Measuring up to Utopia

We have Thomas More to thank for this word, which basically means a perfect society. We might like to think about a perfect society, given that the one we live in has a few sub optimal features. Thomas More's idea of a perfect world was an island in the Atlantic where everyone was equal (apart from the slaves which everyone had and the women who had to report in every month with their husbands, but let's not worry too much about that) and no-one really owned anything. People generally worked six hours a day and were distributed evenly across the island in houses. It's starting to sound a bit communist so we'll leave it there.

If you look at any Utopian society you will find the equality is important, as is the eradication of poverty (it turns out that poverty is key determinant to future happiness). Leisure seems to feature strongly although working good land is a feature. It's also important that humans live in sympathy with the natural world - there needs to be balance.

Now, Utopia is not a real thing - it is an aspiration, an ideal. We might like to measure the quality of our society against this ideal. Namely:

- how we deal with poverty
- how much work we do
- how balanced we are with our surroundings

I live in the UK and it does not look good at the moment, but if you look back over time you can find a trend that moves in a Utopian direction - this is a trend of social responsibility. This enlightened way of thinking is coupled with increasing awareness of the world around us and we can only assume it will continue to improve - people know what's what these days.

Anyway, not sure why I wrote this post, other than to say the world is heading in the right direction, given a few blips.


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