Sadly our beliefs often hide reality…
I cannot tell you how strange it is to be accused of seeking this seemingly fictional place called Utopia through my own personal writings, where this inconceivably insulting notion is actually used as an ad hominem attack against myself (the messenger) meant to belittle factual or idealistic information by making it seem impossible or impractical. It’s as if the search for the perfect harmonious way of life for mankind in commune with its natural surroundings (natural law) and with itself should be discouraged and belittled as adamantly as those slaves protected their only perceived livelihood from within Plato’s shadowed allegory of The Cave .
But as it turns out, utopia has been there all along, right under our noses! We’ve just been conditioned to believe it does not and can not exist.
My problem all along was that I have been overlooking the true nature of just what Utopia is. Instead, we have all seemingly been attempting to solve the equation of and locate this seemingly mythical Utopia from within the imperfect Dystopia we have all allowed to be created on top of and in its place.
But what if it was right under our feet the whole time?
Perhaps the answer is simply utopia defined…
The word Utopia, from the modern Latin, literally translates to mean “nowhere“, and was coined by Sir Thomas More in his book of the same title. It’s themed story was that of an allegorical imaginary island enjoying perfect legal, social, and political systems. It’s Greek reference is defined as “any perfect place“.
It was when I read this meaning and etymology of the word that I instantly recognized the Utopia all around me; as if a veil had been lifted.
Let me explain…
Have you ever felt the wonder and beauty of the Utopian perfection of nature, say while on a hike or camping amidst its lush forests and barren deserts? Nature is indeed a mathematical perfection – a perfect and necessary place within the ecosystem that sustains life. In this sense, volcanoes, floods, and hurricanes are equally perfect, bringing new possibility and life into the land and sea.
But isn’t it funny that when nature is left to thrive without our “help”, we ironically refer to that natural setting so as to be in “the middle of nowhere“. And so without even realizing it, we are literally stating aloud the English translation of this shunned Latin word, admitting that we are in the “middle of Utopia“. The truth is that under every bustling metropolis lays the Utopia of nature, trampled under the weight of man’s soul-crushing concrete, steel, ingenuity, and technology. And this, in its current form, creates an anti-Utopia, or dystopia. In other words, the dominant “thinkers” within the species human have created megalopolises, technology, and a standardized and corporatist way of thinking that is against nature; an anti-utopian realm.
The word dystopia was apparently coined by J.S. Mill:
“Mill demonstrated an early insight into the value of the natural world – in particular in Book IV, chapter VI of “Principles of Political Economy”… “Of the Stationary State” in which Mill recognized wealth beyond the material, and argued that the logical conclusion of unlimited growth was destruction of the environment and a reduced quality of life. He concluded that a stationary state could be preferable to never-ending economic growth:
I cannot, therefore, regard the stationary state of capital and wealth with the unaffected aversion so generally manifested towards it by political economists of the old school.
If the earth must lose that great portion of its pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of wealth and population would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a larger, but not a better or a happier population, I sincerely hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to be stationary, long before necessity compel them to it.”
Of course Mr. Mill, like so many other philosophers, authors, and thinkers of the time, openly promoted eugenics and depopulation as the solution to less dystopian ways of life. In fact, the creators of our current dystopia have done so for power and wealth at the expense of this Utopia we call Earth, its creatures, its lifeblood, and its people.
Breaking this word dystopia down we read:
DYS – “bad, ill, abnormal”, from the greek dys meaning “to destroy the good sense of a word or increasing its bad sense”. Dys-funtion (abnormal or difficulty in functioning) , dys-lexia (abnormal or difficulty in speaking), dys-trophy (illness of defective nourishment).
TOPIA – from Latin topiarius and topia “of or pertaining to ornamental gardening”, and from Greek topia, plural of topion, originally “a field”, diminutive of topos “place“.
So have we designed our civilizations and meg-cities to flow with nature… or to dam (damn) and go against nature?
The answer should be obvious to anyone living in a modern city, or even downstream of one!
And so I am left to imagine just what a new Utopian city would look like, and what would actually entail its functionality with the natural topia around it…
The word Utopia is from the words:
EU – Word-forming element in modern use meaning “good, well,” from Greek word ues “good,” eu “well,” also “luckily, happily” and from PIE *(e)su- “good” (Sanskrit su- “good,” Avestan hu– “good”).
TOPIA – from Latin topiarius and topia “of or pertaining to ornamental gardening”, and from Greek topia, plural of topion, originally “a field”, diminutive of topos “place”.
It is interesting to note here that “natural law” is considered the perfection of human interaction with both fellow man and nature. It states that respect and protection of Utopia is the duty of man.
For instance, under the Maxims of Law we read:
“The Law of God (Natural Law) and the law of the land are all one, and both favor and preserve the common good of the land.”
“If ever the Law of God (Natural Law) and man are at variance, the former are to be obeyed in derogation of the later.”
“He who does not repel a wrong when he can, induces it.”
“Often it is the new road, not the old one, which deceives the traveler.”
“A man may obey the (man’s) law and yet be neither honest nor a good neighbor.”
“Enjoy your own property (land, etc.) in such a manner as not to injure that of another person.”
It seems the impossibility of perceiving a Utopia that includes the treading and intrusion of mankind into nature’s perfect existence is the real obstacle to imagining such a place on this Earth. Yet it sits all around us, covering the majority of Earth, staying just out of sight from the complicated web of blacktop roads and highways that stretch through its reaches. We are drawn to concrete and steel jungles we call cities for convenience and welfare, and yet the empty promise of both is reflected by the decaying flesh and bone of their inhabitants. A virtual war has been declared upon Utopia, even as it struggles to recover itself through the dystopian cracks in decaying sidewalks and infrastructure designed to eradicate it. We often call this struggle for life a weed or invasive species, applying the worst kind of poisons and pesticides to ensure that our particular brand of dystopia carries on unfettered. Yet we are watching, seemingly helpless, as our clever infrastructure and apparently great inventions decay over timelessness like a cracked scab ready to fall back into the fold of time, sediment, and overgrowth.
“Less Cities, More Moving People”, a song I recall by “The Fixx”, is perhaps apropos here. For could it be that our cohabitation is killing us slowly? Is that indeed the master plan? Do we not wonder at the fleeting feelings of refreshed vitality and mental clarity that are visited upon us only when our two weeks of paid vacation allow us to venture out into the un-tampered nature of that Utopia that surrounds us like an inviting audience full of hope and desire? And from our cubicles and tract housing developments do we not continuously long for that feeling of true natural freedom and possibility that only the middle of nowhere can offer?
So is it possible to live within a utopian society?
My answer would have to be a strong no.
Like an out of tune piano our collective concordance is physically impossible under current standards and methodologies. For society as we know it is arrogantly and purposefully designed to be dystopian in structure. Our resources are being drained and utilized not to promote inward harmony with our outward utopia, but to create profits at the expense of it downstream. And yet like junkies hooked on black tar, we seem to rejoice in our misery and addiction to total congregational dystopian hegemony.
Is it any wonder more and more “experts” are calling this particular point in the history of life on Earth the 6th extinction event?
There are 2,282,510,106 square acres of land in the continental United States at last report, the vast majority of which is Utopia. So why are we not repulsed like opposing magnets away from our cities and into the middle of nowhere?
That, my friends, can only be answered by you.
–Clint Richardson (realitybloger.wordpress.com)
–Sunday, February 23rd, 2014