Utopianism is a philosophy that encompasses a variety of ways of thinking about or attempting to create a better society. It begins with the seemingly simple yet powerful declaration that the present is inadequate and that things can be otherwise.
Present in communities, social movements, and political discourse, it critiques society and creatively projects futures free of the strangleholds of the time. Put simply, it embodies a longstanding human impulse towards self-improvement.
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Utopia and Science Fiction*
Utopija med žanrom
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UTOPIA is a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions
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In 1516, English humanist Sir Thomas More published a book titled
. It compared social and economic conditions in Europe with those of an ideal society on an imaginary island located off the coast of the Americas. More wanted to imply that the perfect conditions on his fictional island could never really exist, so he called it
a name he created by combining the Greek words
(meaning "no, not") and
(meaning "place," a root used in our word
). The earliest generic use of
was for an imaginary and indefinitely remote place. The current use of
referring to an ideal place or society, was inspired by More's description of Utopia's perfection.
... in Utopia, where everything’s under public ownership, no one has any fear of going short, as long as the public storehouses are full. Everyone gets a fair share, so there are never any poor men or beggars. Nobody owns anything, but everyone is rich—for what greater wealth can there be than cheerfulness, peace of mind, and freedom from anxiety? Instead of being worried about his food supply, upset by the plaintive demands of his wife, afraid of poverty for his son, and baffled by the problem of finding a dowry for his daughter, the Utopian can feel absolutely sure that he, his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren, his great-great-grandchildren, and as long a line of descendants as the proudest peer could wish to look forward to, will always have enough to eat and enough to make them happy. There’s also the further point that those who are too old to work are just as well provided for as those who are still working.
List of American utopian communities
Throughout history, religious reformers and visionary starchitects alike have attempted to answer the question of utopia by establishing spiritual communes and crafting masterplans for cities of the future.
Utopias are idealized visions of a perfect society. Utopianisms are those ideas put into practice.
This is where the trouble begins.
See it, my friends, and embrace it.
Embrace the new openness.
Nothing is sacred.
Nothing is secret.
by Blake Kathryn
Brave New World
This Perfect Day
(Levin, 1994), Orwell’s
, ‘The Machine Stops’ (Forster,  2004) and
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
(Wilhelm, 2006) all envisage worlds in which greed, selfishness, unfulfilled desire and polymorphous brands of misery are replaced by uniform human placidity.
Gene editing could create a gattaca-like world where there is discrimination towards those who are not genetically engineered.
If all longing is satisfied, desire becomes meaningless, but so, therefore, does existence itself.
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is set in a futuristic Japan governed by the Sibyl System, a powerful bio-mechanical computer network which endlessly measures the biometrics of Japanese citizens' brains and mentalities using a "cymatic scan." The result reveals the citizen's criminality potential. When a targeted individual's Crime Coefficient index exceeds the accepted threshold, they are pursued, apprehended, and either arrested or decomposed by the field officers.
Why so few utopias in science fiction cinema?
Hitler and Stalin’s utopian dreams
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spectacle, labour and utopia in Michael Bay’s
A False Utopia
Perfect worlds may not be realisable or even desirable, but that doesn’t mean we should shy away from imagining and striving for a better future. Societies without extreme inequality and environmental degradation are surely within the bounds of possibility. Whether in the form of a creative novel, a social movement, or a political proposal, dreaming can help us get there.
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On the other hand, there is also a fine tradition of Utopias going terribly wrong when people tried to put their ideals into practice. It is true that some “intentional communities”, as those who study them like to call them, have flourished. But here are a few, imagined and historical, that show how acting on a dream can sometimes land you in a nightmare.
…and it's making it abundantly clear why dystopian literature, rather than its utopian counterpart, has flourished: true utopia is inherently impossible. Attempting utopia is the surest route to dystopia—and even if you
make utopia happen, it would be unspeakably boring.
So it is nice, then, but only for some, and then only for a while. The construction of utopia always comes at a price, which from Plato’s ideal Republic and the ruthless John of Patmos in the Book of Revelation to Aldous Huxley’s
Brave New World
, via approaches as disparate as those of the Fabians and the Nazis, involves a lot of clearing up of old detritus prior to the inauguration of paradise.
one person’s utopia is another’s dystopia
The end of utopia
You have escaped!
But... What have you escaped to?
b) Humans went extinct
Not only is utopia a relative concept, but, moreover, the process of imagining it whether in myth, culture, science or political thought, always comes with significant caveats: specifically, the prerequisite of the cleansing out of the prevailing status quo, the elimination of elements in it deemed to be undesirable, and the abdication of both free will and the entitlement to choice. The wider complexities of the concept of utopia, therefore, must be considered with particular regard to the common thread linking diverse and sometimes antithetical implications of utopianism’s original political, ethical and ethnographic paradigms.
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