Utopianism in the Age of Capitalocene

  • Keijo Lakkala Jyväskylän yliopisto


This article explores the social and political imagination of ‘the Anthropocene’ and the utopian counter images that can be derived from it. From the utopian studies perspective, I argue that the Anthropocene cannot provide sufficient societal alternatives for the current ecological predicament. This is due to the fact that the concept of Anthropocene relies too heavily on the image of abstract humanity to be able to offer real societal alternatives. It cannot name the social system we live in and, therefore, it cannot fundamentally challenge existing social arrangements. Based on utopian social theory, I conceptualize utopia as a counter image of the present motivated by a desire for better being. The contents and the politically transformative potentials of utopian counter-images depend on the conceptualization of the present itself. I contrast the utopian potentials of ‘the Anthropocene’ with that of ‘the Capitalocene’ which is more apt in outlining the social conditions of the present. Thus, the Capitalocene as a concept opens up more radical possibilities for imagining societal alternatives by conceptualizing the present socially.
Research Articles
Jan 13, 2021
How to Cite
Lakkala, K. (2021). Utopianism in the Age of Capitalocene. Nordia Geographical Publications, 49(5), 75-92. https://doi.org/10.30671/nordia.98001