Hope and the Dystopic Impulse

Dr. Rinaldi's Horror Cabinet

At the crossroads of utopian, dystopian, and anti-utopian thought we find ourselves with choices that will lead us on a path toward hope or despair. The choices we make are bound to the types of political action or inaction we are committed too. In our time those committed to fighting against the utopian impulse, such as writers like Francis Fukuyama’sThe End of History and the Last Man and Oliver Bennett’sCultural Pessimism: Narratives of Decline in the Postmodern World see utopian thought as a panacea against the political, social, and environmental degradation in our times. Both maintain that the utopian impulse leads to an illusionary set of values and ideology that offer “unrealistic expectations of what the future may bring“.

“…it is the real which has become our true utopia—but a utopia that is no longer a          possibility, a utopia we can do no more than dream about, like…

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