Utopia: A Toxic Form of Positivity

According to Robinson, utopias “express our social hopes.” In the prompt it states a specific quote from Robinson: “It’s crucial to keep imagining that things could get better, and furthermore to imagine how they might get better.” These two specific quotes remind me of manifestation. Manifestation is outwardly and holistically claiming your social hopes until they become evident or true in one’s life.  In most ways, manifestation is some goal or hope we have for ourselves that we are continuously claiming and can align with the quote in the prompt because these social hopes are geared toward life getting better and we think of how the specific things we manifest might get better.

The term “toxic positivity” is something I have coined on my own (perhaps someone else somewhere could have used this term before, but I have never seen it). Toxic positivity is when someone is extremely optimistic and positive even in negative and fearful situations to a point where they are not acknowledging the real severity of these negative and fearful situations. In the case of toxic positivity, I feel as though utopias would fall perfectly under this classification. If we get lost in our imaginations and rely too heavily on manifestation, it could cloud our ability to properly interpret and experience reality.

Utopian thinking is not the key to overcoming dystopia. Robinson argues that “dystopias are the flip side of utopias.” Dystopias seem to be too rooted in cultural dominance and social fears, which in turn would suggests that utopias lack these components entirely. Social hopes and social fears tend to reside on separate sides of the social spectrum and there should never be a 50/50; by this I am saying that resting in the middle of dystopia and utopia would cause for an excessively neutral and unimpactful outlook on society and perhaps the world in its entirety. I think to truly overcome dystopia on a social scale there need to be moments where the social spectrum meter rests more closely to utopia, but equivalently, there need to be moments where the social spectrum meter rests more closely to dystopia; this will constitute social balance. You cannot do away with dystopia entirely because although some may disagree, some disorder is necessary; just not to the extent of ostracization or heavy accounts of fear, suffering, and unpleasantness.  

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