...I take as a point of departure the possibility and desirability of a fundamentally different form of society--call it communism, if you will--in which men and women, freed from the pressures of scarcity and from the insecurity of everyday existence under capitalism, shape their own lives. Collectively they decide who, how, when, and what shall be produced.
Freeways flickering; cell phones chiming a tuneWe're riding to Utopia; road map says we'll be arriving soonCaptains of the old order clinging to the reinsAssuring us these aches inside are only growing painsBut it's a long road out of Eden(...)Behold the bitten apple, the power of the toolsBut all the knowledge in the world is of no use to foolsAnd it's a long road out of Eden
Abe, he says, it wasn't the country that was so beautiful about the whole Arcadian experiment, don't you see? It was the people, the interconnection, everyone relying on everyone else, the closeness. The villages are all dying now, small-town America is dying, and the only place where the same feeling exists now is here, in the city, millions of people all breathing the same air. This, here, now, is more utopia than utopia, more than your pretty little house out in the middle of the forest with only woodchucks for neighbors. Can't you see? All of we kids are here, almost all of the kids from Arcadia, are here in the city. We've gone urban because we're all looking for what we lost. This is the only place that approximates it. The closeness. The connection. Do you understand? It doesn't exist anymore anywhere else.
It may be that the best we can hope for when it comes to utopias is that they be held at arm's length and regarded as aesthetic constructions, in which various proportions are neatly worked out, contradictions eliminated, and outside intrusions minimized. They are fictions, artifacts of culture. And we should be wary if they ever become much more.