Over the last few years, I've been reading a lot of YA Dystopian. There's something so appealing about a world gone mad, to all ages, I've even got my 11yr boys hooked now.
As varied as the characters and plots are, in general there appears to be one defining characterisation of the Dystopian model - loss of freedom. The government is in control, there are groups "inside" and "outside" the wall/fence and everyone's scared of the "outside" wildlings - until we find out that they're actually the good guys.
Now, I'm not complaining. I love the storyline, can't get enough. But this does seem to highlight that our biggest fear, our worst nightmare, is the loss of freedom ie A world gone mad must be a world in which free will has been lost.
The other side of the coin is what's been on my mind lately. So, okay, the governments always end up corrupt, go crazy and lose the plot and our hero/heroine has to break the people free from their control. But, in the beginning, before the story usually starts, the implication is that in order to survive whatever disaster struck earth, freedom and control had to be taken away from the masses, because the mass human population was not deemed capable of surviving/correcting the catastrophe if left to their own devices (read free will)
And that's the question on my mind, lol, although I have no answer for myself yet. Will humanity one day need a select few to 'save' us from ourselves, or will be all take up the responsibility?