The recovery of politics as the art of what is possible, implies an adequate relationship with utopia, which is a condition of political realism. This supposes the affirmation of reality as the condition of possibility in human life, in contrast with its displacement by the hegemonic fetishist per..
The aim of this work is to analyze the role that Agnes Heller gives to utopia in the frame work of the the ory of history. To accomplish this, there lation she establishes between future-utopia, change-utopia and progress-utopia will be analyzed. After the analysis and explanation of these conce..
This paper presents the theoretical bases and central proposes of anarchism, a social philosophy undergoing a resurgence in contemporary societies as the cornerstone of a possible radical utopia by demonstrating its renewed relevance to todays socio-political circumstances while undermin..
The text attempts to review what has been the utopian propensity in Latin America, based primarily on the work of Fernando Aínsa, taking into account the round trip utopia has made between the Old and New Worlds and its connection with the process of training republican youth during times when t..
Con el siglo XXI, aparentemente ha desaparecido la posibilidad de la proyección del ideal en una sociedad mejor, y de la imposibilidad de pensar la utopía. Sin embargo, se constata la difusión de universos utópicos en los idearios de los movimientos sociales de resistencia al capitalismo. Este ar..
The article deals with the philosophy of Nikolai Berdjaev (1874–1948), which he formulated between The Philosophy of Inequality (written in 1918, but published in 1923) and The New Middle - Ages (1924). Berdjaev’s philosophy is analyzed in the context of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath. The other point of reference is the crisis of culture and civilisation, which affected the West in the inter-war period. Berdjaev’s position has been interpreted in view of the archetypal myth of the (...) struggle of the two principles, the principle of order (cosmos) and the forces of destruction (chaos). This myth is tied to the millenialist world view. Berdjaev took an anti-utopian stance. He juxtaposed the utopian-revolutionary principle with the hierarchical-creative one. From this position he criticized among others democracy, liberalism and socialism. In the midst of the crisis of the 1920s he remarked the possibility of spiritual rejuvenation putting forward the concept of the New Middle-Ages. One can say that at that time Berdjaev’s philosophy evolved within the conservative-creative framework, from the utopia of conservatism to the utopia of ‘free creativity’. (shrink)
The spirit of modern utopia was to state the primacy of planning on the reparation, conservation, and reformation of reality and the view that we should destroy what already exists and start again from the beginning in order to build something rational and good. In this paper Maria Moneti sketches out some aspect of the history of utopian thought from the modern rationalism to its decline in the contemporary age. The ‘bankruptcy’ of utopia as philosophical and literary genre (...) has swept away also the need to imagine the ‘ideal city’. At the end of this path, a first balance seems to suggest a post-modern utopia which nourishes more modest ambitions than its modern version and aims at keeping and respecting the world where we live. (shrink)
Questions such as ‘What if such small companies as Hewletts and the Varians had not been established in Santa Clara County in California?’ or ‘What if Q-type keyboards had not been invented?’ are well known among economists. The questions point at a phenomenon called path dependence: ‘small events’, the argument goes, may cause the evolution of institutions to lock in to specific paths that may produce undesirable consequences. How about applying such skeptical views in economics to human ideas and thought (...) in general? That is to say, what if we ask such questions as: what if Greek philosophy had not been interested in ‘essences’ and ‘foundations’? What if Kant had not invented the ‘thing-in-itself?’ Nature and society, according to such Platonic philosophers, can be known only if it can be shown that events are governed, regulated and characterised by ‘forms’, which are immutable, complete, and perfect in their nature. But is there an ‘essence’ that makes a man 100 per cent male? Was there really a ‘foundation’ in history that caused a proletarian revolution in Russia? What if we had pushed aside the rhetoric of utopian ideality? What if we had a worldview different than the one depicted by Thomas More in his Utopia? The essay points at the possibility of such skepticism in human ideas and thought. (shrink)
Este artículo propone recorrer las diferentes perspectivas desde las que históricamente se ha pensado la utopía. En este recorrido Miguel Abensour subraya dos giros fundamentales. El primero sería la asignación de la utopía al tiempo por medio de su transferencia a una ontología dialéctica, operación llevada a cabo por Marx e identificada por Marc Bloch. El segundo, aún más importante en cuanto se trata de una tarea presente, sería la superación de los límites que la previsión dialéctica impone a la (...) utopía a partir de un pensamiento de la alteridad, aspecto en el que la filosofía de Emmanuel Levinas juega un papel exploratorio pionero.  . (shrink)
El presente artículo realiza un contrapunto entre estos dos conceptos, cuestionando que exista entre ellos una antinomia irreducible, y propone explorar una conjunción entre la exuberancia de la utopía y la sobriedad de la democracia. En su desarrollo, el autor revisa la idea instalada de que la utopía no puede ser sino totalitaria, y busca restituir a la utopía su capacidad de movimiento. Profundizando en los conceptos de democracia y utopía propone una nueva conexión entre ambos, situando a la democracia (...) y la utopía bajo el signo de lo humano. (shrink)
To begin with, it is analysed the representation of the urban space which is articulated in some classical and utopian stories (Moro, Campanella). In these stories we are facing with a proposal of ideal society as expression of an organizing will of human reason which faces with nature and bets for the construction of a better future. In this context, those cities dreamt by utopias must be considered as imaginary skethes in a concept of real construction which determined a large (...) extent of urban modernity. Such utopian will has suffered an important break throughout the second half of XX Century, such as it is testified by a serial of anti-utopia stories both in literature (Orwell, Huxley or Dick); and above all, in the recently filmography (Blade Runner, Brazil or Matrix). This displacement in future cities´desing entails not only a reversal on the utopian speech codes, which would be the real reflection of the contemporary experience of the subject inside the urban space, but also a consequence of the development and crisis in Western modernity. In addition, this involves a decisive mutation in the concept of future which would affect substantially to our civilization in the beginning of the XXI Century. (shrink)
This paper constitutes a proposition for autonomous integration that propitiates regional negotiation in the face of the ALCA. To do this, it proposes to recuperate one´s own in genuity, which supposes surpassing the obstacle constructed by transitology, be yond abandonment of the structural hi..
The ob jec ti ve of this ar ti cle is two-fold. On the one hand it is a ten ta ti ve re cons truc tion of the theo re ti cal struc tu re of neo li be ra lism, poin ting out that this theory has litt le ex pla na tory ca pa city, and it is ba si cally a po li ti cal Pro ject of a uto pian ca rác..
Los países democráticos aumentan en el mundo; sin embargo, la satisfacción de sus ciudadanos disminuye, interpretándose el fenómeno como de «democracias de baja calidad». Ante esa situación, se impone su profundización, no sólo en las formas sino también en los procedimientos y la evaluación de los resultados, controlando que todos los espacios de democratización se desarrollen en paridad, en un espacio político ampliado, que incluya perspectivas ético-políticas y psico-culturales. Desde ese escenario, este trabajo examina brevemente los conceptos de «paz (pacifismo)», (...) «feminismo» y «utopía», para revisar cómo se enlazan y abren nuevos horizontes políticos. (shrink)
A través de la obra de Aristóteles, en especial la Constitución de Atenas y la Política, podemos hacernos una imagen no demasiado habitual de la democracia ateniense. Esta aparece como un modelo jurídico-político, que aún hoy puede dar que pensar: como una «utopía real». En concreto, nos interesan dos aspectos: la justicia tributaria y la justicia social. Ambas justicias tienen en la democracia ateniense, y en la visión de Aristóteles, un notabilísimo desarrollo. Por eso, hablamos de «fragmentos» de una utopía (...) real. (shrink)
El ejercicio utópico de la voluntad política que caracteriza el XIX latinoamericano se desgrana en las categorías de unidad continental, unidad cultural, unidad en el concepto de Patria, etc.; clausurando un apretado siglo de extrema densidad social y política, un siglo de utopía en el discurso. Una Ilustración insuficiente, el coste del hibridismo, las comunidades imaginadas, las dependencias encadenadas, las resistencias, los logros y los fracasos, traducen el sacrificio, la traición y la inconclusión de la tarea emancipatoria. Si podemos contemplar (...) hoy día el descubrimiento de América como el comienzo de una empresa civilizatoria, y admirar sus obras más allá del trabajo infatigable de una destrucción que no ha cesado, es sólo en virtud de esta tradición de crítica y resistencia , a lo largo de un proceso social, artístico y literario ininterrumpido hasta el día de hoy. (shrink)
This article situates The Course of Recognition in the context of Ricœurian philosophy and contemporary debates on mutual recognition. This article reconstructs the debate between Ricœur and mainstream recognition scholars, as well as with the other figures, such as Boltanski, Thévenot and Hénaff, who had a direct influence in the way Ricœur fleshed out his alternative conception of recognition. By connecting recognition with Ricœur’s notions of ideology and utopia, we are able to uncover a major blind spot in the (...) standard model of recognition,and to undo ideological and reified forms of recognition. Honneth and Ricœur both aim at societies whose members are duly recognized, but they do so in radically different manners. Whereas Honneth’s model must be politicized in order to become relevant to social change, Ricœur evisages social change in a pure ethics of recognition. (shrink)
The clash between these two dimensions of human condition – but also their complementary nature – make utopia and melancholy specially compelling as they address us today from Don Quixote’s text, providing an accurate standing from which both the author and his protagonist become our contemporaries. Taking an ethic point of departure, we shall consider the aim of the fantasies of Don Quixote is to modify the reality in a certain moral sense, despite of his ridiculously and impractical goals. (...) At the same time The Quixote’s utopia is interrelated with the melancholic Quixote’s character. The melancholy arises from the ethic conscience which is leaded by the moral duty of the justice. This article shows clearly the double melancholic and utopian nature of Don Quixote’s character, which is chaired by a modern ethic conscience. (shrink)
El artículo considera el aspecto socio-psicológico y epistemológico de las utopías, y se plantea conectar utopía con la emoción. Revisa las condiciones de modernización económica y democratización que han derivado en el descreimiento de las utopías, y los valores que dotan de identidad a los sujetos que las adoptan. Se pone el acento en la necesidad de reformular la concepción del fenómeno del poder y de sus prácticas, y en la trascendencia que la tarea educativa tiene de re-encantar de utopías (...) a las nuevas generaciones. (shrink)
La concepción más común de lo utópico es la de aquella entidad social que, por su misma perfección, no puede darse en la realidad. Esa concepción, que se ha impuesto en el pensamiento moderno y contemporáneo, suele aplicarse, asimismo, a la obra de Tomás Moro, Utopia, en la que se suele ver un estado perfecto pero relegado a la geografía fantástica de lo que podría ser pero nunca será, razón por la cual el humanista ha situado su sociedad en (...) una isla imaginaria. Pero esta concepción olvida los elementos auto-irónicos de la obra de Moro que excluyen una lectura que se pudiera basar en la dicotomía perfección ideal/imperfección real. Ensayamos una lectura, por tanto, más “hermenéutica” de la obra del escritor inglés. (shrink)
Sergei Eisenstein’s 110th anniversary celebrated in 2008 calls for a re-assessment of his overall heritage, which until now has been customarily perceived in Western film scholarship as - in Annette Michelson’s words - ’indissolubly linked to the project of construction of socialism’ - a view shared from Marie Seton to Jacques Aumont, from Kristin Thompson to Ian Christie and from David Bordwell to Anna Bohn. Not only did Eisenstein’s output magnificently and persuasively outlive this project, but from our vantage point (...) at the beginning of the twenty- first century we can see its position within the complex tapestry of the cultural, philosophical, political and aesthetic developments of the twentieth century from a different angle. Drawing on the recently published in Russia Eisenstein’s magnum opus Method and the author’s research on still unpublished Eisenstein’s writings of the same period, including his diaries, the present paper positions the discussion of Eisenstein’s theory-and-practice between two diametrically opposed philosophical poles - utopia and event. I argue that while Eisenstein’s theoretical writings were encompassed by a number of utopian ideas, which were, nevertheless quite different from the utopian projects of bolshevism, it is his cinematography, which now - in the context of an on-going discussion in continental philosophy - can be defined as ’cinema of event’ that demonstrates the biggest and radical discrepancy between Eisenstein’s work and both ideology and art of socialism - the world of ‘realized utopia.’ . (shrink)
El presente artículo se sostiene que la teoría neoliberal pretende ser una interpretación verdadera de la realidad humana y social, pero a su vez contiene una utopía -en el sentido de un proyecto irrealizable, aún cuando todos estuvieran de acuerdo en intentar ponerlo en práctica; todo esto en un contexto intelectual donde tiene significativa presencia la tesis del fin de los metarelatos y de las utopías. Paradójicamente, postula el autor, la teoría neoliberal cumple las funciones de una ideología y una (...) utopía, y hasta intenta responder a las principales preguntas sobre el hombre, la libertad, el sentido de la vida humana, la sociedad y sus instituciones. El artículo recorre su historia y presenta las teorías críticas a este pensamiento, y concluye mostrando el carácter político de la utopía neoliberal. (shrink)
Este trabajo explora el tema de la vivencia conciente del aprendizaje. Específicamente, el momento en que una persona se da cuenta que algo nuevo se está articulando a su experiencia anterior. Desde la psicología del aprendizaje, este fenómeno estás comprendido en el concepto de metacognición. El trabajo aborda la comprensión de este concepto, y elabora los factores favorecedores del aprendizaje. Finalmente aborda los grupos de acción comunitaria como proyectos socioeducativos, abordando la construcción de utopías cotidianas, la resignificación de la historia (...) personal y la construcción de sentidos en el grupo. (shrink)
This paper analyses Nozick's possible-worlds model of utopia. It identifies and examines three arguments in favour of the minimal state: (1) the minimal state is the real-world analogue of the possible-worlds model and can hence be considered to be inspiring; (2) the minimal state is the common ground of all possible utopian conceptions and can hence be universally endorsed; and (3) the minimal state is the best or at least a very good means for approximating or achieving utopia. (...) While constituting fascinating lines of inquiry, all arguments are found to be wanting and unable to yield the conclusions that Nozick intended to establish. Nonetheless, they establish interesting and important results, in particular the result that the minimal state is the maximal institutional structure that is in principle compatible with the complete satisfaction of the maximal non-arbitrary set of preferences that are in principle co-satisfiable, as well as the corollary that in utopia any state will exert at most the functions of a minimal state. (shrink)
Contrary to many "political" interpretations, of "Brave New World" and "1984" this paper stresses that the evil of totalitarian government is not simply in the presence of great and arbitrary power, but in the particular ways that such power erodes love and friendship, the bases of social life. The crisis represented by the destruction of all possibility of love and friendship is placed in the context of Dostoevsky's meditations on "The Grand Inquisitor," and reflections by noted political theorists on the (...) character of modern politics. (shrink)
En este artículo quisiera contemplar los argumentos de dos autores muy distintos, Seyla Benhabib y Slavoj Žižek, quienes coinciden en señalar que la aportación de Judith Butler a la filosofía política no resulta demasiado convincente por no considerar la tendencia utópica que toda teoría y práctica política debería mantener. Nos aproximaremos en orden cronológico a estas dos críticas, orden que nos va a permitir entender mejor la evolución del pensamiento de Butler.
La globalización que barre el planeta ha resultado en una serie de paradojas e incertidumbres para las personas. Aunque haya impulsado poderosamente la producción de bienes y servicios y del comercio internacional, su expansión para todos los bordes del mundo deterioró el estado del medio ambiente y destruyó las comunidades tradicionales rurales e indígenas. La desestabilización de los lazos de cooperación y de solidaridad tradicionales dejó a millones de seres humanos aislados y, sin perspectiva de romper el “círculo vicioso” de (...) pobreza, ignorancia y violencia. Sartre nos enseñó que los hombres nacen para ser libres, pero libertad significa también responsabilidad. Actuando y pensando sobre la realidad, los hombres la transforman y se transforman a sí mismos, encontrando el sentido para sus vidas, en conjunto, mediante una cultura de cooperación y solidaridad. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Ralf M. Bader and John Meadowcroft; Part I. Morality: 1. Side constraints, Lockean individual rights, and the moral basis of libertarianism Richard Arneson; 2. Are deontological constraints irrational? Michael Otsuka; 3. What we learn from the experience machine Fred Feldman; Part II. Anarchy: 4. Nozickian arguments for the more-than-minimal state Eric Mack; 5. Explanation, justification, and emergent properties - an essay on Nozickian metatheory Gerald Gaus; Part III. State: 6. The right to distribute David Schmidtz; (...) 7. Nozick's libertarian theory of justice Peter Vallentyne; 8. Does Nozick have a theory of property rights? Barbara Fried; 9. Nozick's critique of Rawls John Meadowcroft; Part IV. Utopia: 10. The framework for utopia Ralf M. Bader; 11. E Pluribus Plurum - how to fail to get to utopia in spite of really trying Chandran Kukathas. (shrink)
Bloch's The Spirit of Utopia, here presented for the first time in English translation, is one of the great historic books from the beginning of the twentieth-century. A peculiar amalgam of biblical, Marxist, and Expressionist turns, drawing on both Hegel and Schopenhauer for the groundwork of its metaphysics of music, but consistently interpreting the cultural legacy in the light of a certain Marxism, The Spirit of Utopia is a unique attempt to rethink the history of Western civilizations as (...) a process of revolutionary disruptions and to reread the artworks, religions, and philosophies of this tradition as incentives to continue disrupting. The first part concerns a mode of 'self-encounter' which presents itself in the history of music from Mozart through Mahler as an encounter with the problem of a community to come. The second part is entitled 'Karl Marx, Death and the Apocalypse'. (shrink)
This paper explores the tension between pragmatism and utopia, especially in the concept of "realistic utopianism". It argues that historically, the pragmatic and gradualist rejection of utopia has been anti-utopian in effect, notably in the case of Popper. More recent attempts to argue in favour of "realistic utopianism" or its equivalent, by writers such as Wallerstein and Rorty are also profoundly anti-utopian, despite Rorty's commitment to "social hope". They co-opt the terminology of utopia to positions that are (...) antagonistic to radical alterity. But this is not a necessary response to the utopia/pragmatism tension: Unger, who is explicitly opposed to utopia, in fact proffers a more sympathetic resolution based on the merits of vision, social improvization and collective learning. These may lie closer to the core of the utopian project as a vehicle for the education of desire than Unger himself recognizes. (shrink)
Eschewing conventional candidates, like Plato's Republic or Machiavelli's Prince, Richard Rorty praises Aldous Huxley's Brave New World as "the best introduction to political philosophy," because it shows us "what sort of human future would be produced by a naturalism untempered by historicist Romanticism, and by a politics aimed merely at alleviating mammalian pain."1 Huxley's celebrated dystopia is thus a poignant warning to our modern utilitarian political projects. Yet Rorty also suggests that utopian literature can play a positive and inspirational role (...) for liberal politics, and even dubs his own political ideal, "liberal utopia." Rorty's liberal utopia is not an impossible society bereft of political .. (shrink)
At 30 years' distance, it is safe to say that Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia has achieved the status of a classic. It is not only the central text for all contemporary academic discussions of libertarianism; with Rawls's A Theory of Justice, it arguably frames the landscape of academic political philosophy in second half of 20th century. Many factors, obviously account for the prominence of the book. This paper considers one: the book's use of rhetoric to charm and disarm (...) its readers, simultaneously establishing Nozick's credibility with readers, turning them on his ideological opponents, and helping his argument over some of its more serious substantive difficulties. Footnotesa I am grateful to Joe Bankman, Tom Grey, Pam Karlan, Ellen Frankel Paul, Seana Shiffrin, and Bob Weisberg for their very helpful comments on previous drafts of this essay. I am also grateful to my fellow contributors to this volume and to the participants in the Berkeley GALA and the UCLA Law and Philosophy Workshop, at which earlier versions of this essay were presented. All errors and indiscretions are mine alone. (shrink)
Being frequently used in philosophical discourse multi-semantic character of «utopia» concept arises a need to specify it's content and to study the phenomenon itself. In the process of defining utopia functions and it's unalienable elements it is reasonable to rely on the structural - functional analysis. But this approach supposes studying utopia in static state and doesn't let researching utopia's historical transformation. For researching utopia in dynamics structural- constructional approach can be applied. Methodological potential of (...) this theory enables to review sociality as multiplicity of human individuals arranged by means of social order which has been developed by the individuals themselves. Utopia is a theoretical construct, a result of social reality critical reflection experienced by the utopia subject; an outcome of socially and historically based and personally determined ideal alternative society image construction presented in various forms and modifications, enabled to exert a reformative influence on various spheres of social life. (shrink)
Este artículo es producto de una reflexión etnográfica sobre el proceso de cambio sufrido por una cultura del trabajo asociada a la explotación del carbón y su vinculación con la ciudad de Lota, ubicada en el centro sur de Chile, la que se constituye comohabitacional y de servicios junto con el desarrollo de la monoindustria desde la segunda mitad del siglo XIX. Por una parte, se analiza cómo, desde la condición laboral, social y de vida de los trabajadores y la (...) población, se configura un sujeto histórico con identidad laboral y de clase, el que genera un discurso teleológico que da paso a una visión utópica durante el ciclo de vida de la explotación del mineral. Por otra, se analiza cómo el fin de la explotación del mineral en 1997, tras el cierre de los yacimientos, hace que los sujetos transformen su utopía en ucronía; es decir, cómo el fin de la narrativa que movilizaba las acciones genera una temporalidad alternativa que no tiene tiempo real, lo que revela las dificultades para reestructurar la biografía y memoria de una comunidad especializada. This article is the result of an ethnographic observation of the process of change undergone by a labor culture associated to the coal mining and its relationship with the city of Lota, located in the center South of Chile a city that has been constituted as a residential and services center along with the development of the monoindustry, from the second half of the nineteenth century. On one hand, it analyzes how this has shaped an historical subject with labor and class identity considering the working, social and living conditions of the mining workers and the population. This historical subject generates a teleological discourse that leads to a utopianist vision during the service life of the mineral´s exploitation. On the other hand, we analyze how the end of the mining activity in 1997, after the coal mine´s closing, causes the subjects to transform their utopia into uchronia; that is to say, how the aim of the narrative that addressed the actions generates an alternative temporality that has no real time, which reveals the difficulties to reconstruct the biography and memory of a specialized community. (shrink)
In the epilogue to his recent revisionist history of human rights, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History, Samuel Moyn considers the complex pressures exerted on the modern idea of human rights in light of its utopian status. One of these pressures, according to Moyn, consists in the “burden of politics,” i.e. the need for human rights to do more than offer “a set of minimal constraints on responsible politics,” but to present a bona fide political programme of their (...) own. In this essay review, I reflect on an opposite problem: the complex pressures exerted upon our utopian imagination in light of its habitual association with the modern idea of human rights. In particular, I illustrate the impoverishing effect that a preoccupation with rights can have on our utopian ideals. These reflections form the basis for my argument that, far from aiming as Moyn does to preserve the utopian status of the idea of human rights, we ought to wrest utopian thought free from its preoccupation with rights. (shrink)
Based on the philosophic hermeneutics, this text wants to open horizons of meaning around the dialogue between social sciences and philosophy, from what I have called in this work hermeneutic subjectivity. In the first part, there is an approximation to Heidegger concept of dasein, as an antithesis of the modern subject. Then, based on memory, utopia, self-understanding and narration, it presents a theoretical contribution to understand how hermeneutic subjectivity isconstituted. Finally, it makes an invitation to a necessary dialogue between (...) social sciences and philosophy. (shrink)
This article surveys Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's social utopia from the inception of Futurism until its end during World War II, contextualizing it in relation to the various diffused anarchistic ideologies of European artists and intellectuals. From the second half of the nineteenth century onward radical politics and the artistic avant-garde were in close dialogue. Max Stirner's individual anarchy held a special appeal to modernist artists, including Gabriele D'Annunzio and Marinetti. Marinetti's aim of renovating Italy's cultural and political life initially (...) led him to glorify the destruction of old institutions. At the end of World War I he developed a more or less coherent utopian vision of a new society, based principally on the exaltation of individual freedom and the importance of art. During the Fascist regime, Marinetti abandoned politics and concentrated his efforts on making the Aerofuturism of the interwar years the official art of Fascism, which the Futurists saw as the fulfillment of their “anarchist” dream. (shrink)
Plato's Utopia Recast is an illuminating reappraisal of Plato's later works, which reveals radical changes in his ethical and political theory. Christopher Bobonich examines later dialogues, with a special emphasis upon the Laws, and argues that in these late works, Plato both rethinks and revises the basic ethical and poltical positions that he held in his better-known earlier works, such as the Republic. This book will change our understanding of Plato. His controversial moral and political theory, so influential in (...) Western thought, will henceforth be seen in a new light. (shrink)
Starting from the author's critique of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, this essay offers a comprehensive interpretation of Slavoj i ek's political theory. i ek's position drives a wedge between two concepts foundational to Laclau and Mouffe's 'radical democratic theory', namely 'antagonism' and 'anti-essentialism'. Anti-essentialism, it is argued, carries with it a residual utopianism - i.e. a view of political theory as offering a vision of a desirable radicalized society or a 'radical democratic imaginary' - that the more radical concept (...) of antagonism forbids. Effectively, anti-essentialism is shown to produce a new kind of ideology, an ideology that i ek, deeply critical, associates with the shortcomings of multi-culturalism and political correctness. The essay ends with a critical consideration of i ek's claim that he himself produced a systematic political theory based upon the insight of antagonism. Having constructed (by way of return to Marx and Engels) a version of i ek's project that makes sense of his derision for anti-utopianism by positing a utopian theory without any 'imaginary' support, the article closes with critical comments about the effectiveness of such a position. i ek is seen to offer us a powerful political theory, one that unmasks the hypocrisy in much contemporary work, but also a theory whose limits must give us pause. Key Words: antagonism anti-essentialism anti-utopianism Jacques Lacan Ernesto Laclau Chantal Mouffe radical democratic imaginary radical democratic theory utopia Slavoj i ek. (shrink)
Utopian rationalism names the belief that science has made utopia a practical possibility. Its characteristics include determinism, collectivism, distrust of individual initiative and belief in the superiority of collective planning in securing human happiness. The first section traces the utopian and dystopian tradition into modern science fiction. The ideas collected here are systematized in the next section, which on all points dismisses the tenets and claims of utopian rationalism as false, and in a final section, which discusses utopian thinking (...) and its dangers in general. Utopian thinking is traced to three traits of human nature, namely, the quests for happiness, perfection, and submergence. (shrink)
A Utopia in a conceptually complete form consists in four aspects, which are the aesthetic, psychological, sociological and moral aspects. In this sense the concept of Utopia has remained in the West as something not practically feasible. In Eastern thought, though, this concept did not develop in an institutional form, yet an instance in the East can be traced which fulfils, at least partially, the above mentioned aspects of this Buddhism may be considered as satisfying the psychological of (...) a utopia. From this perspective a synthetic view of Eastern concept. For example, and the moral aspects and Western ideas of utopia is proposed in this paper. (shrink)
Imagine an idealized Islamic people named “Kazanistan.” Is realistic utopia a fantasy? Using an intellectual device reminiscent of Montesquieu’s evocation of oriental despotism in his Persian Letters as a pretext allowing him to criticize eighteenth-century European monarchies, a columnist has recently reflected on the “fantasy nation” that certain Americans dream of. What would exemplify a Neoconservative vision of society as put forward in debates about questions of social justice in the United States? asked Nicholas D. Kristof in the New (...) York Times (June 4, 2011). He presented this question as an enigma and offered a few clues meant to help in guessing what type of society would conform to Neocon .. (shrink)
Opposition to utopianism on ontological and political grounds has seemingly relegated it to a potentially dangerous form of antiquated idealism. This conclusion is based on a restrictive view of utopia as excessively ordered panoptic discursive constructions. This overlooks the fact that, from its inception, movement has been central to the utopian tradition. The power of utopianism indeed resides in its ability to instantiate the tension between movement and place that has marked social transformations in the modern era. This tension (...) continues in contemporary discussions of movement-based social processes, particularly international migration and related identity formations, such as open borders transnationalism and cosmopolitanism. Understood as such, utopia remains an ongoing and powerful, albeit problematic instrument of social and political imagination. (shrink)
Nowadays there is a paradox ruling utopia. The place for the ‘spirit of youth’ in our society, apart from the traditional age groups, ought to mean a strong upswell of utopian projects, since youth is the age for questioning the world as it is, and idealistically rebuilding the future. And yet there is a paralysis of optimistic imagination as to the future. It is the unpredictability of the future, in a world that makes creating the new in every field (...) its very driver, that makes any imaginings about a future society so perilous and uncertain. However, the demand for diversity and the aesthetic dimension are two factors that could characterize the contemporary vision, in contrast to the old austere utopias that are now bankrupt. (shrink)