Specifically, a futuristic/scifi-like society where only the colors are on a Black and White spectrum (White does yellow with age, so white tinted yellow is tolerated to a degree).

The members of this society live in a large dome like structure that takes up most of a continent (perhaps North America or Asia) and know no other colors than black and white. There are members of all races here, little to no discrimination, the only societal judgement would be that the lighter/whiter your skin is, the better. Those born with Albinism are celebrity like and are showered with gifts, power and respect. The government is strict and keeps a tally of the members of the community and documents their behavior, actions, etc through surveillance and constant monitoring. Each citizen has a contraption/band around their wrists that monitors their health, warns against breaking the rules,and allows the government to keep tabs on them. The justice system is as just as possible without being biased and therefore crime is low.

I've been struggling to come up with a conflict for this. I want the colorless society to eventually crumble, to be wrong in some way that justifies ripping it apart from it's foundation, but I cannot figure out how.

P.S. Please don't take/steal this idea, I've been working on it for a while now.

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ P.S. Please don't take/steal this idea, I've been working on it for a while now. A high-tech society whose main cause of social inequality and conflict is arbitrary social stratification? Where have we seen that? Oh yeah... Steven Universe, The Hunger Games, Brave New World, 1984, just to quote a few. Also done to death with Fantasy (Drowtales and Erfworld come to mind). $\endgroup$ – Renan Apr 12 '18 at 18:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How unique of an idea. $\endgroup$ – Fl.pf. Apr 12 '18 at 18:17
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Back in the 30ies and 40ies most things were in black and white as is well documented and still they managed to rip apart the foundation of western civilization. $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Apr 12 '18 at 18:24
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ (Spoiler alert) Pleasantville was so pleasant and conflict-free until they introduced those damned colors... $\endgroup$ – Alexander Apr 12 '18 at 18:35
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ the only societal judgement would be that the lighter/whiter your skin is, the better. Those born with Albinism are celebrity like and are showered with gifts, power and respect. --- There’s little to no social inequality and I have no conflict. If you can't see the contradiction, then I wish I never have to live or even be anywhere near you. $\endgroup$ – Renan Apr 12 '18 at 18:38

Suggested reading: The Giver.

enter image description here

Reason: It takes place in a high-tech society, strictly governed, of people who can't see color.

The conflict: Since it's a children's book, the conflict is a bit tame. People are not only unable to see color, they are also unable to experience emotions. Love, anger, hope, jealousy, all of it has been erased in the name of a more perfect society. One person, and one person only, is tasked with remembering the human experience-- the Giver of Memories, so called because he also has the ability to pass his memories on to the new Giver.
After receiving most of these meories, main character Jonas, the new Giver, decides that this society is wrong to deny people the joys and sorrows of human experience.

You might also check out the movie of the same name, because in the book

Jonas leaves but the society is left largely intact at the end

while in the movie

when Jonas crosses the society's barrier-border, everyone's memories and emotions are automatically restored, and the society crumbles.

  • $\begingroup$ This was my first thought just after reading the title. $\endgroup$ – Odin1806 Apr 12 '18 at 19:37

As another source for inspiration I'd suggest Logan's Run. This is basically what you've described except it has colors.

There's plenty of ways to have a society like this break. The standard way for something like this would be to have one of the enforcers at the top discover how retarded the laws actually are with some personal experience (maybe an albino kills a person and they can't believe they're being told that's fine and to let them go. This starts his journey of discovery where he also finds...)

Or it could be some random dudelady in the department of education department who is compiling education statistics and accidentally sees the real records that show white people are all 80% more retarded than greys. This leads them to the seedy world of real information where they start to learn the true truths. You could reference current world China to see filtered/censored news distributed within the country versus the news distributed outside of it.

Or maybe you roll back to Logan's Run and have your lead leave the dome and discover shit's not terrible out there. That could start the journey of discovery.

The Giver's idea of being a person who can see colors isn't a bad start either. Maybe there's a drug in the water (and/or food) that stops you from seeing colors and the lead accidentally contracts a virus that counteracts the drug. Or is the dark person in a light family and isn't given any of the magic food so the drug eventually wears off.

As long as you have humans you will have inequality and conflict, the only question is how hard the society works to conceal it and how effective those methods are.


You've already got a conflict, and it's pretty much the one we have now - the lighter-skin people vs the darker-skin people. Any,ANY time people use such an arbitrary parameter to determine the goodness of a person, there will people people who rightly find fault with said system.

And even if everyone were the exact same color, people will always select something that can be used to delineate Us from Them, whether it be height, nostril size, or whether or not their bellies have stars upon thars.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.