Incidentally, Utopia was an essay about an ideal city written by Sir Thomas More, and a chimera was a lion with a woman's head and eagle wings in old mithology... So confusing them is confusing dream and nightmare.
If you are the teach yourself kind of student, there is an excellent book in the Teach Yourself Books series, in Britain, which also publish a bilingual dictionary English-Esperanto-English, written by John Wells, former President of the Unviersal Esperanto Association and teacher on English Phonetics at London University. There is also a good two volume course book on Esperanto written in English by Markarian and Sullivan, attainable from the Esperanto Association of Britain (Esperanto Centro; 140, Holland Park Avenue, London W11 4 UF; telephone: (0171) 727 7821). You can also ask them for a copy of their Esperanto bulletin, Ligilo, and if it comes to that, you can also ask me a paper copy of Kajeroj el la Sudo, which is the Esperanto magazine I edit myself on behalf of the Spanish Esperantist Workers Association. Unfortunately, either magazine is in Esperanto, but then you will have an idea about what the language looks like! :-) In case you can't wait, you can simply press here and you will see the last Kajeroj el la Sudo (Notebooks from the South) on your screen, free of charges whatsoever! :-)) Anyway, there are many other courses here, in Internet, in French, German, Dutch, English, Swedish, and Spanish.Here you can even get Dr. Zamenhof's original course translated into English by the Secretary of the American Philosophical Society.
If you need additional information on this, you can also refer to the Esperanto Home Page in Rotterdam.
Besides all these associations, there are other more specialized ones, but still world wide: philatelists, writers, rail men, atheistic people, musicians, poets, catholic, oomoto, historians, mathematicians, philosophers, radio hams, astronomers, teachers, and many more. Many of these associations publish their own magazines and hold international specific congresses in Esperanto.
- A national language being spoken by everybody (for example, English, French or German)
- Adopting Esperanto, even if politicians don't want.
The rest of the world has taught Europe lessons on that: Swahili is the bridge language in Eastern Africa -and it is not the national language of any country-, and all over Asia people can read Chinese characters and understand them. Once Europe adopts Esperanto, all the Western countries will follow, and hopefully all the rest of the world will join in, being so much easier than the English they can't grasp.
In the second place, the élite which in every country are competent in English and who therefore act as brokers between plain people -who can't speak English- and the goods from the English speaking countries. It is well known that agricultural products are sold by peasants twenty times -sometimes even more- cheaper than their market prize; and the difference goes to the go-betweens, that is to say, the brokers. At the linguistic and cultural market it happens the same. These people who "cultures" English and send their offspring to England or the USA to study will never resign their lion's share in the whole thing. They are usually well-to do people, situated in key positions which "generate opinion" (publishing companies, radio stations, television programs or sponsors, newspapers, schools, educational institutions). One of the half-truths they usually broadcast is that "everybody STUDIES English". What they do not say is how many of them LEARN it.
But the main enemy of Esperanto is IGNORANCE and lack of thinking it over by the general public. They are told that Esperanto is an artificial language (insisting upon the "artificial" side of it, as if it were a sort of sickness, though then they praise such things as cinema, automobiles and other artificial things, in an improper double language) which was a good idea, but then failed. If it failed a century ago..., why is it insisted upon nowadays? Failures were Novial, Volapuk, Interlingua, Basic English and many more, so nobody speaks about them any longer. Why are people still worried about Esperanto? Why do they still speak about it? Could it be because it is false that it failed? No, Sir: Esperanto hasn't failed so far. And it will never fail as long as there are people who want to understand their neighbour.
This reflection is not very common, but usually people "swallow" the "official truths" said by "wise people" who, in their turn, have never tried to check them. This ignorance about Esperanto and what it represents (planet wide communication at low population level, among the non experts, the laymen of any cultures) is something the present day politicians of every kind in any countries are fostering more and more (with the exception of the Italian Radical Party). After all, if we voters -in all- were more critical and had our feet on the ground instead of our sight on the cathode-ray screen, they would not be where they are now...
Esperanto may not be adopted by everybody, but it has been adopted IN all the world. And the scarce and select population which use it can give an idea about what every culture represented by Esperanto speakers is like. International relationships are always enriching, but they are more so when they are not filtered by the official lies from ministers, journalists and other victims of the Babel Syndrome, like the tourists who have gone to other countries provided with just the "airport or hotel English". Stones (historical or not) are stones in Spain, Germany or Japan. But a Japanese is much more different from a German, Spaniard or Eskimo. And when these five people can talk to one another about philosophy, politics, literature or folk song without a dictionary or headsets, there is no doubt: they are talking Esperanto. That is why we should worry about a language which works, though not everybody adopts it. }:->
On the other hand, there are esperantists who cannot -or do not want to- go abroad, but who enjoy talking in Esperanto with people from other countries, and so they offer their homes to host people from other countries for free, on the only condition that they must talk Esperanto to them while they are at their house. Most of them belong to a world net of "hosts" of their own, called the PASPORTA SERVO, or passport service.
That is not true. Not everybody disapproves Esperanto, nor the idea it represents, the lagoon which it tries to fill. But I will tell you who disapproved Esperanto most strongly : Adolf Hitler. This man and his followers gassed thousands of esperantists on the accusation of being red. His communist paragon, Mr. Joseph Stalin, executed thousands of esperantists on the Soviet Union because he said they were reactionary burgeosie. This couple of great asses failed to understand that Esperanto was not -nor ever will be- a given political trend. It represents a unique culture in the world, it is a critical attitude of reality, but it is not a political or philosophical doctrine. In Spain and Portugal, during the dictatorships of Francisco Franco and Oliveira Salazar, Esperanto was persecuted in word, but not in fact, as much as everything which was "not dear to the régime", but if was tolerated. It is in democratic countries where Esperanto has been able to develop comfortably always, though at times it has been socially frowned at. Nonetheless, in the USSR's satellite countries it has always been much more popular, perhaps because they all each have their own language.
When an idea is good for everybody, it is bad for the minority who holds power. And that minority usually owns the communication mass media. So they create opinion. That is why so many people condemn Esperanto without knowing what it is or what on earth they are talking about.