An open letter to Margaret Atwood about a future Covid-19 dystopia

Following Margaret Atwood's comments that the response to Covid-19 does not amount to "deliberate totalitarianism” we wrote an open letter to her in response, agreeing with her but noting that we may be sleepwalking into a dystopia created by accident rather than design.

Key findings
  • Margaret Atwood commented in a BBC interview that "people may be making arrangements that aren’t too pleasant, but it’s not a deliberate totalitarianism".
  • PI responds in agreement but cautions that unless the public remains vigilant and sceptical about surveillance solutions, we may find ourselves in a dystopia by accident rather than design.
Long Read
Handmaid's Tale protest

On 15th April Margaret Atwood, author of the Handmaid's Tale, gave an interview to BBC Radio 5 Live where she commented that ‘people may be making arrangements that aren’t too pleasant, but it’s not a deliberate totalitarianism’. You can read more about the interview in the Guardian.

While we agree with Margaret Atwood that we are not necessarily entering an era of "deliberate totalitarianism" we have written the following open letter (download link at the bottom of the page) to her as a ‘conversation’ about how societies are getting rapidly reshaped. We note that we may find ourselves in a dystopia by accident rather than by deliberate design, unless we remain vigilant, sceptical, critical and analytical about the myriad 'solutions' that are currently being posited.

Page 1 of letter to Margaret Atwood
Page 2 of letter to Margaret Atwood