Published On: Mon, Sep 11th, 2017

Utopia

Jacob Gelt DekkerFor more than ten years, XCOR, Space travel, and GT, Green Town, have dominated the spirit of innovation on the island of Curacao.

XCOR announced the commencement of commercial flights from Hato, the local airport, into outer space, as a unique opportunity in the world. Green Town, another futuristic venture, promises an environmentally friendly, modern city for clean businesses, only on the location of the existing oil refinery, the largest industry of the island and at the expense of their demise.

Both were Utopias. XCOR no longer exists and disappeared, though it was evident from the on-start that the company neither had the legal structure in place, nor the finances and technology, nor the worldwide marketing organization. It turned out to be a stock market scam and no more than a flying pig, as some politician labeled it unceremoniously.

Green Town is equally unrealistic since it does not have access to the US $ 6-8 billion to build it. Neither does it have tenants who would like to set up business there, nor any qualified and trained staff of 12,000 employees to work in those phantom organizations. Green Town is no more than a few artists’ renderings of a Masdar- like futuristic city. It is, by all means, a public deception and a pie in the sky.

Nevertheless, the phenomena that people are eager to dream consistently, especially about a brand new future, in a new jacket, is most significant. Utopia thinking has driven static culture to the future of dynamism for many generations.

Most people will limit their reveries to the life-here-after in a perfect world, often called heaven. In heaven, they argue, there are socialist, capitalist, monarchical, democratic, anarchist, ecological, feminist, patriarchal, egalitarian, hierarchical, racist, left-wing, right-wing, reformist, free love, nuclear family, extended family, gay, lesbian and much more. Dreaming about perfection within a framework keeps minds going and creates hope.

In 1516, Sir Thomas More, the author of Utopia, had a prophesying vision when he described a society on an island in the South Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of South America. Maybe he meant Barbados, Jamaica, or even Curacao, but it remained a satyr of reality.

So did Hieronymus Bosch with his Garden of Earthly Delight, a total phantasy that inspired million for 600 years.

People, anytime and age will fantasize about an ideal world of peace, justice, and freedom, no matter what. And to top off the daydreams, a divine hero, a Messiah, or a Mahdi, will lead the charge.

History shows that throughout the ages, that is the way the human minds work, whether you like it or not.

Evangelicals, those new Protestant disciples that sprouted from the second Reformation, seem to construct their faith around Armageddon, followed by a 1,000-year Domain of Peace.

Since their ever increasing popularity, the number of circulating Utopias, Messianic expectations, Green Towns and science fiction-Space Travels have increased dramatically.

I do not judge you, or even criticize, and even applaud futuristic fantasies, but please, dear people, let us get something done, more than flying pigs and space cake.

By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Opinion columnist for Curaçao Chronicle

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