When you think of a utopian society “an ideal perfect state or place,” while a more accurate definition would be “impractically idealistic,” what comes to mind?
When you think of the perfect world, what is that to you? And I don’t just mean what immediately effects you, but what affects your neighbours and other people in the world. Are you extremely wealthy and can dole out money as you want to others or are you living a life that’s relatively low key and equal to others?
This question actually sprang to mind as I was playing a video game. Within the game, which is like an Indiana Jones type of adventure, you stumble upon a rundown historic pirate utopia where the most famous pirates created a colony. Eventually unrest and distrust enveloped the colony, they are pirates after all, and it’s discovered that the pirate captains killed the colonists and then each other over gold… everyone’s greed killed them however and the treasure was there waiting to be found 200 years later.
It made me think though, what is my utopian idea of a society? I’ve thought about it before when I was in university as I studied the Soviet Union and the Communist revolution, which was built on Marx’s idea of an ideal society where everyone was equal.
On paper I really quite like this idea, but it is impractically idealistic. I would love to live in a world where we are all equal, no one was suffering, and the majority of wealth wasn’t held by one percent of the population. But, any society which preaches complete equality amongst all citizens never seems to work out.
If you could have people who were all willing to work hard and put in the effort, then it’s not so hard to stomach. This, however, is the problem with the idea of a utopian society where everyone gets the same as everyone else. If there are 99 good workers and one lazy worker, the 99 become focused on that one and often decide to do less because you’ll still get the same amount.
However, at least everyone is receiving health care, has a roof over their head, and food.
In contrast we have a capitalistic society where one works hard and receives more than someone who doesn’t work as hard… or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work… I sometimes wonder exactly what some people do in order to make the kind of money they make. But in this world people are starving, homeless, and can’t afford certain healthcare amenities like dental.
I don’t dispute that certain people deserve to make more than others, but I do question just how much more they deserve. How can someone be making six figures, while someone else is working three minimum wage jobs and living in poverty? The former also gets a tax break and the former made just enough to be bumped up into the next tax bracket making life a little harder.
In my head I feel like the disparity is too great, but we like expensive things and if we can afford them we don’t usually hesitate to buy them. It’s how a capitalist society works. But, if we could learn to live not quite such a high life then maybe we would be able to help those who don’t have as much.
I saw a meme on tax breaks the other day, which I really liked by actress, Eva Longoria, who said, “The Eva Longoria who worked at Wendy’s flipping burgers, she needed a tax break. The Eva who works on movies? She does not.” And I think this is what I don’t understand in society. Why do we give breaks to the wealthiest people instead of the ones who work hard but need a hand?