By Richard Howells (auth.)
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Additional info for A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design
It is now time fully to introduce Bloch, who is both our most important and difficult Utopian thinker. He is in equal measure impossible and indispensable. A Marxian expressionist on the edge of metaphysics, he persuades us that Utopia, the prospect of a real and better world that is yet to come, is encoded in our art, literature and popular culture. Here we see life as it ought to be – as a shining and radical alternative to the way in which the world currently is. Ernst Simon Bloch was born on the 8 July 1885 in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
51 But European history was about to take a dramatic turn, and the day that the Nazis took power in Germany, Bloch (who was, we remember, a Jewish, Marxist intellectual) received a telephone phone call telling him that he was on a list of people to be arrested. So, the Blochs swiftly left for Switzerland and Ernst Bloch and Utopian Critical Theory 37 eventually Czechoslovakia, which the Nazis were soon also to invade. So in 1938, he and Karola left for the United States. Bloch’s time in the United States was typically contradictory.
More than that, how could any one person know another’s interests and desires? And even then, the most benevolent of dictators could not have perfect knowledge of how things would actually end up. 91 Gray, she continues, shares Popper’s fears that Utopianism can lead to totalitarianism – and totalitarianism of the worst sort, including Nazism. For Gray, therefore, Utopia is at best a fool’s errand; at worst, it is mistaken and even dangerous. 94 She declares: ‘The function of utopianism is not, I have argued, the realization of perfection.
A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design by Richard Howells (auth.)
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