Utopian World Championship

Herbert Hofmann: TIME FOR TIME - An Utopian Travelogue with Internet Connection

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At first, our utopia TIME FOR TIME was nothing more than the project of two philosophy students on "utopias" during their coursework.

To be honest, we had quickly gotten bored with the traditional proceeding at German universities: exams, papers or homework.

With time, we became familiar with Platon, Campanella, Morus and many others. Over the centuries, all of them had one idea in common: They developed ideal societies in which they created an image that stood in sharp contrast to their real life situation.

One could argue about whether and to which extent they succeeded or failed, and some of you may have made it their soul food to judge and critique utopias in this way.

We, however, in all our naivety only saw reality - a reality with which we had to cope in lack of an alternative solution. Hence, what else could we have done but to become part of this 2000-year old continuity?

The question only was: Would a German professor ever accept such a work that was very unusual in his academic world?

Perhaps, at the time, he had J. R. R. Tolkien in his mind, when he dealt with our project. Tolkien had found an empty page in the coursework of one of his students. Exactly on this empty page the beginning of his world famous work took shape. He wrote: "Once upon a time there was a little Hobbit."

Even if repetition is the mother of all sciences, our professor may have thought: This doesn't have to be the case. Thus, he allowed us to continue our writing. Maybe - and I shouldn't exclude this possibility - we also had convinced him.

No matter what his motivation was, at this point we would like to thank Professor Lothar Schäfer of the University of Hamburg cordially for his acceptance of our project.

If one or the other of you occasionally has contact with students: For us it basically meant that our utopia became concrete at the time!

Thus, we developed TIME FOR TIME.

The book and the internet project followed.


What is the utopia all about?

In the late 90's of the last century, four travellers meet in a compartment of a train in a suburban traffic system in Germany.

The good (Mascha), the bad (Sergio), the ugly one (Paul) as well as the storyteller (Ution).

On the road from Munich to Hamburg, there develops a dispute between these four about the present condition of the world, and urgent questions about humanity. There are arguments such as "it won´t work" as well as "utopia is dead". Mascha, an attractive woman, is faced with all these arguments and even with the absolute lack of understanding by the others, and finds herself defending her idea of a world with a more humane face. The travellers go off into a world of utopia, which Mascha introduces with the following words:

"Now", Mascha said, "I will tell you about my world, a world more and more people think about. People who stand on the same soil as you do, but their lives don't fullfill them. Now, I have to warn you. Whoever comes into contact with my world may find it barbarian, at times even intolerable. This person may want to get out of there. But whoever thinks in my way and wants to talk about it will be called an 'utopianist'. Every day there are more of the dissatisfied and exploited - all victims of our unfair world. Many humans are tired of their constant strive for money. Day by day the insight grows that systems are created by humans. If we recognize that these systems do not function we must abolish them and replace them by better ones. This is a question of recognition and will. Thinking comes before acting. Thinking takes place in our minds, and this is where we want to go now. This is a journey with no return, therefore either you leave now or stay with us."


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