Utopia as Method: The Imaginary Reconstitution of Society by R. Levitas

By R. Levitas

Utopia might be understood as a style instead of a aim. This e-book rehabilitates utopia as a repressed size of the sociological and within the approach produces the Imaginary Reconstitution of Society, a provisional, reflexive and dialogic approach for exploring substitute attainable futures.

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Yet in the latter part of the twentieth century, Western culture saw the sequestration of utopian energies in the domain of art and culture. This move was linked to several distinct characteristics of the period, including fear of totalitarianism, scepticism of totality, and loss of faith in the proletariat as an agent of radical change. It was predicated on the anti-utopian climate of the Cold War and on a deeper cultural pessimism. In the shadow of the Shoah, Theodor Adorno wrote that: Art’s Utopia, the counterfactual yet-to-come, is draped in black.

44 It is the ‘awareness of the Unconditioned’, an ontological awareness that is ‘immediate, and not mediated by inferential processes’. Tillich argues for tracing ‘the unconditional element in the creativity of nature and culture’ and suggests that ‘[t]he presupposition of this many-sided attempt is that in every cultural creation – a picture, a system, a law, a political movement (however secular it may appear) – an ultimate concern is expressed, and that it is possible to recognise the unconscious theological character of it’.

But they weather to individuality: reddening with corrosion, thickening and greening with accretions of barnacles and weed, sinking and drowning in shifting sands, drowning and resurfacing in the ebb and flow of tides. They look out over the Mersey channel, route of immigration and emigration, movements looking always to another place, a new life, a changed subject, the hope of a better life. The Theosophical system of colour meanings was not adopted by the Blaue Reiter group in its entirety. 39 Mondrian, the most strongly affiliated to Theosophy, was concerned to balance the blue-yellow polarity of spirit and intellect against the material red – but the polarity of blue and yellow is also present more widely, notably in Goethe.

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