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 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 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..
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 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..
Populations in developed societies are rapidly aging: fertility rates are at all-time lows while life expectancy creeps ever higher. This is triggering a social crisis in which shrinking youth populations are required to pay for the care and retirements of an aging majority. Some people argue that by investing in the right kinds of lifespan extension technology – the kind that extends the healthy and productive phases of life – we can avoid this crisis (thereby securing a ‘longevity dividend’). This (...) chapter argues that this longevity dividend is unlikely to be paid if lifespan extension coincides with rampant technological unemployment. This does not mean that we should not pursue lifespan extension, but it does mean that the argument in its favor needs to rest on other grounds. After articulating these grounds, the chapter proceeds to consider the implications this has for our vision of the extended life, postwork utopia. It argues that this vision may need to be reconceived and suggests that one plausible reconception involves prioritizing the role of games in the well-lived life. (shrink)
Realism and utopia usually represent antithetic political perspectives. In this essay I argue that these might find some common points by overtaking the secular interpretation they usually place on themselves.
In order to investigate the series of relations between the tradition of so-called realism and the writing/practices of utopia in Western philosophical-political culture, it is first necessary to look at the meanings that realism itself takes inside the theoretical reflections on the experience and category of limit. We must therefore look closely at the essential elements of the structural ambiguity of the discourses/practices that refer to utopia as the set of modes of utopic conversion of the subject of (...) modernity. Only then, will we be able to trace the multiple ideologies that presuppose horizons of an perfect happiness, as well as the different ways of generating forms of unutterable grief; on one hand, the tragic dystopias produced by the cruelty of the human beast, on the other, the various forms of heterotopias fashioned and practiced by human beings in order to provide sense and relief to the ordinary sorrows of life. (shrink)
The essay presents a concise historical overview of the utopian tradition, focused on its relation with political realism. This has always been a complex and shifting relation, both for the conceptual richness and for the variety of literary works that it has produced, especially as far as the long history of the utopian genre – from classical antiquity to the XXth century – is considered. Since the publication of More’s work, «utopia» serves several purposes: in addition to the original (...) task of designing the optimal form of state, it conveys eschatological hope, disseminates the products of modern scientific and philosophical investigation, plans reformist and revolutionary projects, drafts practical experiments of building an ideal community. (shrink)
In 1930, in Anfänge der bürgerlichen Geschichtsphilosophie, Horkheimer analyzes utopia in bourgeois philosophy of history and identifies two aspects: the criticism of what is, and the representation of what should be. Utopia therefore plays a revolutionary role in history. In 1937, in Traditionelle und kritische Theorie, Horkheimer changes opinion. Utopia is criticized as misleading, acquiescent to reality. In later writings, in a pessimistic view, the Director of the Frankfurt School describes contemporary society as a dystopia.
The Author traces the modern history of political concept of utopia from the publication of More’ Utopia. The historic-philosophical analysis shows that the opposition utopia vs realism and its transformations was central to develop the dialectic between reality and imagination, which is one of the axis of the western political Modernity. But, the epistemic and socio-political crisis of the XXth Century reveals the aporia and contradictions within this dialectic. However, in front of fear and angst ruling our (...) present, the Author shows that a possible way out of our crisis could be in starting up again this dialectic along giving birth to new forms of our political coexistence. (shrink)
The author first looks at how the basic tenets of libertarianism, as presented in the opening chapters of Nozick’s “Anarchy, State and Utopia”, are connected with the idea of community. In the second section Nozick’s own conception of utopia and voluntary associations is discussed. In the closing section various critiques of this libertarian conception are analyzed. Though compatible with social co-operation, Nozick’s position rests on an indeterminate concept of rights and is incapable of explaining adequately the relations of (...) mutual connectedness, i.e. community. Communities are treated as selfsufficient entities in a way that is in line with the communitarian standpoint, but incongruent with the republican model of integration. The latter objection refers especially to the conflict of loyalties to particular associations and to the “framework community”. (shrink)
The future is not a new idea. The philosophers of the Enlightenment freed it of the historic wrappings of Christian eschatology and the notion of Providence itself by rationalising the idea of progress, the possible improvement of Mankind and the terrestrial city that stemmed from it. Making use of the Renaissance, the utopian authors transformed spiritual preparation for the end of time into a view of material, earthly delight made possible by science and scientific research. This ideal was certainly embodied (...) in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, although Thomas More was the first of all. In passing from work on consciousness to that of the spirit, the utopians of the eighteenth century espoused Reason and soon turned the future into something much more than critical discourse: It became social opportunity, a new political framework. Audaciously shifting the utopia of “elsewhere” to “the future” in the manner of Louis-Sébastien Mercier or Marquis de Condorcet, the utopians pursued a programme relying on scientific promise: Identify the technological processes of the transformation of reality and spread the word, an aim which would give birth to a new, less discursive, more popular genre—science fiction. (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)
Partindo de premissas teóricas totalmente diferentes e até incompatíveis Jacques Derrida e Axel Honneth chegam a uma conclusão bastante semelhante sobre o significado político do messianismo de Walter Benjamin: trata-se de uma tentativa de fundamentar uma forma terrorista de ação política. Não estou seguro que essa seja a melhor interpretação do significado político do messianismo de Benjamin, ainda que não negue que em diversas passagens dos escritos do autor a impressão que fica é exatamente essa. Como alternativa hermenêutica sugiro cotejar (...) a leitura do texto benjaminiano “Zur Kritik der Gewalt” com outras de suas obras e fragmentos escritos em diferentes períodos, em especial o seu último ensaio “ Über den Begriff der Geschichte”. A hipótese de trabalho defendida neste texto é a de que não há como compreender o valor político do messianismo benjaminiano sem levar em consideração a sua noção teológica de tempo messiânico, representada pela categoria de “ Jetztzeit”. Deste modo, para Benjamin, a ideia marxista – e também romântica – de sociedade sem classe representa a secularização da concepção de “ Jetztzeit”. Para poder demonstrar isso, o artigo está divido em três grandes seções. Na primeira seção, procura-se apresentar esclarecimentos conceituais fundamentais, como a caracterização das categorias de utopia e de messianismo – e suas formas adjetivadas, “utópico” e “messiânico”. Na segunda parte, pretende-se também cotejar algumas ideias vinculadas a tradição da “Escola de Frankfurt”, principalmente a partir da “ Dialektik der Aufklärung”, mediante as categorias de mito e natureza, na qual a influência benjaminiana possui um peso decisivo e ajuda, inclusive, a justificar a fortiori o próprio projeto messiânico de Benjamin. Por último, o artigo comenta algumas teses sobre o conceito de história benjaminiano, dando ênfase a sua concepção messiânica de justiça, que consiste na tentativa de transformar a terra – aqui e agora – em um verdadeiro paraíso para todos. (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..
This article aims to present the utopia in the aesthetic horizon of Ernst Bloch and T. W Adorno, from the dialectical approach of Principle Hope and Aesthetic Theory. We started from the origin and deployments of the concepts of Pre-appearance and Enigma and their connections to utopia. The pre-appearance notion is closely linked to daydreams which are art modelers. As art modelers, daydreams anticipate a better world which art anticipates by the Pre-appearance of the visible. In Adorno, we (...) start from the relationship between the content of truth and Enigma to find a link between that relationship and the utopia. So, our interpretative hypothesis is that in the aesthetic horizon Bloch and Adorno utopia approaches these two philosophers. (shrink)
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..
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 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)
The author challenges the canonical opposition of utopia vs. realism in political thought. Although this opposition traces back to the very origins of Western political theory, in the works of such authors as Thucydides and Plato, the author maintains that both ‘utopian’ and ‘realist’ thinkers of every age keep the reality of their society in the background of their political constructions. The real difference is in their view of human nature: ‘utopian’ thinkers have a more optimistic view of human (...) nature, they see it flexible and prone to be changed by education and institutions; whereas ‘realist’ thinkers have a more pessimistic vision of man and have less faith in the power of laws and education. Based on their anthropological view, political authors have different expectations to mould human nature and different hopes to create a perfect society. This view is supported by an examination of Thucydides, Plato and Machiavelli and by reference to some other classic political thinkers in the Western tradition. (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)
We start from the idea that Utopia is a Renaissance alternative to the Medieval Garden of Eden and, consequently, that dystopia, as a failed utopia, continues the theme of Paradise Lost. Inheriting such a rich tradition, the word “utopia” designates a semantic hybrid that encompasses several fields and disciplines. In this paper, we propose a reorganisation of the species of the utopian genre by reusing, with a minimum of violence, the already existing, albeit rather lax terms of (...)utopia, eutopia, dystopia and antiutopia. The main criteria for distinguishing these species are the moral value, the degree of verisimilitude, the constructing procedures. (shrink)
Jonas and Levinas are two names intimately associated with contemporary ethics. While they are not unequivocally linked to utopian thought, they have nonetheless decisively contributed to rethinking utopia. In this essay, I seek in these two authors and their texts the elements of a critical reading that would allow us to analyse and reconsider the question of utopia as it is formulated by thinkers more directly associated with it, such as Bloch, Buber and Bacon.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
With his Statuten aus dem Land Wolfaria, Johann Eberlin von Günzburg is the first author to imitate More’s Utopia, even though Eberlin’s proposals for religious, social and political reform are addressed directly at contemporary Germany, in the style of the pamphlets that characterize the first years of the Reformation. Often acknowledged as the first Lutheran utopia, Wolfaria has in fact little in common with the subtle Humanistic game played by Erasmus and More, yet it still is an extremely (...) interesting work, precisely because it allows us to perceive, in all their unresolved issues, the enthusiastic moments of fervent Lutheran propaganda of the beginning. (shrink)
This new reading of Thomas More’s Utopia focuses on the dialogue as literary genre disclosing several aspects that illustrate the close relation between the original design of the utopian political system and the contemporary English political arrangement. The author also examines the reasons for the lasting interest of this work in the centuries. Still today political utopia results useful and even necessary to good politicians who in their practice never forget their ideal goals.
Anarchy and utopia have traditionally had a contentious relationship throughout the history of political thought. Although some anarchic thinkers have occasionally verged on the utopian genre – for instance, French anarchists Joseph Déjacque and Jean Grave, or anarcho-syndicalists Émile Pataud and Émile Pouget – the anarchic mindset has generally shown a deeply-rooted mistrust towards any representation of systematically planned ideal societies, often seen as intellectualist and fundamentally authoritarian projects.
Through an historical-conceptual analysis of Utopia, the essay examines several features of More’s international political thought, drawing attention to the analogies that permit to compare his work to contemporary theories and practices of justifying war. From this perspective, More’s conceptualisation of just war constitutes an early modern attempt to legitimise states’ policies aimed at exporting specific political and cultural models to other states, relying on the assumption that such models are intrinsically valuable or constitute optimal solutions for the life (...) of any political community. (shrink)
The subject of the presented paper is transhumanism. The term transhumanism refers to the whole range of various phenomena. The paper makes an effort to organize, at least in preliminary way, the research field and to point out the presumptions, which are common for the whole current. The main purpose of the work is an analysis of the complicated relations linking transhumanism with posthumanism described in the Polish humanities. The analysis of the arguments and specific autodefinitions formulated by transhumanists is (...) aimed to describe the ways in which they interpret the problem of transhumanism. An article focuses above question is transhumanism cultural tendency, social movement, philosophy or utopia? It is also an attempt to identify the assumptions anthropological and axiological of the transhumanism. (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)
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)
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)