Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Utopia and the authors.

"Art is like love - it must always be hungry."
                                        Ricordati di me (Italian movie)

Although this has nothing to do with what I'm gonna write here from now on, it just flicked on my mind like a self-reminding word which happened to occur during sitting in Askew's lecture Globalization and Law today. My stomach was kinda rumbling (wonder whether because of the energy supplement drink i had this morning) verging on stomachache, yet it was against my will to leave the classroom and forfeit my right to have Askew's accompany (Askew David J., 2011), so I thought better to hold on a little bit. And what I was doing was to involve myself with new knowledge, which was quite intriguing and revelating indeed. I came to get myself acquainetd with political theory discourse in the Western traditition in the past: Thomas More and Francis Bacon and Bellamy and a bunch of other head-and-shoulders in the Western intellectual world. Utopia and Dystopia. More based his construction of utopia on reason alone, while Bacon tried to reconcile reason with faith, and proving that science and religion are not necessarily at loggerheads. More was skeptical and ambivalent about his views on the utopia he created (as some ideas that the utopia presented were not always what More advocated, such as religious tolerance, divorce and the decision to end one's life), presenting the world that he called "utopia" while voicing disapproval towards its aspects of communal society and money-less economy, and totalitarian regime regarding personal surveillance, like in socialism. Bacon, being a lover and a master of natural science, and a devout Christian at heart, based his utopia both on revelation and reason. His utopia was necessarily that of a scientific civilization: wealth comes from scienctific achievements. Bacon's utopia is mutilcultural, patriarchal, science-ruled.

I did venture to find out for msyelf Bellamy and Jonathan Swift's books that Askew uses for our course in the library yesterday. What I found was revelating: Bellamy's Looking Backward: 2000-1887, which he got published in 1888, was anything but interesting. While reading a book, I'd be happy to grasp some background of the author: Bellamy's advocation of a public capitalism and his ambivalence towards socialism, Morris's endearment of socialism through the lense of an artist. Great comparison and reflection to be made after reading all More, Bacon, Swift, Bellamy and Morris I would guess.

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