Here’s What’s Wrong With This Land of Tomorrow

Martin Rezny
Words of Tomorrow
Published in
3 min readMay 27, 2015

The problem with utopias past their expiration date


I’ve seen Tomorrowland in a cinema, and it’s a fine movie and all, but I don’t think its flop means that hope doesn’t sell. It may just mean that this is not the right way to do utopia in a work of fiction today — without fresh vision.

Let me clarify what I mean. Tomorrowland as an idea of a future is very old — it’s how people in the 30s and 40s imagined the 80s and 90s will look like (I forgot who’s quote this is, but I really like that comparison). It’s a vision that did not take into account the then unimaginable emergence of internet or the future failure of socialist ideology.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that fixing problems or exploring space are not nice ideas or that modern day capitalism and liberal democracy will never be improved upon. But how does the dated vision of Tomorrowland’s ideal tomorrow speak to the reality of life and tangible options for our future actions?

The utopia of our tomorrow has to be individualist and divergent, not collectivist and centralized. The Star Trek-like idea of a centralized future world government has transformed into a dystopic vision. One world government of politically over-correct bureaucrats and technocrats wearing identical pajamas is simply not appealing anymore, at least not with a sincere, unreserved, unironic optimism.

I also doubt very much that people suddenly fear all technology, just certain kinds of it that have recently unmasked their downsides — techs that are sterile, plastic, toxic, aimed against the people, taking away their choices and control. Hostile lifeless architecture of steel, glass, and concrete, oppressive and exploitative cybernetics, instant consumerist pollution of mind, body, and environment, these sorts of things.

Also, however interesting it might be in the long term, getting into space in short term is as realistic for most people as becoming a wizard. It’s much more of a science fantasy than science fiction, a great fantasy that I personally love, but just that. We definitely can and should send robotic probes everywhere and the best of the best people to a new place every decade or so, but in the meantime, perhaps we should give something more tangible to the people to dream about.

For instance, it’s one thing to just say we have to do something about the environment, but a true utopia requires imagining a seemingly lived-in solution. What about a story revolving around living in a city that’s grown instead of built? Or printed? There’s so much that could already be improved about houses and cities alone — all surfaces covered in photovoltaics, smart buildings that protect people, gardens and whole crops grown on every terrace and rooftop... We can truly have that tomorrow today, we’re just not asking for it yet.

There are many more creative applications of human and eco-friendly technologies that exist only as blueprints or thoughts today, but this should be enough to think about for starters. Utopia has to be a place that people want to live in — that’s why they would start to demand it and how it would then become a reality. As much as I like Star Trek or Tomorrowland and all the sci-fi utopias of that bygone era, I wouldn’t want to live there. And apparently, that’s the one case where my feelings are aligned with those of most audiences.

Like what you read? Subscribe to my publication, heart, follow, or…

Make me happy and throw something into my tip jar



The Expanse — A Milestone in Sci-Fi Television

5 min read

Jan 28, 2016

Why Interstellar Sucks at Science Fiction

4 min read

Nov 9, 2014

Dear Fans, Stop Ruining Fantasy and Sci-Fi

7 min read

Jul 8, 2016

Future Science Reviews — Elysium

12 min read

Sep 5, 2016

9 min read

Sep 30, 2017

What’s Really New About Black Panther

6 min read

Feb 19, 2018

So, Space Sucks, I Guess

7 min read

Oct 1, 2019

How to Teach for the Future

7 min read

Mar 4, 2016