Thursday, December 9, 2010

On the ambiguity of the anti-utopians

Berdiaff (or Berdyaev -- see p. 122) again:
The opponents of socialism say that socialism is a utopia and that it flies in the face of human nature. There is some ambiguity in this. It is not clear whether they do not want socialism on the ground that it is unrealizable, utopian, and a mere dream, or whether it is unrealizable because they do not want it and do everything in their power to hinder it and prevent it coming into being.
A good point, no? You might try to resolve the ambiguity by saying that what the anti-utopians struggle to prevent isn't the idealized but impossible utopia, but rather the all too possible attempt at utopia, which always turns dream into nightmare. But I don't think that's really Berdiaff's point -- nor Huxley's, at least in his Brave New World phase. No, their point is that the dream and the nightmare are really one and the same thing, the same social entity, simply seen from different perspectives....


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