Utopia, Myth, and Narrative

Philosophical Studies (University of Tokyo) 25:285-298 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX


One of the most historically recent and damaging blows to the reputation of utopianism came from its association with the totalitarian regimes of Hitler’s Third Reich and Mussolini’s Fascist party in World War II and the prewar era. Being an apologist for utopianism, it seemed to some, was tantamount to being an apologist for Nazism and all of its concomitant horrors. The fantasy principle of utopia was viewed as irretrievably bound up with the irrationalism of modern dictatorship. While these conclusions are somewhat understandable given the broad strokes that definitions of utopia are typically painted with, I will show in this paper that the link between the mythos of fascism and the constructs of utopianism results from an unfortunate conflation at the theoretical level. The irrationalism of any mass ethos and the rationalism of the thoughtful utopian planner are, indeed, completely at odds with each other. I arrive at this conclusion via an analysis of the concepts of myth and narrative, and the relationships these have with the concept of utopia.

Author's Profile


Added to PP

501 (#19,817)

6 months
77 (#18,769)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?