Manuela Ceretta

The «scent of serfdom». Dystopian universes and «self-made servitude»

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The article traces out the line of research, rooted in the tradition of dystopian speculations elaborated throughout the twentieth century. The Author combines the analysis of the new instruments of dominions characterising technologically advanced societies with the investigation about the temptations of voluntary servitude. Being a pioneer of the study of the mystery of voluntary obedience, Aldous Huxley deemed real the risk of the emergence of democratic-dystopian societies inhabited by perfectly tameable (human) animals. Picking up the legacy of Brave New World¸ contemporary digital dystopias explore original paradigms to make sense of post-disciplinary societies, devoid of their capacity of self-institution, lacking the traditional forms of power, pervaded by apparently uncontrollable processes and centred on the dialectic between surveillance and deliberate exposure to power.


  • Voluntary Servitude
  • Aldous Huxley
  • Digital Dystopias
  • Tameable Animals


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