Monday, April 4, 2011
In her essay "Lush Life: Foucault's Analysis of Power and A Jazz Aesthetic," Sharon Welch quotes Steven Weinberg's list of five widely held utopian visions:
Free Market utopias: In this vision, government is limited and the world, freed of regulations, becomes “industrialized and prosperous.” However, “For many Americans the danger of tyranny lies not in government but in employers or insurance companies or HMOs, from which we need government to protect us. To say that any worker is free to escape an oppressive employer by getting a different job is ... unrealistic," Weinberg writes.
Best and brightest utopias: The best and the brightest are put in charge. The problem: all elites end up prioritizing their own interests.
Religious utopias: Religious revival sweeps the earth, getting rid of secularism. We know what happens when religious communities start to safeguard their "purity."
Green utopias: The world rejects industrialism in favor of simpler living and small communities. This vision “falls prey to the common tendency ... for those who don’t have to work hard to romanticize labor.”
Technological utopias: A dream of a world made efficient and rich through the dispersal of cutting edge technology. This vision doesn’t sufficiently address environmental concerns of loss of local community.
I've read much about all these visions, and the one I probably fall prey to is the Green utopia, probably because I never have supported myself through farming. Do you have a "favorite?" Are there more to add to the list? Could all of these work together or is that another utopic fantasy?