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The Anti-Utopian Pessimism of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century

Simina Rațiu
Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania




The Anti-Utopian Pessimism of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century



Abstract: The following paper aims at conducting a research on the utopian spirit of the nineteenth century, a very stimulating period for the discourses regarding the possible. It thus focuses upon this period, premised on the fact that the nineteenth century brings forth mutations at the level of the collective psyche which set apart the human being from classical utopian projections. The fortress, the island, the ideal planet mutate, at the level of fictional projections, into societies which destroy themselves. The imaginary spaces of utopia become subject to a sense of disenchantment, taking different forms and borrowing other operating rules, leaving aside the utopian optimism and the “idolatrous progressivism” so popular a century before. This time span is dominated by an almost nihilist pessimism, a feeling of morbidity which also influence the utopian projections. Anti-utopia gains ground at the expense of utopian optimism. The human being becomes aware of its scarcity in relation to the general laws of decay and dispersion, due to which the type of writing changes.

Keywords: Socialism, Decadence; Pessimism; Counter-utopia; Collective imaginary; Ideology.


(…) whether writers used the utopian form to dispute and promote varieties of socialism among themselves, as with Bellamy, Morris and Wells; or whether they used it to attack socialism in one or other of its manifestations, as with Zamyatin, Huxley and Orwell. The anti-utopia can indeed be thought of as an invention to combat socialism, in so far as socialism was seen to be the fullest and most sophisticated expression of the modern worship of science, technology and organization. In that sense, both utopia and anti-utopia in the past hundred years have come to express and reflect the most significant political phenomenon of modern times, the rise of socialism as an ideology and as a movement.[1]


To paraphrase Raymond Trousson[2], the nineteenth century, marked in its first half by “legislative projects” such as those belonging to Saint-Simon, Robert Owen, Joseph Fourier, underwent, starting with the second half, transformations in what concerns the utopian form; the socialist utopia gives way to anarchist or anti-socialist projects, the utopia of escape being delineated as a reaction to a far too industrialised and conformist world.

The above-mentioned statements provide a meaningful and enlightening reflection of the nineteenth century landscape, which presents itself as one marked not only by major political utopias (utopian socialism on the one hand, represented by Saint-Simon, Robert Owen, Joseph Fourier, and scientific socialism, on the other, represented by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels), but also by literary utopias which either transpose forms of the socialist ideology into fictional ones (Jack London, The Iron Heel, Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward) or develop a relationship with the utopian projections (with the legislative projects  and literary utopias), deconstructing them (for example News from Nowhere by William Morris comes as a polemic reaction to Bellamy’s book; it no longer offers a perspective upon the harmony which can be established between socialism and the individual, but, on the contrary, it brings forth a society within which socialism has been transformed into communism, into dictatorship). At this point, the first anti-utopian instances begin to take shape. The nineteenth century is also marked by a sense of decline, perceived as traumatic by the human being in all aspects of its existence (cosmic decline, the decline of civilizations, of the sacred, and respectively of man), a feeling which I consider to be significant  in the debate around the birth of distrust regarding utopia and the emergence of the anti-utopian projections. Last but not least, it should be noted that, as Arrigo Colombo indicates, “utopia becomes part of a social movement”[3], a discursive space suitable for reflecting upon the relationship between utopian projections and ideology. According to the same author, the political project and the utopian novel are “two different forms of the same activity of utopian projection”[4]; the political project possesses the “prerogative of the explanatory and founding motive”, while the novel offers the concrete space (city), translating it into a narrative form.[5]

In what follows, I will review the main political projects of the nineteenth century, as well as the theories responsible for the sense of distrust towards the utopian projections. In regard to the utopian socialism (term used by Marx and Engels in The Manifesto of the Communist Party referring to the previous socialism), it is mainly necessary to recall the utopian projections of Saint-Simon, Robert Owen and Joseph Fourier. Paraphrasing Dan Popescu[6] utopian socialists are economists who consider the society of their time as being bad and against the nature of human beings, desiring a better, more generous one. In other words, we are dealing here with the utopian pattern: utopia arises here also as a critical reaction towards society, one that proves to be marginal (here, I am mainly referring to the failure of the utopian projects belonging to Saint-Simon, Owen and Fourier, which we will discuss in what follows, but also to the criticism brought up by socialists claiming to be scientists, criticism primary aimed at their lack of realism). If according to Karl Mannheim[7], we consider utopia as achievable in the future and as comprising the ideas of a rising class, ideas which can be accomplished in the social order within which they appear, and ideology as consisting of ideas which throughout history prove to be just distorted interpretations of a past or potential social order, then we can conclude that the societies imagined by the three are actually ideologies. Furthermore, the initial propose of the theories discussed here is one that firstly falls within the order of what is real, a social and political reality of the time, suggesting a possible world that chiefly favours a social class.

Fully conclusive for its relation to individuals and the result of their work  is „Saint-Simon’s parable” [8], according to which the presence of scientists, industrialists, bankers, farmers and traders within a society is a sine qua non condition, while the disappearance of the social class belonging to noblemen and leaders (kings, ministers, state councillors, representatives of the church, prefects, judges and owners) would not affect the proper functioning of society in any way. Consequently, individuals are divided according to status and occupation, in a productive working class, useful to society, and the so-called parasites which live at the expense of the former. Saint-Simon pays special attention to the role individuals could take in improving the living conditions and in significantly reducing shortcomings (one of society’s primary need being the abolition of exploitation and earning an income that sustains living). The phrase revoked by Saint-Simon “for each according to his ability, to each according to his work” is interpreted by Dan Popescu not as the abolition of property, but rather as maintaining it[9].

Vittor Ivo Comparato[10] identifies a utopian dimension precisely in Saint-Simon’s ideas regarding moral and religious values. The image of scientific progress is preceded, according to Saint-Simon, by the moral advancement and the Christian faith. These give birth to philanthropy, truly necessary to society, in the saint-simonian vision. Furthermore, the idea of dissolving heredity is another direction which, alongside the sentiment that all changes proposed in his utopian project can be implemented by peaceful means and not by revolutionary movements, allows the interpretation of the saint-simonian concept as lacking realism.

However, at the level of social codes, this vision has a fully visible influence both on the utopias, as well as on the anti-utopias: in The Machine Stops the parental role is overtaken by the machines. The same thing happens in L`anno 3000 or in When the Sleeper Wakes, where the system takes over the task of raising and educating children. The abolition of heredity becomes a leitmotif of utopias and anti-utopias starting with the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century.

Like Saint-Simon, Robert Owen[11] cannot be considered a revolutionary socialist due to the fact that he “never pointed out to workmen that the aim was the expropriation of capitalists, but the creation of new capital” [12]. Theorising upon the adaptation and subordination of man to the environment, Owen argues that man is the result of the environment and the society within which he lives. This view leads him towards the implementation of his ideas. Scotland, America and England are just some of the actual territories where he tried practicing his visions regarding a perfect organisational form. The experiment which lasted for nearly three decades was put into practice at New-Lanark, within a small community of 2500 people. The experiment consisted, according to Dan Popescu[13], in the placement of workers in a context considered to be in accordance with human dignity, with higher wages and with particular attention regarding the education of the workers’ children. The result was positive, increasing production and considerably decreasing alcoholism, crime and police interventions. The author of the above-mentioned article notes the fact that what has been accomplished in greenhouse conditions and for a limited period of time, cannot be practiced, to a wider scale, to the extent of countries.

The idea of communal property could not function as a real principle of organisation for societies in different environments and at a wider scale. Critically, Engels refers to Owen by stating “Three great obstacles seemed to him especially to block the path to social reform: private property, religion, the present form of marriage. He knew what confronted him if he attacked these – outlawry, excommunication from official society, the loss of his whole social position. (…) Banished from official society, with a conspiracy of silence against him in the press, ruined by his unsuccessful Communist experiments in America, in which he sacrificed all his fortune, he turned directly to the working-class and continued working in their midst for 30 years.” [14]

The construction of The Iron Heel follows this legislative scheme. The novel reconsiders the worker’s position in society, using as well the idea of community goods.

Regarding Fourier’s vision of a better society, we identify some of the main ideas: 1. organisation of phalansteries (whose functioning is detailedly described in Treatise on Domestic Agricultural Association), economically and socially autonomous communities, where existence can be assured through superior living conditions and facilities (industry workshops, agricultural lands, manufacturing, housing, schools, equipment, tools) needed by a number of people between 1800 and 3000, of different occupations and social conditions, both female and male; 2. turning the employees into co-partners and co-interested; 3. allocation of work in accordance with talents and passions, replacing its necessity and pressure with the harmony of work done out of pleasure (elements which were later on classified by the scientific socialists as being utopian), 4. the release of love affairs from under pre-established social structures. Within the harmonious society (these communities are imagined as working spaces like the common good) imagined by Fourier, the monogamous module would be abandoned in favour of polygamy, by allowing maximum liberation in terms of love and complete sexual freedom. In the context of this imaginary society children would be freed from their parents’ guardianship and integrated in the labour process (the so-called dirty works would be left to the children because they love to frolic in the dirt).

Vittor Ivo Comparato[15] considers that Fourier’s image of society is an impressive mental exercise, constructed on the millenarian scheme, while Massimo Baldini[16] states that Fourier wrote “the most magnificent, bizarre and radical utopia ever conceived.”

Thus, even if we refer to the saint-simonien projections, Owen’s colonies, or Fourier’s phalanstery, we have to consider that these are spaces which centre on work and production, elements which mark the utopian projections of the nineteenth century.

Originally intended as political projects and later interpreted as great utopias of their time the projections belonging to the three socialists make an appeal to the collective psyche engaging and even changing the social and ideological codes of the time. The social identity, which these visions seek to outline, ends up transposed in the utopias and anti-utopias of the time, transforming itself, along with the socialism self-entitled scientific, in ideology.


Scientific Socialism


The Manifesto of the Communist Party acknowledges the anticipated value of the critical-utopian socialism, but, ideas such as cancelling the contrast between urban and rural areas, the traditional form of family, private property, rewarding work in a decent pay scale, the establishment of social harmony or the transformation of the state into a simple form of management when coming to production are seen as having a utopian character. One of Marx and Engels’ main upbraids against utopian socialists was that they thought about transforming society and the establishment of socialism through peaceful, harmonious means, and not through revolutionary movements. Even though for Marx and Engels these ideas possessed only a utopian character, the two thinkers gave way to the social changes which were about to arise. In other words, “While the utopians dreamed up schemes of ideal societies, the Marxists thought they had discovered the law of motion of history and society that was, more or less inevitably, delivering socialism as the final stage of human history”[17]. Jack London’s The Iron Heel is constructed on this same Marxist scheme. In his book, under the form of literary narrative, the author supports the much debated reproach which Marxist socialism brought upon the utopian socialism, namely the fact that all class movements which have to be imposed can only be achieved through revolutionary movements. Therefore, The Iron Heel, within an inter-textual discourse with the issue of utopian socialism-scientific socialism, follows precisely the successive steps  (violence with a high ideological charge, constantly supported by the propagandistic discourse) underwent by the revolutionary struggle. Even though London’s utopia is a literary manifestation of the Marxist socio-political projections, by making use of the discussion at hand, it only succeeds in shedding a discursive character upon “the great dystopia of the nineteenth century” [18]; considering the fact that, according to Arrigo Colombo, the establishment of a classless society, of a “radical equality”, and “radical justice”, is only a utopia which, in the end, will be distorted and transformed into a dystopia. Referring to the mistake that the international scientific community has often recorded when overlapping the terms of utopia and dystopia, while maintaining a sense of confusion between a society of justice and a perverted one, Colombo argues that the real achievement of socialism was not actually utopia, but dystopia, a distorted society[19]. He interprets the utopian socialist projections from the perspective of their result when implemented in real life; thus, elements such as the individual’s alienation from the object of his own work (all the results of his work belonging to the state), the centralised and planned economy, the coercive order and the control of one party tend towards dictatorship, and, at a more general level, change the utopian projection into a dystopian one[20].

Additionally, Arrigo Colombo considers the utopian projections of Saint-Simon, Fourier and Owen as being literary or philosophical utopias, which unlike past utopias possess a new connotation: that of an experiment, of immediate achievement aimed at the social transformation. He underlines the fact that Marxist socialism aimed at “demolishing utopia in order to oppose it by a science” and what appears to be “science that opposes utopia is the very essence of utopia itself” [21]. In other words, Colombo argues that even if its porpoise was   demolishing utopia, opposing it to science, Marxism always resumes, albeit in brief terms, the great utopian project: the image of a just and fraternal society, centred on liberty, a certain type of solidarity (the principle according to which “each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”) and a virtuous society. Therefore, in the author’s view, Marxism does nothing but try to elaborate a utopian projection scientifically, a process which occurs right in the actual history. However, according to him, the utopian project taken by the Marxists is deformed, distorted (being treated as being unique, final, leaving place for no other), succeeding eventually to disqualify utopia itself[22].

Krishan Kumar believes that the critical attitude of the “scientific” socialists towards the utopian socialism is mainly aimed at grounding the position of the latter, making them the carriers of a superior historical and practical view:


The rejection of “utopianism” by Marx and Engels had in fact a good deal to do with their attempt to demonstrate that their kind of socialism was superior to the many other varieties currently on offer. Other people’s socialisms were “utopian”, if not sentimental or downright reactionary; theirs, by contrast, was “scientific”. In describing, in particular, the socialism of Saint-Simon, Fourier, Owen, Cabet and Weitling as “utopian”, the Marxists meant to make two main points. They wanted to show first that utopian socialism was in some sense primitive and “premature”. The utopians formulated their socialism in abstract and ahistorical terms because the conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat had not yet reached the stage were socialism – “scientific socialism” – could be related in theory and practice to the actual struggles of the proletariat, in condition which made proletarian emancipation feasible.[23]


Maria Luisa Berneri interprets the description given by Engels to social utopias as being “substantially correct”[24], but includes the socialist projects belonging to Saint-Simon, Fourier and Owen in the same sphere with those of Engels and Marx, considering them to be equally unrealistic.

Beside the grand legislative projects of the nineteenth century, it is also mandatory to discuss the scientific theories which had an influence on the way individuals related themselves to the world, and implicitly the utopian/anti-utopian writings. These theories are symptomatic to the anti-utopian pessimism of the nineteenth century, being generated by it, while, in the same time, strengthening it[25].

The premise from which we start is that the general distrust towards the Universe and its rules manifests itself at the level of the collective psyche before being theorised and materialised in the form of scientific or cultural theory. There is a spirit of the age which affects the human mentality, prior to all the theories about it. For example the term “entropy”, which will be discussed and explained in what follows, was first used in 1865, in Rudolf Clausius’ article entitled The History of Entropy[26], while at the level of the collective consciousness the dormant feeling of destruction, of the Universe’s irreversible death was already present.



  1. 1.      The cosmic decline


In 1865 Rudolf Clausius introduced the concept of entropy, which caused a change in the way human beings related to the world. The world is not eternal and immutable, but irremediably heads towards thermal extinction. Rudolf Clausius’ vision theorises upon the irreversibility of physical processes. His theory regarding the Universe’s thermal death can be reduced to several premises: within a Universe where everything is in motion, matter is converted into heat. The propagation of heat tends however towards a progressive equalization, thus towards the cancelling of every movement. As a result, the thermal equilibrium, this levelling of the Universe, of effects and processes, not only announces but also leads towards the death of the Universe.

At the level of the human psyche, this theory generates at least two types of anxiety: a) human beings become aware of the irreversibility of physical phenomena, while nature is no longer seen as a controllable mechanism; b) if difference allows movement, which means that the Universe encompasses certain structures of instability which bring the human consciousness to a maximum level of anxiety and fear when dealing with the uncontrollable and irreversible.



  1. 2.      The decline of civilizations


In addition to those state above, one of the predominant feelings that marked the human being at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century was that of the destruction of civilization. The conscience regarding the decline of the Western civilisation, later theorised in the Decline of the West, not only marks, but also fills human beings with a sense of pessimism. According to Oswald Spengler, all cultures follow a developmental pattern similar to the organic evolution: birth – maturity – decline – death. In other words, according to Spengler’s organic logic, the Faustian (Western) culture already finds itself in a process of decay, of decline.

Thus, once the idea regarding the inevitable decline of cultures / civilizations emerges at the level of the collective psyche, a sense of distrust towards the utopian projections also appears. In a context where culture is being disintegrated and civilisations head towards decline, the human being no longer uses fantasy in order to imagine a perfect world, with an impeccable social order, in an exotic topos comparable to the Terrestrial Christian Paradise. This generalised disbelieve also manifests itself upon the utopian projections. The perfect worlds turn at the level of creative imagination in worlds that are being destroyed (H.G. Wells, The Sleeper Awakes) and spaces which were once identifiable with the Terrestrial Paradise, now become Calvary, the Hell of all atrocities (H.G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau).



  1. 3.      The Decline of the Sacred


In what concerns man’s relationship with the sacred and the recoil of divinity from the world it is worth mentioning Massimo Baldini who, starting from Paul Ricoeur’s claim according to which Marx, Freud and Nietzsche are “the three masters of doubt”, made a very good analysis of the theories which debunk man’s relationship with the sacred. Also bringing up Ludwig Feuerbach alongside the three, Massimo Baldini draws the interpretations which free man from God. Thus, Ludwig Feuerbach places man in the centre of religion, interpreting the latter as a simple human construct (“man is the beginning of religion, man is the centre of religion, man is the end of religion” [27]), and initiates, what he calls, the “unmasking” of religion, which he believes to be nothing more but ideology. Marx underlines the mystified aura of religion[28], placing it within a category of illusion, category which once left behind assures man’s happiness. He takes his argument even further, reaching the conclusion that the aim should be the abandonment of such a human condition that needs (self)illusion. He doesn’t omit to underline the manipulative role of religion, seen as a mechanism used by the dominant classes to control the lower ones. For Sigmund Freud, religion characterises a primitive stage in man’s development which will be finalised when the human being reaches maturation. Furthermore, this is seen as “the incapacity of dominating through reason both the threatening forces of the outside world, as well as those within one’s own being, which determines man to create a Fatherly God”.[29] Friedrich Nietzsche, in The Antichrist, opposes the desire for power, plenary experience of life, happiness, outside the idea of domination, to the ethics of Christianity, whose values are mercy, the love of enemies, the patience of suffering and a philosophy based on avoiding sin. Massimo Baldini analyses from different angles the Nietzschean view regarding Christianity and man’s relationship with God: the extreme liberation from underneath the domination represented by the concept of God, defining Christianity in terms of humanity’s disaster which acts upon man as a drug, faith seen as damnation.[30]



  1. 4.      The Decline of Man


A fourth theory which undermines human certainties is evolutionism. According to this theory species evolve from one another due to the interaction of factors such as: heredity, variability, over-population or natural selection. At the level of the human psyche this theory also generates a double state of anxiety. On the one hand, the human being loses its divine origin, reaching its current state randomly. The fact that the human species was the strongest and most adaptable is perceived as a simple occurrence. At the individual level the lack of certainty is also present, natural selection taking place inside the same species as well. Thus, man is no longer a divine creation, its existence no longer having to follow a porpoise which needs to be achieved. Everything is being reduced to the chance of being withstood natural selection. Therefore, the insecurity produced by “natural selection” and the lack of meaning (since there is no reference to an omnipotent deity, protective and especially generous with its own creatures) fills the human being with a sense of decrepitude.


Nineteenth century is marked by a change of paradigm, one which certainly affects the way in which human beings relate to the world. With the triumph of the first wave of modernism, early signs of general deception arise, undermining all human beliefs, values and certainties. This period is dominated by an almost nihilistic pessimism, a sense of morbidity which also influences the utopian projections. Anti-utopia gains ground at the expense of the utopian optimism. Human beings become aware of their own insecurity in relation to the general laws of decay and dispersion, due to which the type of writing changes.

Literary utopias are opposed to anti-utopias which are brought forth as polemic reactions towards the utopian prrojects.

Both in The Coming Race by Bulwer Lytton, as well as in the The Machine Stops belonging to E.M. Forster science and the hyper technologised world are associated with underworlds which alienate human beings, making them lead a false existence. In The Machine Stops, the utopian underground machines bring the human being in a state of anti-utopian inactivity. Direct communication between human beings is being mediated and fully dependent on this constructed world, while space is not an open one or with measurable boundaries. Space is reduced to the very division of the machine within which the human being lives (both while at rest, as well as during the journeys approved and performed with the help of the same mechanised instances). K. Jerome also writes an anti-utopia within a dispute with the socialist utopias (The New Utopia). According to the pattern, the catalectic sleep is the narrative strategy through which the main character is brought into the world where the changes announced and proposed by socialism have been put into practice. However the new found reality is far from being a utopian one (the character discovers the uniformity of space, of architecture, of human appearance, actions, an identity which is common for everything and everyone and which strips away the human beings from the freedom of being into the world and manifesting themselves). Following the same line of thought, the fantastic voyages rely on symbolic geographies which appear as an anti-utopian counterpart of the Terrestrial Paradise (H.G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau, Anatole France, L’île des Pingouins, while time is set as one tainted by the socialist ideology.  Futuristic projections (H.G. Wells, The Sleeper Awakes, Paolo Mantegazza, L’anno 3000) also depict a decentralised world, of decadence and self-destruction. Paolo Mantegazza sketches an avant la lettre big brother, an instance that has access to human intimacy, thoughts and individual freedom.

It should also be mentioned that the anti-utopias of the nineteenth century find themselves in a constant dispute not only with the literary utopias or the political projects of the time, but also with the theories which mark the human being: “Bulwer Lytton’s utopian exercises serve as irony for Darwinism, rationalism and the feminist era”[31].

As a follow up of the above analysis, I shall summarise my investigation and its main outcomes. In the first part of the paper, I conducted a brief scan of the legislative projects belonging to the nineteenth century, by making reference to different thinkers who critically related to them; in order to, later on, be able to point out the theories which influenced and led towards the anti-utopian pessimism, highly visible in the late nineteenth century utopias. I consider that the repercussions of this anti-utopian pessimism (this conclusion being the result of analysing the utopian projections – political or literary – of the nineteenth century) were positive, at least from two points of view: 1. this anti-utopian pessimism is a cure for “the ideocratic and anti-humanist utopianism” [32], saving the imaginary from underneath the “supremacy of reckless exploitation of a one-dimensional polarity of dreaming”[33]; 2. it also represents, and this is one of the main gains of the anti-utopian pessimism, a rejection of the socialist projections. In other words, the anti-utopian socialism contributes to the great liberation of the collective imaginary from underneath the socialist ideology and its illusions. Thus, anti-utopia ends up thwarting the ideological discourse, encouraging the human consciousness towards an acute sense of awakening.


            This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0061.






Massimo Baldini, La storia delle utopie, Rome, Armando, 1994.

Massimo Baldini, Il linguaggio delle utopie. Utopia e ideologia: una rilettura epistemologica, Rome, Edizioni Studium, 1974.

Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward: A. D. 2000-1887, Boston, Ticknor, 1888.

Maria Luisa Berneri, Viaggio attraverso Utopia, trans. Andrea Chersi, Carrara, Movimento Anarhico Italiano, 1981.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton, The Coming Race, London, Blackwood, 1871.

Arrigo Colombo, L’utopia. Rifondazione di un’idea e di una storia, Bari, edizioni Dedalo, 1997.

Vittor Ivo Comparato, Utopia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2005.

Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, New York, Penguin Group, 1958.

Charles Fourier, The Theory of the Four Movements, Cambridge, Press Syndicate of the University, 1996.

Krishan Kumar, Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times, New York, Basil Blackwell, 1987

Jack London, The Iron Heel, New York, Penguin Group, 2006.

Paolo Mantegazza, L’anno 3000, Bologna, Area 51 Publising, 2013.

Karl Marx and Friederich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, New York, Penguin Group, 2011.

William Morris, News from Nowhere, London, Reeves and Turner, 1891.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Anticristul, New York, Prometheus Books, 2000.

Ilya Prigogine, Issabelle Stengers, Între eternitate și timp, trans. Iulia Gherguț,Bucharest, Humanitas, 1997.

Jerome. K. Jerome, The New Utopia, London, Libertarian Alliance, 1987.

Oswald Spengler, The decline of the West, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1991.

Raymond Trousson, Voyages aux pays de nulle part, Brussels, Edition de l’Université de Bruxxelles, 1999.

G. Uscătescu, Tempo di utopia, Pisa, Giardini, 1967.

H. G. Wells, Five Great Science Fiction novels, New York, Dover Publications, 2004.

Jean-Jacques Wunenburger, Utopia sau criza imaginarului, trans. Tudor Ionescu, Cluj-Napoca, Dacia, 2001.

*** Marx, Engels, Lenin. Despre comunismul științific, editura Politică, Bucharest, 1964.



Dan Popescu, “Uthopia – The Castle with Dreams and Hopes”, in Economie Teoretică și Aplicată, nr. 1/2006 (496)

Simina Raţiu, ”Reprezentări apocaliptice în postmodernism”, in Steaua, no. 10-11 (756-757), 2011, p. 54-56.




[1] Krishan Kumar, Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times, New York, Basil Blackwell, 1987, p. 49.

[2] Raymond Trousson, Voyages aux pays de nulle part, Brussels, Edition de l’Université de Bruxxelles, 1999, p. 193.

[3] Arrigo Colombo, L’utopia. Rifondazione di un’idea e di una storia, Bari, edizioni Dedalo, 1997, p. 296.

[4] Ibid., p. 301.

[5] Ibid., p. 301.

[6] Dan Popescu, “Uthopia – The Castle with Dreams and Hopes”, in Economie Teoretică şi Aplicată, nr. 1/2006 (496) p. 34-42.

[7] Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia. An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge, Trans. Louis Wirth and Edward Shils, London, Routledge&Kegan Paul, 1954, p. 184.

[8] Some of the Saint-Simon’s works: De la réorganisation de la Société européene, Politica, Industrie, and others in collaboration with A. Compte: Système industriel, Catéchisme des industriels, Oeuvres de Saint’Simon et d’Enfantin.

[9] Dan Popescu, “Uthopia – The Castle with Dreams and Hopes”, in Economie Teoretică şi Aplicată, nr. 1/2006 (496) p. 34-42.

[10] Vittor Ivo Comparato, Utopia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2005, p. 188.

[11] One of the Robert Owen’s work is Book of the New Moral World.

[12] Dan Popescu, “Uthopia – The Castle with Dreams and Hopes”, in Economie Teoretică şi Aplicată, nr. 1/2006 (496) p. 39.

[13] Ibid., p.39.

[14] F. Engels, Dezvoltarea socialismului de la utopie la știință in K. Marx, F. Engels, Opere, vol. 19, ed. rom., p. 210-211 apud. *** Marx, Engels, Lenin. Despre comunismul științific, editura Politică, Bucharest., 1964, p. 11.

[15] Vittor Ivo Comparato, Utopia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2005, p. 181.

[16] Massimo Baldini, La storia delle utopie, Roma, Armando, 1994, p. 116.

[17] Krishan Kumar, Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times, New York, Basil Blackwell, 1987, p. 53

[18] Arrigo Colombo, L’utopia. Rifondazione di un’idea e di una storia, Bari, edizioni Dedalo, 1997, p. 38.

[19] Ibid., p. 39.

[20] Ibid., p. 298.

[21] Ibid., p. 41.

[22] Ibid., p. 42.

[23] Krishan Kumar, Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times, New York, Basil Blackwell, 1987, p. 51

[24] Maria Luisa Berneri, Viaggio attraverso Utopia, trans. Andrea Chersi, Carrara, Movimento Anarhico Italiano, 1981, p. 242.

 [25]More information can be find in ”Steaua”: Simina Raţiu, ”Reprezentări apocaliptice în postmodernism”, in Steaua, no. 10-11 (756-757), 2011, p. 54-56.

[26] Ilya Prigogine, Issabelle Stengers, Între eternitate și timp, trans. Iulia Gherguț, Bucharest, Humanitas, 1997.

[27] L. Feuerbach, Das Wesen des Christeniums, trad. it., L’essenza del Cristianesimo, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1971, p. 197 apud Massimo Baldini, Il linguaggio delle utopie. Utopia e ideologia: una rilettura epistemologica, Rome, Edizioni Studium, 1974, p. 146.

[28] K. Marx, Per la critica della filosofia del diritto di Hegel. Introduzione, in La questione ebraica ed altri scritti giovanili, Rome, Editori Riuniti, 1969, p. 92 apud Massimo Baldini, Il linguaggio delle utopie. Utopia e ideologia: una rilettura epistemologica, Rome, Edizioni Studium, 1974, p 148.

[29] Massimo Baldini, Il linguaggio delle utopie. Utopia e ideologia: una rilettura epistemologica, Rome, Edizioni Studium, 1974, p. 152.

[30] Ibid., p. 155-157.

[31] G. Uscătescu, Tempo di utopia, Pisa, Giardini, 1967, p. 233.

[32] The linguistic structures in question belong to Jean-Jacques Wunenburger who launches them under the form of interrogations, in the introduction to his volume Utopia sau criza imaginarului, trans. Tudor Ionescu,Cluj-Napoca,Dacia, 2001. p.3. 

[33] Jean-Jacques Wunenburger, Utopia sau criza imaginarului, trans. Tudor Ionescu, Cluj-Napoca, Dacia, 2001, p. 3.

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