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whswhs
Feb. 4th, 2015 02:21 pm (UTC)
That piece on dystopia seems to kind of broaden the definition. I ran an rpg series years ago set in a fantasy later Roman Empire, right around anno urbis conditae 1000. When I read Gibbon's account of economic difficulties, civil disorder, and widespread violence, I said, "Ah, perfect for an exciting campaign!" But I never called it dystopian. It was more a case of "interesting times," much like Middle-Earth during Sauron's final resurgence.

When I think of dystopia, I think of something more specific: A society systematically organized to pursue and embody an ethical concept—but a false and harmful ethical concept. That is, dystopia, like utopia, is not a venture in realism, but a form of ethical discourse through the imaginative concretization of an abstract principle. It's a way of saying, "Let's see how this would work if we could do it."
wellinghall
Feb. 5th, 2015 07:24 am (UTC)
Some interesting comments there, on an interesting link - thanks, both.
eldritchhobbit
Feb. 11th, 2015 12:00 am (UTC)
A society systematically organized to pursue and embody an ethical concept—but a false and harmful ethical concept.

Oh, well said!