It’s one of the things that people who aren’t well-read in dystopian fiction may not realize about dystopias: they don’t necessarily just happen because there’s a zombie virus outbreak or a meteor that wipes out half of humanity, and they don’t happen because an evil dictator suddenly seizes power one day against the will of the people and everyone just goes along with it. They happen because people want them to happen. They happen because many people want to give up a little liberty to get a little safety. They want a president who seems like he’d be fun to have a beer with, or a guy who “tells it like it is.” And they want people to be nice. They want cars to use their turn signals and stop for pedestrians. They want people to take care of their aging parents and to do heroic acts. And if a government policy is making those things happen, they’re less likely to complain about the nasty side effects, like a journalist being inconvenienced. Or, say, journalists being even less likely to say anything critical of the government, or for all people to stop doing any actions the government considers distasteful, like being openly homosexual, or advocating for women’s equality. And slowly but surely, we ease into that dystopia.

Rebecca Watson on the journey.