Volume 18, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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This paper puts forward an argument about the relation between utopian thought and political discourse. It demonstrates how utopias frame normative discourse in general and political discourse in particular. The argument is informed by Kenneth Burke’s theory of the negative command and its place at the basis of all human language. I argue that utopias are necessarily based in the hortatory negative and are, in literary terms, like religious texts in general being ‘words about words’ designed to coordinate “the tribe”. Burke calls such texts ‘logological’. The argument I put forward here points to a rapidly crumbling utopia that has beset much of the world and all of the West since at least the Reagan-Thatcher era in which a new corporatist political economy was given global impetus.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Burke; dramatistic analysis; Negative Discourse Analysis; political discourse; utopia
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