Sep 28, 2005

Stupid Utopias

Utopian ideas should always fill one with deep suspicion. A clear vision obscures other possibilities. In the essay I found today, Jeremy Adam Smith brings to attention the violence inherent in any utopia. Very literally exemplified in his description of the book "Utopia" by Thomas More:

"The violence of More's historical period is never far from the surface of More's island Utopia, where a single act of adultery is punishable by slavery and serial adulterers are punished with death. If More's narrator had looked past the happy smiling faces of Utopia, what fear and violence might he have seen?"

"The Ten Stupidest Utopias" is a very interesting little essay, going from Platos "Republic", over Elisabeth Nietzches Nueva Germania, Le Corbusiers Radiant City, Constants New Babylon, ending with the internet. Read, read.

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