- The definition of utopia is “An Ideal Society in which everyone is happy”. No evils, crimes, corruption, deceit, cheating, biasedness exists in a utopia. Every new task/ project that is undertaken is for the common good of all the citizens and directs no harm to any individual.
- The term ‘Utopia’ was coined by Sir Thomas More in 1516 through his book named ‘Utopia’. The book written in Latin was themed on socio-political satire and was a work of fiction describing a fictional society that shared a common way of life.
- The word ‘Utopia’ is derived from the Greek word, Ou-topos, which means, ‘no where’. While another Greek word, Eu-topos, that also sounds the same means “a nice place”. The name “Utopia” is a pun and has satire in it.
- The opposite of Utopia is Dystopia, which means “A world that is unpleasant and impossible to live in”. Evident enough, Dystopia is derived from the Greek word, Dis-topos.
- Thomas More’s book on Utopia was not the first ever work showcasing a perfect world. “The Republic” by Plato in 350 BC was the first ever book depicting a utopian society.
- The idea of “Utopia” is basically communist and anti-capitalism, meaning the goods given by earth be available to one and all.
- It’s an interesting fact to note that, “Utopia” is portrayed as against individualism by many books on Utopia. Thomas More writes in his book that everyone is being watched and no one can have spare time for themselves to indulge in leisurely activities, but rather do productive work.
- Aldous Huxley also tried to depict a utopian community through his book “Brave New World”.
He set the storyline thousands of years in the future where the humans have technologically advanced so much that they can modify the genetics of the offsprings to imbibe them with certain fixed characters that make them a perfect ingredient of society when they are adults. Some mistakes during their upbringing of a character, Bernard, made him odd and unfit to function in the apparently perfect utopian world. Bernard was despised for showing “individual traits”.
- The debate on whether Utopia is practical and morally justified continues still. The latest book published on the same is Number Nine Bus to Utopia by David Bramwell published in 2014.
- Soviet Russia attempted to establish a Utopian State through forceful imposition of communism by eradicating the bourgeoisie, however, the Russian Revolution led to mass bloodshed.
- Not on a national level, but several attempts have been made to establish a Utopian State. Some examples are 1) Brookfarm, Massachusetts, USA; 2) Fruitlands, Massachusetts; 3) The Shakers, Manchester, England; 4) Pullman’s Capitalist Utopia. None of these communities are existent today.
- All the attempts to create a Utopian state have failed because it aims for a “common good” of all, while individual seek “personal benefits”. It is said that to establish a Utopian community, the people in the community need to be “Utopian people” first. Which is why, so far, the idea of establishing a Utopia is impossible.