This book is divided in three different parts: first, a national consolidation. This means that, as long as we keep turning our backs on each other and ignoring the fact we are all worthy of a dignified life as a dominant species, progress will never become achievable. Second, when everyone is able to live a life worthy of human conditions, there will come the time for Transhumanism to prevail. Most people do not realize we have been transhumanizing our bodies for decades. Third, we are already looking into outer space for the so-called exoplanets, similar to Earth in their atmospheric and geological composition, which makes it not so surprising that we may be looking at the home to someone else. Whether we will find humans or not depends entirely on the planets' history, but what if you were told you could find dinosaurs all over again, your mirrored image of the human being you are, or both? We were born late enough to see the turn of a new millennium and thus become the Children of Tomorrow.
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What is utopia if not a perfect impossible world? Anahid Nersessian reveals the basic misunderstanding of that ideal. Applying the lessons of art to the rigors of life on an imperiled planet, she enlists the Romantics to redefine utopia as an investment in limitation—not a perfect world but one where we get less than we hoped but more than we had.
In the light of globalization's failure provide the universal panacea expected by some of its more enthusiastic proponents, and the current status of neo-liberalism in Europe, a search has begun for alternative visions of the future; alternatives to the free market and to rampant capitalism. Indeed, although these alternatives may not be conceived of in terms of being a 'perfect order', there does appear to be a trend towards 'utopian thinking', as people - including scholars and intellectuals - search for inspiration and visions of better futures. If, as this search continues, it transpires that politics has little to offer, then what might social theory have to contribute to the imagination of these futures? Does social theory matter at all? What resources can it offer this project of rethinking the future? Without being tied to any single political platform, Utopia: Social Theory and the Future explores some of these questions, offering a timely and sustained attempt to make social theory relevant through explorations of its resources and possibilities for utopian imaginations. It is often claimed that utopian thought has no legitimate place whatsoever in sociological thinking, yet utopianism has remained part and parcel of social theory for centuries. As such, in addition to considering the role of social theory in the imagination of alternative futures, this volume reflects on how social theory may assist us in understanding and appreciating utopia or utopianism as a special topic of interest, a special subject matter, a special analytical focus or a special normative dimension of sociological thinking. Bringing together the latest work from a leading team of social theorists, this volume will be of interest to sociologists, social and political theorists, anthropologists and philosophers.
The German filmmaker Alexander Kluge has long promoted cinema's relationship with the goals of human emancipation. Jean-Luc Godard and Filipino director Kidlat Tahimik also believe in cinema's ability to bring about what Theodor W. Adorno once called a "redeemed world." Situating the films of Godard, Tahimik, and Kluge within debates over social revolution, utopian ideals, and the unrealized potential of utopian thought and action, Christopher Pavsek showcases the strengths, weaknesses, and undeniable impact of their utopian visions on film's political evolution. He discusses Godard's Alphaville (1965) against Germany Year 90 Nine-Zero (1991) and JLG/JLG: Self-portrait in December (1994), and he conducts the first scholarly reading of Film Socialisme (2010). He considers Tahimik's virtually unknown masterpiece, I Am Furious Yellow (1981–1991), along with Perfumed Nightmare (1977) and Turumba (1983); and he constructs a dialogue between Kluge's Brutality in Stone (1961) and Yesterday Girl (1965) and his later The Assault of the Present on the Rest of Time (1985) and Fruits of Trust (2009).
More than 700 'utopian' novels are published in Russia every year. These utopias – meaning here fantasy fiction, science fiction, space operas or alternative history – do not set out merely to titillate; instead they express very real Russian anxieties: be they territorial right-sizing, loss of imperial status or turning into a 'colony' of the West. Contributors to this innovative collection use these narratives to re-examine post-Soviet Russian political culture and identity. Interrogating the intersections of politics, ideologies and fantasies, chapters draw together the highbrow literary mainstream (authors such as Vladimir Sorokin), mass literature for entertainment and individuals who bridge the gap between fiction writers and intellectuals or ideologists (Aleksandr Prokhanov, for example, the editor-in-chief of Russia's far-right newspaper Zavtra). In the process The Post-Soviet Politics of Utopia sheds crucial light onto a variety of debates – including the rise of nationalism, right-wing populism, imperial revanchism, the complicated presence of religion in the public sphere, the function of language – and is important reading for anyone interested in the heightened importance of ideas, myths, alternative histories and conspiracy theories in Russia today.
This book explores what science fiction can tell us about the human condition in a technological world, with the ethical dilemmas and consequences that this entails. This book is the result of the joint efforts of scholars and scientists from various disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach sets an example for those who, like us, have been busy assessing the ways in which fictional attempts to fathom the possibilities of science and technology speak to central concerns about what it means to be human in a contemporary world of technology and which ethical dilemmas it brings along. One of the aims of this book is to demonstrate what can be achieved in approaching science fiction as a kind of imaginary laboratory for experimentation, where visions of human (or even post-human) life under various scientific, technological or natural conditions that differ from our own situation can be thought through and commented upon. Although a scholarly work, this book is also designed to be accessible to a general audience that has an interest in science fiction, as well as to a broader academic audience interested in ethical questions.
The Making of Modern Liberalism is a deep and wide-ranging exploration of the origins and nature of liberalism from the Enlightenment through its triumphs and setbacks in the twentieth century and beyond. The book is the fruit of the more than four decades during which Alan Ryan, one of the world's leading political thinkers, reflected on the past of the liberal tradition—and worried about its future. This is essential reading for anyone interested in political theory or the history of liberalism.
Living Without Domination defends the bold claim that humans can organise themselves to live peacefully and prosperously together in an anarchist utopia. Clark refutes errors about what anarchism is, about utopianism, and about human sociability and its history. He then develops an analysis of natural human social activity which places anarchy in the real landscape of sociability, along with more familiar possibilities including states and slavery. The book is distinctive in bringing the rigour of analytic political philosophy to anarchism, which is all too often dismissed out of hand or skated over in popular history.
Examines Shelley's unique utopian vision as a product of the tumultuous eighteenth century that uniquely blended the personal, poetic, and political realms.
In early modern Europe the law developed as one of the few non-religious orderings of civil life. Its separation from religion was, however, never complete and we see the contest continued today not only in the campaigns of religious fundamentalists of the right, but also in the clains of critical intellectuals to reshape government institutions and the legal apparatus in accordance with moral principle - whether of indivudual autonomy or communitarian self-determination. In Anti-Lawyers, David Saunders traces the story of this unresolved conflict from Hobbes' Leviathan to the American law texts of today, and discusses how we might regard today's moral critics of government and law in the light of the early modern effort to disengage spiritual discipline from secular government and conscience from law. Separate sections look at major figures in English common law in the Early Modern period, French and German absolutism and jurisprudence as it is taught in the American law texts of today.