Rethinking Utopia for a World in Crisis

From Modern, to Postmodern, to Metamodern Utopia

Will Franks
Aug 29, 2019 · 10 min read

Utopias — visions of a better future — are incredible tools for informing and inspiring social change. Their reputation, however, is extremely poor, at a time when we need such a radical restructuring of society that everyday life will soon become unrecognisable — or collapse entirely. This is a deeply dangerous time to lose our ability to imagine a better world. We desperately need new visions for life and society in order to halt “business as usual”, and actually attempt to navigate the climate and ecological emergency (as well as overcome pervasive inequality, alienation and meaninglessness). To explore how we might reclaim utopia, let’s trace its downfall under modernism and postmodernism, before synthesising the two under the emerging “metamodern” paradigm…


Modernism Goes Haywire



Metamodern Utopias


Utopia as Experiment


Demanding the Impossible


References

The Phoenix Project

Ideas, visions and tools for a better world.

Will Franks

Written by

Naïve utopian.

The Phoenix Project

Ideas, visions and tools for a better world.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade