• Is a term used to define the fist currents of modern socialist thought
• Another term for Utopia: Nowheresville
• The term is most often applied to those utopian socialists who lived in the first quarter of the 19th century.
• By describing how people would live if everyone adhered to the socialist ethic, utopian socialism does three things:
o It inspires the oppressed to struggle and sacrifice for a better life
o It gives a clear meaning to the aim of socialism
o It demonstrates how socialism is ethical, that is, that the precepts of socialism can be applied without excluding or exploiting anyone.
• Utopian socialists were important in the formation of modern movements for intentional community and cooperatives.
• The term “Utopian Socialism” was introduced by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
• Marx and Engels used the term “scientific socialism” to describe the type of socialism they saw themselves developing. Engels: Socialism was not “an accidental discovery of this or that ingenious brain, but the necessary outcome of the struggle between two historically developed classes-the proletariat (working class) and the bourgeoisie (middle class).
• Critics have argued that utopian socialists who established experimental communities were in fact trying to apply the scientific method to human social organization, and were therefore not utopian.
• Problem with Utopian socialism: Does not concern itself with how to get there, presuming that the power of its own vision is sufficient, or with who that agent of the struggle for socialism may be, and, instead of deriving its ideal form criticism of existing conditions, its plucks its vision readymade from creator’s won mind.
• Early Utopian Imaginings:
o PLATO The Republic (360 BCE) an idealization of a slave society with a rigid class system, divided...