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Beyond Utopia? The Knowledge Society and the Third Way

Abstract : "The Third Way, as the central ideological project of contemporary social democracy – particularly its British strain – raises objections to the very term “Utopia.” The idea of Utopia defies the claim of the Third Wayers: namely, that “new” social democracy stands for a “new politics” defined precisely by its location beyond ideology and beyond utopian thinking. Indeed the term “utopia” is pejorative, for it denotes impossibility and not desirability. I argue in this essay that this Third Way position is related to the conceptualization, in British political discourse, of “new times” defined by economic and technological forces and the spread of knowledge and information. The logic of change in this new context is defined by the warp speed of creativity and by the logic of the silicon revolution, whereby the speed of information transmission constantly multiplies. In such a knowledge-based and individualized economic and social order, politics can no longer be about endpoints because these would soon be overtaken by the pace of progress."
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Submitted on : Friday, October 22, 2021 - 8:34:39 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - 11:28:04 AM

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Jenny Andersson. Beyond Utopia? The Knowledge Society and the Third Way. Exploring the Utopian Impulse, Peter Lang, pp.355 - 374, 2008, 9783039109135. ⟨hal-03397467⟩

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