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2009 | 8 | 4(25) | 57-74

Article title

UTOPIA AND DYSTOPIA IN LIQUID-MODERN TIMES (Utopie i dystopie czasów plynnej nowoczesnosci)


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'Lumieres de l'utopie', Bronislaw Baczko's magnum opus among Baczko's numerous magnificent works, deserves to be described as the 'prolegomena to all future study of utopian thought and utopianism of thinking' ('utopias' having been defined by Baczko as visions of an alternative world, better than the extant reality since free from its banes). This essay attempts to apply the concepts and the approaches developed to Baczko to the tracing of the convoluted fate of utopias in three decades after the publication of that study. As the 'hunter' took over from the 'gardener' as the basic pattern for life strategy in the deregulated, individualized liquid-modern society of consumers, utopian thinking followed suit. After the 'blueprint utopias', time arrived for their 'iconoclastic' variety, critical of reality as their predecessors yet unlike them reticent to invest hopes and intentions in a 'perfect society' making all further reform undesirable and unnecessary. Continuous and infinite change has become the utopia of liquid-modern society of hunters. Instead of being located in the undefined future time and distant place, it is an individualistic and 'lived' utopia, incorporated in the practices of the continuous reinvention of selves, renegotiation of social networks and identities and the projects of 'being born again' and 'new beginnings'.



  • Zugmunt Bauman, address nor given, contact the journal editor


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