Friday, April 15, 2011

Utopia in the Revolution Cycle - Outline/Draft

Utopia as Part of the Revolution Cycle : outline

  1. Utopia

    • definition: the ideal, conceptual society in which every individual can be happy and live a fulfilled live (Sources: More & Surtz, Ritzer)

    • people's lives are worth living and worth making better (Source: Marcuse)

  2. Dystopia

    • definition: a society resulting from an attempt at utopia where the government creates a false happiness through extreme, often overwhelming social control under the illusion of creating a utopia (Source: Ritzer)

    • What changes to make a society dystopian?

      1. An attempt at utopia creates a dystopia – sometimes the utopia exists briefly before falling, other times the dystopia simply appears outwardly to be utopian.

        • Olivar – KSF acts as though they are rescuing and resurrecting Olivar, but even Lauren knows that they are creating wage slavery. (Sources: Butler, Marcuse)

      2. Government social structure appears on the surface to care for its people, but underneath that surface layer the people don't identify with their social structure anymore (Sources: Baron, Marcuse)

  3. Revolution

    • Definition (Source: Cutner)

    • What role does revolution play in the creation and destruction of utopias and dystopias?

      1. When people feel their social structure does not represent them (Source: Baron), they feel a need to eliminate their affiliation with the group.

        • How can they eliminate their affiliation?

          • Remove themselves from the group

            • expatriation

            • apathy

          • Eliminate the group (revolution)

    • Examples of past revolutions (Source: Cutner)

    • Results of Revolution

      1. Intent to create utopia (leads to utopia or dystopia)

      2. Creates outside, rebel group in opposition to the existing, original social structure

    • Revolution as a cycle

      1. Return to people feeling that their new, post-revolution social structure does not represent them (Source: Baron)

      2. American Democracy – minimizes violence of revolution through votes

  1. Utopia and Dystopia's place in the revolution structure

    • Utopias are an ideal societies in the mind of the people; attempting to create them leads to an unending cycle of revolution, a plateau of utopian or dystopian society, and buildup to another revolution.


  1. This is pretty threadbare at this point, so there's not a whole lot for me to respond to. One conceptual question comes immediately to mind, though. Baron really seems to be at the heart of your research and of what your'e trying to say, based on this outline; I say this because your understanding of revolution seems to be primarily rooted in Baron. So one thing to think about (although you don't need to write about it explicitly - it might be enough just to think it through) is this: what are you adding to Baron's work or, alternatively, what are you accomplishing by bringing Baron into the context of this classroom.

    I thought it was odd, even for an initial outline, that you didn't have anything to say about what revolutions you were interested in, or how you intend to address them. This seems pretty integral to your argument as I understand it.

  2. I think you have a good organization to your paper and some of your points are really interesting.

    Your outline seems very straightforward and I'm curious as to how much detail you will go into and the depth of your analyzation since you could easily have several pages written just from defining and explaining the first three topics.