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Utopian Dreams by Tobias Jones

By Tobias Jones

"Utopian goals" bargains one writer's try to retreat from the 'real global' - that is making him emptier and angrier via the day - and search out the choices to trendy manners and morality. rather than cynicism, loneliness and melancholy, is it attainable to be idealistic, to discover belonging and companionship with others who proportion your unhappiness, or maybe, might be, your happiness? together with his spouse and child in tow, Jones spends a yr with spritualists, time-travellers, reformed drug addicts and Quakers, generating a desirable exploration of the which means of group.

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Sample text

Our society now bears all the scars of decades of failure to teach those gentle virtues of gratitude and obligation. In an ideal community, the onus for you to take responsibility for other people is borne out of a thankfulness that someone, here, has taken responsibility for you. It’s symbiotic, joyous almost, because your relationship is based on love. In contemporary Western society, however, the instinctive mood is vindictiveness born out of years of being told one is a victim. Complaint becomes knee-jerk, litigation second nature.

And yet it was, I reluctantly admitted, the key which unlocked the whole book. It provided the clearest, black-and-white contrast between the communes and the real world, it was at the epicentre of what community, at least in the past, has always meant. It was, according to taste, the greatest or else the daftest idealism of them all: religion. It was only through acknowledging that religion, rather than politics, was the choreographer of these communities that their difference and distinction emerged.

I’m feeling increasingly apocalyptic. We’re rushing towards the economic and energetic bankruptcy of the planet. Very shortly we’ll be unable to pay back the loans. We’re taking everything for ourselves. Our children and grandchildren will remember us as the unnatural ancestors who left the world infinitely worse than we found it. I used to think ‘egomaniac’ was hyperbole, but now I don’t think it’s strong enough to describe myself and the vast majority of Westerners. For the first time in human history, certain societies have an extraordinary surplus of goods.

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