Utopia Quotes

Quotes tagged as "utopia" Showing 1-30 of 255
Shelby Foote
“I abhor the idea of a perfect world. It would bore me to tears.”
Shelby Foote

Lois Lowry
“The life where nothing was ever unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual. The life without colour, pain or past.”
Lois Lowry, The Giver

Oscar Wilde
“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. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

Christopher Hitchens
“The search for Nirvana, like the search for Utopia or the end of history or the classless society, is ultimately a futile and dangerous one. It involves, if it does not necessitate, the sleep of reason. There is no escape from anxiety and struggle.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Thomas More
“It's wrong to deprive someone else of a pleasure so that you can enjoy one yourself, but to deprive yourself of a pleasure so that you can add to someone else's enjoyment is an act of humanity by which you always gain more than you lose.”
Thomas More

Milan Kundera
“Totalitarianism is not only hell, but all the dream of paradise-- the age-old dream of a world where everybody would live in harmony, united by a single common will and faith, without secrets from one another. Andre Breton, too, dreamed of this paradise when he talked about the glass house in which he longed to live. If totalitarianism did not exploit these archetypes, which are deep inside us all and rooted deep in all religions, it could never attract so many people, especially during the early phases of its existence. Once the dream of paradise starts to turn into reality, however, here and there people begin to crop up who stand in its way, and so the rulers of paradise must build a little gulag on the side of Eden. In the course of time this gulag grows ever bigger and more perfect, while the adjoining paradise gets even smaller and poorer.”
Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

John Barrowman
“Cut! Go again."
And again, and again, and again. Finally, after the fourth of fifth take I yelled down the hill to the director: "This isn't a fucking marathon! If we're going to go again, tell him on the bloody bike to slow down."
David turned to me and said, "Having a bit of trouble, Captain?"
"That's all right for you to say," I laughed breathlessly, "but I'm carrying a rucksack on my back with your fucking hand in a glass jar inside”
John Barrowman, Anything Goes

Kim Stanley Robinson
“We will go out into the world and plant gardens and orchards to the horizons, we will build roads through the mountains and across the deserts, and terrace the mountains and irrigate the deserts until there will be garden everywhere, and plenty for all, and there will be no more empires or kingdoms, no more caliphs, sultans, emirs, khans, or zamindars, no more kings or queens or princes, no more quadis or mullahs or ulema, no more slavery and no more usury, no more property and no more taxes, no more rich and no more poor, no killing or maiming or torture or execution, no more jailers and no more prisoners, no more generals, soldiers, armies or navies, no more patriarchy, no more caste, no more hunger, no more suffering than what life brings us for being born and having to die, and then we will see for the first time what kind of creatures we really are.”
Kim Stanley Robinson, The Years of Rice and Salt

“Basically, if you're not a utopianist, you're a schmuck.”
Jonathan Feldman

Larken Rose
“But who would build the roads if there were no government?

You mean to tell me that 300 million people in this country and 7 billion people on the planet would just sit around in their houses and think “Gee, I’d like to go visit Fred, but I can't because there isn’t a flat thing outside for me to drive on, and I don’t know how to build it and the other 300 million or 7 billion people can’t possibly do it because there aren’t any politicians and tax collectors. If they were here then we could do it. If they were here to boss us around and steal our money and really inefficiently build the flat places, then we would be set. Then I would be comfortable and confident that I could get places. But I can’t go to Fred’s house or the market because we can’t possibly build a flat space from A to B. We can make these really small devices that enable us to contact people from all over the word that fits in our pockets; we can make machines that we drive around in, but no, we can’t possibly build a flat space.”
Larken Rose

Marge Piercy
“We can only know what we can truly imagine. Finally what we see comes from ourselves.”
Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time

Bertrand De Jouvenel
“There is a tyranny in the womb of every Utopia.”
Bertrand De Jouvenel

Richard M. Rorty
“My sense of the holy is bound up with the hope that some day my remote descendants will live in a global civilization in which love is pretty much the only law.”
Richard M. Rorty

David Graeber
“Normally, when you challenge the conventional wisdom—that the current economic and political system is the only possible one—the first reaction you are likely to get is a demand for a detailed architectural blueprint of how an alternative system would work, down to the nature of its financial instruments, energy supplies, and policies of sewer maintenance. Next, you are likely to be asked for a detailed program of how this system will be brought into existence. Historically, this is ridiculous. When has social change ever happened according to someone’s blueprint? It’s not as if a small circle of visionaries in Renaissance Florence conceived of something they called “capitalism,” figured out the details of how the stock exchange and factories would someday work, and then put in place a program to bring their visions into reality. In fact, the idea is so absurd we might well ask ourselves how it ever occurred to us to imagine this is how change happens to begin.”
David Graeber

Michael Burawoy
“...I take as a point of departure the possibility and desirability of a fundamentally different form of society--call it communism, if you will--in which men and women, freed from the pressures of scarcity and from the insecurity of everyday existence under capitalism, shape their own lives. Collectively they decide who, how, when, and what shall be produced.”
Michael Burawoy, Manufacturing Consent: Changes in the Labor Process Under Monopoly Capitalism

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Reality is what people who lack vision see.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana, The Confessions of a Misfit

Kim Stanley Robinson
“Utopia is the process of making a better world, the name for one path history can take, a dynamic, tumultuous, agonizing process, with no end. Struggle forever.”
Kim Stanley Robinson, Pacific Edge

Albert Einstein
“Not until the creation and maintenance of decent conditions of life for all people are recognized and accepted as a common obligation of all people and all countries - not until then shall we, with a certain degree of justification, be able to speak of humankind as civilized.”
Albert Einstein, The World As I See It

Kim Stanley Robinson
“I grew up in a utopia, I did. California when I was a child was a child's paradise, I was healthy, well fed, well clothed, well housed. I went to school and there were libraries with all the world in them and after school I played in orange groves and in Little League and in the band and down at the beach and every day was an adventure. . . . I grew up in utopia.”
Kim Stanley Robinson, Pacific Edge

Penn Jillette
“As I’m fond of saying, if you want to find utopia, take a sharp right on money and a sharp left on sex and it’s straight ahead.”
Penn Jillette

Sheri S. Tepper
“HECUBA: I had a knife in my skirt, Achilles. When Talthybius bent over me, I could have killed him. I wanted to. I had the knife just for that reason. Yet, at the last minute I thought, he's some mother's son just as Hector was, and aren't we women all sisters? If I killed him, I thought, wouldn't It be like killing family?Wouldn't it be making some other mother grieve? So I didn't kill him, but if I had, I might have saved Hector's child. Dead or damned, that's the choice we make. Either you men kill us and are honored for it, or we women kill you and are damned for it. Dead or damned. Women don't have to make choices like that in Hades. There is no love there, nothing to betray.”
Sheri S. Tepper, The Gate to Women's Country

T.S. Eliot
“They constantly try to escape
From the darkness outside and within
By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.
But the man that is will shadow
The man that pretends to be.”
T.S. Eliot, The Rock

Kameron Hurley
“Perhaps every society is a utopia when you fail to peel up all the layers and look at what's underneath”
Kameron Hurley, The Stars Are Legion

G.K. Chesterton
“[A] permanent possibility of selfishness arises from the mere fact of having a self, and not from any accidents of education or ill-treatment. And the weakness of all Utopias is this, that they take the greatest difficulty of man and assume it to be overcome, and then give an elaborate account of the overcoming of the smaller ones. They first assume that no man will want more than his share, and then are very ingenious in explaining whether his share will be delivered by motor-car or balloon.”
G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

Rosa Luxemburg
“Europe, it is true, is a geographical and, within certain limits, an historical cultural conception. But the idea of Europe as an economic unit contradicts capitalist development in two ways. First of all there exist within Europe among the capitalist States – and will so long as these exist – the most violent struggles of competition and antagonisms, and secondly the European States can no longer get along economically without the non-European countries. ... At the present stage of development of the world market and of world economy, the conception of Europe as an isolated economic unit is a sterile concoction of the brain. ...
And if the idea of a European union in the economic sense has long been outstripped, this is no less the case in the political sense.
....
Only were one suddenly to lose sight of all these happenings and manoeuvres, and to transfer oneself back to the blissful times of the European concert of powers, could one say, for instance, that for forty years we have had uninterrupted peace. This conception, which considers only events on the European continent, does not notice that the very reason why we have had no war in Europe for decades is the fact that international antagonisms have grown infinitely beyond the narrow confines of the European continent, and that European problems and interests are now fought out on the world seas and in the by-corners of Europe.”
Rosa Luxemburg, Rosa Luxemburg Speaks

Lars Fredrik Händler Svendsen
“A utopia cannot, by definition, include boredom, but the ‘utopia’ we are living in is boring.”
Lars Fr. H. Svendsen, A Philosophy of Boredom

“And then all that has divided us will merge
And then compassion will be wedded to power
And then softness will come to a world that is harsh and unkind
And then both men and women will be gentle
And then both women and men will be strong
And then no person will be subject to another's will
And then all will be rich and free and varied
And then the greed of some will give way to the needs of many
And then all will share equally in the Earth's abundance
And then all will care for the sick and the weak and the old
And then all will nourish the young
And then all will cherish life's creatures
And then all will live in harmony with each other and the Earth
And then everywhere will be called Eden once again.”
Judy Chicago

William H. McNeill
“In agricultural communities, male leadership in the hunt ceased to be of much importance. As the discipline of the hunting band decayed, the political institutions of the earliest village settlements perhaps approximated the anarchism which has remained ever since the ideal of peaceful peasantries all round the earth. Probably religious functionaries, mediators between helpless mankind and the uncertain fertility of the earth, provided an important form of social leadership. The strong hunter and man of prowess, his occupation gone or relegated to the margins of social life, lost the umambiguous primacy which had once been his; while the comparatively tight personal subordination to a leader necessary to the success of a hunting party could be relaxed in proportion as grain fields became the center around which life revolved.

Among predominantly pastoral peoples, however, religious-political institutions took a quite different turn. To protect the flocks from animal predators required the same courage and social discipline which hunters had always needed. Among pastoralists, likewise, the principal economic activity- focused, as among the earliest hunters, on a parasitic relation to animals- continued to be the special preserve of menfolk. Hence a system of patrilineal families, united into kinship groups under the authority of a chieftain responsible for daily decisions as to where to seek pasture, best fitted the conditions of pastoral life. In addition, pastoralists were likely to accord importance to the practices and discipline of war. After all, violent seizure of someone else’s animals or pasture grounds was the easiest and speediest way to wealth and might be the only means of survival in a year of scant vegetation.

Such warlikeness was entirely alien to communities tilling the soil. Archeological remains from early Neolithic villages suggest remarkably peaceful societies. As long as cultivable land was plentiful, and as long as the labor of a single household could not produce a significant surplus, there can have been little incentive to war. Traditions of violence and hunting-party organization presumably withered in such societies, to be revived only when pastoral conquest superimposed upon peaceable villagers the elements of warlike organization from which civilized political institutions without exception descend.”
William H. McNeill

B. Barmanbek
“She liked who she was becoming, despite the pain and frustration it brought.”
B. Barmanbek, Culpa Innata

Sinclair Lewis
“Well, gentlemen, I have listened to all your Solutions, and I now inform you that I, and I alone, except perhaps for Walt Trowbridge and the ghost of Pareto, have the perfect, the inevitable, the only Solution, and that is: There is no Solution! There will never be a state of society anything like perfect!

"There never will be a time when there won't be a large proportion of people who feel poor no matter how much they have, and envy their neighbors who know how to wear cheap clothes showily, and envy their neighbors who can dance or make love or digest better.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

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