---- by David B. Clarke
  'Utopia puts an end to the real,' claims Baudrillard (SED, 188), indicating the concept's pivotal status as a symbolic entity. Indeed, the symbolic 'is the u-topia that puts an end to the topologies of the soul and the body, man and nature, the real and the non-real, birth and death. In the symbolic operation, the two terms lose their reality' (SED, 133). Noting that 'Western thought cannot bear, and has at bottom never been able to bear, a void of signification, a non-place and a non-value' (SED, 234), Baudrillard enlists the notion of utopia as precisely such a non-place, ellipsis of value and eclipse of meaning. 'Utopia is that which, by the abolition of the blade and disappearance of the handle, gives the knife its force de frappe,' wrote Baudrillard (UB, 59), adapting an aphorism of Lichtenberg's. Utopia does not, then, represent a transcendent state, where present inadequacies are overcome. Indeed, 'utopia . . . would have nothing to do with the concept of alienation. It regards every man and every society as already totally there, at each social moment, in its symbolic exigency' (MP, 165). Likewise, even though 'the psychoanalytic (Lacanian) real is no longer given as substance, nor as a positive reference' (SED, 188), it is no closer to grasping utopia's challenge to the real. For 'The idea of the unconscious, like the idea of consciousness, remains an idea of discontinuity and rupture . . . t substitutes the irreversibility of a lost object and a subject forever "missing" itself, for the positivity of the object and the conscious subject' ([i]SED, 143).
  However decentred, the subject remains within the orbit of Western thought, with itssuccessive'topologies'(hell/heaven-subject/nature-conscious/unconscious), where the fragmented subject can only dream of a lost continuity. It will never get back to, or catch up with [rejoindre] utopia, which is not at all the phantasm of a lost order but, contrary to all the topologies of discontinuity and repression, the idea of a duelling order, of reversibility, of a symbolic order. (SED, 143-4)
  This, however, marks a fateful turn in the history of utopia as that which puts an end to 'the reality principle which is only the phantasm of the system and its indefinite reproduction' (MP, 167). For utopia has itself fallen prey to the 'limitless operation of the real' (LP, 72). 'The utopia of another society - as one could have dreamed of at the time of production - is literally impossible, since it is already here' in an era of simulation (Baudrillard, 1992a: 241). In a world where 'Everything belonging to the order of dream, utopia and phantasm is given expression, "realized"' (Baudrillard, 2004a: unpaginated), utopia has, paradoxically, been achieved. 'But is this really what an achieved utopia looks like? . . . Yes indeed! . . . There is no other' (A, 98). As Baudrillard (1998: 6) resignedly observes, 'From this point on, the problem in hand is not one of changing how life is lived, which was the maximal utopia, but one of survival, which is a kind of minimal utopia.'
   § America
   § modernity
   § simulation

The Baudrillard dictionary. . 2015.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Utopia — (griech. οὐτοπία utopía „die Nicht Örtlichkeit“) bezeichnet: Utopia, der wünschenswerte Zustand der Welt/eines Staates, siehe Utopie geographisch: Utopia (Florida), eine gemeindefreie Siedlung in Florida Utopia (Texas), eine Stadt in Texas Utopia …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Utopia — • A term used to designate a visionary or an ideally perfect state of society first used by Sir Thomas More Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Utopia     Utopia      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Utopia — Utopia, FL U.S. Census Designated Place in Florida Population (2000): 714 Housing Units (2000): 279 Land area (2000): 0.306849 sq. miles (0.794734 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.306849 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • utopia — utopia, utopianism A utopia is an imaginative account of a perfect society or ideal commonwealth. The term, which is often used derogatively to mean unrealistic, is derived from Sir Thomas More s Utopia(1516), but in sociology it is usually… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Utopia — (Парга,Греция) Категория отеля: Адрес: Agiou Athanasiou 5, Парга, 48060, Греция …   Каталог отелей

  • Utopia — U*to pi*a, n. [NL., fr. Gr. not + ? a place.] [1913 Webster] 1. An imaginary island, represented by Sir Thomas More, in a work called Utopia, as enjoying the greatest perfection in politics, laws, and the like. See {Utopia}, in the Dictionary of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Utopia, FL — U.S. Census Designated Place in Florida Population (2000): 714 Housing Units (2000): 279 Land area (2000): 0.306849 sq. miles (0.794734 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.306849 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Utopia, TX — U.S. Census Designated Place in Texas Population (2000): 241 Housing Units (2000): 127 Land area (2000): 2.952302 sq. miles (7.646428 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 2.952302 sq. miles (7.646428… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • utopía — ‘Proyecto deseable, pero irrealizable’. Procede del nombre de un país imaginario descrito por Tomás Moro (s. xvi) en una de sus obras. Aunque en su origen se pronunciaba con diptongo entre las dos vocales finales (utopia [u tó pia]), la única… …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • utopia — s. f. 1. País imaginário em que tudo está organizado de uma forma superior. 2. Sistema ou plano que parece irrealizável. 3. Fantasia.   ‣ Etimologia: latim tardio utopia, palavra forjada por Thomas More para nomear uma ilha ideal em A Utopia, do… …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • Utopia — (Фоборг,Дания) Категория отеля: Адрес: 5600 Фоборг, Дания Описание …   Каталог отелей

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.