If you’re into writing sci-fi or speculative fiction, you really don’t need to look far for inspiration. We’re pretty much living in that dystopia now.
They’re Brave New World-ing is to distract from them 1984-ing us, when you come to think of it. More and more entertainment and shiny baubles to distract from the fact that wrongthink is punished.
And it’s starting from the top. Every dystopian warning about big business colliding with big government to silence anything counter to the prevailing powers and mode of thought is punished. Not by jail (yet), but deplatforming, media smears, an inability to conduct business . . .
Any threatening ideas are squashed hard. So much for the “marketplace of ideas.”
Speaking of the marketplace, how about those free market alternatives to big tech that are supposed to magically pop up overnight when somebody wills them into existence. If I hear one more bland conservative state “The solution to on-line censorship and total blacklisting from basic services is being worked on in some seventeen-year-old’s garage right now!” I’m going to scream.
Soon will come the social media police, like in England. Maybe you won’t even be allowed to gas your car up if you expressed the wrong opinion somewhere. This idea was the impetus for my short story Hot Take City, though that focuses more on an actual shooting war.
Next comes what? Monetary fines? Jail time? We already have the surveillance state infrastructure, technology, and laws. Why not turn them just a little bit more inward?
Orwell and Huxley tried to warn us through their fiction. We all gave a collective shrug while our leaders saw them as instruction manuals.
What next? What prophet of the past speaks to where we are today? What story did we dismiss as mere fiction but will soon become reality?
Yes, it can happen here.