Utopia: truly brave new worlds


Brave New World

I am pretty much impressed with the Utopian worlds in literature that I had no idea existed before I started my “Creativity and Utopia” module three weeks ago. There is a huge amount of astonishing creativity in those imaginary worlds that keeps you wondering about the brilliance and intelligence of those writers who were able to break down all of the social systems they were bound to and create new brave worlds.

We have started with Thomas More’s “Utopia”, then delved into HG Wells’s “The Time Machine” and Edward Bellamy “Looking Backward” (which I missed reading) and this week “Brave New World” for Aldous Huxley which I should finish by Thursday along with George Orwell’s “1984” and Yevgeny Zamaytin’s “We”.

I don’t know why, but I find this genre of literature to be very compelling. I discovered a hidden passion towards exploring those worlds. I guess it has partly to do with my understanding of Utopia not to be an alternative perfect world but an alternative set of systems that is applied in an imaginary world where it helps improving or making worse the life of its people. For me, the current systems of living is a Utopia on its own.  A Utopia that is ruled by a set of beliefs and rules that are constantly being challenged, harshly by ideas, and shyly by application. It is a Utopia that is not perfect but improved continuously with reviews and tweaks.

Words are like X-raysOn the other hand, there is this alternative Islamic Utopia promise that has been gaining ground for decades in the Arab world with a strong belief system and applicable rules. A Utopia that shares many similarities with the dystopian side in those books where the laws it tries to impose don’t take into consideration the differences of its subjects, but try to melt any kind of individuality into the notion of superiority of the common cause at the expense of one’s own needs. It is kind of as scary as “Brave New World”.

And there is also my own Utopia that I am trying to imagine for my next book “Jannah ala al ard” (Heaven on Earth) of the status of the world when death from age no longer exist. I can’t think of any better timing for this module to cross my life! It is like a “Universe” gift for me to build up my world of fiction. Although, I doubt that I can be as creative as those amazing writers, I am sure that I will learn a lot from reading their amazing worlds.

 

3 thoughts on “Utopia: truly brave new worlds

  1. Well said, Check out utopian Bishop Hill, Illinois for a community of Swedish dissenters who tried to make a Utopia on the Prairie of the US circa 1850. Re; Atlantis, Some doubt Atlantis, in its perfection, for instance, actually existed. Either way, Utopias are doomed as the world is constantly changing, competing interests bring out Man’s natural urge to fight and dominate. No one can fight that reality. Good thoughts.

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  2. Jawad says:

    Utopia is an inherently human notion that says that there is “somewhere” a better state of world. Maybe because we were in Haven previously, we are eager to see it and live within once again. Actually, I disagree with the writer in certain points, most notably: (a) Islam actually respects individual freedom. This is obvious in adopting the market-oriented economy (free markets) and following a flexible approach in ethics; the basic rule for human behavior is Mubah while limited conducts are labelled as Haram or Makroh or Wajeb or Mandob. Also there is an a ample empty space for the community in conducting public policy. For me, Islamic utopia is an open-ended utopia that combines the good features of the “open society” and the good fratutes of the common good.

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  3. ArabObserver says:

    Thank you Jawad for your comment. The notion of the Islamic Utopia I am talking about here is the one dreamt by the mainstream Islamic teachings these days, not in anyway what Islam meant to be or what it does actually represent.

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