The Happy Place That Exists Nowhere

in Critical Survey
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  • 1 University of Sunderland, UK john.storey@sunderland.ac.uk
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Abstract

Contrary to dominant debates about Utopia, I do not think it matters whether Thomas More actually believed that ‘communism’ was the solution to social inequality and injustice; what I think is important is that the book raises the question of a different type of society. As I argue in the second part of my article, the power of Utopia, like all radical utopianism, derives not from the production of blueprints; rather, it comes from the stimulation of desire for a ‘happy place’, which can reflect negatively on, and produce discontent within, the here and now. Understood in this way, radical utopianism offers a form of resistance to dominant constructions of reality and our complicity, conscious and unconscious, with them.

Contributor Notes

John Storey is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, UK, and Chair Professor of the Changjiang Scholar Programme, Shaanxi Normal University, China. He has published extensively in cultural studies, including twenty-six books. His work has been translated into eighteen languages. He has been a Visiting Professor at the universities of Vienna, Henan and Wuhan, and a Senior Fellow at the Technical University of Dresden. E-mail: john.storey@sunderland.ac.uk