Current Crisis

It is Professor Burris of Walden Two that illustrates the need to dominate in the community by it’s founder T. E. Frazier. Frazier himself admits that Walden Two is not a utopia, but rather a experiment on people to see how behavior can be altered for the aims of Frazier himself. As well, when Frazier is asked by the skeptical character Castle, “the the members have no voice whatsoever? ” (Skinner, 49), he simply replies “nor do they wish to” (49). As well, the governing bodies of the community, called managers are given the same pay but arguably less status than the scientists.

This is strikingly similar to the film, in that science and politics are both portrayed us ultimately too powerful for unwitting citizens, especially those who have been disenfranchised by war and other negative events. It seems then that the loss of commonsense has created victims of these citizens, who should instead be focusing on changing the larger government structure for the good of all. The selfishness of a few rules in both the book and the film. Loyalty and anarchy are also themes in the book, film, and the current event article in the Ottawa Citizen, entitled “Bangkok burns as anarchy reigns”.

It becomes clear that Walden Two is a community that is practicing silent anarchy, by it’s very form of being outside of the laws and practices of a government that is not appreciated. The sense of loyalty to Frazier, then, keeps the citizen of the community under pressure to conform to him as an authoritarian figure. Frazier boasts that the short and menial work required of each citizen makes him or her feel good about themselves. “Here a man can hold up his head and say ’I’ve done my share’” (51).

Arguably the positions of citizens here as menial and highly guarded prevent any kind of uprising. On the other hand, fear and strict control in V’s life in the film, along with his knowledge of the experimentation and exploitation of the people, create a personal vendetta and a need to change the system, through anarchy. His contempt for science and authoritarianism leave him with no loyalties other than to the people, so that they understand that his plight as a freedom fighter was not in vain.

Loyalty to the “exiled former prime minister and billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra” (Mcelroy, 2010) is what is causing anarchy in Bangkok and people are coming out in masses to oppose the current government. The theme then of loyalty and anarchy in the film and book are definitely seen here. Although this anarchy is violent and not retreatist, as in Walden Two. This situation fits much more with the film in that the people are showing that they are done with fear and instead are turning the government on it’s heels to fear the people instead.

Like both the film and book, as well, a system of reinforcements and punishments can be seen. Though it is the people that are reinforcing one another in their numbers and the government using violent force to kill dissidents. This violence is similar to the actions in V for Vendetta with dissidents being locked away and tortured, although this was for scientific purposes. It seems that the only difference in the current anarchy in Bangkok is the science that supported the other two dystopias and obviously Bangkok is a dystopian place, as well.

“I urge leaders to set aside pride and politics for the sake of the people of Thailand,” (2010) said the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights. It can be seen in all three works cited that pride and politics can collide to cause anarchy, either overt and violent or retreatist, as in the Walden Two community. The loss of freedom can replace common sense and apathy can sometimes be put in it’s place, as is seen here. However, it can be argued that the situation in Bangkok is not apathetic, instead though there is a lack of commonsense in that children are being used as barricades in this stand-off.

Though it is important to challenge authoritarian regimes in dytopias, using extreme science, terrorism, and personal pride to achieve a better society is not a good solution.

References

Mcelroy, Damien. “Bangkok burns as anarchy reigns” in The Ottawa Citizen, (18, May 2010). Accessible Online http://www. ottawacitizen. com/news/Bangkok+burns+anarchy+reigns/3040504/story. html Last Accessed 19 May, 2010. McTeigue, James, (Director). (2005). V For Vendetta [Motion Picture]. United States: Warner Brothers. Skinner, B. F. (1948). Walden Two. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.