dystopian literature

Ryzard Legutko’s Critique of Western Liberalism

For quite some time now, American intellectuals have taken a particular interest in Poland. During the Cold War, the Polish people's resistance to communism was held up as an example of fidelity, and Pope John Paul II's leadership of the Church was taken to be a quintessential example of the Polish spirit. The honeymoon is [...]

A Letter From Spain in the Year 2050

In the year 2050, Spain, once a proud global empire of strong-willed people, has become Brussels’ poster child. Few countries have transformed their anthropology so thoroughly and quickly. Modernization, technocratization and Europeanization have been pushed so dramatically that it looks like an EU super-vassal state. The quest for democracy has long since given way to [...]

Pope Francis and the Rise of the Robots

“I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel.” ∼ Frankenstein, Ch. 10 In January 2018, the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos received the following message on the threat posed by Artificial Life: Artificial intelligence, robotics and other technological innovations must be so employed that they contribute to the service of [...]

Will Artificial Intelligence Produce a Dystopian Future?

In 2017 the following quotation was reported: What is going to be created will effectively be a god. It’s not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it? These are [...]

Revolution and Regression

"Times have changed. It's not the nineties anymore." So says a TV commercial for a brokerage firm. Presumably, the lesson is that investment strategies that worked then won't work now: the market has changed and so should you. Times have changed in other respects also. The assumptions that one could safely make about the world [...]

Eucharistic Symbolism in the Hunger Games

When we go to the cinema or rent a DVD, our motives are usually fairly simplistic: we seek to be entertained, and most likely we choose a movie because we are specifically in the mood for passive entertainment which requires little or no mental effort on our part. If you are like me, though, you [...]

The True Gift of The Giver

More than two decades ago—long before we all were transfixed by the rebelliousness demonstrated by Katniss Everdeen in the dystopian society presented in the Hunger Games, or Tris Prior in the dystopian Divergent—Newberry Medal-winning novelist, Lois Lowry published The Giver, a novel designed for a young-adult audience, which described a totalitarian society in which no [...]

Orwell’s 1984: Are We There Yet?

The second most terrifying thing about George Orwell’s 1984 is the supposition that it is possible to destroy humanity without destroying humankind. The first is how many aspects of our democratic nation resemble his dystopian nightmare. George Orwell wrote 1984 in 1948 as a political satire of a totalitarian state and a denunciation of Stalinism. [...]

Not-So Brave New World

 “This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang but a whimper.” These lines from T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” are often quoted, but seldom taken to heart.  Even those of us who consider ourselves students of Eliot’s work on civilizational decline tend to overdramatize what is really a quite tawdry cultural age. [...]

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