quarta-feira, 5 de março de 2014

And it shall come to pass...

"And it shall come to pass, in the end of days, that rivers of milk and nectar shall flow, that the wolf shall dwell with the lamb and spears shall be beaten into pruning hooks, that philosophers shall be kings, that there will be no hypocrisy, dissembling, deceit, flattery, strife, or discord. There shall be neither hate nor envy nor hunger nor thirst.

There shall be much leisure and few lawyers. There shall be no private property, and there shall be communal camaraderie. From each shall come work according to his abilities and to each shall come support according to his needs. New forms of human consciousness will evolve. Our erotic natures will be freed from gratuitous repression, and society will bask in polymorphous redemption. Neither shall we learn war anymore. And all of us, both great and small, shall know bliss.

Sure.

Yet all of this has been promised. This utopia was described by Ovid, anticipated in medieval tales of Cockaigne, named by Thomas More, predicted by Karl Marx, satirized by Samuel Butler, popularly imagined by Edward Bellamy, heralded by Marcuse and B. F. Skinner and Teilhard de Chardin, championed by contemporary Internet enthusiasts and hackers—this land has changed remarkably little over the millennia. It remains, as it was when More named it in the sixteenth century, utopia—meaning “no place.” And while each of these imagined paradises was indeed some place, they might as well not have been. They are found across unmapped oceans, like More’s no-place, or high atop mountains, like H. G. Wells’s utopia, or found buried in the arcana of esoteric mystical writings of the Kabbalists, or envisioned in the dialectical musings of Hegel and Marx, or nestled in the Himalayas like Shangri-La of the popular novel and movie Lost Horizon." (p. 13)

Edward Rothstein, Utopia and its Discontents. (2003). Visions of Utopia. Nova Iorque: Oxford University Press.

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