From Wikipedia, the free, on-line encyclopedia,
Dystopia (from the Greek δυσ- and τόπος, alternatively, cacotopia, kakotopia, cackotopia, or anti-utopia) is the vision of a society that is the opposite of utopia. A dystopian society is a state in which the conditions of life are miserable, characterized by human misery, poverty, oppression, violence, disease, and/or pollution. Some academic circles distinguish between anti-utopia and dystopia. As in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, a dystopia does not pretend to be utopian, while an anti-utopia appears to be utopian or was intended to be so, but a fatal flaw or other factor has destroyed or twisted the intended utopian world or concept.The Kearney school is kind of anti-utopic because it was founded to train young classical musicians in the art of performance and pursuit of ideals, yet it's fallen short of its goal. I suppose every progressive enterprise has its dystopic elements.
If you're interested in these concepts, read the entire Wikipedia article and follow its references and its links.
I'm flirting writing an anti-utopic mystery for my next one. Because our general assumption is that society will continue to improve and that we are in fact capable of making our lives better through our own efforts, dystopias challenge us to think about our society differently.
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