What, then, should replace the idea of utopia? One answer can be found in another neologism—protopia—incremental progress in steps toward improvement, not perfection. As the futurist Kevin Kelly describes his coinage:
Protopia is a state that is better today than yesterday, although it might be only a little better. Protopia is much much harder to visualise. Because a protopia contains as many new problems as new benefits, this complex interaction of working and broken is very hard to predict.
“The Only Thing Stopping Us From Creating Utopia Is The Fact That We Don’t Truly Want It Yet”
How interesting to such a mind is a world in which there are no problems? All of the major tribulations facing our species today are of our own making: war, poverty, famine, social and economic injustice, cruelty and exploitative toil. What few problems we encounter which aren’t man-made (natural disasters, some diseases) could be vastly minimized if our species was pouring all its mental energy and creativity into creating a better world for everyone instead of into economic competition and warfare. A world without any of those problems is uninteresting and unsexy to the average human mind. We’re not creating it because we’re bored by the very thought of it. If utopia were created tomorrow, humanity would sabotage it almost immediately out of sheer restlessness. https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-only-thing-stopping-us-from-creating-utopia-is-the-fact-that-we-dont-truly-want-it-yet-35fddbfd83d7
Header Image: The Venus Project
Hello folks. In our harsh political climate it’s hard to think of the optimistic goals that would pull us towards building a better world.
In 1888 Edward Bellamy published ‘Looking Backward’ which described a quasi-socialist utopian American society. Over a hundred ‘Bellamy Clubs’ arose to debate and discuss the idea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Looking_Backward
What are today’s lures (real and imagined) for social change that can challenge and interrogate our present?
(The name is inspired by the recent Saturday Night Live skit where Brooklyn people retreat from election results. Not above self parody.)