not be met.

The fact that North Korea exists and that I am writing to an empty screen are maybe the only answers I need! Maybe my optimism is misplaced but in the next few posts I shall give some of the reasons why I think that this is not likely to be the world that stumbles out of the wreckage.

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