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The Utopias Contest

NOTE First written in 2003, this Dream of Collective Creation narrates how a bunch of visionaries like ourselves got together to work cooperatively to create a utopian vision for those bitter times. Their efforts, as you will see, eventually go viral and help spark the planetary revolt. Well, comrades, the first part of my self-fullfilling prophecy is finally being realized here today with the creation of our Future Historians’ Study Group and Collective Writing Project.

As conditions got worse and worse in the first quarter of the 21st century and dispair became prevalent, a group of scholars and activists decided to accept the challenge to dream up Utopias for their time. The dreamers were seeking to invent likely scenarios whereby human inhabitants of a dying planet could establish societies capable of saving it before it was too late. They created a website to attract other dreamers. They lived on different continents and belonged to different cultures, but the Web permitted them to collaborate at a distance, holding discussions and eventually writing collaborative texts.

They started by organizing a contest to find the most realistic paths to possible Utopias. There were artists, writers, revolutionaries, computer specialists, radical visionaries of every stripe. Every thinker had his/her vision or theory s/he wanted to illustrate with a story. Marxists, anarchists, ecologists, radicals of all kinds displayed their stock of occult knowledge, quoting long-forgotten lessons from their movements’ histories, reviving the experience of general strikes, collectivization movements, voluntary communities, communes drowned in blood, revolutions gone astray, victorious defeats, and defeats in victory. They began with Rosa Luxembourg’s premise that “All revolutions are doomed to defeat except the last one.”

My dreamed-up dreamers gave full rein to their historical imaginations in order to trace likely future scenarios illustrating political truths that they believed or wanted to believe. They compared and critiqued one anothers’ drafts and sketches.

Eventually they came out with a compilation of more or less developed “Roads to Utopia” which they translated into several languages and published with cooperatives and small presses in different countries. These texts had a certain success here and there. They were passed from hand to hand, their radical visions finding their own paths into peoples’ consciousness. Various scenarios were being discussed at anti-globalisation forums and anti-war movements, among ecologists and the far Left. The “Roads” posted on Internet sites were frequently visited and linked with many other radical sites. Copies were circulated at big international forums and protests whence they were carried off into new countries where new translations appeared inspiring new “Roads to Utopia.”

The Scattering

utopcontest.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/20 14:51 by admin