Utopia is a term for an ideal society. It has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempted to create an ideal society, and fictional societies portrayed in literature. An intentional community is a planned Residential community designed to have a much higher degree of Teamwork than other communities The utopia and its offshoot the dystopia, are genres of literature that explore social and political structures The term is sometimes used pejoratively, in reference to an unrealistic ideal that is impossible to achieve, and has spawned other concepts, most prominently dystopia. A dystopia (from the Greek δυσ- and τόπος alternatively cacotopia, kakotopia, cackotopia, or anti-utopia) is the vision of a society The term was taken from a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean, written by Sir Thomas More as the fictional character Raphael Hythloday (translated from the Greek as "knowing in trifles") as possessing a seemingly perfect socio-politico-legal system. An island (ˈaɪlənd or isle (/ˈaɪl/ is any piece of land that is completely surrounded by water in two dimensions above high tide and isolated from other significant Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535 from 1935 Saint Thomas More, was an English Lawyer, author and statesman who in his lifetime gained Social structure is a term frequently used in Sociology and Social theory — yet rarely defined or clearly conceptualised (Abercrombie et al Politics Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions The three major legal systems of the world today consist of civil law, Common law and Religious law.
The word comes from Greek: οὐ, "not", and τόπος, "place", indicating that More was utilizing the concept as allegory and did not consider such an ideal place to be realistically possible. Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly An allegory (from αλλος allos "other" and el αγορευειν agoreuein "to speak in public" is a figurative mode of representation It is worth noting that the homophone Eutopia, derived from the Greek εὖ, "good" or "well", and τόπος, "place", signifies a double meaning that was almost certainly intended. A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning Not to be confused with Puns which employ multiple phrases A double entendre is a Figure of speech similar to the Pun, in Despite this, most modern usage of the term "Utopia" incorrectly assumes the latter meaning, that of a place of perfection rather than nonexistence.
Some questions have arisen about the fact that writers and people in history have used utopia to define a perfect place, as utopia is a perfect but unreal place. A proper definition of a perfect and real place is eutopia.
More's utopia is largely based on Plato's Republic. Biography Early life Birth and family Plato was born in Athens Greece The Republic ( Greek: / Politeía, meaning "political system" Latin: Res Publica, meaning "public business" or It is a perfect version of Republic wherein the beauties of society reign (eg: equality and a general pacifist attitude), although its citizens are all ready to fight if need be. The evils of society, eg: poverty and misery, are all removed. It has few laws, no lawyers and rarely sends its citizens to war, but hires mercenaries from among its war-prone neighbors (these mercenaries were deliberately sent into dangerous situations in the hope that the more warlike populations of all surrounding countries will be weeded out, leaving peaceful peoples). A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law as an attorney, Counsel or Solicitor; a person A mercenary is a person who takes part in an armed conflict who is not a national or a party to the conflict and is "motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by The society encourages tolerance of all religions. Some readers have chosen to accept this imaginary society as the realistic blueprint for a working nation, while others have postulated More intended nothing of the sort. Some maintain the position that More's Utopia functions only on the level of a satire, a work intended to reveal more about the England of his time than about an idealistic society. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland This interpretation is bolstered by the title of the book and nation, and its apparent equivocation between the Greek for "no place" and "good place": "Utopia" is a compound of the syllable ou-, meaning "no", and topos, meaning place. But the homonymous prefix eu-, meaning "good," also resonates in the word, with the implication that the perfectly "good place" is really "no place. In linguistics a homonym is one of a group of words that share the same pronunciation but have different meanings and are usually spelled differently "
These utopias are based on economics. Most intentional communities attempting to create an economic utopia were formed in response to the harsh economic conditions of the 19th century. An intentional community is a planned Residential community designed to have a much higher degree of Teamwork than other communities
Particularly in the early nineteenth century, several utopian ideas arose, often in response to the social disruption created by the development of commercialism and capitalism. Commercialism, in its original meaning is the practices methods aims and spirit of Commerce or Business. Capitalism is the Economic system in which the Means of production are owned by private Persons and operated for Profit and where These are often grouped in a greater "utopian socialist" movement, due to their shared characteristics: an egalitarian distribution of goods, frequently with the total abolition of money, and citizens only doing work which they enjoy and which is for the common good, leaving them with ample time for the cultivation of the arts and sciences. Utopian socialism is a term used to define the first currents of modern socialist thought Egalitarianism (derived from the French word égal, meaning equal) is a political doctrine that holds that all people should be treated as equals and have Money is anything that is generally accepted as Payment for Goods and services and repayment of Debts. The common good is a term that can refer to several different concepts One classic example of such a utopia was Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward. Edward Bellamy (March 26 1850 &ndash May 22 1898 was an American Author and Socialist, most famous for his Utopian Novel, Looking Backward 2000-1887 is a Utopian novel by Edward Bellamy, a lawyer and writer from Western Massachusetts, and was first published Another socialist utopia is William Morris' News from Nowhere, written partially in response to the top-down (bureaucratic) nature of Bellamy's utopia, which Morris criticized. William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896 was an English Architect, Furniture and Textile designer artist writer and socialist associated News from Nowhere (1890 is a classic work combining Utopian socialism and Soft science fiction written by the artist designer and socialist pioneer Bureaucracy is the structure and set of regulations in place to control activity usually in large organizations and government However, as the socialist movement developed it moved away from utopianism; Marx in particular became a harsh critic of earlier socialism he described as utopian. (For more information see the History of Socialism article. The history of socialism, sometimes termed 'modern socialism' finds its origins in the French Revolution of 1789 and the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution ) Also consider Eric Frank Russell's book The Great Explosion (1963) whose last section details an economic and social utopia. Eric Frank Russell ( January 6, 1905 - February 28, 1978) was a British Author best known The Great Explosion is a satirical Science fiction Novel by Eric Frank Russell, first published in 1962 This forms the first mention of the idea of Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS). Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS also known as LETSystems are local non-profit exchange networks in which goods and services can be traded without the need for printed
Utopias have also been imagined by the opposite side of the political spectrum. For example, Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress portrays an individualistic and libertarian utopia. Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7 1907 – May 8 1988 was an American Novelist and Science fiction Writer. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is a 1966 Science fiction Novel by American writer Robert A Libertarianism is a term used by a broad spectrum of political philosophies which prioritize individual Liberty and seek to minimize or even abolish the Capitalist utopias of this sort are generally based on free market economies, in which the presupposition is that private enterprise and personal initiative without an institution of coercion, government, provides the greatest opportunity for achievement and progress of both the individual and society as a whole. Capitalism is the Economic system in which the Means of production are owned by private Persons and operated for Profit and where A free market is a Market in which property rights are voluntarily exchanged at a price arranged completely by the mutual consent of sellers and buyers For the government of parliamentary systems see Executive (government.
There is another view that capitalist utopias do not address the issue of market failure, any more than socialist utopias address the issue of planning failure. Market failure is a concept within economic theory wherein the allocation of goods and services by a Free market is not efficient. Thus a blend of socialism and capitalism is seen by few as the type of economy in a utopia. Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the Means of production and distribution Capitalism is the Economic system in which the Means of production are owned by private Persons and operated for Profit and where It talks about the idea of small community owned enterprises working under the capitalist model of economy.
Political utopias are ones in which the government establishes a society that is striving toward perfection.
A global utopia of world peace is often seen as one of the possible inevitable endings of history. World peace is an ideal of freedom, Peace, and Happiness among and within all nations The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay "The End of History?" published in the international
Sparta was a militaristic eutopia founded by Lycurgus (though some, especially Athenians, may have considered it a dystopia). The city of Sparta ( Doric Σπάρτα Attic Σπάρτη Militarism is the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or Athens (ˈæθənz Αθήνα Athina,) the Capital and largest city of Greece, dominates the Attica periphery as one of the world's A dystopia (from the Greek δυσ- and τόπος alternatively cacotopia, kakotopia, cackotopia, or anti-utopia) is the vision of a society It was a Greek power until its defeat by the Thebans at the battle of Leuctra. Power in international relations is defined in several different ways Thebes ( Classic Greek Θῆβαι, Mod Θήβα) is a city in Greece, situated to the north of the Cithaeron range which divides The Battle of Leuctra (or Leuktra was a battle fought between the Thebans and the Spartans and their respective allies amidst the post- Corinthian War conflict
These utopias are based on religious ideals, and are to date those most commonly found in human society. New Harmony is a historic town in Harmony Township, Posey County, Indiana, 15 miles (24 km north of Mount Vernon Indiana, the county seat Robert Owen (14 May 1771 – 17 Nov 1858 born in Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Wales was a social reformer and one of the founders of Socialism A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos Their members are usually required to follow and believe in the particular religious tradition that established the utopia. Some permit non-believers or non-adherents to take up residence within them; others (such as the Community at Qumran) do not. For the country that features in Yes Minister, see here. Qumran (خربة قمران חירבת קומראן Khirbet Qumran
The Islamic, Jewish, and Christian ideas of the Garden of Eden and Heaven may be interpreted as forms of utopianism, especially in their folk-religious forms. For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. Judaism (from the Greek Ioudaïsmos, derived from the Hebrew יהודה Yehudah, " Judah " in Hebrew יַהֲדוּת Yahedut Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings Not to be confused with Eden Gardens.The Garden of Eden ( Hebrew "pleasure" גַּן עֵדֶן Arabic: جنات عدن, Heaven may refer to the physical heavens the sky or the seemingly endless expanse of the Universe beyond Utopia is a name for an ideal community taken from the title of a book written in 1516 by Sir Thomas More describing a fictional Island in the Folk religion consists of Beliefs Superstitions and Rituals transmitted from generation to generation in a specific Culture. Such religious "utopias" are often described as "gardens of delight", implying an existence free from worry in a state of bliss or enlightenment. They postulate existences free from sin, pain, poverty and death, and often assume communion with beings such as angels or the houri. An angel is a Spiritual Supernatural being found in many Religions Although the nature of angels and the tasks given to them vary from tradition to tradition In Islam, the ḥūr or ḥūrīyah ( are described as "(splendid companions of equal age (well-matched" "lovely eyed" of "modest In a similar sense the Hindu concept of Moksha and the Buddhist concept of Nirvana may be thought of as a kind of utopia. Hinduism is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. In Indian religions, Moksha ( Sanskrit: sa मोक्ष mokṣa) or Mukti ( Sanskrit: sa मुक्ति literally "release" Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices In sramanic philosophy Nirvana (निर्वाण| Nirvāṇa; निब्बान Nibbāna; Prakrit: णिव्वाण In Hinduism or Buddhism, however, utopia is not a place but a state of mind. A belief that if we are able to practice meditation without continuous stream of thoughts, we are able to reach enlightenment. This enlightenment promises exit from the cycle of life and death, relating back to the concept of utopia.
However, the usual idea of Utopia, which is normally created by human effort, is more clearly evident in the use of these ideas as the bases for religious utopias, as members attempt to establish/reestablish on Earth a society which reflects the virtues and values they believe have been lost or which await them in the Afterlife. AfterLife is a film drama set in Scotland directed by Alison Peebles made in 2003 about an ambitious Scottish journalist forced to choose between
In the United States and Europe during the Second Great Awakening of the nineteenth century and thereafter, many radical religious groups formed eutopian societies. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The Second Great Awakening  (1790–1840s was the second great religious revival in United States history and consisted of renewed personal salvation experienced in revival They sought to form communities where all aspects of people's lives could be governed by their faith. Among the best-known of these eutopian societies was the Shaker movement, which originated in England in the 18th century but moved to America shortly after its founding. The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, known as the Shakers, was a Protestant religious denomination that originated in Manchester Other good examples are Fountain Grove, Riker's Holy City and 15 other Californian eutopian colonies between 1855 and 1955 (Hine), as well as PDF (198 KiB) in B. A kibibyte (a contraction of ki lo bi nary byte) is a unit of Information or Computer storage, established by the International C. , Canada and 15 other socialist and religious communities round the world, including Finnish "kolkhozes".
These are set in the future, when it is believed that advanced science and technology will allow utopian living standards; for example, the absence of death and suffering; changes in human nature and the human condition. Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding Technology is a broad concept that deals with a Species ' usage and knowledge of Tools and Crafts and how it affects a species' ability to control and adapt The standard of living refers to the quality and quantity of goods and services available to people and the way these goods and services are distributed within a population Death is the termination of the biological functions that define living Organisms It refers both to a specific Suffering, or pain, is an individual's basic Affective experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm Human nature is the concept that there are a set of logical characteristics including ways of thinking feeling and acting that all 'normal' human beings have in common The human condition encompasses all of the Experience of being Human. These utopian societies tend to change what "human" is all about. Technology has affected the way humans have lived to such an extent that normal functions, like sleep, eating or even reproduction, has been replaced by an artificial means. Other kinds of this utopia envisioned, include a society where humans have struck a balance with technology and it is merely used to enhance the human living condition (e. g. Star Trek). In place of the static perfection of a utopia, libertarian transhumanists envision an "extropia", an open, evolving society allowing individuals and voluntary groupings to form the institutions and social forms they prefer. Libertarian transhumanism is a Political philosophy synthesizing Libertarianism and Transhumanism. Extropianism, also referred to as extropism or Extropy, is an evolving framework of values and standards for continuously improving the human condition
Buckminster Fuller presented a theoretical basis for technological utopianism and set out to develop a variety of technologies ranging from maps to designs for cars and houses which might lead to the development of such a utopia. Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller ( July 12, 1895 &ndash July 1, 1983) was an American Architect, Author
One notable example of a technological and libertarian socialist utopia is Scottish author Iain M. Banks' Culture. Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that aim to create a society without political economic or social hierarchies – a society in which all violent Iain Menzies Banks (born on 16 February 1954 in Dunfermline, Fife) is a Scottish Writer. The Culture is a Fictional anarchist, socialistic, and Utopian ref> The State of the Art - Banks Iain M
A variation on this theme was found earlier in the theories of eugenics. Eugenics is a social Philosophy which advocates the improvement of Human Hereditary traits through various forms of intervention Believing that many traits were hereditary in nature, the eugenists believed that not only healthier, more intelligent race could be bred, but many other traits could be selected for, including "talent", or against, including drunkness and criminality. This called for "positive eugenics" encouraging those with good genes to have children, and "negative eugenics" discouraging those with bad genes, or preventing them altogether by confinement or forcible sterilization.
Opposing this optimism is the prediction that advanced science and technology will, through deliberate misuse or accident, cause environmental damage or even humanity's extinction. In Biology and Ecology, extinction is the cessation of existence of a Species or group of taxa. Critics advocate precautions against the premature embrace of new technologies. The precautionary principle is a moral and political principle which states that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public or to the environment in the
Utopianism refers to various social and political movements.
In many cultures, societies, religions, and cosmogonies, there is some myth or memory of a distant past when humankind lived in a primitive and simple state, but at the same time one of perfect happiness and fulfillment. This article discusses scientific theories of creation (cosmogony In those days, the various myths tell us, there was an instinctive harmony between man and nature. The word mythology (from the Greek grc μυθολογία mythología, meaning "a story-telling a legendary lore" Men's needs were few and their desires limited. Both were easily satisfied by the abundance provided by nature. Accordingly, there were no motives whatsoever for war or oppression. Nor was there any need for hard and painful work. Humans were simple and pious, and felt themselves close to the gods. In spiritual terminology piety is a Virtue. While different people may understand its meaning differently it is generally used to refer either to religious devotion
These mythical or religious archetypes are inscribed in all the cultures and resurge with special vitality when people are in difficult and critical times. However, the projection of the myth does not take place towards the remote past, but either towards the future or towards distant and fictional places, imagining that at some time of the future, at some point of the space or beyond the death must exist the possibility of living happily.
These myths of the earliest stage of humankind have been referred to by various names:
Golden Age The Greek poet Hesiod, around the 8th century BC, in his compilation of the mythological tradition (the poem Works and Days), explained that, prior to the present era, there were other four progressively more perfect ones, the oldest of which was the Golden age. The Ancient Greek language is the historical stage in the development of the Hellenic language family spanning the Archaic (c Hesiod ( Greek: Hesiodos) was an early Greek Poet and Rhapsode, who presumably lived around 700 BCE The 8th century BC started the first day of 800 BC and ended the last day of 701 BC. Works and Days (in Ancient Greek / Erga kaí Hemérai, which sometimes goes by the Latin name Opera et Dies, as in the OCT) The Ages of Man are the stages of human existence on the Earth according to Classical mythology. The term Golden age is best known from Greek mythology and legend but can also be found in other ancient cultures (see below
Plutarch, the Greek historian and biographer of the 1st century, dealt with the blissful and mythic past of the humanity. Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus ( Greek: Μέστριος Πλούταρχος c The 1st century was the Century that lasted from 1 to 100 according the Julian calendar.
Arcadia Arcadia, e. This page is about the proverbial land of Arcadia for the province in modern Greece see Arcadia; for other uses see Arcadia (disambiguation g. in Sir Philip Sidney's prose romance The Old Arcadia (1580). Sir Philip Sidney ( November 30, 1554 &ndash October 17, 1586) became one of the Elizabethan Age's most prominent figures The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, also known simply as The Arcadia is by far Sir Philip Sidney 's most ambitious work Originally a region in the Peloponnesus, Arcadia became a synonym for any rural area that serves as a pastoral setting, as a locus amoenus ("delightful place"):
"And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus ( Greek: Πελοπόννησος Pelopónnisos; see also List of Greek place names) is a large Peninsula This article deals with the general meaning of the term "synonym" Pastoral, as an adjective refers to the lifestyle of Shepherds and Pastoralists moving livestock around larger areas of land according to seasons and availability The term Hebrew Bible is a generic reference to those books of the Bible originally written in Biblical Hebrew (and the related Biblical Aramaic Not to be confused with Eden Gardens.The Garden of Eden ( Hebrew "pleasure" גַּן עֵדֶן Arabic: جنات عدن, And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. [. . . ]
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. [. . . ]
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; [. . . ] And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. "
The Land of Cokaygne The Land of Cokaygne [also spelled Cockaygne or Cockaigne] (in the German tradition referred to as "Schlaraffenland") has been aptly called the "poor man's heaven", being a popular fantasy of pure hedonism and thus a foil for the innocent and instinctively virtuous life that is depicted in all the other accounts mentioned above. Cockaigne or Cockayne (kɒˈkeɪn is a mythical Medieval land of plenty, an imaginary place of extreme luxury and ease where physical comforts Hedonism is the Philosophy that Pleasure is of ultimate importance, the most important pursuit Virtue ( Latin virtus; Greek) is moral Excellence. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting individual Cockaygne is a land of extravagance and excess rather than simplicity and piety. There is freedom from work, and every material thing is free and available. Cooked larks fly straight into one's mouth; the rivers run with wine; sexual promiscuity is the norm; and there is a fountain of youth which keeps everyone young and active. Promiscuity refers to sexual behavior of a man or woman who casually has sex with many partners The Fountain of Youth is a legendary spring that reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters
There is a medieval poem (c. 1315) written in rhyming couplets which is entitled "The Land of Cokaygne":
"Far in the sea, to the west of Spain,
Is a country called Cokaygne. A couplet is a pair of lines of verse. It usually consists of two lines that rhyme and have the same meter
There's no land not anywhere,
In goods or riches to compare.
Though Paradise be merry and bright
Cokaygne is of far fairer sight. . . . "
All these myths also express some hope that the idyllic state of affairs they describe is not irretrievably and irrevocably lost to mankind, that it can be regained in some way or other.
One way would be to look for the earthly paradise -- for a place like Shangri-La, hidden in the Tibetan mountains and described by James Hilton in his Utopian novel Lost Horizon (1933). Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 Novel Lost Horizon by British author James Definitions of Tibet See also Definitions of Tibet Name In English The English word Tibet, like the word for Tibet in most European James Hilton ( September 9, 1900 &ndash December 20, 1954) was an Oscar -winning English Novelist, and author Lost Horizon is a 1933 Novel by English writer James Hilton. It is best remembered as the origin of Shangri-La, a fictional utopian Such paradise on earth must be somewhere if only man were able to find it. Christopher Columbus followed directly in this tradition in his belief that he had found the Garden of Eden when, towards the end of the 15th century, he first encountered the New World and its indigenous inhabitants. Christopher Columbus (1451 &ndash May 20 1506 was an Italian Navigator, colonizer The New World is one of the names used for the non-Eurasian/non-African parts of the Earth specifically the Americas and Australia.
Another way of regaining the lost paradise (or Paradise Lost, as 17th century English poet John Milton calls it) would be to wait for the future, for the return of the Golden Age. Paradise Lost is an Epic poem in Blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. John Milton ( 9 December, 1608 – 8 November, 1674) was an English Poet, Prose Polemicist and According to Christian theology, the Fall from Paradise, caused by Man alone when he disobeyed God ("but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it"), has resulted in the wickedness of character that all human beings have been born with since (original sin). Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings Original sin is according to a doctrine in Catholic theology, humanity's state of Sin resulting from the Fall of Man.
In a scientific approach to finding utopia, the Global Scenario Group, an international group of scientists founded by Paul Raskin, used scenario analysis and backcasting to map out a path to an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable future. The Global Scenario Group (GSG was a team of environmental scholars headed by Paul Raskin, who used Scenario analysis to analyze future paths for world development Dr Paul Raskin is the Founding Director of the Tellus Institute which has conducted over 3500 research and policy projects throughout the world on environmental issues resource Scenario analysis is a process of analyzing possible future events by considering alternative possible outcomes (scenarios Whereas Forecasting is the process of predicting the future based on current trend analysis backcasting approaches the challenge of discussing the future from the opposite Its findings suggest that a global citizens' movement is necessary to steer political, economic, and corporate entities toward this new sustainability paradigm. Sustainability, in a general sense is the capacity to maintain a certain process or state indefinitely
See also utopian and dystopian fiction