11 December 2019

Nathan J Robinson: “[A]s an exercise in imagining a better world, utopianism is not just useful but crucial, because what we have to do is have some real sense of what we’re aiming for. … I asked my friends and people who follow Current Affairs on social media, ‘What would you have in your utopia?’ And people were talking about quite simple things that weren’t that far away from things we have now but have been made to seem kind of impossible. It was things like, ‘I want to be able to go to the doctor and not get a bill[.]’ …  I use the examples of getting rid of borders and prison abolition. Getting rid of borders seems crazy utopian until you realize that for most of human history, there weren’t any borders. It’s the same with prison abolition. You can think, ‘Well, there are countries around the world today that really have very, very few people in prison — is it that crazy to think that someday we can reduce that population to almost nothing, if not nothing?’ I don’t think so. Your utopia becomes something much more feasible when you start having these dreams and start thinking about what it would take to achieve them.”