Utopia is a Left-Leaning young man’s dream and it is the Earthly analogue for Heaven. No one older than a certain age* (well beyond the chemical tyranny of adolescence) Believes in the possibility or desirability of Utopia (the name itself being sarcastic). No straight, ideologically fired-up young Left-Leaning man who espouses Utopian (eg Socialist) fantasies is likely to admit that his Utopian dream is really one of infinitely-compliant Women and no competition from other men. Very few Communes (gritty attempts at Utopia) from the ’60s, ’70s or ’80s avoided devolving into partner-swapping melees (melees designed to the advantage of each respective attempted-Utopia’s Alpha Male Visionary).
Utopia, if it existed, would be as ugly as Heaven, if it existed, and for the identical reason: the application of a numbing Uniformity to multiplicities of Sentience. No particular Utopia/Heaven could possibly be everyone’s idea of Utopia/Heaven, so both states would feature a minority (if not a majority) of dissatisfied participants, doomed to be dissatisfied forever. While Heaven lasts a literal Eternity, Utopia… representing as it does the supposed final step in an evolution toward social perfection… would merely endure, unimprovably, until The End of Time, which is, for practical purposes, indistinguishable from lasting an Eternity or feeling like one. What a nightmare, being dissatisfied, for Eternity, in a state one’s neighbor might appear (but for how long?) to be enraptured about. But who ever claimed Life (or the Afterlife) was Fair? Yet: an arrangement of Heaven, for Women, and Hell, for Men, would conceivably achieve the satisfaction of most parties involved.
Heaven is the middle-aged, Bourgeois housewife’s analogue for Utopia. With the zealous young man who campaigns stridently for Utopia, the middle-aged, Bourgeois housewife shares an overwhelming desire to get things under Control: Heaven is a dream of No Sex and No Housework… for Eternity.
The Populist Image of Heaven is a cartoon of fluffy clouds, lyre-plucking Angels and gilded chaise lounges. This is what nearly everyone (who has been exposed to the English language for a certain amount of time) sees when the word “Heaven” comes up in conversation or song. Those spotless clouds and smart-looking chaise lounges (too awkward for Sex, perfect for reading, snoozing and chocolates-eating) are accurate pictures, if only because everyone, uncannily, agrees on them. The middle-aged, Bourgeois housewife has not changed very much in two hundred years.
What are the populist images of Utopia? Worryingly, they vary widey: from Langian Metropolises to tractor-repairing Kibbutzes to jam-band barter-economies nested in post-Apocalyptic Benetton Ads. The dreams of the great masses of straight, Left-Leaning, Sex-starved peri-adolescent men no longer cohere.
Yes, they all want 1) Control (this goes without saying), and 2) pliant Women, with no competition from other men, and 3) Racial and Sexual Equality (of a kind that won’t clash with rule #2) and 4) No Private Property ( see # 3 re: #2) … but they can no longer largely agree, as their great-Uncles, and their great-Uncles’ great Uncles could very nearly do, about how this end-point in the evolution of Society… this “Nowhere” … should look.
Perhaps they can learn something from their middle-aged, Bourgeois Mothers, Sisters, Cousins, Grandmothers and Aunts: it is easier to agree on what you don’t want.
*Well, there are some cases.
ADDENDUM: UTOPIA on a barge: