Utopia

A utopia or eutopia (/jˈtpiə/ yoo-TOH-pee-ə) typically describes an imaginary community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its members.[1] It was coined by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island society in the New World. However, it may also denote an intentional community. In common parlance, the word or its adjectival form may be used synonymously with "impossible", "far-fetched" or "deluded".

Hypothetical utopias focus on—amongst other things—equality, in such categories as economics, government and justice, with the method and structure of proposed implementation varying based on ideology.[2] Lyman Tower Sargent argues that the nature of a utopia is inherently contradictory because societies are not homogeneous and have desires which conflict and therefore cannot simultaneously be satisfied. To quote:

There are socialist, capitalist, monarchical, democratic, anarchist, ecological, feminist, patriarchal, egalitarian, hierarchical, racist, left-wing, right-wing, reformist, free love, nuclear family, extended family, gay, lesbian and many more utopias [ Naturism, Nude Christians, ...] Utopianism, some argue, is essential for the improvement of the human condition. But if used wrongly, it becomes dangerous. Utopia has an inherent contradictory nature here.

Lyman Tower Sargent, Utopianism: A very short introduction (2010)[3]

The opposite of a utopia is a dystopia or cacotopia (concepts not much discussed until the 19th century, and for which dystopia has become the most popular literary category).


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