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Ecotopia: An Elitist Liberal Utopia?

Niklas Lollo

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Comment from Niklas Lollo on the novel "Ecotopia" by Ernest Callenbach.

Introduction: Since 1972, Ecotopia has inspired many to envision, and perhaps even foster, a more ecological society. In Ernest Callenbach’s novel, we are transported to a contemporary America, albeit an America that has been torn in two through civil war. This time the war wasn’t over slavery, but rather ecological principles and the divide wasn’t North-South but pitted the Pacific Northwest versus the rest. But in Ecotopia (the book), the war is 20 years or so behind us, and Ecotopia (the Pacific Northwest nation-state) has been effectively cloistered from the rest of America. So much so that Americans have only received scattered, selective, and dodgy information about what Ecotopia is truly like.

And that is where our protagonist steps in – a reporter from America has been allowed access to Ecotopia to write about what life is really like, perhaps in a step to foster better relations between the two countries or at least greater understanding. Ecotopia (the book) is a series of his diary entries and news reports.

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