In parallel with a process that has characterised modern history and in accordance with the constitutive features of utopian literature, utopian discourses have expunged fear – even fear of death or illness – from their theoretical universe. However, while describing in detail ideal places, utopias also reveal, wordlessly, the lengthy list of fears troubling a given historical age. On the contrary, the many-sided universe of negative utopias, embracing dystopian as well as ant-utopian narratives, has brought the attention back on fear, (...) putting it at the centre of human experience. (shrink)
The complex intersections between socialism and capitalism in China have vexed more than one interpreter. For some, socialism in China since Mao has simply become an empty veneer over rampant and unbridled capitalism.1 For others, the capitalism in China is of such a different variety that it is hardly capitalism at all.2 And for others, “socialism with Chinese characteristics” is a prolonged experiment in the New Economic Program, first attempted in the USSR of the 1920s to rebuild a shattered economy.3 (...) We would like to take a different approach, deploying the dialectic of utopia and dystopia as our interpretive frame. This requires an outline of how such a dialectic works, with references to the proposals of.. (shrink)
The essence of life in an oligarchy like George Orwell presents in '1984' is that freedom of choice is virtually non-existent. But what happens when so many trivial and meaningless choices inundate a culture such as our own and freedom itself becomes devalued? In 'A Do-It-Yourself Dystopia', through a variety of essays, Steven Carter addresses this and other issues in a wide-ranging search for hidden oligarchies of the American self.
How can dystopian futures help provide the motivation to change the ways we operate day to day? _Futures Beyond Dystopia_ takes the view that the dominant trends in the world suggest a long-term decline into unliveable Dystopian futures. The human prospect is therefore very challenging, yet the perception of dangers and dysfunctions is the first step towards dealing with them. The motivation to avoid future dangers is matched by the human need to create plans and move forward. These twin motivations (...) can be very powerful and help to stimulate the fields of Futures Studies and Applied Foresight. This analysis of current Futures practice is split into six sections: * The Case Against Hegemony * Expanding and Deepening a Futures Frame * Futures Studies and the Integral Agenda * Social Learning through Applied Foresight * Strategies and Outlooks * The Dialectic of Foresight and Experience. This fascinating book will stimulate anyone involved in Futures work around the world and will challenge practitioners and others to re-examine many of their assumptions, methodologies and practices. (shrink)
The figure of the intellectual looms large in modern history, and yet his or her social place has always been full of ambiguity and ironies. Between Utopia and Dystopia is a study of the movement that created the identity of the universal intellectual: Erasmian humanism. Focusing on the writings of Erasmus and Thomas More, Hanan Yoran argues that, in contrast to other groups of humanists, Erasmus and the circle gathered around him generated the social space—the Erasmian Republic of Letters—that (...) allowed them a considerable measure of independence. The identity of the autonomous intellectual enabled the Erasmian humanists to criticize established customs and institutions and to elaborate a reform program for Christendom. At the same time, however, the very notion of the universal intellectual presented a problem for the discourse of Erasmian humanism itself. It distanced the Erasmian humanists from concrete public activity and, as such, clashed with their commitment to the ideal of an active life. Furthermore, citizenship in the Republic of Letters threatened to lock the Erasmian humanists into a disembodied intellectual sphere, thus undermining their convictions concerning intellectual activity and the production of knowledge. Between Utopia and Dystopia will be of interest to scholars and students interested in Renaissance humanism, early modern intellectual and cultural history, and political thought. It also has much to contribute to debates over the identity, social place, and historical role of intellectuals. (shrink)
Any real society is a caregiving and a care receiving society and we must therefore discover ways of coping with these facts of human neediness and dependency that are compatible with the self-respect of the recipients and do not exploit the caregivers. Remember the old Beatles’ refrain—will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m 64? But what if I need you when I’m 84? What if I have congestive heart failure and arthritis and can no longer (...) bathe or cook or dress myself? What if I have Alzheimer’s disease and need basic support with almost all activities? I know Medicare will not pay for what is commonly called “custodial care.” Thus, I ask, “Will anyone be there? How will I pay for it? How .. (shrink)
Bryan Caplan’s Myth of the Rational Voter is deeply ideological and conceptually confused. His book is shaped by pro‐market and pro‐expert biases and anti‐democratic attitudes, leading to one‐sided and conclusion‐driven arguments. His notion that voters are rationally irrational when they hold anti‐market and anti‐trade beliefs is incoherent, as is his idea that sociotropic voting can be explained as the rational purchase of a good self‐image.
In the year 2016, fourteen books regarding utopia were published in the United Kingdom, while none was published in Ireland. Taking the year 2017 into consideration, four titles have been published in the United Kingdom, while none has been published in Ireland so far as well. With this review I aim to see how influential utopia has been as a subject in the United Kingdom and Ireland and how significant the number of publications has been. From what I could see (...) in my research, the most active publisher regarding utopian studies has been Routledge, having published seven of the previously mentioned eighteen U.K. titles. The other titles are dispersed throughout other publishers such as, for example, Cambridge... (shrink)
Reading or hearing about Theodor Adorno's ideas always results in quibbles. He strikes many as a naïve philosopher because of his reversal of concept and object; some see him as an anarchist because of his relentless critique of rationality; while to others he simply does not make sense, and especially a critique of society based on negative dialectics simply does not make sense to many! These points, however, are precisely some of the key elements of his thought; without a deeper (...) apprehension of these main themes, it would be impossible to arrive at a level-headed appraisal of his philosophy. (shrink)
Aesop's fables are used to gather HR fables and these fables are told mainly in the words of the protagonists of these moral stories, HR practitioners. Leaving the moral meaning of the fables for the reader to interpret so the reader can ethically connect with the morality of HR work, the personal narratives of practitioners and their humanity, the fables conclude with a critical commentary by the author, the promotion of a human virtue and HR moral maxim. The article, itself, (...) then ends with an explanation of the research methodology adopted to compile the HR fables. (shrink)
Billy Wilder's classic film ‘Some Like It Hot’ prefigures Judith Butler's concept of performativity in relation to sex, gender and sexuality. Butler introduced this in Gender Trouble, demonstrating that sex, gender and sexuality are naturalized effects of citation and repetition. In that text she explains that denaturalization is visibly demonstrated by drag. Later in Bodies that Matter she argues that drag in ‘Some Like It Hot’ does not denaturalize heterosexuality, but rather fortifies it. What then for Butler divides denaturalizing drag (...) from non-denaturalizing drag? Butler locates denaturalizing drag in the film ‘Female Trouble’, where Divine's drag-queen persona satirizes gender in a hyperbolic performance. However, Butler misconstrues the cross-dressing performances in ‘Some Like It Hot’ as drag, which are better understood as instances of theatrical disguise. Narrative analysis reveals that all the characters in ‘Some Like It Hot’ function within a dystopian critique of heteronormativity. Because the film takes a performative view of sex, gender and sexuality, it can validate three queer couples who defy the strictures of heterosexual romance. Butler thus overlooks a discourse of critique and destabilization alternative to gay perspectives. Current developments in sexual politics, broadly conceived, track both Butlerian concepts of performativity and dystopian critiques of heteronormativity. (shrink)
Billy Wilder's classic film ‘Some Like It Hot’ prefigures Judith Butler's concept of performativity in relation to sex, gender and sexuality. Butler introduced this in Gender Trouble , demonstrating that sex, gender and sexuality are naturalized effects of citation and repetition. In that text she explains that denaturalization is visibly demonstrated by drag. Later in Bodies that Matter she argues that drag in ‘Some Like It Hot’ does not denaturalize heterosexuality, but rather fortifies it. What then for Butler divides denaturalizing (...) drag from non-denaturalizing drag? Butler locates denaturalizing drag in the film ‘Female Trouble’ , where Divine's drag-queen persona satirizes gender in a hyperbolic performance. However, Butler misconstrues the cross-dressing performances in ‘Some Like It Hot’ as drag, which are better understood as instances of theatrical disguise. Narrative analysis reveals that all the characters in ‘Some Like It Hot’ function within a dystopian critique of heteronormativity. Because the film takes a performative view of sex, gender and sexuality, it can validate three queer couples who defy the strictures of heterosexual romance. Butler thus overlooks a discourse of critique and destabilization alternative to gay perspectives. Current developments in sexual politics, broadly conceived, track both Butlerian concepts of performativity and dystopian critiques of heteronormativity. (shrink)
By the start of the 1860s, architecture and the materials, processes, and cultures of emerging modernity were combining in Paris, above all other cities, with unprecedented consequences. Georges-Éugene Haussmann, Emperor Napoléon III’s Prefect of the Seine, had in 1853 been tasked with modernizing the city. His principle strategy was to demolish entire quarters of ramshackle medieval fabric for the creation of pristine, arrow-straight boulevards and sparkling squares, all of which were lined by luxurious standardized buildings, serviced by underground sewers, and (...) brilliantly lit by gas lamps.1 As the city heaved in every quarter, a group of Parisian authors stepped forward to respond to the literal. (shrink)
This essay argues that a restatement of Thomistic natural law reasoning is increasingly necessary in jurisprudential debate about international law. Mindful of Pope John Paul II's call for a renewal of international law, the essay engages with the present-day tension between Morgenthau-type realism and neo-Kantian discourse-oriented cosmopolitanism. The essay addresses whether the former is sufficiently realistic in our global 21st century context, and whether the latter is adequately cosmopolitan. Attention is drawn to Aquinas's understanding of the relation between custom, consent (...) and political authority in order to expose some of the limits of present-day statism, and to suggest that Thomistic natural law reasoning is, potentially at least, better able to cope with the intractable disagreement that characterises 21st century global relations than some forms of neo-Kantian jurisprudence. (shrink)