Psychology of Utopias Agnes Balint The concept of Utopia

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The authors of utopias

Utopias, like any other genres, tell many things about the authors' personalities. The authors, by creating utopias, demonstrate their resentful exodus from the world. In the real world they do not obtain the appreciation, respect and love that they long for. Whilst they are creative, they start to create in order to save the integrity of their personalities. They create utopias because this genre is the most appropriate for them to admit quick and limitless narcissistic filling up. They depend on the external feedbacks too much, so escaping from critique, they create a new reality where they obtain positive feedbacks. They let in their imaginary world only those with whom they can live in a conflict-safe harmony, and who keep appreciating and acknowledging them. In order to do this they multiply themselves – the societies of utopias are so one-dimensional because each person represents the same aspects of the authors' identities. These are features that the authors can integrate into their own personalities. Their non-accepted aspects are excluded from the world of utopias and are addressed back to reality, and then realized as persecutors and doubters. Only by this circuit can the authors free themselves from low self-esteem that threats their integrity and acquire a pathologically high one. By multiplying themselves they can contemplate on the “complexity” of their personality with pleasure. They create a superior world, society and personality in this way. In virtue of all these it is probable that the authors of utopias have narcissistic personalities.

Narcissistic personality in itself would not be enough for creating utopias. One needs a current crisis as well, that threatens the balance of his personality. As we saw above the authors of utopias struggle with identity crises that threaten the continuity and the self-esteem factors of identity so much that they almost balance at the boundaries of psychosis. The above mentioned regressive tendencies (the unlimited operation of pleasure principle, infantile features and asexuality) and leaving reality all refer to that. Even an ideology that is similar to a delusion appears.

Creating utopias, however, is a creative activity as well, and as such, it can have a self-healing effect, too. How effective this self-healing can be? It depends on whether the externalization of the crisis (that is to create a coherent text) was successful – whether it reorganized chaos, orientated the authors in their emotional confusions, gave hope for change and matured their personalities. So long as they contribute to the reintegration of self, they can be considered as successful self-healing attempts. With their help the authors can cope with the current crisis, and narcissistically filled up, they can return to reality.

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