Erik Olin Wright: Why Real Utopias? Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino, Bill Timberman and Steve Williamson talk to University of Wisconsin Sociology Professor Erik Olin Wright about his 2010 book Envisioning Real Utopias.
As Professor Wright sees it, political and economic systems should be judged by the degree to which they foster and protect a people’s right to participate in the decisions which affect their lives. Measured by this standard, a capitalist economy combined with a representative democratic government, such as we have in the United States, still leaves a good deal to be desired. T0 arrive at something better, we first have to imagine it — that’s the utopia part. Then we have to test it in the world — that’s the real part. Professor Wright’s book, a work many years in the making, examines how we might go about doing both. In this interview, we ask him not only about the thinking that led to Envisioning Real Utopias, but also the conclusions that he came to in the course of writing it.