the spirit of utopia today

A talk by Mark Ellingsen at the recent Bristol Anarchist Bookfair

First of all I would like to make a distinction between utopia and utopianism, or the spirit of utopia. So let’s start with a couple of definitions which I think is close to how I see the two concepts:

Definition of utopia:

“The word describes an ideal community free from conflict which incorporates a clear set of values and allows the complete satisfaction of human needs.” (Burden 2006: 716).

Definition of utopianism:

“Critical and creative thinking projecting alternative social worlds that would realize the best possible way of being, based on rational and moral principles, accounts of human nature and history, or imagined technological possibilities. Utopian thinking invariably contains criticism of the status quo. It aims to overcome social inequality, economic exploitation, sexual repression, and other possible forms of domination that make well-being and happiness in this life impossible” (Kögler 2005: 939). Continue reading “the spirit of utopia today”

the spirit of utopia today: reminder

The Commune is holding a meeting on Saturday 12th September as part of the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair. The event takes place at The Island, Bridewell St, Bristol BS1 2PY, from 10.30am to 6pm, and our workshop is from 5pm in Room 2 (first floor).

bristolbookfair

The title of our session is ‘the spirit of utopia today’. With an environmental crisis, continuing poverty, recession & war, and the seeming collapse of alternatives to capitalism, we are living in dystopian times. This talk & discussion will explore the meaning of utopianism today and its importance for recovering our humanity in opposition to its systematic abuse for profit and power. What are ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’ utopias; is there value in the utopian spirit, or is it just dreaming; and what critiques should we have of the idea of ‘scientific’ socialism? Continue reading “the spirit of utopia today: reminder”

12th september, bristol: ‘the spirit of utopia today’

The Commune is holding a meeting on Saturday 12th September as part of the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair. The event takes place at The Island, Bridewell St, Bristol BS1 2PY, from 10.30am to 6pm, and our workshop is from 5pm in Room 2 (first floor).

bristolbookfair

The title of our session is ‘the spirit of utopia today’. With an environmental crisis, continuing poverty, recession & war, and the seeming collapse of alternatives to capitalism, we are living in dystopian times. This talk & discussion will explore the meaning of utopianism today and its importance for recovering our humanity in opposition to its systematic abuse for profit and power. What are ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’ utopias; is there value in the utopian spirit, or is it just dreaming; and what critiques should we have of the idea of ‘scientific’ socialism? Continue reading “12th september, bristol: ‘the spirit of utopia today’”