What is utopianism?

The Real Academia Española (RAE), in its dictionary, defines utopia as a propensity towards utopia. To know what utopia is, therefore, you first need to focus on the idea of ​​utopia.

Brief definition of «utopia» A utopia is a desirable effort or initiative, but whose realization is almost impossible . The term also refers to the imagination of a positive future for human beings.

Utopia: a place “that does not exist and did not exist”

The word utopia comes from a fictional island that Thomas More described in a 1516 work. In Utopia reigned a legal, social and political system characterized by perfection.

Utopia Coming back to the concept of utopia, it is about the philosophical or ideological tendency towards utopia. The utopian individual seeks the realization of an ideal system, although there is no real basis that allows sustaining this plan or desire. Utopianism is usually understood as the phenomenon that tends to build utopias. As the utopian is associated with the perfect, utopianism is often criticized because, generally speaking, perfection is incompatible with reality. For some thinkers, however, utopianism is valuable in and of itself, regardless of its viability. The Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano wrote that every time someone walks towards utopia, they move away: that is why they are unattainable. However, for Galeano , utopia was just for walking. Based on this premise, we can indicate that utopia is essential to act or advance even if the goal of the dream cannot be reached, because the path is important. Etymology In the term utopianism we find the suffix -ism , which comes from the Greek and gives the idea of ​​“activity or movement”, widely used for the creation of words that designate life postures, systems of thought and doctrines. The first part is occupied by the word utopia , coined by the aforementioned Thomas More, an important English humanist of the 15th century. This was formed by taking two Greek words to create the idea of ​​a “nowhere”, of a place “that does not exist and never existed”. However, Moro was not the creator of the concept of utopia, but this merit belongs to Plato.

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It all started with Plato The ancient Greeks bequeathed us an incalculable volume of knowledge and thought. Centuries and millennia pass, but they are still valid and we continue to discuss them. In general terms, we can say that they recognized three social tendencies: edenism (the first society was perfect), progressivism (civilization improved) and utopia.

We owe the concept of utopianism to Plato

Plato created this concept to ask himself if human beings would be able to raise our society to perfection. This should happen voluntarily, that is, artificially, as our nature would never lead us to such an evolutionary state. Far from being a milestone that we could reach spontaneously, it would be a coldly calculated milestone, supported by the meticulous design of its structures in all areas of life. Design and planning Plato’s utopianism is a model that could lead to a world where private property no longer exists, for example, but where resources and goods are perfectly distributed. Something similar would happen with social roles, housing, access to education and jobs. Ultimately, everything should be designed and planned in detail. The question, therefore, is who will take this work, summed up with the question in march of the new system. Plato suggested that this responsibility rested with philosophers because their knowledge was perfect and not based on worldly interests.

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