Dystopias have a very close relationship with technology. Their synergy arises on two fronts. The first relies on complete control by a sophisticated and advanced government. Maintaining a fearful atmosphere is a key factor in keeping such technology from the public. It is also a deciding factor in shutting down revolts from the masses. In Red Queen, the elite ruling class (Silvers) subjected many to the horrible conditions of a working town. In these poverty stricken locations, regular people (Reds) are forced to work from dawn to dusk to make governmental devices. These gadgets would then never again touch citizen hands, but were used exclusively at the behest of the rulers. Reds walked cobblestone paths in villages of wood while Silvers flew airplanes from one glass city to the next. When the revolution began, the government held a distinct advantage over the freedom fighters when it came to weapons, transportation, and communication. This disparity made it very troublesome for the resistance to win its battles. But what if the two sides spar on an even playing field?
This is where a more post-apocalyptic view can be explored. The other relationship preys on the anarchy that rises up from the ashes of disaster. In a society that has been torn apart, there is a new standard on technology. It is still coveted by the strong, but the capabilities of the leftover devices are severely limited. Machines that remain operate at a much lower degree, and those who know how to use them are difficult to find. A single stroke of luck could bring power to a group if such a piece from the past is found. This contrasts with the value placed upon these rare items. Even though beforehand had much better technology, it was not as precious as the little machines that remain in a broken world. As The 100 reveals, something like a simple radio can create many different problems when it is desired by different people. But since no one actually has a superior advantage in technology, the few have an easier chance in gaining power than before.
What interests me most about this topic involves how technology is employed by both sides in a dystopia. Dystopian subjects utilize advanced machines or the leftovers from days long past to a devastating effect in their respective time periods. I am curious as to how the rulers of a dystopia control the masses by limiting their access to technology and advancement. Our society is ever changing, evolving with new forms of thought and innovation. Indeed, one of the fastest growing sectors of our lives involves technology. So what happens when the pace of machine creation stagnates? Or on the other hand, what happens when it advances at a speed outside our control? We will only know what the future holds with time. But whether a dystopia arises with a controlling machine monopoly or from some artificial intelligence that enslaves us all, it is only certain that technology will achieve new heights in the years to come.
Kathleen, Laura. “Utopia & Dystopia.” Science & Technology, 18 March 2014, https://prepareyourselfenglish.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/utopia-2/.