A novel both timely and prophetic, Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia is a hopeful antidote to the environmental concerns of today, set in an. Ecotopia,” the ’70s cult novel, has seeped into the American But to Mr. Callenbach and many of his fans, “Ecotopia” is a blueprint for the. Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach. Few philosophies have a greater mutual suspicion and natural antipathy to each other than libertarianism and.

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Few philosophies have a greater mutual suspicion and natural antipathy to each other than libertarianism and ecology. This is not surprising, since the former takes the human individual and the latter the nonhuman environment, as its sovereign concern. But since our state-plagued era has seen the degradation of both individual liberties and the quality of the environment, we ought to question the degree to which these exist in an inverse relationship.

Ecotopia – Wikipedia

Ecotopia was clearly born out of the political and economic turmoil of the s. In callebnach words, it was a time much like our own, which may be why there has been a renewal of interest in the book in the last few years. Well, not quite, as we shall see. These led him to eotopia solution that had long since been thought impossible in American politics: Ecotopia is also the name of a new nation in the novel, consisting of what used to be Oregon, Calenbach, and northern California, which seceded from the United States in At the time Ecotopia was written, such ideas were mainly associated with radicals in the Black Power and other ethnic movements.

Such a submovement demonstrates what libertarian advocates of secession have long argued, that once you acknowledge the legitimacy of a particular act of secession, you implicitly acknowledge all others theoretically right down to the individual.

Thomas Jefferson and other American patriots were quoted in its defense. This is not to say, of course, that the politics of a secession movement are bound to be libertarian. The Declaration calllenbach Independence, by and large, was; the Confederate States of America, despite much of its rhetoric, was not.


Agriculture and large-scale industrial capital are nationalized. However, the national government of Ecotopia is weak in comparison to local governments.

There callenbachh no cult of the presidency. People are critical of government at all levels. Politics involves all citizens. Public drunkenness is no longer a crime, though violent offenses are punished more harshly than in the United States. Heroin and other hard drugs are legal, but unfortunately only as a government monopoly. Even in areas in which we would expect an onerous legal burden, Ecotopia offers a surprising amount of freedom.

The company making it then ordinarily has to stop production, or finds it possible to sell only in specialized stores. This is not in spite, but becauseof their ecological concerns. Despite offering a variety of fascinating and frightening possibilities for social change, the reader is bound to find the narrative of Ecotopia a bit flat and tensionless. This includes even confirmed classics such as Ecoto;iathat gave the genre its name in the 16th century.

Stories, like history, are about human action, and the locus of all action is the individual. It is high time that their influence, which has already done harm enough, should be overthrown. Ecotopia is the most plausible utopia I have encountered, because it does not seek the perfection callenbah humans or of nature.

Ecotopian novels … exude a curious feeling of security, almost like 19th-century English novels: Perhaps we are always bound to dream of fictional worlds as an antidote to our own.

Perhaps this is why, to a society rent by social, political, and economic disturbances, nothing could be more romantic than an evenly rotating economy.

Revisiting the s eco-cult classic that gripped a nation | Grist

Interestingly, Quebec seceded from Canada in ecoyopia early s, and Weston hints that parts of the Soviet Union will soon break away. At the time, the first prediction must have seemed like a much safer bet than the second, though subsequent history proved the opposite to be the case.


Studies literature at the University of Utah, and libertarian theory in his spare time. He tries to combine the two when he can. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Leave this field empty. HayekEcotopia is the most plausible utopia I have encountered, because it does not seek the perfection of cxllenbach or of nature. Read more from Ray Mangum. Subscribe to Ray Mangum http: Comment Policy Please keep the following in mind when commenting: Real names preferred but not required.

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Revisiting the 1970s eco-cult classic that gripped a nation

Strive for the ideal speech situation: So long as the comments are not overrun by spammers, trolls, and general incivility, registration will not be required to comment. We reserve the right to delete or mark comments as SPAM, and to moderate or ban abusive commenters, at our discretion. Glad you enjoyed it! You convinced me to give it a try, and half way though Pump Six I’m really satisfied. Neil Schulman “Since this kind review of my novel was published in a new edition of the book — Alongside Night — The Movie Edition The book was one of my favorites for the year and I’ve been recommending it to a lot of people Creative Commons Attribution 3.

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