The End of Utopias?

  • Leonid Fishman Institute for Philosophy and Law, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Yekaterinburg, Russia


The present article discusses the legitimacy of the question: Are we really living in the era of "the end of utopias"? It is argued that a positive response to this question is possible only if, when considering utopias, their predominantly "left" content, left phraseology and the declaration of left anti-capitalist goals are placed at the forefront. However, if we approach utopias from the point of view of their objectively executable functions, their primary content is no longer utopian in the usual sense. A utopia is always a "function of the real" (Labica, 2004, p. 291). Contemporary utopian consciousness should be considered taking into account that: (a) utopias are inextricably linked with capitalism; (b) they serves its transformation (defining its "spirit" by its criticism) in transition from one stage to another; (c) they are an expression of the worldviews and aspirations of social groups (classes) rising at different stages of capitalism. Therefore, in order to find the place in the social structure in which modern utopias are born, it is necessary to locate the "rising class". The article defines the rising class as one that has, at least potentially, the greatest productivity. Its role in social production is increasing; around it are formed production, cultural and other relations, which become decisive according to the foreseeable historical perspective. The "creative class" is considered in terms of a contemporary rising class. Dazzled by its bright prospects, it is inclined to impose its utopia of the "creative economy" on the majority. The consequence of the rise of the "creative class" is a concomitant growth in the precarious social group of service workers and other social strata for whom the prospects of gaining entry into the ranks of the cognitariat are becoming increasingly unstable. Now that these strata are more likely to struggle for their existence, they find themselves trying to defend what has been lost without raising questions about the need to radically transform the social system. Variants of modern utopian consciousness are considered, proceeding from the outlined view of the socio-structural transformation of contemporary societies.


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How to Cite
Fishman, L. (2017). The End of Utopias?. Changing Societies & Personalities, 1(3), 259-270. doi:10.15826/csp.2017.1.3.018