Utopia Ltd: ideologies of social dreaming in England 1870-1900
Beaumont, M. (2005) Utopia Ltd: ideologies of social dreaming in England 1870-1900. Historical Materialism Book Series (7). Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands. ISBN 9789004142961
This book uncovers the historical preconditions for the explosive revival of utopian literature at the nineteenth-century "fin de sihcle, and excavates its ideological content. It marks a contribution not only to the literary and cultural history of the late-Victorian period, and to the expanding field of utopian studies, but to the development of a Marxist critique of utopianism. The book is particularly concerned with three kinds of political utopia or anti-utopia, those of 'state socialism', feminism, and anti-communism (the characteristic expression of this last example being the "cacotopia). After an extensive contextual account of the politics of utropia in late-nineteenth century England, it devotes a chapter to each of these topics before developing an original reinterpretation of William Morris's seminal Marxist utopia, "News from Nowhere.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study is to make a parallel analysis of half a century of technology criticism from the point of view of a special genre of literature, the dystopia, as well as from the point of view of technology critical philosophy. We regard here the genre dystopia as the vehicle for literary technology criticism, as a collection of texts written by non-philosophers regarding the negative tendencies in technological development. In the demonstration of the critique of technology in 20th century philosophical theories, this paper concentrates on the works of Oswald Spengler, Walter Benjamin, the Frankfurt School (Horkheimer, Adorno and Marcuse) and Martin Heidegger. The analysis is not exhaustive of all sources, but reviews a sufficient body to draw valid conclusions.
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