Spanish Anarchism and the Utopian Novel in the 1930s: The Libertarian Society of the Future in El amor dentro de 200 años (Love in 200 Years) by Alfonso Martínez Rizo
The concept of critical utopia has been widely accepted since Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed (1974), which is more a utopian novel than a typically descriptive utopia. In The Dispossessed, Le Guin also touched upon anarchist utopian science fiction, which had already been cultivated much earlier in the context of Spain's thriving anarchist movement in the 1930s. Love in 200 Years (El amor dentro de 200 años; 1932) by Alfonso Martínez Rizo presents a society following libertarian communist principles in a technologically advanced future. This is a consumerist society, fully democratic and sexually liberated - homosexuality is not an issue, and even one of the love interests in the novel is queer - but it is not a truly anarchist utopia. The shortcomings of libertarian communism, which Salvio Valentí criticized in his contemporary Spanish dystopia, From Exodus to Paradise (Del éxodo al paraíso; 1933), are presented with wry humor through plot devices reminiscent of those frequently encountered in modern dystopias. Love in 200 Years, an original popular modernist scientific romance, is an early critical utopian novel which deserves to be rescued from oblivion.