Neanderthal Utopia

The neanderthal world in Hominids is portrayed in an almost unequivocably positive manner, and it is difficult to see why one would choose to live in any other place, with a few notable exceptions.  There are almost no downsides to the neanderthal world–food is abundant, culture is developed, technology is much more advanced and civilization is highly developed, and oppression is almost non-existent.  Growing up in such a world, one would not gain a sense of privacy, much like the peoples of earlier centuries than ours–before the concept of privacy invaded the consciousness of modern humanity, so such a lack would not be perceived by a dweller of the Neanderthal world–and the gain of having no crime far outweighs the lack of privacy–if the neanderthal world can be said to have no privacy.  With the alibi archives not readily accessible for no reason to anyone other than its owner or his/her proxies, there is no way to say that truly privacy has been breached in a significant way–the government itself lacks malice in the neanderthal world.

Anarres, however, is portrayed as having many flaws, and arguably in its own decline for the majority of The Dispossessed.  The desert world of Anarres is highly inhospitable, and most people spend most of their time working the barren earth to try to eke out a minimal, spartan living.  Freedom is given, then taken away, through the lack of time spent on anything but attempting to contribute to society–all one does is work, and often not at the things one wants to do.  Anarres is also a corrupted utopia, a world where the oppression of the government still exists, but is hidden, and almost unchangable, for there are no laws or sanctions in place to oust the government–and the world is vulnerable too, to outside forces.

Given all these factors, it is pretty simple to imagine why one would choose to live in the Neanderthal world over Anarres, after all, that’s what the authors wanted, no?

–Clemon Yueh

Comments are closed.