Nostalgia and The Private Community of Tomorrow

You might have noticed: many recent TV series are set in the 1980s.

It’s no wonder people want to live in the past and nostalgia - even imagined - is present in so much pop culture. The past is psychologically safer. Its problems and shortcomings can be forgotten and its comforts and certainties trump the challenges and constant uncertainty that mark the present.

I believe that at some future time, there will be enclaved, defended communities in which an era never changes. The inhabitants will define themselves by their shared determination to live in a particular time and place (fabricated like a TV studio if necessary) forever. They will demand - rightfully, since theirs is a privately owned and therefore privately governed community - that all visitors comply with the community vision, so that nobody anachronistically dressed or technologically equipped ever disrupts this bordered world of careful design. And why not?

If people with common values and vision seek to combine their resources, plan and construct their own environment, and fashion it their way - economically, culturally, aesthetically - will the result not be as near to Utopia as will ever be possible? Privately defined, voluntarist, self-financed, autonomous communities will be their inhabitants' Utopia.

A universal Utopia is unfeasible - if we work on the premise that all societies’ problems stem from differing perceptions of ideal. Resource competition and other forms of conflict erupt between groups and individuals who possess different values. Each struggles for power to further its interests and realize its vision.

In the Multitopia that I foresee, nobody is free to control others, nobody can be controlled by others without voluntarily surrendering their will, and nobody has the right to exist at the expense of another - unless that other expressly accepts that particular burden. To experience Utopia, each person must find a community that accepts them or create his/her own. This way, there arise communities of shared values, which have the power to accept or reject inhabitants. People can live like dark age peasants, if they wish, or like transhuman superbeings.

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