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Blood on the Tracks in Pullman: Chicagoland's Failed Capitalist Utopia

In 1880 industrialist George Pullman set out to build a capitalist utopia. The town of Pullman was established just outside of Chicago as a model community—a place that was supposed to produce both happy workers and a nice return for Pullman's investors. It turned out to be a miserable failure. And conditions in the…

That New Utopia Show Is a Dumb Dystopia But Obviously That's the Point

Throughout history, people have tried to build many different versions of Utopia. Sometimes it's a charismatic leader ushering people toward a righteous path with a common goal. Other times, groups of like-minded people come together to democratically work toward a common goal. And sometimes it's just a bunch of…

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Synanon's Sober Utopia: How a Drug Rehab Program Became a Violent Cult

In 1970, George Lucas needed dozens of actors with shaved heads for his sci-fi dystopian movie THX 1138. He had trouble filling the roles at first, since so few actresses wanted to cut their locks, but Lucas eventually found the extras he needed in a strange utopian community where everyone worshipped sobriety and…