Arcadia and Cockaygne

I have been asked to clarify two concepts that we regularly use. Arcadia, and Cockaygne. What are these concepts? There are two (not necessarily incompatible) ways to construe this; as an ideological base for a utopia conception; or as a personality phenotype. Lets consider the former conception, as a utopian model

The utopia, putatively construed, is the conception whereby we imagine the ideal society. One generic type of utopia is what we may call Cockaygne; this refers to the precondition of an abundance of resources, and the attitude of the denizens of such a utopia to be very consuming. In many ways; most rich western nations enact a kind of utopia. If I want to eat a shitload of chocolate, I can easily go out and buy it. If I wanted to use someone sexually, given if I knew some contacts, I could throw some money at someone and have it. This has an appeal to our more appetative intuitions, our more appetative desires and ends; this is a utopia of desire.

The other kind of utopia we may consider, is Arcadia; this is the complete opposite of Cockaygne. Arcadia is about personal self-restriction, and the noble characters to be ambivalent about claim to property, and fulfillment of desires. What is utopian about this is the emphasis of the nobility and restrictive practices of the people; their lack of emphasis on their own self-desire-fulfillment over the contingency and wellbeing of the whole is what is ideal. The cockaynges may be seen as the ideal situation, but the arcadians, the ideal mindset.

Arcadians are ascetic; denial of their appetative desires for the greater good of the whole. Their self-interests are curbed, even to the point of their struggled restrcition. The important point about the distinction between the two is that a cockaynge society  is concerned with the situation around us; but the arcadians are concerned with the temperament within us.

We strive to be Arcadians in the Noumenal Realm…



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