You Wanted Utopia. . .

by Félix Guattari (1930-1992)


Utopia Today

[I hate this kind of survey, so I am addressing this answer to you alone; do with it what you like.]

Utopia, today, is to believe that current societies will be able to continue along on their merry little way without major upheavals. Social modes of organization that prevail today on earth are not holding up, literally and figuratively. History is gripped by crazy parameters: demography, energy, the technological-scientific explosion, pollution, the arms race. . . The earth is deterritorializing itself at top speed. The true utopians are conservatives of all shapes and sizes who would like for this “to hold up all the same,” to return to yesterday and the day before yesterday. What is terrifying is our lack of collective imagination in a world that has reached such a boiling point, our myopia before all the “molecular revolutions” which keep pulling the rug out from under us, at an accelerated pace.

I’m just back from Japan. In a few dozen years, a society of “machinic mutants” has come to light–for money and for the best! You ask how I see future cities, ideal cities? Somewhat like that. Always more creativity, machinic vitality in the domain of technology, sciences, arts, ways of life and of feeling.

In saying this, I know that I am rubbing the humanist sensibility of many of our friends the wrong way. It’s true. I’m crazy about machines, concrete and abstract, and I have no doubt that a fabulous expansion will eventually break down all the conservatisms that “keep us in place” in this absurd and blind society.

You wanted utopia. . .


[Translated by Jeanine Herman. This is Guattari’s response to a survey by La Quinzaine Littéraire No. 53, 1983. Reprinted in Soft Subversions: Texts and Interviews 1977-1985. Edited by Sylvère Lotringer. Semotext(e) Foreign Agents Series. 2009.]

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