UTOPIA QUOTES

quotations about Utopia

Utopia quote

We are at heart so profoundly anarchistic that the only form of state we can imagine living in is Utopian; and so cynical that the only Utopia we can believe in is authoritarian.

LIONEL TRILLING, notebook entry, Partisan Review 50th Anniversary Edition, 1985

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Our business here is to be Utopian, to make vivid and credible, if we can, first this facet and then that, of an imaginary whole and happy world.

H. G. WELLS, A Modern Utopia

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All paradises, all utopias are designed by who is not there, by the people who are not allowed in.

TONI MORRISON, interview, Online NewsHour, March 9, 1998

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Think of it. We are blessed with technology that would be indescribable to our forefathers. We have the wherewithal, the know-it-all to feed everybody, clothe everybody, and give every human on Earth a chance. We know now what we could never have known before -- that we now have the option for all humanity to make it successfully on this planet in this lifetime. Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment.

R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER, Critical Path

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Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache.... Whoever tries to imagine perfection simply reveals his own emptiness.

GEORGE ORWELL, Why Socialists Don't Believe in Fun

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Our life dreams the Utopia. Our death achieves the Ideal.

VICTOR HUGO, Intellectual Autobiography

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Life without utopia is suffocating, for the multitude at least: threatened otherwise with petrifaction, the world must have a new madness.

EMIL CIORAN, History and Utopia

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There is a tyranny in the womb of every Utopia.

BERTRAND DE JOUVENEL, Sovereignty: An Inquiry Into the Political Good

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The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison.

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, The Scarlet Letter

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I can imagine no man who will look with more horror on the End than a conscientious revolutionary who has, in a sense sincerely, been justifying cruelties and injustices inflicted on millions of his contemporaries by the benefits which he hopes to confer on future generations: generations who, as one terrible moment now reveals to him, were never going to exist. Then he will see the massacres, the faked trials, the deportations, to be all ineffaceably real, an essential part, his part, in the drama that has just ended: while the future Utopia had never been anything but a fantasy.

C. S. LEWIS, The World's Last Night

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A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.

OSCAR WILDE, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

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I don't know where a utopia is supposed to be, or where one could be found. I sometimes think that it is the place where fear and doubt end with the realization that around you is everything you need, and there is nothing else to find.

KIRA SALAK, Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea

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Utopia is a framework for utopias, a place where people are at liberty to join together voluntarily to pursue and attempt to realize their own vision of the good life in the ideal community but where no one can impose his own utopian vision upon others.

ROBERT NOZICK, Anarchy, State, and Utopia

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In the next few years the struggle will not be between utopia and reality, but between different utopias, each trying to impose itself on reality ... we can no longer hope to save everything, but ... we can at least try to save lives, so that some kind of future, if perhaps not the ideal one, will remain possible.

ALBERT CAMUS, Between Hell and Reason

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If people would forget about utopia! When rationalism destroyed heaven and decided to set it up here on earth, that most terrible of all goals entered human ambition. It was clear there'd be no end to what people would be made to suffer for it.

NADINE GORDIMER, Burger's Daughter

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Melancholy and utopia are heads and tails of the same coin.

GÜNTER GRASS, "On Stasis in Progress", From the Diary of a Snail

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Utopia is that which is in contradiction with reality.

ALBERT CAMUS, Between Hell and Reason

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Every daring attempt to make a great change in existing conditions, every lofty vision of new possibilities for the human race, has been labelled Utopian.

EMMA GOLDMAN, "Socialism: Caught in the Political Trap", Red Emma Speaks

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Is not the minimal state, the framework for utopia, an inspiring vision?

ROBERT NOZICK, Anarchy, State, and Utopia

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Utopias are presented for our inspection as a critique of the human state. If they are to be treated as anything but trivial exercises of the imagination. I suggest there is a simple test we can apply.... We must forget the whole paraphernalia of social description, demonstration, expostulation, approbation, condemnation. We have to say to ourselves, "How would I myself live in this proposed society? How long would it be before I went stark staring mad?"

WILLIAM GOLDING, address to Les Anglicistes, Lille, France, "Utopias and Antiutopias", February 13, 1977

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