Monday, 10th February 2014

by Joshua Gaskell

The title of Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) is a pun on the Greek homophones εὐ good and οὐ not (+ τόπος place). That is, Utopia is a place that’s so perfect that its existence is impossible. It occurs to me that a fruitful source of political debate might be for people to essay eutopias, which can then be critiqued either on the grounds that they are not eudemonic (not good, i.e. dystopian or cacotopian), or that they are oudemian (not possible). The unaligned voter might fruitfully ask themselves: what would fully realised Labour and Tory eutopias look like? What would Britain be if either of the main parties could mould their version of the best of all possible worlds?