Hello friends, after a four year hiatus Dispatches from Utopia is back. I hope you will take the time to check out this new post*. If you don’t want to receive them in the future simply unsubscribe – no offense will be taken, honestly. If, on the other hand you like the posts please share them with your contacts.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Utopia as:
1. an imaginary and indefinitely remote place
2. often capitalized : a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions
3. an impractical scheme for social improvement
If, as the Chinese proverb says, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step then The Writers Collective considers the posts on Dispatches from Utopia to be the first step in the journey to the yet-to-be born country of Utopia USA.
“The Writers Collective” is about changing the world for the better. Our ideal world would be Utopian. As to exactly how to get there we don’t pretend to know.What we do know is that we are not satisfied withthe world we find ourselves in and are committed to working to improve it.
Imagining Utopia is easy— realizing it is difficult. If history has taught us anything it is that one of the reasons Utopian movements crash and burn is the difficulty of struggling simultaneously for small incremental changes and the total change in society that would often be necessary to bring those changes about. This tension is compounded when you have a society where there are literally hundreds of aggrieved groups being asked to join together and to some extent subordinate their own claim to immediate redress in favor of some Utopian solution that will solve everybody’s problem at the same time.
Struggling for what is achievable while never losing sight of the need for a total social change is a long, slow, and often dispiriting process.
In this post, I will limit myself to trying to get the conversation going — and the journey started —by imagining Utopia USA knowing full well that the devil is in the details. In subsequent posts I will join in with my colleagues from The Writers Collective as we weigh in with our thoughts.
In the Utopia I envision:
- Everybody will be honest, truthful, caring, considerate, respectful, co-operative, loving, thoughtful and you can throw in every word you can think of that brings to mind a society that is truly a “civil” society.
- A land of abundance with plenty for all.
- A world without war, racism, sexism, discrimination of any kind towards any other human being — and I guess maybe we should include animals — and we will respect and take care of our planet.
- Technology will be devoted to the common good and not for the generation of profits. Robotics will be able to provide all the food, shelter, clothing, health care, transportation and anything else we may need.
- Utopia USA will be — thanks to robotics —for the first time in human history a leisure society
It is certainly possible that once we arrive at Utopia USA we may find as Pogo said, “we have met the enemy and he is us” or as we have been warned by the bible, ‘the devil finds mischief in idle hands.’
But I would like to think that Freud’s concept that “love and creative work” are the wellsprings of the human existence will prove true and our leisure society will be devoted to a lifetime of learning, to the pursuit of the arts, to travel, to truly becoming a global village, and to a new and heightened sense of self-awareness of what it means to be truly human.
Jack Moscou is a member of The Writers Collective. Imagining Utopia is a revised and abridged excerpt from his book Why Not Utopia? a political platform is search of a party.
* The next post, August 29th, will discuss how in a Utopian society work could be organized to create a land of plenty with time to smell the roses and truly enjoy life.