Thanks to the success of The Hunger Games (which I’ve neither read nor watched), novels about dystopian futures are the “in” thing for young adult readers. My daughter enjoys these books a great deal. Yesterday, having read one, she said to me, “You know, Mommy, all of these dystopian books that take place in the future, are always communist.” Further questioning revealed that none of these books involve futuristic scenarios in which people scrabble alone in the wild or are under the thumb of aliens.
Wow. First, yes, she did use the word dystopian. And second, she’s absolutely right. The only way authors are able to imagine a future world that’s sufficiently bad to qualify for a Hunger Games style revolution is to posit a world of scarce resources, with a tyrannical government controlling the population by meting out small portions of remaining resources to the masses, while preserving most of the resources for the apparatchiks — in other words, communism. Communism is the very worst form of government that literary minds an create.
Labels are often used to obscure meanings. Sometimes, though, they can be remarkably clarifying. This one, straight out of the mouth of a teen (dystopian future = communist world) falls into the latter category.
Incidentally, I’m willing to bet that large numbers of these writers are liberals who know little about the reality of communism. They probably think they’re imagining a never-before-seen world, rather than one we’ve seen all too often in the 20th and 21st centuries.