The Utopian Mind: Ideology, Capital, and the Anthropocene

A state of mind is utopian when it is incongruous with the state of reality within which it occurs.

—Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia

We are all utopians now. I don’t think there is a person alive who hasn’t at one time or other thought to themselves: the world is fucking insane. Look around you at the world today. Charles Derber tells us that sociopathy is antisocial behavior by an individual or institution that typically advances self-interest, such as making money, while harming others and attacking the fabric of society. In a sociopathic society, sociopathic behavior, both by individuals and institutions, is the outcome of dominant social values and power arrangements. A sociopathic society, paradoxically, creates dominant social norms that are antisocial— that is, norms that assault the well-being and survival of much of the population and undermine the social bonds and sustainable environmental conditions essential to any form of social order.  Like an autoimmune disease, such antisocial societal programming leads to behavior that weakens and can, in the most extreme scenario, kill the society itself.1

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