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The paper is devoted to a reconstruction of the anti-utopian realist criticism to Rawls. Rawls’ paradigm is coherent with a particular historical period, the one after the second world war, and a significant philosophical legacy. Both these conditions are no longer present, given the crisis of democracy and a philosophical climate characterized by postmodernism and what I call new metaphysics. The main consequence of this absence is the crisis of that normativity which is so central in the Rawlsian model. In conclusion some provisional remarks are provided about the future of political theory à la Rawls.