This year is the five-hundredth anniversary of the publishing of a book entitled Utopia by the British philosopher, Sir Thomas More. In this book, More contrasted the harsh economic conditions of sixteenth-century England with that on an idyllic, fictional society on an island named "Utopia." A map from the book appears at the start of this post. The name "Utopia"comes from a Greek prefix meaning "not" and the root topos. meaning "place." implying that Utopia was a place that didn't exist. Because of the perfection that More has given the residents of his fictional island, the word he coined, "Utopia," has come to mean an ideal society.
Philosophers, economists and political scientists have long been speculating about what an ideal society would be like. Plato wrote what, in reality, is the first description of a Utopia in The Republic, written over seventeen hundred years before the time of More.
Many music and arts festivals have used the name Utopia. Utopia, Texas, each year has a music festival. Another music festival called "Utopia" took place a couple of weekends ago in Madrid, Spain.
In Tel Aviv, the Utopia Festival is a science fiction films festival - while the Utopia Film Festival, in Greenbelt, MD and Washington, DC, last October presented films exploring Utopian visions and had a motto of "Seeing a better world through film."
In a sense, Easton Mountain strives for a Utopian community. Our statement of values is a statement of Utopian ideals, and our Labor Day weekend festival, called "Q-topia" is an exploration of what we, as a world-wide community, value and how we can bring what we value out into the world.
What's your vision of a Utopian community? Let us know in a comment to this post - or better still, join us September 2-5 for Q-topia.