What would your utopia look like

theme - truth

In 1917, under the leadership of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the first communist state in the world was established in Russia. The utopia was to become a reality - and led to misery. Even under Lenin himself, but even more so under his successor Josef W. Stalin, the Soviet Union developed into a dictatorship. The bulk of the population was reduced to mere objects of social planning. Stalin did not tolerate any dissenting opinion, he brutally eliminated his rivals: from 1936 onwards he had over ten million people classified as "enemies of the people" as part of the so-called "Great Purge" and disappeared and killed in prison and labor camps (GULag).

The horror of anti-utopias

The experience of Stalin's dictatorship prompted the English writer George Orwell, who was once close to communism, to write a satirical fable about the ruin of the communist revolution by its dictatorial functionaries. "Animal Farm" (1945) became one of his most famous books. "1984" followed four years later, in which Orwell drew a vision of the future of the totalitarian surveillance state. Some already see this fulfilled today: through video cameras in the subway, in the bank and through TV shows such as "Big Brother".

These visions of horror are called dystopias or anti-utopias. Another utopian novel came out in 1932: Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World". Huxley describes what it will be like when you have to live in a technologized society that is subject to a tyranny. In the 20th century, dystopias were predominantly raised, and after two world wars there was fear of further catastrophes. The growing technologicalization brought the fear of de-individualization.

Eternal promises

But sometimes it still existed, the hope for a better world - and the people who fought for it. About Martin Luther King. The Baptist pastor led the mass black movement in the United States who successfully fought for legal equality - and by nonviolent means. In his now famous "I have a dream ..." speech, King conjured up his dream of a better society in which blacks and whites can live on an equal footing. In 1964, the civil rights act to desegregate the race was signed shortly afterwards, and Martin Luther King became the first black man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. But even King could not change the dire social situation of many black people. On April 4, 1968, he was murdered by a racist in Memphis.

So do values ‚Äč‚Äčlike equality and freedom always remain a utopia? Organizations and initiatives - such as Attac's opponents of globalization - believe in the chance of change. Her motto: Another world is possible. How exactly this world should look, however, will probably never be agreed by all people. The last example of genetic engineering: for some it means the promise of a healthy and eternal life, for others it means the horror of human breeding.

Alva Gehrmann has just opened her office "Freie Redaktion" in Berlin with other young journalists. She writes for newspapers such as Tagesspiegel and Parliament and Internet magazines such as spiegel-online.