Simina Rațiu Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania email@example.com
The Betrayal of Utopias
Abstract: The following paper focuses on the idea of betrayal and explores the possible situations in which utopias are either the subject or, conversely, the object of betrayal. Therefore, the research will analyse the relationship between utopia and: reality, readers, myth, ideology and anti-utopia.
Key Words: Betrayal; Utopia; Ideology; Anti-Utopia; Illusions of Perfection; Myth.
When I think of the phrase “betrayal of utopias” two perspectives come to mind: firstly, there is the context in which utopias betray (and inevitably the question regarding the object of treason), followed, of course, by a second perspective which this phrase contains within itself, namely that utopias become the object of betrayal. In the following pages, we will review the possible meanings of the earlier mentioned phrase, pushing the discourse’s limits to the point where it forms a mini-geography (of utopias) betrayal.
First of all, utopias (can) betray reality. Whether we refer to utopia as a literary genre or we choose to relate to its meaning of historical project or, as stated by Colombo as “the project of the entire human history”, utopia takes elements from reality, carefully selecting, cutting and stripping them of the original meaning of mimesis. Utopia does not copy reality precisely, but cuts out elements which are positively (in the cases of utopian societies) or negatively (in the cases of dystopian societies) connoted. In other words, reality is “simplified”, “illegitimately reduced” and ultimately “falsified”. This simplification is not done randomly or by following literary aesthetic principles; instead, it is based on the positive-negative criteria. All nuances are abolished by the very nature of utopia. Any elements that overpass the limitations of the utopian world, any characters which appear atypical for the world created by the utopist (the marginalised or artists – are just two possible examples) are completely ignored. In utopian fiction life is often colourless, devoid of any reference to the past or the future, with dull characters, humans that are, according to M.L. Berneri, “uniform creatures with identical wants and reactions and deprived of emotions and passions for these would be the expression their own individuality.”  This uniformity is reflected, of course, in all aspects of the utopian life, from one’s clothes to the individual program, from moral behaviour to intellectual interests.  Psychological introspection, as well as any other inward reflections are elements that cannot be found within the utopian novel; the characters are just tools, without any depth, existential dilemmas or subjectivity. The emphasis is clearly placed on the characteristics of the discovered world, characteristics seen from a general, overall perspective within which the characters’ individual traits, behavioural nuances or subtle differences of temperament or personality have no real place or purpose. This is one of the reasons why critics accused utopia of smoothing and levelling down the forms, bringing upon the cancellation of any type of individuality. “The character bearing the values of the perfect society”.
In other words, “utopia is the description of an imaginary world outside of our space or our time, or in any case, outside historical and geographical space and time. It is the description of a world constituted on principles different than those at work in the real world.” The stand point from which this dull, equal-to-itself world is presented by the utopist is that of the all-knowing. Utopia appears as “a world of dogmatic certainty, of the ultimate and absolute social truth”; “the utopist knows all the answers” and wants to cancel any questions that might be interpreted as criticism brought to the society built within the utopia.
Secondly, utopia seems to betray readers. By definition, the term “utopia” comes from the Greek o-topos meaning “non-place”, “nowhere place”. The creator of utopias “(il) attend de son lecteur qu’il croie serieusement et durablement au possible qu’il decrit, meme si le cadre geographique n’est pas convaincant”. I dare make this interpretation due to the fact that utopias work differently than other fictional writings. As stated already, following this idea in the second part of the study, utopia goes beyond the fictional boundaries, offering the landmarks of a possible ideal and shaping individuals’ relation to history.
The tendency to transform the existing society in accordance to the ideas, rules and vision imagined by the utopist in fictional writing is huge. Often what starts as a fictional utopia ends up becoming a political programme. First of all, utopia has a useful function which tempts the collective unconscious to give credit and believe the projection of an ideal society. Appearing as a response to some “deeply rooted tendencies within the human spirit” (“curiosity about the future” and “the need for hope”), utopia becomes a “sanctuary in which entire social classes find sanctuary”. Furthermore, utopia functions as an alternative to the real world. Utopia takes part in raising the reader’s awareness about the world in which he lives, determining a critical attitude towards it. Thus, “almost all utopias implicitly criticise the civilisation within which they are born” and have the great mission “of creating the space of the possible”, encouraging readers to surpass passivity and look upon the existing reality in a detached way. In other words, utopia is “the symbolic thought which suppresses the natural inertia of man, giving him a new ability, that of always shaping his universe differently.”
The world presented in utopias brings about the reader’s appetite for change, and it creates the illusion that perfection is possible; however (and here we have yet another nuance of utopia’s betrayal towards its readers), the utopian world is by definition a mental concept which cannot be implemented but which, throughout history, has given rise to multiple efforts of converting the utopian ideas into legislative programmes, in a committed and conscious attempt, of turning them into reality. Utopia, by its very essence, is an (perfect) imaginary world which cannot exceed its fictional status. It cannot be translated into reality. All the efforts of turning utopias into reality have ended up becoming dystopias. Reality never fits over the utopian dream, considering the fact that the nuances, the irrational, the uncontrollable and unexpected do not have a place within utopias which, as already discussed, simplify and falsify reality, placing themselves in a position of parallelism with reality. Social utopia, legislative programmes, the attempts to bring to reality that which seemed Ideal have failed: all political models implemented throughout history are dystopias, namely unjust societies: empires, monarchies, principalities, aristocracy, oligarchy, tyranny, dictatorship (…), democratic bourgeoisie”.
Thirdly, utopia betrays myth. As we shall discuss in the following pages, utopia is a form of demythisation. Even though apparently they both describe the relation between man and the world he lives in, myth and utopia are placed by literary theorists in two distinct categories, which sometimes intermingle, but which have totally different goals and endings. As Polak argues, the main difference “lies in the world-view and philosophy of life which each reflects in its assessment of the relationship between human and superhuman power. The myth is absolutistic and sacred; the utopia open, indeterminate, and relativistic.” Focusing upon defining the terms of myth and utopia and especially upon the relationship between them, I shall refer to the studies of Mircea Eliade, Georges Sorel, Karl Mannheim and Fred Polak.
When raising the question regarding what myth was, Eliade defines it as an explanatory narrative of a founding, suitable in archaic societies, in which it fulfils a fundamental social and religious role. Within such societies myth is alive; it is the living faith of a community claimed from mythical times, characters and facts. Accepted in the general sense as a “fable” or “fiction”, Eliade understands myth as “an exemplary and significant narrative”. Bringing together in its sacred historical structure primordial time, as well as a founding, “myths describe the various and sometimes dramatic outbursts of the sacred (or supernatural) in the world.” This sacred element makes myth be considered as true, in archaic societies (all the stories about the world resting on a founding myth: the cosmological myth, the myth of the fall, the myth of the eternal return), thus leading to an immediate consequence within the social sphere: myth fulfils a dominant function within the society that embraces it, by offering patterns of thought and action or by acting as a catalyst for contradictory social unrest. The truth value of myth is self-evident in archaic societies, making a clear distinction between the truth of myth and the falsehood of the invented fiction, archaic man considering even himself as the result of facts related to mythical time: “Just as modern man reckons himself a product of history, the archaic man proclaims himself as the outcome of a particular series of mythical events”.
Myth becomes an integral part of everyday life because “by living the myths, we step outside the profane, chronological time, and we enter a qualitatively different time, a sacred time, both primordial and infinitely recoverable.” Leaving aside the discussion regarding the archaic myth and focusing on the social myth, Raoul Girardet identifies an equality between archaic and modern political myths. Political myths are constructed using the same techniques and structure as the archaic myths because, as stated by Raoul Girardet, “they are characterised by the same essential fluidity and imprecise outlines”. Both the archaic myths and political ones appeal to the same unconscious impulse, and moreover, as explained by Claude Lévi-Strauss, they have the same configuration. Thus, in order to paraphrase Strauss, there is a mythical latency within each individual, the myth being an archetypal image of the world embedded into the human unconscious.
Also focusing upon the concept of myth, George Sorel makes a useful observation, which adds to that of Eliade, due to the fact that it emphasises the historical evolution of the concept. For Sorel, as a mental projection, the myth’s main feature is its revolutionary spirit. According to him, myth is based on a mobilising and accelerating attribute which can push crowds to extreme actions such as a total and sudden change of government. The social myth is always a collective will that is preparing to fight and destroy that which already exists; it is authentic to the extent to which it fulfils an uplifting effect. Myth is an energy stimulator of exceptional strength, with a direct influence in the birth of any kind of crusade or revolution. Myths call for action while utopias, according to Sorel, are the product of intellectual, rational, work that compare, from a theoretical standpoint, governance models, measuring at the same time the good and evil from within them: “The social myth is thus an expression of a mentality which infuses force into its wishes through the formula of Sorel’s well known “direct action”. Sorel is thus the creator of the suggestive “propulsive idea”, the refined propaganda, coupled with drastic over action. He maintains that only those ideas are true which are fruitful and that the social myth contains truth insofar as it can inspire and mobilise the masses to action.”
If for Sorel myth is revolutionary and propellant, for Mannheim, utopia is the one which encompasses all these features. From his standpoint, utopists are the ones meant to overthrow the existing order. Utopists have the role of attacking and correcting the existing order in a dynamic way. Discussing the concepts of myth and utopia in relation to ideology, Mannheim places myth closely to ideology. Constructing its structure on a mythical scheme, ideology has the role of manipulating the masses. In my opinion, this type of manipulation is privileged because of two mythical levels theorised by Strauss. He identifies two levels of the myth: the structured level of myth which is based on a common foundation for all myths, and the probabilistic level characterised by variability and the need for approval, certification and validation. When referring to the social myth, I think that the probabilistic level is the one making the shift from the myth describing the beliefs of humanity regarding its great truths to the mental construct that departs from its object, mythicizing it. The distinction between the mythical levels can be interpreted as a way to introduce within the mythical act propaganda and manipulation. Thus, in the internal logic of mythical discourse, the new contents are based on that which is already entrenched in the collective mentality. The archaic myth, which bears the quality of the living reality, generally accepted by the community, is being added a mental projection of a reality separated from its original context. The approval, certification and validation of these new contents are privileged due to a structure rooted in the collective mentality, structure which inherits all the qualities of archaic myth: the feeling of sacredness, authenticity and irrationality. Every social / political myth is built on the syntax of an archaic myth (that of the saviour, of the ideal city etc.) the difference being that, as the expression of an ideology, it has different purposes and effects. For example, the modern myth of the leader rests on the image of the Saviour, the Hero or, depending on the case, of the revolutionary Reformer.
A scheme that explains and summarises the relationship between myth and utopia as synthesised by Halpern:
Returning to the starting point of this research, utopia betrays myth due to the fact that “utopia is the oldest form of demythologisation”. Considering myth, in its turn, as a living faith of a community (following Eliade’s line of thought), as a way of transforming and taming the unknown and incomprehensible, having a sacred and irrational character, totally lacking in transparency, Polak relates to myth as to one of the great stories of the world: „Myth explains the unknown and the feared, and establishes contact between man and the supernatural, forming the bridge between the here and the beyond. It is therefore sacred. Mythical “explanations” are not rational. Other categories than those of logic are used, and other conceptions of space and time.” The mythological imaginary is expressed in a poetic and aesthetic manner. Utopia is aimed, according Polak, at deconstructing the effervescence of the embedded myth. Utopia may, in fact, be considered one of the oldest and purest examples of demythologising. The development of a utopian consciousness implies and presupposes a shrinking of the mythological consciousness. The appearance of the utopia on the scene of history represents the Copernican revolution in the image of the future, shrouded in mythological origins.  Thus, although they are both images of the future utopia and myth function, in theory, as opposites. Utopia denies the truth and the absolute value of myth, clearing the mythical thinking of meaning. The distance between myth and utopia seems to be, once outside the narrative grammar, greater than what our research has covered so far. If Eliade understood myth as the explanatory narrative of a founding, and Georges Sorel and Karl Mannheim classified myth, namely utopia, within the domain of elements that mobilise and generate revolutionary action, Polak’s perspective integrates and somehow surpasses the theories of the above mentioned authors. He focuses upon the syntax of the two concepts, and interprets the relationship between the two as a nullifying one. The logic of past events, contemporary or immediate, offered by myth, is cancelled by the relativity of utopia; furthermore, the absolute nature of myth is also cancelled by the indefinite and open character defining utopia. Myth becomes questionable and loses its sacredness along with the utopian projection. The mythical effervescence undergoes a process of relativisation, of liberation from prejudice or prefabricated labels and unconditionally accepted. The utopist does not limit himself to collecting the pre-mounted stories of a community and keeping their truth value and sacredness.
In my opinion, Polak’s observation goes towards the cancellation of the mythical thinking by way of the utopian project, but does not get to the point of attacking the ideological charge which can be inserted into myths (as seen in Strauss) or into utopias (as Mainnheim highlighted). Utopia empties the myth of its own load, while in its turn (and this is the moment when the betrayal takes place) descends into ideology, only to be later on overtaken and deconstructed by anti-utopia.
More relevant than the discourse regarding myths is an analysis of ideological discourse and of the mechanisms by which it manages / tries to direct the collective consciousness of a population. I believe that (anti-) utopia has an essential role in this direction. If myth is a founding and legitimising narrative, utopia manages by “responding to some deeply rooted needs within the human spirit: curiosity about the future and the need for hope”, to bring to light various socio-political issues (I am referring mainly to the social utopia), historical contents, events or evaluations, reconstructing them and moving them away from their origins. Utopia does not explain events or the way institutions function, but it attacks them, managing to move the content towards a zone of influence meant to leave its mark upon the collective consciousness. The social utopia is always a dialogue between an imperfect reality, often altered, amendable and a mental image composed of elements considered to be ideal by the utopist. The transformation of objects from reality (concrete objects, landmarks which can be located and quantified) into their ideal correspondent (in the utopian writing) contains a social, ideological underlayer. As noted by Raymond Trousson, utopia is, due to its dynamic role of challenging the existing reality, a social reaction of groups that are not in power, born out of the “diagnosis of the social and economic situation”. This subversion of the utopian discourse is also observed by Vita Fortunati in the study “Fictional Strategies and Political Message in Utopias”. Apart from the social underlayer, Vita Fortunati brings an additional feature to the utopian discourse. Like Trousson, he argues that the utopian literature has imposed a certain form of literary expression which observes from a critical standpoint the social institutions and political power; this however has offered the utopist the possibility of free speech when it comes to subversive topics. Ideas about time and place of the writer which might be interpreted as heretical or aggressive can now be expressed freely in the utopian writing.
As already stated, “utopia is an object of philosophical contemplation” . Created as a positive alternative to the idea of reality in the mind of the utopist, utopia has the role of nourishing people’s need to dream. Whenever there is the intention to implement it within reality, when one tries to bring this ideal fictional concept into practice, utopia suddenly becomes dystopic: “the moment when they deliberately invented plans for the total transformation of a society is where utopia stopped fulfilling a useful function”  All attempts to translate utopian projections into reality have failed.
For example, 19th-century utopia translates into literature the ideologies of the time (either the official ones, which manifest institutionally, or the marginal ones, which seek a subversive way of establishing themselves as official). The history of 19th-century utopia overlaps the birth of socialism. As Maria Luisa Berneri observed, it is difficult to distinguish between the schemes belonging to the utopian thinking and the social reforms. In other words, “The thinking and acting of the 19th and 20th centuries are governed by an Idea (understanding Idea from a Kantian standpoint). This Idea is that of emancipation. She, of course, argues differently, according to what we call philosophies of history, great tales within which events are being ordered: (…) the Marxist tale of emancipation from the exploitation and alienation through the socialisation of labour, the capitalist tale of emancipation from poverty by means of technical and industrial developments”.
Both the legislative projects belonging to the first part of the 19th century (imagined by Saint-Simon, Robert Owen, Joseph Fourier) and their attempts to build micro-societies with their own forms of government, as well as the socialism imagined by Marx and Engels degenerated into dystopias. All strategies conscious or not, of manipulating the collective mind and turning these ideological utopian projections into reality have failed. The degree of success of bringing to reality a utopian projection is null: “In a universe subjected to increasing entropy, one finds that there are many more ways for planning to go wrong than to go right, more ways to generate dystopia than utopia. And crucially, dystopia – precisely because it is so much more common – bears the aspect of lived experiences.”
Thus a first nuance of betrayal is its transformation into ideology.
A perspective that should be brought into discussion at this point of the research is Boehm’s theory that argues that the starting point of any ideology is “autonomism”, that is the liberation of the human being from the superhuman legislator. Boehm’s perspective does nothing more than to move the centre of power from the figure of a divine Saviour to that of an almighty Leader. In its turn, ideology rests on the effervescence of the embedded myth and on a mythical scheme. On a mental level, the image of the Leader rests on that of the Saviour; this offers the certainty of security and thus a fast accepted subordination. Mysticism becomes ideology when the figure of the Saviour is no longer embodied by a superhuman being, but by a human being who is (self) proclaimed master of the world, thus becoming the sole object of his cult.
Another indicator of the transformation of utopia into ideology is, according to Sorin Antohi, the moment when contents are obscured and mystified due to persuasive purposes. Therefore, ideology would be only that part of a utopian project that has a subversive scope, socially involved and deliberately manipulative and mystifying. We can say that Antohi considers that ideology is nothing but the rewriting of utopia in terms of “deformation” and “occulting” of the interest of some classes.
A second aspect of utopia – the object of betrayal is the (literary) anti-utopian. 19th-century literary utopias attracted as a response anti-utopias. The authors of utopias imagined ideal versions of their images of reality, worlds which, overtaken by anti-utopia, ended up self-destructing. Anti-utopia makes a mockery out of the utopian imaginary, deconstructing it. Therefore, literary anti-utopia appears as a critical reaction to utopia, on the one hand, as well as a reaction to the utopia which degenerated into ideology, on the other. Anti-utopia takes the often ideologized utopian world, and deconstructs it:
(…) 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.
The results of this transformative process – utopia betrayal – of the utopian imaginary into an anti-utopian one is seen, by the “ideocratic and anti-humanist utopist” , as a cure because it saves the imaginary from the illusions of perfection. It also represents a denial of ideology, which is, in its turn, a great gain for anti-utopian pessimism. In other words, the anti-utopian project contributes to the great release of the collective imaginary from under the tutelage of the socialist ideology and the illusions generated by it. Therefore, anti-utopia denies the ideological discourse, encouraging the human consciousness to a state of acute awakening.
Following the given analysis, I shall summarise the ideas which constitute the basis of my research.
If I have reached valid conclusions regarding the 19th century utopia it is mainly due to the authors of utopias / anti-utopias from this period. The argumentative process and conclusions are based on fictional writings such asFederico Confalonieri, Il viaggio di un abitante della luna sul globo terrestre, Silvio Pellico, Breve soggiorno in Milano, Carlo Dossi, La colonia felice, Antonio Ghislanzoni, Abrakadabra. Storia dell’avvenire, Paolo Mantegazza, L’anno 3000. Sogno, Jerome K. Jerome, The New Utopia; H. G. Wells, Time Machine, When the Sleeper Wakes, The Island of Doctor Moreau; Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward; Samuel Butler, Erewhon; E. M. Forster, The Machine Stops; Jack London, The Iron Heel; Paolo Mantegazza, L’anno 3000 etc., but on the legislative projects of Saint-Simon, Robert Owen and Charles Fourier, Karl Marx, Friederich Engels.
I covered the meanings of the phrase betrayal of utopias by exploring, in the first part of the paper, situations in which utopia betrays, and in the second part possible circumstances that portray utopia as the object of betrayal. At first, my interpretation was directed towards the betrayal of utopias, covering, as in a game of interpretation, the situation in which utopia betrays: reality (falsifying it and levelling it with the air of a dogmatic certainty); then the readers (utopia offers them the illusion that it could become reality; at this point utopia turns into a legislative project, in the end turning, without exception, into dystopia); and then that myth. I analysed its relation with myth (and also ideology) focusing on how the latter imposes itself as a form of demythologisation.
In the second part of the paper, the emphasis was placed on the mechanisms through which utopia becomes the object of betrayal. Thus, it was concluded that when the utopian contents are obscured and mystified due to persuasive purposes, it degenerates into ideology, leaving anti-utopia (and here one comes across the second time when utopia is being betrayed) to take over the often ideologized utopian projection, deconstructing it. With the beginning of the 19th century, utopias attract as a response anti-utopias which succeed in clearing the collective mind of illusions of perfection, namely of ideological discourse.
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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.
 Arrigo Colombo, L’utopia. Rifondazione di un’idea e di una storia, Bari, Edizioni Dedalo, 1997, p. 1; the author develops a theory which classifies utopia as “a part of the science of social and political design, a complex science involving politology, sociology, economy, macrohistory, the science of prediction”, participating in “the reconstruction of the historical project”, in “its process of becoming” with the ongoing tensions.
 Massimo Baldini, Il linguaggio delle utopie. Utopia e ideologia: una rilettura epistemologica, Rome, Edizioni Studium, 1974, p. 52.
 Maria Luisa Berneri, Journey through Utopia, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1950, p. 4.
 Ibidem, p. 5.
 Expression belonging to the researcher Vita Fortunati, La letteratura utopica inglese. Morfologia e grammatica di un genere letterario, Ravenna, Il portico, 1979, p. 42.
 Raymond Ruyer, L’utopie et les utopies, Gerard Monfort Saint-Pierre-de-Salerne, 1988, p. 3.
 Masimo Baldini, Il linguaggio delle utopie. Utopia e ideologia. Una rilettura epistemologica, Roma, Edizioni Studium, 1974, p. 108.
 Raymond Ruyer, p. 3.
 Massimo Baldini (dir.), Il pensiero utopico, Roma, Città Nuova Editrice, 1974, p. 9.
 ***Ibidem, p. 49.
 L. Mumford, Storia dell’utopia, Bologna, Calderini, 1969, p. 2.
 E. Cassirer, Saggio sull’uomo, Roma, Aemando, 1969, p. 133.
 Arrigo Colombo, ibid., p. 18.
 Fred Polak, The Image of the Future, translated by Elise Boulding, London, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, 1973, p. 171.
 Mircea Eliade, Aspecte ale mitului, trans. by Paul G. Dinopol, București, Ed. Univers, 1978, p. 5.
 Ibidem, p. 6.
 Ibidem, p. 12.
 Ibidem, p. 18.
 Raoul Girardet, Mituri și mitologii politice, trans. by Robert Adam and Dan Stanciu, București, Symposion, 1977, p. 89.
 Claude Lévi-Strauss, Mythologiques IV: L’Homme nu, Paris, 1971, p. 560.
 George Sorel, Considerazioni sulla violenza, Laterza, Bari, p. 83.
 Fred Polak, The Image of the Future, London, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, 1973, p. 172.
 K. Mannheim, Ideologia e utopia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1970, p. 194.
 B. Halpern, “Myth and Ideology in Modern Usage”, apud. Massimo Baldini, Il linguaggio delle utopie. Utopia e ideologia. Una rilettura epistemologica, Roma, Edizioni Studium, 1974, p. 17.
 Fred Polak, Ibid., p. 171.
 Massimo Baldini (dir.), Il pensiero utopico, Roma, Città Nuova Editrice, 1974, p. 9.
 Raymond Trousson, „Utopie et utopisme” in Nadia Minerva (ed.), Per una definizione dell’utopia: Metodologie e discipline a confronto, Ravenna, Longo, 1992, p. 32.
 Vita Fortunati, „Fictional Strategies and Political Message in Utopias”, in ibidem, p. 18.
 Kumar Krishan, Utopianismul, translated by Felix-Gabriel Lefter and Dan Pavelescu, București, ed. DU Style, 1998, p. 96.
 Ibidem, p. 97.
 Jean-François Lyotard, Postmodernul pe înțelesul copiilor, Cluj, Biblioteca Apostrof, 1997.
 Michael D.Gordin, Helen Tilley and Prakash Gyan, “Introduction: Utopia and Dystopia beyond Space and Time,” in Utopia/Dystopia: Conditions of Historical Possibility, ed. Michael D. Gordin, Helen Tilley, and Gyan Prakash (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010), 2, http://www.questia.com/read/120636533/utopia-dystopia-conditions-of-historical-possibility, accesed on: 5 July 2015.
 A. Boehm, “Forza e debolezza delle grandi ideologie”, apud Massimo Baldini, Il linguaggio delle utopie. Utopia e ideologia. Una rilettura epistemologica, Roma, Edizioni Studium, 1974, p. 161.
 Sorin Antohi, Civitas imaginalis, Iași, Polirom, 1999, p. 85.
 Krishan Kumar, Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times, New York, Basil Blackwell, 1987, p. 49.
 The given linguistical structures belong to Jean-Jacques Wunenburger, who uses them as interrogations, in the introduction of his volume Imaginarul sau criza imaginarului, translated by Tudor Ionescu, Cluj-Napoca, Ed. Dacia, 2001, p. 3.