Facing Our Dystopian World

Protesters fill the streets on June 12, 2019, in Hong Kong.
Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Facing Our Dystopian World

No need to read a dystopian novel; you’re living in a dystopian world!

The word utopia was coined by Sir Thomas More, a Greek classics scholar, intellectual, lawyer, social philosopher (humanist) and, later, a canonized Roman Catholic saint who served Henry viii as lord high chancellor of England in the 16th century. Today, Thomas More is famous for his satirical small book known by its shortened title Utopia. Its original title, written in Latin, was Concerning the Highest State of the Republic and the New Island Utopia.

More formed the word “utopia” from two Greek words—ou meaning “no” and topas meaning “place.” For Sir Thomas, utopia literally meant “no place” or “nowhere.” He was making a pun on the Greek word eutopas, which means “good place.” The English word dystopia is a translation of the Greek word δυστοπία, which means “bad or hard place.” The foundational concept implied in both of these words is the operation of government.

A Favorite of Intellectuals

Utopia is an unusual little book that mixes fictional and historical characters. More’s story discusses his encounter with another scholar while traveling through Europe on a diplomatic mission for King Henry viii. More becomes enthralled with the most learned and wise philosopher Raphael Hythloday, a fictional character whose last name means “peddler of nonsense.”

In philosophical discussions about perfect forms of government, Hythloday informs Sir Thomas about the laws and customs of a recently discovered, isolated island country named Utopia. Hythloday greatly praises this tiny nation as perfect. Scholars agree that More’s main purpose behind Utopia was to criticize Henry viii’s and Europe’s political corruption and religious hypocrisy. The tiny island of Utopia was nowhere and could not be found because there were only harsh governments in England and Europe in the 16th century.

More borrowed some of his ideas from Plato’s Republic, making it a favorite of intellectuals and university scholars for centuries and especially in the decades near World War i, World War ii and the 1960s hippie movement. The title of his book became the name for a new category of books used in advanced studies programs: utopian literature. Utopia inspired political movements and provided the foundation of ideas for the establishment and development of communal societies. His discussion of city planning and agriculture have influenced our modern green revolution.

More’s Perfect Government

Sir Thomas More hypothesized what an ideal society should look like and how it should function. His Utopia is a society with a patriarchal (ruled by men) government. Utopian society is unique. The Utopians practice tolerance of pagan, as well as Christian, religions. Everyone is required to work in agriculture in addition to a personal craft. No one is permitted to own more than his neighbor; all goods are commonly owned. The society is perfectly peaceful with no bloodshed, vice or violence. Although the Utopians will go to war if necessary. Slavery is permitted in Utopia, with slaves coming from the wars Utopians win. Utopia has unusual marriage and divorce customs, family arrangements and laws limiting city populations to strict numbers.

More’s musings fired up the imaginations of many idealist thinkers. More considered his book a satire, yet the book’s Communist overtones have made it the favorite of modern-day intellectuals. Utopian enthusiasts have carried out experiments based on their own thinking of what a utopia should be, with often dystopian results—some with sexually perverted criminal behavior.

History is filled with them. As far back as the 1800s, a wave of utopian societies moved from Europe and settled on American soil. But over time, bitter conflict related to dictatorial leadership, and the rejection of critical Marxist philosophy against the ownership of private property, caused splits that led to their destruction.

Enter Dystopian Literature

If you look at the bestseller book lists today, you’ll find very few current utopian bestsellers. At a quick glance, I found four. However, I found pages of dystopian novels screaming for buyers’ attention. Why are people fascinated with dystopian novels? Part of the answer lies in history. The most important part lies in horrific current events.

Both world wars, the 1918 global flu pandemic, the Great Depression, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and other 20th-century events provided plenty of fodder for dystopian literature, and it has become a dominant form of utopian literature. Appallingly, it appeared that the world had become a very “bad place” almost overnight.

Concerned leaders knew drastic solutions were needed to fix the problems. They recognized they could not do it alone; they needed the support of their countrymen. Social commentators with a penchant for writing believed the best way to alert the masses was to wake them up and get them thinking through literature.

The Dystopian Writer’s Strategy

Today’s wildly popular dystopian fiction can be first understood as criticism of utopian literature because it has failed us—there is no utopia!

Generally, there are five parts to a dystopian novel’s structure: a totalitarian government in control; environmental destruction and city deterioration or destruction; use of technology controlled by an authoritarian government; survival and personal freedoms threatened; and a loss of individualism (or self-reliance).

This means that while a dystopian society is an imagined community or a society that is dehumanizing and frightening, its roots run deep in current events. If we are observant people with our heads out of the sand, we should see that these five elements are running amok in our world.

Orwell’s 1984

It wasn’t very long into the 2020 covid-19 governmental lockdowns that many conservative commentators began to think George Orwell had gotten it right. George Orwell is the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, who was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and social critic. He saw great unfairness in English class society and came to believe all social advantages went only to the wealthy. Orwell was mostly appalled by the English intelligentsia’s embrace of communism in the era of World Wars i and ii.

In the mid-1940s, Orwell authored two famous gripping dystopian novels: Animal Farm and 1984. Animal Farm, written in 1945, is a parable about a gang of pigs who stage a rebellion against their human farmer. It is Orwell’s exposé of the bloody and horrific Russian Revolution. He had trouble finding a publisher for this book because of the Communist influence among English publishers.

His chilling novel 1984, written in 1948, is a story about a 20th-century world under complete totalitarian governmental control. A fictional dictator named Big Brother enforces ubiquitous monitoring over people living in three intercontinental superstates after a war. The only information available to them is what the government tells them.

Written From Experience

While communism titillated the scholarly and intellectual young minds of England, Orwell could see its cancerous destruction of personal freedom and the history and moral culture that was known worldwide as English. During World War ii, Orwell worked as a bbc broadcaster to counter the German propaganda machine that was working to convince India to rebel against English colonialism. He wanted to counter the anti-English lies Germany was spreading in India.

However, Orwell was shocked by the underhanded censorship he experienced with the bbc. “It is important to realize that when Orwell joined the bbc, he could not have known how extensive it was, or how authoritarian it would become,” wrote W. J. West in his introduction to the book George Orwell: The Lost Writings. “The totalitarian atmosphere of 1984—of universal censorship that alters the past as well as the present and even attempts to alter the mind—was the ultimate development of Orwell’s experience of censorship at the bbc at the hands of the moi (Ministry of Information).”

Many astute people today see Orwell’s 1984 as a prescient prophecy of what has rapidly taken place worldwide since early 2020. It is not surprising that as of Jan. 13, 2021, Orwell’s classic topped Amazon’s bestseller list. It is an interesting read (but it does have some strong sexual content).

No Doubt—Our World Is Dystopian

Taking full advantage of, i.e. manipulating, the covid-19 crisis, Communist-embracing intellectuals involved in U.S. academia, medicine, news media, politics, science and various high government offices have worked to gain power in the effort to overthrow America’s Constitution and government. It should be easy for Americans to see this, but many are asleep to what is happening. Why? Americans are caught in the middle of a propaganda war. It is the worst kind of war. There are no bombs, bullets or nuclear-tipped missiles. Its deadly weapon is deceit.

We must face this reality: Radical, communism-loving politicians—now sitting in key political positions in Washington, D.C., London and other countries spread over the globe—along with the help of the news media and the high tech social media barons have, through well-orchestrated propaganda, been lying regularly to you and me, not only about the covid-19 crisis but about their plans to fundamentally change America and other democracies.

In America, we are seeing what Orwell saw decades ago in England. People in high places are canceling American culture. Communist-minded educators are rewriting U.S. history with the intention of manipulating the minds of our young children. American society is being turned upside down. As a result, the once proud and strong United States is becoming the laughingstock of the world.

What can you do about our dystopian world? The truthful answer is, not much. However, you can make your own life better.

Here are three things you can put into practice immediately to improve your personal world.

1) Don’t believe everything you hear or see on the nightly news. It is well known that much of the mainstream news is carefully scripted so that you only hear, see and think what the elites want you to hear, see and think. They present themselves as truthful and their political enemies as liars. You must start doing your own investigation on every issue that affects you personally. There are conservative news sources that are presenting the truth on the covid-19 crisis, the vaccine debacle, and other political issues. Use them as your trusted news sources. In addition, strive to become a person that lives by and only speaks the truth.

2) Take charge of your personal health. Robust health is your best prevention from disease. Gaining robust health takes work: regular physical exercise, spending ample time outdoors and in sunlight, eating a healthy diet, and getting ample sleep. Recent news reports in England have shown that scientists and government officials used fear of death from covid-19 as means to get the public to do as they wanted—wear masks, social distance, stay away from group gatherings (like attending church services), stay home from work, keep your kids out of school. They were not as interested in your health as they were in getting you under their control. Similar threats are now happening with getting vaccinated. Read “Gotten Your Jab Yet?” and “Where Are Vaccine Passports Leading?” in the July 2021 Philadelphia Trumpet magazine.

3) Speak up when necessary. Intimidation is the name of the game right now. Anybody who does not toe the party line is sure to be ostracized. The party line is not always the truth. Looking into our time now, Isaiah the prophet said that “truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter” (Isaiah 59:14). Rampant lying and deceit have taken away a fair and just world. People are being hurt mentally, emotionally and physically. The way to change this scenario lies with each individual. We must build the character to not only find out the truth but then to speak the truth. This does not mean taking it to the streets! We should always speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Speaking up truthfully might save another person from making a life-altering mistake because some medical expert or politician lied.

Real Utopia Is Coming

Dystopian literature is extremely popular with teens and young adults. Why? Often in dystopian literature, a young person, either male or female, leads society from dystopia to, at the least, a pleasant, utopian beginning. While the youth of this world may believe they could create a utopian world, many adults scoff at the idea of utopian government. The truth is, no human being—young or old, male or female—can bring about utopia.

Human history has been one of continual chaos. Of course, since the beginning of the year 2020, it has gotten worse. In fact, Bible prophecy states it is going to get far worse (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Over 1,900 years ago, Jesus Christ prophesied that great nuclear tribulation is on the horizon (Mathew 24:21-22). There is a reason such negative events plague our world.

Most Christians believe we are living in God’s world. Yet the Bible clearly tells us that Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Believing Satan’s propaganda against God, Eve convinced Adam to reject God’s law (the Ten Commandments), government and truth (Genesis 3:1-6). Satan led our first parents to believe they could develop their own utopia. In reality, they were deceived and kidnapped by Satan the devil. From this decision, our “present evil world” came into existence (Galatians 1:4).

Satan and his demon armies have remained the invisible rulers of Earth swaying and influencing mankind from the time Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22-24; Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 12:9). Herbert W. Armstrong fully explained these events in Chapters 2 and 3 of his book Mystery of the Ages. This incredible book is offered to you without cost or obligation. Download or request your free copy.

The idea of utopia did not begin with Thomas More; it began with God. It is in fact God’s plan to return utopian conditions to this Earth in the very near future. Our world is about to radically change to be a utopia—a restored Garden of Eden—for eternity.

“Let’s see just how tomorrow’s utopia will be ushered in. … Present world turmoil, escalating wars and contentions will climax in world trouble so great that, unless God intervenes, no human flesh would be saved alive (Matthew 24:22). At its very climax when delay would result in blasting all life from off this planet, Jesus Christ will return,” wrote Mr. Armstrong in Chapter 7 of Mystery of the Ages. “This time he is coming as divine God. … Think of it. The glorified Christ—coming in the splendor, the supernatural power and glory of God almighty—coming to save mankind alive—coming to stop escalating wars, nuclear mass destruction, human pain and suffering—coming to usher in peace, abundant well-being, happiness and joy for all mankind.”

We can have real joy and hope knowing that a real utopia will soon be established and eventually blanket the entire Earth. Utopian conditions will then spread out over the universe. What a great future lies ahead for all mankind.