Utopia or Dystopia?

You ever watch one of those sci-fi movies projecting a dystopian world, thinking that could never happen, or at least not in my lifetime. Does a dystopian world have to be post apocalyptic? Does it have to be in the works of fiction writers? According to Wikipedia dystopian is, "characterized by poverty, oppression, war, violence, disease, pollution, nuclear fallout and/or the abridgement of human rights, resulting in widespread unhappiness, suffering, and other kinds of pain".

Relevant to our current society?

Poverty - about 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes. With about 32.3 million people living below the official poverty level, making a poverty rate of 11.8%. In 2005, one out of three urban dwellers (approximately 1 billion people) was living in slum conditions.

Oppression - Most recently we've seen Iran arresting protesters. China, one of the largest communist countries in the world is becoming the worlds largest economy. Ever heard of North Korea, Myanmar (Burma), or Sudan? "Oh but that's over there, we don't do that in America." We've had a civil war over slavery, we still have reservations for the Indians we've kicked off there land. McCarthyism in the 50's. We have laws that require permits to march and protest. The CIA regularly detains and integrates in secret suspected terrorists. Illegal government wire tapping, the creation of the department of homeland security, peoples names being added to airline watch lists. The FCC regulates what we watch on television or hear over the radio. Don't think we see government oppression? Just because it's not blatant, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

War - world wide spending on the military comes to about 780 Billion dollars each year, with the United States spending about 12 billion a month on the Iraq war alone. To put that in prospective, less than one percent of what the world spends every year on weapons is needed to put every child into school. The news almost daily provides updates on the Iraq war, the war in Afghanistan, the wars in the middle east, war in Africa, conflict in South East Asia, and so on.

Violence - We have hate crimes against gays and lesbians, we have Muslims killing Christians, and Christians killing Muslims. We have movies, video games, and television full of killing and violence against others. We see more violence in a day, than we see two people kissing, making love, or being good to one another.

Disease - It was Bird flue, now it's Swine Flue. Who knows what next year will bring.

Pollution - Global warming, melting ice caps, mercury in our fish, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. About a third of all mammals are endangered. We have species going extinct at an unprecedented rate, due to man made pollutants.

Nuclear fallout - not yet, although the U.S. has spent billions of dollars on a missile defense system. North Korea is testing missiles, and the number of countries capable of building nuclear bombs is increasing.

Human rights violations - Abu Ghraib Prison will always be remember for the human rights violations that went on there. We still have people held in Guantanamo Bay without trial. Whenever there is a war or a conflict, there are human rights violations that go along with it.

Unhappiness, suffering, and other kinds of pain - Americans pay more for prescription drugs than any other country in the world. We spend about 200 billion dollars on medications, with 34 billion dollars spent on alternative medicine. In fact we take so many narcotics, that are drinking water is becoming contaminated with it. Sounds like a lot of unhappy, suffering, and in pain people to me.


For anyone reading who might be thinking, "it's not that bad." lets look at the opposite- utopia. According to Wikipedia again, a utopian society encompass perfect socio-politico-legal system, an Ecological utopia, Economic utopia, Religious utopia, Scientific and technological utopia an earthly paradise

Hmmm, sounds like the scale leans more towards dystopia than utopia to me.


Sources:
poverty.com
Globalissue.org
hypertextbook.com
Wikipedia.com
Nytimes.com
Rxlist.com
Kff.org



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