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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nowa Huta in Kraków, Poland, serves as an unfinished example of a Utopian ideal city.
Nowa Huta in Kraków, Poland, serves as an unfinished example of a Utopian ideal city.

A Utopia (/jˈtpiə/ yoo-TOH-pee-ə) is an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens.[1] The opposite of a utopia is a dystopia. One could also say that utopia is a perfect "place" that has been designed so there are no problems.

Utopia focuses on equality in economics, government and justice, though by no means exclusively, with the method and structure of proposed implementation varying based on ideology.[2] According to Lyman Tower Sargent "there are socialist, capitalist, monarchical, democratic, anarchist, ecological, feminist, patriarchal, egalitarian, hierarchical, racist, left-wing, right-wing, reformist, Naturism/Nude Christians, free love, nuclear family, extended family, gay, lesbian and many more utopias [...] Utopianism, some argue, is essential for the improvement of the human condition. But if used wrongly, it becomes dangerous. Utopia has an inherent contradictory nature here."[3] Sargent argues that utopia's nature is inherently contradictory, because societies are not homogenous and have desires which conflict and therefore cannot simultaneously be satisfied. If any two desires cannot be simultaneously satisfied, true utopia cannot be attained because in utopia all desires are satisfied.

The term utopia was coined from Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island society in the south Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South America.

The word comes from Greek: οὐ ("not") and τόπος ("place") and means "no-place" and strictly describes any non-existent society 'described in considerable detail'. However, in standard usage, the word's meaning has narrowed and now usually describes a non-existent society that is intended to be viewed as considerably better than contemporary society.[4] Eutopia, derived from Greek εὖ ("good" or "well") and τόπος ("place"), means "good place" and is strictly speaking the correct term to describe a positive utopia. In English, eutopia and utopia are homophonous, which may have given rise to the change in meaning.[4][5]

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  • ✪ Is Utopia Always Dystopia? Is Utopia Possible?
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Transcription

In every second, of every day, you have to decide between action and inaction. We're all tangled up in a web of cause and effect and so every choice you make has gravity and pulls us towards one of two futures: one that is more heavenly or one that is more hellish; one that is more utopian versus one that is more dystopian. It's human nature to dream about utopia: a place better than here. We dream about what our lives could be, and some of us dream bigger, about what the world could be. One thing's certain, there's always a place that exists outside of space and time, it's better than here, and it's where we want to go. But all things come with a price tag, and you have to decide whether you're willing to pay the cost. In some sense, your life is defined by the costs you're willing to pay. A better world exists, and it demands payment; so, what are you willing to sacrifice? In his story *The Monkey's Paw,* William Jacobs writes about a man who acquires a magical monkey paw that will grant him three wishes. Much to his dismay, the man finds out that each wish comes with an unintended side effect. When the man wishes for 200 pounds, he receives it — as compensation for the death of his son. When he wishes for his son to come back to life, he does — as an undead being. Fate demands a price and if the man would not voluntarily choose his sacrifice, it would have to be decided for him. The residents of Aldous Huxley’s *Brave New World* live in a technologically advanced utopia: they're happy, healthy, and youthful. They don't fear death. When their time comes, they go in peace. Class hierarchies exist but everyone has been psychologically conditioned to love their place within them. Babies are genetically engineered. Residents of this utopia have no attachments to one another. In the words of one character, “everyone belongs to everyone”. Everyone has multiple sexual partners, and orgies are commonplace. If at any point in time a resident feels down, they can take a drug called Soma to uplift their mood. Soma brings on feelings of euphoria — *with no downsides*. In order to maintain the utopia’s ideals of “community, identity, and stability", residents have to make a heavy sacrifice. They give up their individuality, art, religion, love, and, ultimately, their freedom of choice. Utopian thinking isn’t just confined to literature. The 20th century saw the rise of many charismatic leaders claiming to know the way to Eden but, wherever they were leading us, the cost was too high. In some ways, we were like the man with the monkey paw: we wanted the benefits of utopia, without the responsibility of bearing the costs. But fate demands a price, and when we gave up our responsibility, we gave up our individuality and, eventually, our humanity. Despite these negative examples, I do believe utopia is possible. In his recent book *Enlightenment Now*, Steven Pinker documents all of the positive changes the world has undergone since the Enlightenment. For example, average life expectancy has increased from 30 years of age, in the 1750s, to 70 years of age worldwide [3]. Deaths due to malaria have declined by 60% from 2000 to 2015 [3]. Worldwide rates of extreme poverty have been declining since the 1800s [3]. All of these are what I would call positive-sum games: win-win situations for humanity as a whole. I think the important questions to ask are how many of these positive-sum games could we play, how much better could the world ultimately get, and how do we continue down this path? At the same time, how do we avoid traveling down some of the paths we already went down in the 20th century? You can think about the world at different levels of analysis. The highest level might be something like universal. The levels that follow that — in descending order — are the planet, the country, the community, the family, and, lastly, the individual. The lower levels are all nested within the higher levels which means that all levels are interconnected. The individual affects the family, which affects the community, and so on. The opposite is also true. The problem with conceptualizing utopia is that it gets created at the higher levels such as the country or the planet. By starting at the higher levels, we force all the lower levels to mesh with it. Anything, *or anyone*, that fails to harmonize with the highest level is seen as unfit for utopia and must be removed. This type of utopia always devolves into a totalitarian dystopia. In design, we call this a *top-down approach*: the highest ideal is generated and all of the lower levels are adjusted to meet that ideal. A top-down approach will always succumb to evolutionary pressures because a static and constant ideal can't survive in a dynamic and evolving world. The opposite of a top-down approach is a *bottom-up approach*. Instead of starting at the highest, you start at the lowest level of analysis possible. In our case, this would be the individual. You start by creating a simple set of rules that govern the individual and allow the system to self-organize. From individuals — communities, cities, and nations emerge. Bottom-up systems harmonize well with nature because they can evolve and adapt. In fact, evolution is a bottom-up system: it’s governed by rules of survival and reproduction [4]. YouTube is also a bottom-up system: it analyzes our behavior and evolves based on how we interact with it. The algorithms of today are more than mere technology: they're alive and YouTube is an evolving ecosystem. Bottom-up systems are partly unpredictable; we don’t know what the YouTube homepage will look like in a year from now, let alone life on Earth in 1000 years. *It’s impossible to predict what an emergent utopia would look like.* Of course, I’m oversimplifying a bit here. Many systems are a mix of top-down and bottom-up elements. With that said, are there a minimum number of rules that, if an individual were to enact them, would allow a better world to emerge? The philosopher David Hume famously pointed out that it’s difficult to determine the way the world *should* be based on the way the world *is:* this is known as the *Is-Ought problem*. Science gives us a description of how the world is and philosophy gives us a prescription for how we ought to act. Our ability to successfully cooperate depends on how much overlap there is between our philosophies. For example, let’s say that I own a restaurant and you want to come in for a meal. We both believe that a restaurant ought to serve its customers food in a timely, friendly, and fair manner. We also believe that a customer ought to come in and be respectful of the owners, the restaurant, and the other customers. This can be a very good reciprocal relationship for the both of us. But if I believe that I ought to maximize my profits at the expense of customer service, a conflict will arise between us. What you and I believe about how people should act in restaurants is what historian Yuval Harari would call a *fiction* [5]. We all believe in a set of complex fictions that allow us to cooperate at an impressive level — relative to other species. Some notable fictions we may believe are human rights, democracy, capitalism, and money. Money becomes more than mere paper when everyone believes in the fiction that gives it value. Society can function smoothly because of our ability to believe in fictions. The degree to which a utopia is even possible is dependent on our ability to construct a fiction that is universally agreeable. So we’re looking for a set of rules, or a fiction, that an individual could live by that would bring the best possible world about. In other words, we’re talking about morality or ethics. Everyone has their own opinion about the best fiction to live by — and they should. If you buy my argument so far, then you understand that everyone should have, and share, their own fictions so that the best cultural fiction can emerge. And just as individuals and cultures evolve, so too will the fictions they hold: preserve what works and discard what doesn't. If there’s one abstract rule that an individual could live by that I believe would allow utopia to emerge, it’s the belief in the *importance of playing positive-sum games*. This means that each individual *intends* to act in a way that is simultaneously best for them *and* everyone around them. The society that emerges from these individuals would be one that is self-improving and respects the potential within each individual. Members of that society never try to win at the expense of one another or, in other words, play *zero-sum games*. If we wanted to create a flying machine, how could we do it? Our best bet would likely be to collect a large set of species that could already fly and determine the principles that unite them. By discovering the principles of flight, we could successfully produce an infinite variation of machines that could fly. Could we do the same thing with morality? Could we study our history and determine a set of fictions that would allow us to identify and successfully play positive-sum games? In his book *Enlightenment Now*, Steven Pinker compiles an enormous amount of data that shows how the world has improved on several important measures such as health, longevity, wealth, inequality, human rights, and so forth [3]. He claims that the fictions that allowed us to successfully play these positive-sum games were science, reason and humanism and, quite frankly, I think he makes a pretty good case. I said earlier that fate demands a price. So, what's the price we must pay for a better world? It requires that each individual remain *adaptable*, and be willing to give up on old and comfortable fictions for unfamiliar yet better ones. It requires enough *discipline* to carefully estimate the probabilistic outcomes of each action based on past experience — to take carefully calculated steps forward. But, above all else, it requires *courage*. The courage to lose in the short term so that the individual, or their children, or their community can gain in the long term. The courage to be open and to deal with bad players in the hopes of finding good players for positive-sum games. Maybe utopia isn't a place we can *be* but, rather, it's a place we can always choose to *go*. We can only approach it but never quite make it — like a line trending towards an asymptote. Utopia doesn’t exist in the brain of one person, or group, to bring about but, rather, *it emerges* from our collective interactions with one another as individuals.

Contents

Varieties

Chronologically, the first recorded Utopian proposal is Plato's Republic.[6] Part conversation, part fictional depiction and part policy proposal, Republic would categorize citizens into a rigid class structure of "golden," "silver," "bronze" and "iron" socioeconomic classes. The golden citizens are trained in a rigorous 50-year-long educational program to be benign oligarchs, the "philosopher-kings." Plato stressed this structure many times in statements, and in his published works, such as the Republic. The wisdom of these rulers will supposedly eliminate poverty and deprivation through fairly distributed resources, though the details on how to do this are unclear. The educational program for the rulers is the central notion of the proposal. It has few laws, no lawyers and rarely sends its citizens to war but hires mercenaries from among its war-prone neighbors. These mercenaries were deliberately sent into dangerous situations in the hope that the more warlike populations of all surrounding countries will be weeded out, leaving peaceful peoples.

During the 16th century, Thomas More's book Utopia proposed an ideal society of the same name.[7] Readers, including Utopian socialists, have chosen to accept this imaginary society as the realistic blueprint for a working nation, while others have postulated that Thomas More intended nothing of the sort.[8] It is believed that More's Utopia functions only on the level of a satire, a work intended to reveal more about the England of his time than about an idealistic society.[9] This interpretation is bolstered by the title of the book and nation and its apparent confusion between the Greek for "no place" and "good place": "utopia" is a compound of the syllable ou-, meaning "no" and topos, meaning place. But the homophonic prefix eu-, meaning "good," also resonates in the word, with the implication that the perfectly "good place" is really "no place."

Ecological

Ecological utopian society describes new ways in which society should relate to nature. These works perceive a widening gap between the modern Western way of living that destroys nature[10] and a more traditional way of living before industrialization.[11] Ecological utopias may advocate a society that is more sustainable. According to the Dutch philosopher Marius de Geus, ecological utopias could be inspirational sources for movements involving green politics.[12]

Economics

Particularly in the early 19th century, several utopian ideas arose, often in response to the belief that social disruption was created and caused by the development of commercialism and capitalism. These ideas are often grouped in a greater "utopian socialist" movement, due to their shared characteristics. A once common characteristic is an egalitarian distribution of goods, frequently with the total abolition of money. Citizens only do work which they enjoy and which is for the common good, leaving them with ample time for the cultivation of the arts and sciences. One classic example of such a utopia was Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward. Another socialist utopia is William Morris's News from Nowhere, written partially in response to the top-down (bureaucratic) nature of Bellamy's utopia, which Morris criticized. However, as the socialist movement developed, it moved away from utopianism; Marx in particular became a harsh critic of earlier socialism he described as utopian. (For more information, see the History of Socialism article.) In a materialist utopian society, the economy is perfect; there is no inflation and only perfect social and financial equality exists.

In 1905, H.G. Wells published A Modern Utopia, which was widely read and admired and provoked much discussion. Also consider Eric Frank Russell's book The Great Explosion (1963) whose last section details an economic and social utopia. This forms the first mention of the idea of Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS).

During the "Khrushchev Thaw" period,[13] the Soviet writer Ivan Efremov produced the science-fiction utopia Andromeda (1957) in which a major cultural thaw took place: humanity communicates with a galaxy-wide Great Circle and develops its technology and culture within a social framework characterized by vigorous competition between alternative philosophies.

The English political philosopher James Harrington, author of the utopian work The Commonwealth of Oceana, published in 1656, inspired English country party republicanism and was influential in the design of three American colonies. His theories ultimately contributed to the idealistic principles of the American Founders. The colonies of Carolina (founded in 1670), Pennsylvania (founded in 1681), and Georgia (founded in 1733) were the only three English colonies in America that were planned as utopian societies with an integrated physical, economic and social design. At the heart of the plan for Georgia was a concept of “agrarian equality” in which land was allocated equally and additional land acquisition through purchase or inheritance was prohibited; the plan was an early step toward the yeoman republic later envisioned by Thomas Jefferson.[14][15][16]

The communes of the 1960s in the United States were often an attempt to greatly improve the way humans live together in communities. The back-to-the-land movements and hippies inspired many to try to live in peace and harmony on farms, remote areas and to set up new types of governance.[17] Communes like Kaliflower, which existed between 1967 and 1973, attempted to live outside of society's norms and create their own ideal communist based society.[18]

Intentional communities were organized and built all over the world with the hope of making a more perfect way of living together. While many of these new small communities failed, some are growing, such as the Twelve Tribes Communities that started in the United States. Since its start, it has now grown into many groups around the world.

Religious utopias

New Harmony, a Utopian attempt; depicted as proposed by Robert Owen.
New Harmony, a Utopian attempt; depicted as proposed by Robert Owen.

Inter-religious utopias

The inter-religious utopia is similar to a form of multiculturalism where real-world cultures have successfully worked together to create a wider society based on shared values. A transparent ideology of God and religion in an inter-religious utopia is how many people envision God manifesting within such a community.[citation needed] In more extended theories, the formula goes up to the next level, with different religious leaders setting aside their differences and accepting harmony, peace and understanding to unite all religions with one another. Other inter-religious utopias may go even further by describing a religion where humans become God or merge with a primal force that reigned before the birth of the universe. Religion and God could be used as self-motivating factors for people to believe in and to raise themselves out of difficult situations.

Intra-religious utopias

In the United States and Europe, during the Second Great Awakening (ca. 1790–1840) and thereafter, many radical religious groups formed utopian societies in which faith could govern all aspects of members' lives. These utopian societies included the Shakers, who originated in England in the 18th century and arrived in America in 1774. A number of religious utopian societies from Europe came to the United States from the 18th century throughout the 19th century, including the Society of the Woman in the Wilderness (led by Johannes Kelpius (1667–1708)), the Ephrata Cloister (established in 1732) and the Harmony Society, among others. The Harmony Society was a Christian theosophy and pietist group founded in Iptingen, Germany, in 1785. Due to religious persecution by the Lutheran Church and the government in Württemberg,[19] the society moved to the United States on October 7, 1803, settled in Pennsylvania. On February 15, 1805, about 400 followers formally organized the Harmony Society, placing all their goods in common. The group lasted until 1905, making it one of the longest-running financially successful communes in American history. The Oneida Community, founded by John Humphrey Noyes in Oneida, New York, was a utopian religious commune that lasted from 1848 to 1881. Although this utopian experiment has become better known today for its manufacture of Oneida silverware, it was one of the longest-running communes in American history. The Amana Colonies were communal settlements in Iowa, started by radical German pietists, which lasted from 1855 to 1932. The Amana Corporation, manufacturer of refrigerators and household appliances, was originally started by the group. Other examples are Fountain Grove (founded in 1875), Riker's Holy City and other Californian utopian colonies between 1855 and 1955 (Hine), as well as Sointula[20] in British Columbia, Canada. The Amish and Hutterites can also be considered an attempt towards religious utopia. A wide variety of intentional communities with some type of faith-based ideas have also started across the world.

A new heaven and new earth[Rev 21:1], Mortier's Bible, Phillip Medhurst Collection
A new heaven and new earth[Rev 21:1], Mortier's Bible, Phillip Medhurst Collection

The Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible depicts an eschatological time with the defeat of Satan and of evil. The main difference compared to the Old Testament promises is that such a defeat also has an ontological value (Rev 21:1;4: "Then I saw 'a new heaven and a new earth,' for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea...'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away") and no longer just gnosiological (Isaiah 65:17: "See, I will create/new heavens and a new earth./The former things will not be remembered,/nor will they come to mind").[21][22] Narrow interpretation of the text depicts Heaven on Earth or a Heaven brought to Earth without sin. Daily and mundane details of this new Earth, where God and Jesus rule, remain unclear, although it is implied to be similar to the biblical Garden of Eden. Some theological philosophers believe that heaven will not be a physical realm but instead an incorporeal place for souls.[23]

Science and technology

Utopian flying machines, France, 1890–1900 (chromolithograph trading card).
Utopian flying machines, France, 1890–1900 (chromolithograph trading card).

Though Francis Bacon's New Atlantis is imbued with a scientific spirit, scientific and technological utopias tend to be based in the future, when it is believed that advanced science and technology will allow utopian living standards; for example, the absence of death and suffering; changes in human nature and the human condition. Technology has affected the way humans have lived to such an extent that normal functions, like sleep, eating or even reproduction, have been replaced by artificial means. Other examples include a society where humans have struck a balance with technology and it is merely used to enhance the human living condition (e.g. Star Trek). In place of the static perfection of a utopia, libertarian transhumanists envision an "extropia", an open, evolving society allowing individuals and voluntary groupings to form the institutions and social forms they prefer.

Mariah Utsawa presented a theoretical basis for technological utopianism and set out to develop a variety of technologies ranging from maps to designs for cars and houses which might lead to the development of such a utopia.

One notable example of a technological and libertarian socialist utopia is Scottish author Iain Banks' Culture.

Opposing this optimism is the prediction that advanced science and technology will, through deliberate misuse or accident, cause environmental damage or even humanity's extinction. Critics, such as Jacques Ellul and Timothy Mitchell advocate precautions against the premature embrace of new technologies. Both raise questions about changing responsibility and freedom brought by division of labour. Authors such as John Zerzan and Derrick Jensen consider that modern technology is progressively depriving humans of their autonomy and advocate the collapse of the industrial civilization, in favor of small-scale organization, as a necessary path to avoid the threat of technology on human freedom and sustainability.

There are many examples of techno-dystopias portrayed in mainstream culture, such as the classics Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as "1984", which have explored some of these topics.

Feminism

Utopias have been used to explore the ramifications of genders being either a societal construct or a biologically "hard-wired" imperative or some mix of the two.[24] Socialist and economic utopias have tended to take the "woman question" seriously and often to offer some form of equality between the sexes as part and parcel of their vision, whether this be by addressing misogyny, reorganizing society along separatist lines, creating a certain kind of androgynous equality that ignores gender or in some other manner. For example, Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1887) responded, progressively for his day, to the contemporary women's suffrage and women's rights movements. Bellamy supported these movements by incorporating the equality of women and men into his utopian world's structure, albeit by consigning women to a separate sphere of light industrial activity (due to women's lesser physical strength) and making various exceptions for them in order to make room for (and to praise) motherhood. One of the earlier feminist utopias that imagines complete separatism is Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland (1915).

In science fiction and technological speculation, gender can be challenged on the biological as well as the social level. Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time portrays equality between the genders and complete equality in sexuality (regardless of the gender of the lovers). Birth-giving, often felt as the divider that cannot be avoided in discussions of women's rights and roles, has been shifted onto elaborate biological machinery that functions to offer an enriched embryonic experience, When a child is born, it spends most of its time in the children's ward with peers. Three "mothers" per child are the norm and they are chosen in a gender neutral way (men as well as women may become "mothers") on the basis of their experience and ability. Technological advances also make possible the freeing of women from childbearing in Shulamith Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex. The fictional aliens in Mary Gentle's Golden Witchbreed start out as gender-neutral children and do not develop into men and women until puberty and gender has no bearing on social roles. In contrast, Doris Lessing's The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five (1980) suggests that men's and women's values are inherent to the sexes and cannot be changed, making a compromise between them essential. In My Own Utopia (1961) by Elizabeth Mann Borghese, gender exists but is dependent upon age rather than sex – genderless children mature into women, some of whom eventually become men.[24] "William Marston's Wonder Woman comics of the 1940s featured Paradise Island, also known as Themyscira, a matriarchal all-female community of peace, loving submission, bondage and giant space kangaroos."[25]

Utopian single-gender worlds or single-sex societies have long been one of the primary ways to explore implications of gender and gender-differences.[26] In speculative fiction, female-only worlds have been imagined to come about by the action of disease that wipes out men, along with the development of technological or mystical method that allow female parthenogenic reproduction. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1915 novel approaches this type of separate society. Many feminist utopias pondering separatism were written in the 1970s, as a response to the Lesbian separatist movement;[26][27][28] examples include Joanna Russ's The Female Man and Suzy McKee Charnas's Walk to the End of the World and Motherlines.[28] Utopias imagined by male authors have often included equality between sexes, rather than separation, although as noted Bellamy's strategy includes a certain amount of "separate but equal".[29] The use of female-only worlds allows the exploration of female independence and freedom from patriarchy. The societies may be lesbian, such as Daughters of a Coral Dawn by Katherine V. Forrest or not, and may not be sexual at all – a famous early sexless example being Herland (1915) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.[27] Charlene Ball writes in Women's Studies Encyclopedia that use of speculative fiction to explore gender roles in future societies has been more common in the United States compared to Europe and elsewhere,[24] although such efforts as Gerd Brantenberg's Egalia's Daughters and Christa Wolf's portrayal of the land of Colchis in her Medea: Voices are certainly as influential and famous as any of the American feminist utopias.

Utopianism

The Golden Age by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

In many cultures, societies, and religions, there is some myth or memory of a distant past when humankind lived in a primitive and simple state but at the same time one of perfect happiness and fulfillment. In those days, the various myths tell us, there was an instinctive harmony between humanity and nature. People's needs were few and their desires limited. Both were easily satisfied by the abundance provided by nature. Accordingly, there were no motives whatsoever for war or oppression. Nor was there any need for hard and painful work. Humans were simple and pious and felt themselves close to their God or gods. According to one anthropological theory, hunter-gatherers were the original affluent society.

These mythical or religious archetypes are inscribed in many cultures and resurge with special vitality when people are in difficult and critical times. However, in utopias, the projection of the myth does not take place towards the remote past but either towards the future or towards distant and fictional places, imagining that at some time in the future, at some point in space, or beyond death, there must exist the possibility of living happily.

These myths of the earliest stage of humankind have been referred to by various cultures, societies and religions:

Golden Age

The Greek poet Hesiod, around the 8th century BC, in his compilation of the mythological tradition (the poem Works and Days), explained that, prior to the present era, there were four other progressively more perfect ones, the oldest of which was the Golden Age.

Plutarch, the Greek historian and biographer of the 1st century, dealt with the blissful and mythic past of the humanity.

Arcadia

From Sir Philip Sidney's prose romance The Old Arcadia (1580), originally a region in the Peloponnesus, Arcadia became a synonym for any rural area that serves as a pastoral setting, a locus amoenus ("delightful place").

The Biblical Garden of Eden

The Biblical Garden of Eden as depicted in the Old Testament Bible's Book of Genesis 2 (Authorized Version of 1611):

"And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. [...]


And the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. [...]

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; [...] And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh instead thereof and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman and brought her unto the man."

According to the exegesis that the biblical theologian Herbert Haag proposes in the book Is original sin in Scripture?,[30] published soon after the Second Vatican Council, Genesis 2:25 would indicate that Adam and Eve were created from the beginning naked of the divine grace, an originary grace that, then, they would never have had and even less would have lost due to the subsequent events narrated. On the other hand, while supporting a continuity in the Bible about the absence of preternatural gifts (Latin: dona praeternaturalia)[31] with regard to the ophitic event, Haag never makes any reference to the discontinuity of the loss of access to the tree of life.

The Land of Cockaigne

The Land of Cockaigne (also Cockaygne, Cokaygne), was an imaginary land of idleness and luxury, famous in medieval stories and the subject of several poems, one of which, an early translation of a 13th-century French work, is given in George Ellis' Specimens of Early English Poets. In this, "the houses were made of barley sugar and cakes, the streets were paved with pastry and the shops supplied goods for nothing." London has been so called (see Cockney) but Boileau applies the same to Paris.[32]

The Peach Blossom Spring

The Peach Blossom Spring, a prose written by the Chinese writer Tao Yuanming (c. 220-589 CE), describes a utopian place.[33][34] The narrative goes that a fisherman from Wuling sailed upstream a river and came across a beautiful blossoming peach grove and lush green fields covered with blossom petals.[35] Entranced by the beauty, he continued upstream.[35] When he reached the end of the river, he stumbled onto a small grotto.[35] Though narrow at first, he was able to squeeze through the passage and discovered an ethereal utopia, where the people led an ideal existence in harmony with nature.[36] He saw a vast expanse of fertile lands, clear ponds, mulberry trees, bamboo groves and the like with a community of people of all ages and houses in neat rows.[36] The people explained that their ancestors escaped to this place during the civil unrest of the Qin dynasty and they themselves had not left since or had contact with anyone from the outside.[37] They had not even heard of the later dynasties of bygone times or the then-current Jin dynasty.[37] In the story, the community was secluded and unaffected by the troubles of the outside world.[37] The sense of timelessness was also predominant in the story as a perfect utopian community remains unchanged, that is, it had no decline nor the need to improve.[37] Eventually, the Chinese term Peach Blossom Spring (桃花源) came to be synonymous for the concept of utopia.[38]

Datong

Datong is a traditional Chinese Utopia. The main description of it is found in the Chinese Classic of Rites, in the chapter called "Li Yun" (禮運). Later, Datong and its ideal of 'The World Belongs to Everyone/The World is Held in Common' 'Tianxia weigong/天下为公' 'influenced modern Chinese reformers and revolutionaries, such as Kang Youwei.

Schlaraffenland

Schlaraffenland is an analogous German tradition.

All these myths also express some hope that the idyllic state of affairs they describe is not irretrievably and irrevocably lost to mankind, that it can be regained in some way or other.

One way might be a quest for an "earthly paradise" – a place like Shangri-La, hidden in the Tibetan mountains and described by James Hilton in his utopian novel Lost Horizon (1933). Christopher Columbus followed directly in this tradition in his belief that he had found the Garden of Eden when, towards the end of the 15th century, he first encountered the New World and its indigenous inhabitants.

Utopia in art

Notes

  1. ^ Giroux, Henry A. (2003). "Utopian thinking under the sign of neoliberalism: Towards a critical pedagogy of educated hope" (PDF). Democracy & Nature. Routledge. 9 (1): 91–105. doi:10.1080/1085566032000074968.
  2. ^ Giroux, H., 2003. "Utopian thinking under the sign of neoliberalism: Towards a critical pedagogy of educated hope". Democracy & Nature, 9(1), pp. 91–105.
  3. ^ Lyman Tower Sargent (2010). Utopianism: A Very Short Introduction. OUP Oxford. p. 21. doi:10.1093/actrade/9780199573400.003.0002. ISBN 978-0-19-957340-0.
  4. ^ a b Lyman Tower, Sargent (2005). Rüsen, Jörn; Fehr, Michael; Reiger, Thomas W., eds. The Necessity of Utopian Thinking: A Cross-National Perspective. Thinking Utopia: Steps Into Other Worlds (Report). New York: Berghahn Books. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-57181-440-1.
  5. ^ Lodder, C.; Kokkori, M; Mileeva, M (2013). Utopian Reality: Reconstructing Culture in Revolutionary Russia and Beyond. Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV. pp. 1–9. ISBN 978-90-04-26320-8.
  6. ^ More, Travis; Rohith Vinod (1989)
  7. ^ "Thomas More's Utopia". www.bl.uk. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Utopian Socialism". www.utopiaanddystopia.com. The Utopian Socialism Movement. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  9. ^ Dalley, Jan (30 December 2015). "Openings: Going back to Utopia". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  10. ^ Kirk, Andrew G. (2007). Counterculture green: the Whole earth catalog and American environmentalism. University Press of Kansas. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-7006-1545-2.
  11. ^ For example, see: Marshall, Alan (2016). Ecotopia 2121: A Vision of our Future Green Utopia. New York: Arcade Publishers. ISBN 978-1-62872-614-5.
  12. ^ Geus, Marius de (1996). Ecologische utopieën- Ecotopia's en het milieudebat. Uitgeverij Jan van Arkel.
  13. ^ "the Thaw - Soviet cultural history". Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  14. ^ Fries, Sylvia, The Urban Idea in Colonial America, Chapters 3 and 5
  15. ^ Home, Robert, Of Planting and Planning: The Making of British Colonial Cities, 9
  16. ^ Wilson, Thomas, The Oglethorpe Plan, Chapters 1 and 2
  17. ^ "America and the Utopian Dream – Utopian Communities". brbl-archive.library.yale.edu. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  18. ^ "For All the People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements and Communalism in America, 2nd Edition". secure.pmpress.org. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  19. ^ Robert Paul Sutton, Communal Utopias and the American Experience: Religious Communities (2003) p. 38
  20. ^ Teuvo Peltoniemi (1984). "Finnish Utopian Settlements in North America" (PDF). sosiomedia.fi. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  21. ^ Joel B. Green, Jacqueline Lapsley, Rebekah Miles, Allen Verhey, eds. (2011). Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics. Ada Township, Michigan: Baker Books. p. 190. ISBN 978-1-4412-3998-3. This goodness theme is advanced most definitively through the promise of a renewal of all creation, a hope present in OT prophetic literature (Isa. 65:17–25) but portrayed most strikingly through Revelation's vision of a “new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1). There the divine king of creation promises to renew all of reality: “See, I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:5).CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  22. ^ Steve Moyise, Maarten J.J. Menken, eds. (2005). Isaiah in the New Testament. The New Testament and the Scriptures of Israel. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-567-61166-6. By alluding to the new Creation prophecy of Isaiah John emphasizes the qualitatively new state of affairs that will exist at God's new creative act. In addition to the passing of the former heaven and earth, John also asserts that the sea was no more in 21:1c.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  23. ^ Inc., Internet Innovations,. "The Book of the Secrets of Enoch, Chapters 1-68". reluctant-messenger.com. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  24. ^ a b c Tierney, Helen (1999). Women's Studies Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 1442. ISBN 978-0-313-31073-7.
  25. ^ Noah Berlatsky, "Imagine There's No Gender: The Long History of Feminist Utopian Literature," The Atlantic, April 15, 2013. https://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/04/imagine-theres-no-gender-the-long-history-of-feminist-utopian-literature/274993/
  26. ^ a b Attebery, p. 13.
  27. ^ a b Gaétan Brulotte & John Phillips,Encyclopedia of Erotic Literature, "Science Fiction and Fantasy", CRC Press, 2006, p. 1189, ISBN 1-57958-441-1
  28. ^ a b Martha A. Bartter, The Utopian Fantastic, "Momutes", Robin Anne Reid, p. 101 ISBN 0-313-31635-X
  29. ^ Martha A. Bartter, The Utopian Fantastic, "Momutes", Robin Anne Reid, p. 102[ISBN missing]
  30. ^ Haag, Herbert (1969). Is original sin in Scripture?. New York: Sheed and Ward. German or. ed.: 1966.
  31. ^ (in German) Haag, Herbert (1966). pp. 9, 49ff.
  32. ^ Cobham Brewer E. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Odhams, London, 1932
  33. ^ Tian, Xiaofei (2010). "From the Eastern Jin through the Early Tang (317–649)". The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-521-85558-7.
  34. ^ Berkowitz, Alan J. (2000). Patterns of Disengagement: the Practice and Portrayal of Reclusion in Early Medieval China. Stanford: Stanford University Press. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-8047-3603-9.
  35. ^ a b c Longxi, Zhang (2005). Allegoresis: Reading Canonical Literature East and West. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-8014-4369-5.
  36. ^ a b Longxi, Zhang (2005). Allegoresis: Reading Canonical Literature East and West. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. pp. 182–183. ISBN 978-0-8014-4369-5.
  37. ^ a b c d Longxi, Zhang (2005). Allegoresis: Reading Canonical Literature East and West. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-8014-4369-5.
  38. ^ Gu, Ming Dong (2006). Chinese Theories of Fiction: A Non-Western Narrative System. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-7914-6815-9.

References

External links

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