Friday, January 14, 2011

Can Utopias Be Appreciated?

A utopia is a lofty idea.  A perfect, peaceful society may be beyond the capabilities for humanity.  But I can't help but feel that, even if it was possible, it wouldn't be appreciated at all.

Much like how beauty is only special when the world is largely not beautiful, perfection can only be appreciated when we understand imperfection.  On top of that, we humans seem a restless sort.  We can't stand perfection.  We need controversy and problems.

Every story that involves utopias involves destroying them.  They also involve finding out that there's actually some horrible, hidden secret about them (thus making every single utopian society a dystopia).  Well enough cannot be left alone.  Utopias are not good.  There is something in our brains that cannot accept them.

Then again, that may be because perfection is boring.  Nobody wants to read a novel about a city where nothing bad happens and the sun always shines.  We need conflict for it to be interesting.

All I wonder is, are utopian societies boring in literature only, or are they also boring in real life?

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