[LMB] Utopias OT:

Raymond Collins rcrcoll6 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 25 05:23:44 BST 2021


Iain Bank's Culture novels come close being utopias athoe the characters
acted outside of the Culture Worlds or where enemies attacked the Culture
worlds.

On Sat, Jul 24, 2021, 3:52 PM Damien Sullivan <phoenix at mindstalk.net> wrote:

> On Sat, Jul 24, 2021 at 12:09:07PM -0400, Elizabeth Holden wrote:
>
> > I have noticed that authors and philosophers don't have much of a problem
> > depicting dystopias, but have a terrible time imagining utopias - that
> is,
>
> It's not that hard to imagine something utopia-ish.  The bigger problem
> is setting stories in it.  Tolkien said something like this, that what
> was pleasant to experience was dully to describe, while stories are a
> bunch of bad things happening to other people.  The Culture stories are
> mostly set outside the Culture, ditto Star Trek.
>
> There's also where one *stops*.  There's a difference between 'utopia'
> where everyone is human and has enough to eat and doesn't live in fear,
> and a 'utopia' where everyone is an immortal and omnipotent god within
> their private sphere.
>
> For more mortal utopias, Le Guin's "Those Who Walk Away From Omelas"
> starts with an implication that most people don't pay attention to: that
> people feel a good society is not plausible, that putting having it be
> based on a tortured child makes it *more believable*.
>
> Other problems include happiness depending on other people, yet it's not
> utopian to require that other people work to make you happy. And that
> "no one has to work for a living" feels like an obvious utopian move,
> but then conflicts with "well, what's the point of life, what do people
> do that doesn't feel shallow?"
>
> -xx- Damien X-)
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