Utopia revisited – neuer Wein in alten Schläuchen?

Feb 13th, 2009 | By | Category: Sociohistorical analysis


Ulrich Gehmann, Institut für Geschichte, University of Karlsruhe,
E-Mail: ugehm@t-online.de


Abstract English

The article is about an old and powerful occidental idea, utopia. Of how this idea experienced a revival nowadays, in adopting the form of a technical promise of true Promethean character: that everything is possible for everybody, assisted by technical means. That the individual’s liberation came within reach of reality, enabled by a combination about which we believe that it keeps our world going, namely free market and technological progress. That for the first time in human history, the modern variant of this myth is telling, a paradise of all for all has been realized, or does stand in our very vicinity at least, in becoming realized very soon.

It is the nature of the utopian to erect a New World; in making one’s own history, the core of every utopia. The utopian comes in the near of an ideal state of Being, of an attempt to end history as such. Means: to end development as such, no matter the outcome, eu- or dystopian.

An aspect of crucial importance for the viability of nowadays utopias is their dependency on technique. They are hidden utopias, disguised in the clothing of the technologically possible. That the meanwhile truly liberated occidental individual can choose the spaces in which to live, even virtual ones.


Utopia today, Virtual society, Liberation, Utopian isolation


Ulrich Gehmann, “Utopia revisited – neuer Wein in alten Schläuchen?Journal of New Frontiers in Spatial Concepts, ISSN 1868-6648, vol. 1 (2009), 11 – 38, Article ID http://ejournal.uvka.de/spatialconcepts/archives/502, Pages: 28

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KIT Scientific Publishing, Karlsruhe | Journal of New Frontiers in Spatial Concepts | ISSN 1868-6648