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Monday, July 12, 2010

Utopian Society

How To Create A Utopian Society

For my English class, we have been reading George Orwell's “Animal Farm”, and a brought back a question that's been plaguing me for years – How do you create a Utopian society, a government where everyone prospers... the government itself, it's citizens, and businesses alike?  A society where people are free to live, educate, work, and enjoy life; yet adhere to laws that are fair for everyone, no matter who you are, in an honest judicial system with good economics and a well-balanced defense against both domestic and foreign attacks.

Unfortunately, through much reading and thinking, I've came to the conclusion that, because of human nature itself, keep us all from obtaining this Utopian society.  The greatest intentions often lead to corruption, greed and power being the motivating forces.  No matter how civilized a nation may become, human nature cannot escape its barbaric roots of the powerful dominating the weak, the influential dominating the easily influenced.  It seems that the populous would rather give up their human rights of freedom for a government that takes care of their people, and almost embrace totalitarianism, whether it be commercial or governmental, to relieve themselves of the responsibility of having to care for themselves.

Thus, humans cannot effectively govern themselves without it leading to corruption within any form of government.  But people require a government to protect them from enemies from within and from abroad.  People need a government protect themselves from criminals and criminal acts.  So, how do you form a Utopian society governed by flawed people?  It's impossible, but you have to start somewhere...

I admire the Constitution our American forefathers wrote.  However, if our forefathers could see what our current American politics have turned into, I wonder what they would've changed when they wrote the Constitution?  I know if I had been one of them, I would be disgusted by the entire political circus.  Everything from the executive offices down to the judicial system and even society itself have turned into a ravenous joke of materialism.  And we're all guilty to a degree, including myself.

To have a Utopian society, I personally believe that everyone must be in agreement that nothing serves society better than for everyone to serve it with best efforts and honest intentions.  But to do so, with a purpose benefiting the whole, it seems you have to relinquish your autonomy.  So, how do you create and maintain a society that promotes both collectivism and individualism?  Everyone has their own unique talents, but how do you utilize these talents to better serve society as a whole, so that everyone benefits and yet, citizens are happy and proud to serve?

What type or form of government to choose?  There are so many different types and forms of government, and even many various combinations.  It seems to me that democracy is probably one of the best, elected leaders by the majority rule, and hopefully in the interests of the people who elected them.  However, as we see in the United States, democracy definitely has its flaws.  Who regulates who, who regulates them, and then who regulates them?  In a true democracy, the citizens, without fear of their own government, should have the final say in all critical matters.  I personally believe that polls should also collect citizens' opinions of important decisions, and not just for electing officials, and the elected officials should respect and adhere to the public.

How big or how small should the government be?  Should there be limits set into place?  If a government is too small, it cannot govern effectively, and other powerful, non-government entities may become the greater influence.  However, if a government becomes too big, then taxes may rise beyond the scope of what the average citizen can afford, and too powerful for citizens to moderate.  Where's the happy medium of a medium-sized government?

What laws do you set into place?  I personally would first start with that all people, no matter of their gender, race, or personal beliefs/religion, are to be treated equally and fairly.  But where to from there?  For every law you create is a freedom taken away, whether it's justifiable or not.  Do you create laws to protect people from themselves, or leave it up to natural selection?  Do you create laws to protect people from corporations, or hope that corporate administrators and officers value the same ethical and moral conscience as the Utopian society?  Do you create laws for non-violent crimes?  Do you create laws to promote economy and overall wealth, or to protect the environment and promote overall health?  For every law you create to promote one aspect, you will often demote its contrast.  How severe should the punishments be for disobeying these laws?  Do you enforce capital punishment?

How would you enforce these laws?  Locally or federally?  Would you create different departments to watch each other, to help reduce corruption?  Who would watch the people in these departments to ensure they, too, remain free of corruption?  And who would keep those guys in check?  Unfortunately, this could easily be a never-ending cycle.

What are the foreign affair policies of a Utopian society?  Do you create a huge military and attempt to police the world, or keep to ourselves?  Should we align ourselves with other governments, even those who do not share our same Utopian views?  Should we develop an international group of law enforcement involving other countries?  If so, do we also intervene in circumstances and situations, even when our allies object?  How involved should we be with the affairs of other countries?  Should we force our Utopian ideology upon the countries that we aid?  Should we trade with other countries, or try to manufacture most of our own goods?  And how about immigration?  Do we feel compassion towards those trying to escape from oppression and poverty, or let them handle their own struggles?

How would you tax your people, and how much?  Would it be through income, sales, or some other means?  Would it be fair, or would you offer incentives to specific classes or income levels?  And how about a luxury tax for expensive items, and where does the limit start?

And lastly, how would you pass laws based specifically upon ethics and morals that are difficult to classify as “right” and “wrong”, “black” and “white”?  How about non-violent crimes?  Would you let the elected officials represent their people, or let the people vote for these laws (as mentioned earlier)?

A government should be firmly grounded, with a foundation built to last throughout the ages; yet adaptable to try new concepts and ideas, and able to make both permanent and temporary changes when needed, without all of the bureaucratic “red tape”.  I personally believe that by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of our own and other governments, and incorporating the best aspects of these results, can you achieve a better, newer form of government.  With the cooperation of both businesses and civilians, a Utopian government is conceivable, but where would you even start?

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