The Deceptive Dream- Utopia by PuI8zF44

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									The Deceptive Dream-
Utopia




            Mr. Janek Kuchmistrz
    LS 812 Business, Science and Religion
             November 23, 2011
The Deceptive Dream-
Utopia


     Utopias have existed in many guises:
                  Religious
                Political/social
                  Scientific

     This seminar examines their historical
   development, and whether utopian dreams
                persist today.
                        In the beginning...


Definition of UTOPIA
   an imaginary and indefinitely remote place
    often capitalized : a place of ideal perfection
    especially in laws, government, and social conditions
   an impractical scheme for social improvement
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary




   Why did we dream of Utopias?
   How and when did this idea first ignite the human
    imagination?
   Have these dreams died?
                Historical Background


   Religion invents concepts of Garden of Eden, and
    heavenly paradise
   What did this “Heaven” look like?
“... there will be there all that the souls could desire, all
   that the eyes could delight in …” (Quran 43:71)
“Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent forth
  (good deeds) in days past!” (Quran 69:24)
“They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and
  they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy
  brocade. They will recline therein on raised
  thrones. How good [is] the recompense! How beautiful
  a couch [is there] to recline on!” (Quran 18:31)
Christian Ideas of Utopia


                Concept of New Jerusalem
                 from Book of Revelations 21:
                “And I saw the holy city, the
                 new Jerusalem, coming down
                 out of heaven from God,
                 prepared as a bride adorned for
                 her husband.” (Revelation 21:2
                 )
                Christian communism described
                 in the Acts of the Apostles
                 2:44–45, which speaks of the
                 early Christians holding “all
                 things common.”
                Artist: Duncan Long
                           Where does it begin?
                          Plato's “The Republic”


   Written @380BCE as a Socratic
    dialogue
   Created an ideal society ruled
    by “philosopher-kings”
   There were 3 classes reflecting the
    3 divisions of the soul or 3 parts of
    the psyche. Those 3 parts are the
    rational, the passionate, and the
    appetitive.
   3 distinct roles correspond to this:
    the Guardians who are rational, the
    Auxiliaries who are passionate,
    and the artisans, farmers, and
    businessmen (Producers) who are
    appetitive
   Artist: Raphael- Plato & Aristotle
              What is Plato's ideal society?


   Plato's premise: In a harmonious         One remains for life in the role in
    and orderly society, the citizens will     which one was born.
    perform the tasks for which they
    are best suited.                         Plato's ideal society has been
                                                characterized “as “totalitarian”, with
   However, if a Producer tries to             all the overtones which that word
    become an Auxiliary, or an                  carries in the aftermath of German
    Auxiliary a Guardian, this is               fascism in Russian communism.”
    something which Plato has his               W.G. Runciman pg 37
    Socrates denounce as "exceptional        “The ruled, in his ideal society, are
    wickedness”. W.G. Runciman pg 25            totally dependent for their well-
   There is little freedom, as we would        being on the decisions of rulers no
    define it, in Plato's just society.         more answerable to them than a
                                                tyrant would be.” W.G. Runciman pg 39
Next: “Utopia” Invented


               Sir Thomas More wrote
                “Utopia” in 1516
               He was a Catholic Humanist,
                saw Humanism as a way to
                combine faith and reason.
               Considered a work of satire:
                subtle criticism of Europe's
                political corruption and
                religious hypocrisy.
               His Utopian ideas went well
                beyond Catholic orthodoxy!
               Artist: Hans Holbein, the Younger
Visiting More's “Utopia”

               Marriage not allowed until 18 for
                females, 22 for males
               Groom and bride are exhibited
                naked to each other before
                marriage- inspect the goods!
               Utopians practice                   complete
                religious toleration.
               Divorce is allowed. All of this
                would shock 16th century
                Catholic society.
               Artist: Sir Thomas More, himself!
                      Visiting “Utopia”


   Utopians all wear the same       “Prince” elected by officials
    clothing- grey wool                (Stywards and Bencheaters).
                                       Remains for life unless
   No private property exists         becomes a tyrant.
   State controls are               More's “Utopia” implies that
    extensive: can't travel           Utopians behave better than
    without documents giving          some contemporary
    permission                        Christians
   Gold and silver are              More's work clearly inspired
    despised, jewels for babies       the philosophical
                                      development of themes
   Utopians avoid war,               such as socialism and
    consider it idiotic- prefer to    communism.
    outwit their enemies
    Role of “Enlightenment and Romanticism”


    Enlightenment was an
     infatuation with
     rationalism: “the mind's
     eye (Reason) could
     potentially “see” the
     Truth (via) central
     precepts, such as
     objectivism, reflection,
     critical rationality and        "If I have seen further it is by standing
     subjectivism..” Kavanagh 2004        on the shoulders of giants."
     pg 448
                                     Sir Issac Newton-1676
    Artist: Godfrey Kneller, 1689
                                 New voyages...

                                        Many stories with this motif
                                         appeared after “Utopia”
                                        Francis Bacon's “New Atlantis”
                                         1627
                                        Thomas Hobbes “Leviathan”
                                         1651
                                        Swift's “Gulliver's Travels” 1726
   Voltaire's “Candide” (1758) is intriguing, in that Utopia is
    abandoned.
   Cacambo and Voltaire's innocent Candide stumble upon “El
    Dorado”, and earthly paradise hidden by high mountains in South
    America. But they are not long content...
   “If we stay here, we will only be like the others. Yet if we return to
    our world with just twelve sheep laden with El Dorado pebbles...”
      Where do the “Romantics” take us?


   The “Romantics”               Romanticism could be “seen
    critiqued rationalism,         as an extension and
    rejecting this vision of life  deepening of the
    for a more fantastic one.      Enlightenment rather than
                                   an alternative philosophy.”
   They stressed the
    imaginative, the irrational “Romantics presented mental
    and creative aspects of       pictures of what the world
                                  might be like, instead of
    the human mind.
                                   the rationalist picture of
   But, the mind is still         what the world was like.”
    maintained as primordial.   Kavanagh 2004 pg. 450
                    Nationalism & Socialism:
                    Children of Romanticism?

   “Romantics followed...rationalists... (with) optimistic,
    progressive, and one might say, innocent visions of the future.”
    Kavanagh 2004

   Jones 1974 states that Romanticism provided an important
    philosophical basis for both socialism and nationalism, which
    were the two principal forces radically shaping human society in
    the late 19th century and continuing through the 20th century.
   Romantic literature was influential in resurrecting folk traditions,
    music and inspired national feeling. Igor Stravinsky's “The Rite
    of Spring” exemplifies this phenomenon.
   Romanticism also created ideas of idyllic life- which created
    flourishing utopian literature and movements.
        Socialism: Divergent paths to paradise

       Socialism advocates collective or governmental
        ownership and administration of the means of
        production and distribution of goods.
                                 Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary


           Produced TWO principal utopian visions:
Agrarian                    VS        Scientific
   Back to the land-                    Urban and industrial
    communal
                                         Progress is exalted
   Less technology
                                         Regimented life in
   Simpler life- no real
    government
                                          service of the nation
             News From Nowhere (1890)


   Written by Englishman
    William Morris, founder of
    British “Socialist League”
   Story about a “William Guest”
    waking up in 21st century
    England- classic utopian
    socialism
   Society has become
    pastoral, bucolic- London has
    depopulated
   Everyone works- at whatever
    they take pleasure in doing
           What does William dream?


   A friendly, peaceful       Complete “equality”
    world of “neighbours”
   No money, no crime,
    no prisons, no
    marriage, no war
   Common ownership-
    no private property
   Government does not
    exist- no parliaments
     Morris's views on Formal Education


"As a rule, they don’t do much
  reading, except for a few
  story-books, till they are
  about fifteen years old; we
  don’t encourage early
  bookishness: though you
  will find some children who
  will take to books very
  early; which perhaps is not
  good for them; but it’s no
  use thwarting them;"
“Looking Backward: 2000-1887”


                  Written by American
                   lawyer Edward Bellamy, it
                   was the 3rd bestseller of
                   the time.
                  First person account of
                   Julian West, re-awaking in
                   Boston after a 113yr trance
                  World transformed by a
                   simple act- nationalisation
                   of all means of production,
                   distribution and property.
        What was Bellamy's ideal world?


   Private            Every citizen       All work is
    ownership of        belongs to an        equally
    property            industrial           remunerated
                        “army”
    abolished                                by credit- no$
                       Nation is
   Individualism       organized as        “The broad
    replaced by         one giant            shoulders of the
    communalism         business-            nation”- a
                    “it became the           complete
                       one capitalist”       welfare state
            Where did this Utopia lead?


   Bellamy's vision of the
    ideal society resonated
    with Marxist ideas
   Legislative Government
    was no longer really
    necessary, with the
    “Congress” only in
    session every 5 yrs.
   Individual rights are
    subservient to public
    good
         The Communist Manifesto 1848
               Das Kapital 1867

   Karl Marx and
    Friedrich Engels were
    the key proponents of
    a new economic
    order- Communism
                                  Marxists believe in
   Based upon state
                                   the inevitable victory
    control of all property,
                                   of workers in the
    production and work
                                   class struggle-
                                   leading to...
               “There goes the theory”


                                      Totalitarianism
                                      Stalinism
                                      Maoism
   Communism, as actually practiced, was central planning of
    all economic activity, restricted mobility of citizens, no free
    press, nor free association
   Secret Police, state coercion existed on a massive scale
   Religious belief was prohibited- a long list can be added!!
Stalinism: “Rigid authoritarianism, widespread use of
    terror, and often emphasis on Russian nationalism”



   Joseph Vissarionovich
    Stalin (1879-1953)
   Undisputed Leader of Soviet
    Union after Trotsky fled,
    1929-53
   Famous for his “Five Year
    Plans”, “Collectivism”, and
    “Great Purges” of suspected
    enemies
   Established communism post
    WWII in many nations
        Could Communism be a Utopia?


          Positive                   Negative
   Created states that    Reality of central planning
    did succeed in greatly  meant poor or non-
    improving education,    existent consumer goods
    medical care, life     Pace of improvement in
    expectancy              standard of living slower
                               than capitalist West
   Limited success in
                             Virtually all human rights
    bettering economic         lost
    conditions
 “Soviet communism didn't just collapse.
It vanished as if it had been a bad dream”


                         Berlin Wall fell on Thursday
                          Nov. 9 1989.
                         Why? Many reasons. A
                          sociological and economic
                          collapse- couldn't provide
                          necessities for citizens. Even
                          Cuba now moving to private
                          enterprise
                         “Socialism is certain to
                          prove...the road NOT to
                          freedom, but to
                          dictatorship...Socialism
                          achieved...by democratic
                          means seems definitely to
                          belong to the world of utopias”
                          Hayek “The Road to Serfdom” 1944
                    Religious Utopia- Why?


“ Religion is the sigh of the oppressed
   creature, the heart of a heartless
   world, just as it is the spirit of a
   spiritless situation. It is the opium of
   the people. The abolition of religion
   as the illusory happiness of the
   people is required for their real
   happiness. The demand to give up
   the illusion about its condition is the
   demand to give up a condition
   which needs illusions.”
Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s
  Philosophy of Right 1843
Photo: Pope John Paul II..slayer of
  Communism??
Religious Utopias- New Jerusalem on Earth


                        Many religious groups
                         arose in tumultuous
                         late 18th and early 19th
                         century that created
                         utopian communities:
                        Shakers
                        Harmony Society
                        Oneida Community
                        Amana Colonies
                        Even at Sointula in BC
              The Shakers- A Celibate Utopia


   Founder was English,
    Anne Lee, in 1770
   Had a vision of Adam and
    Eve in carnal intercourse in
    a Manchester jail
   Convinced that “lust was
    the true source of sin”
   She and 7 others
    immigrated to America in
    1774.
   Photo: Can't be Ann Lee, died in 1784!!
              United Society of Believers
            in Christ's Second Appearance

   Celibacy was a key aspect,     “Utilize ecstatic religious activities
    crucial control mechanism        both to sublimate troublesome
                                     sexual impulses and to
   Carefully planned group life     transform the character of
    was attractive to many           believers”
   At peak (1837-50) over 6000    “Shaker celibacy made possible
    members in 60 communities        system which gave women a
                                     degree of equality leadership
   Provided inspiration to wide     that even the most militant
    variety of social reformers      socialist advocates of women's
    from Robert Owen to              rights were unable or unwilling
    Friedrich Engels and others.     to achieve in practice”
                                   Foster “Religion and Sexuality” 1981
Why were they called Shakers?


                  The Shakers can be seen to
                   be one of the 1st “back to the
                   land movements”
                  Statistics show that
                   stereotype of supposed
                   Shaker rural origins opposed
                   fact that many individuals
                   were born in New York City
                   proper or in Brooklyn
                  They were economically
                   successful- a refuge from
                   industrialization
               Artist: Currier and Ives, 1835
                        How to get to Utopia?

Which Way to Heaven?
Reverend Billy Graham tells of a time early in his ministry
  when he arrived in a small town to preach a sermon.
  Wanting to mail a letter, he asked a young boy where the
  post office was.
When the boy had told him, Dr. Graham thanked him and
 said, "If you'll come to the Baptist Church this evening, you
 can hear me telling everyone how to get to heaven."
The boy replied, "I don't think I'll be there... You don't even
  know your way to the post office."
www.broadcaster.org.uk/section2/jokes/christianjokes.html
     What happened to all these Utopias?


   Is it possible we've learned something in the
    last 200 years?
   Distrust any vendors of utopian dreams!
   So much suffering caused by chasing utopian
    dreams- World Wars, Stalinism, Khmer Rouge,
    Cultural Revolution- the list is long...
   Perhaps cultural evolution has occurred in our
    species?
   Utopias have metamorphosed into Dystopias
Does humanity still have these

								
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