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Read Time: 5 minutes
Utopia was first coined as a term by the late great Sir Thomas More. What many fail to recognize in his describing of such a place, was that it is futile. He was making satirical critiques on to the human psyche and our egos that could believe that such a place would exist. We all think we can control the world around us. Which is what political science is all about, studying the thought processes behind our egos and our human nature to control the people around us. Many would not like to look at themselves so critically but Sir Thomas More would like us to.
These days, many films and books based upon a dystopian society are extremely popular. Many would assume that a dystopia is the opposite of a utopia. In some basic forms of English and grammar this is true, but this is also false because the idea of a utopia in itself is dystopian. Most dystopian stories are placed in a world of overbearing control from some governmental figure. What many may fail to recognize, is the dystopia is simply the utopia’s future. Anytime you try to make a perfectly controlled environment, you are bound to make mistakes and are asking for destruction at the highest of levels. Dystopia is simply what happens to the utopia after enough time has passed. All these youthful angry protesters assume they know the best world possibly. They know they can create it. They feel they are wise enough to have all the answers in how to build such a utopia. These dangerous ideals are exactly how we create dictatorships and fascist governments. It is the loving nature of one’s ego that makes them feel this is possible. It comes from a place of love usually. They are just heavily misguided. I was in my youth as well. This is quite a common theme with most evolving humans. When you are young you are passionate and assume you have all the answers. You feel you could create this perfect world. You could create a place with no pain, no sorrow, no guilt, no shame, nothing bad. This is a failure of humankind’s ability to humble themselves. Hubris is the perfect word to describe these young utopia seeking protesters. They assume that if the world was just able to fall in line with what they say, do as they say, and follow all their rules, then it will work.
I find this to fall in line with most people and their assumptions of communism. So many people worship Karl Marx and then passionately state that a true communist state has never been accomplished. They say that they were failed versions and that is a way to deflect the detractors who mention Mao, Stalin, and Guevara. I think this is the ego, and hubris at play here. They are saying ‘If I were dictator, I would make the perfect utopia.’
It is hubris in full swing. The notion that one can make all the perfect decisions that will make everyone happy, and create a system that works for everyone, without anyone being oppressed, is the birth of a dictator within the mind.
I feel this is a trick question. I am supposed to pick 4-5 elements that would make a utopia work. I fear that in picking these I would wind up giving in to the hubris and dictator mind state by doing so. I won’t pick ones that I personally feel would work because I am against the philosophical ideal that a utopia could even exist without inevitably becoming a dystopia. So I will give a list of a few elements that I think many believe would work to create this utopia.
Many people are fans of communism today, which was a critique of capitalism. So I am going to venture to say, many people assume money is bad. That our economic system is oppression in itself. I disagree with this notion, but I would assume that someone wanting a utopia would begin with restructuring our economics to work on a system devoid of money.
Another element I would assume is desired is to abolish evil heinous crimes. Not really sure how they expect to build a judicial system that will keep the people in line without quickly becoming the dictatorship and dystopia I warn about, but I assume this is one element desired.
The last two I would pick would be free healthcare and education. These two I am not necessarily against, but I fear of the repercussions. Our education in America has gone down incredibly, so it would be wise to boost this somehow. Healthcare, as a patient with cancer, no money, no family support whatsoever, I wish I had a better healthcare system that could take care of me. I am not pro welfare, or a welfare state. This is how we become too dependable upon the government thus creating the fascist state. I don’t like the notion of making doctor’s salary less and forcing them to work on patients they don’t want to. This immediately becomes indentured slave ownership over the medical field. We suddenly say all the hard work to become a doctor is for naught. There are no benefits to putting in all the time for extra education. All the hard work you chose to dedicate yourself and your life to, is now less beneficial to yourself. Sure you are helping people, that is nice. Just how is it fair for a guy who chooses not to get an education and work a simple lazy life, how is it fair to pay him the same or force him into the same system that the doctor is in? To force the doctor to work on this man without the financial benefits of anything gained from his extra sacrifice he had to make.
These are the things people forget when building their utopia. They forget that society is made up of different types of people. You can’t create a perfect system that controls everyone and make everyone happy. People will choose to live their lives differently. If you build a system to force equal results out of differing efforts, then you have created a dystopian fascist government. That is not a place I want to live in.
Response to an essay on the same subject but suggested Communism as the solution.
I don’t believe communism as a type of economic system will ever work. I don’t think capitalism is the best system we can create, but it is the best in history we know of yet. Any regular person with hard work, ingenuity, and determination can rise up out of their situation. It isn’t easy for the people on the bottom, and we could do some things to help alleviate that. We just must be careful not to make them dependent upon the welfare systems, which has become a real issue in this country already with some demographics.
Though I prefer capitalism because I don’t believe in equality in results. I do believe in equality in rights and opportunities. Which of course we don’t have an even playing field at all, the lower financial class of every race has its issues trying to rise out of the very bottom due to less opportunity. I do think two different people working at two different paces doing two different jobs, deserve to be paid differently. The person who worked harder and at a more skill related career, especially one that required an education and dedication to get into, deserves more than the person who just walked in and barely tried. For this reason alone I am against communism ever working as a financial system and capitalism is the only system so far we know of that rewards hard work in this manner.