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Dystopias & Utopias: Utopias

Definition

Utopia: A place, state, or condition that is ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions. 

Infrogmation of New Orleans, "Bansky Raingirl Corner." 28 August 2008. Infrogmation of New Orleans' flickr gallery. 19 January 2016.<https://www.flickr.com/photos/29350288@N06/2817595644>. Image above has been cropped.

Contemporary Utopias

Characteristics of Utopias

Characteristics of a Utopian Society

• Information, independent thought, and freedom are promoted.

• A figurehead or concept brings the citizens of the society together, but not treated as singular.

• Citizens are truly free to think independently.

• Citizens have no fear of the outside world.

 • Citizens live in a harmonious state.

• The natural world is embraced and revered.

• Citizens embrace social and moral ideals. Individuality and innovation are welcomed.

• The society evolves with change to make a perfect utopian world.

Types of Utopian Ideas

Most utopian works present a world in which societal ideals and the common good of society are maintained through one or more of the following types of beliefs:

• Economic ideas: Money is abolished. Citizens only do work that they enjoy.

• Governing ideas: Society is controlled by citizenry in a largely individualist, communal, social and sometimes libertarian “government”. The term government is used loosely, as power is seen to corrupt, so constructed government systems are warned against.

• Technological ideas: In some cases, technology may be embraced to enhance the human living experience and make human life easier and more convenient. Other ideas propose that technology drives a wedge between humanity and nature, therefore becoming an evil to society.

  • Ecological ideas: Back to the nature, humans live harmoniously with nature and reverse the effects of industrialization.

• Philosophical/religious ideas: Society believes in a common religious philosophy, some fashion their surroundings around the biblical Garden of Eden. In inter-religious utopias, all ideas of God are welcomed. In intra-religious utopias, a singular idea of God is accepted and practiced by all citizens. The

Utopian Protagonist

• works to promote the ideals of society.

• questions the existing social and political systems with the aim to bring positive change.

• believes or feels that the society in which he or she lives is always getting better.

• helps the audience recognize the positive aspects of the utopian world through his or her perspective.

Classical Utopias

Is Utopia always Dystopia?

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Environmental Utopias

Historical Utopias