Response Paper 1

How do you imagine a utopian community to live?

Religious conflict is futile and would be eliminated in a utopian community. The rationale behind this is that if nobody is different, then everybody is the same. If this maxim is universalized, then a utopian society has been achieved. To this end, all facets of life in my utopian community would be uniquely constructed: economic resources would exist, but without competition; hegemony would be replaced with a strict uniformity; political nationalism would not exist, rather life would be governed by smaller groups. Together, these imposed lifestyles would, in theory, ensure that nobody is different.

The presence of both inequality and inequity in society signals that our state of society is imperfect. In order to eliminate both of these imperfections, a new approach to economics must be imposed. Rooted in classical economic theory is the idea that the allocation of resources is a sum-zero game. Inequality and inequity are therefore an implied product of competition. I imagine that a utopian society would share equal ownership of all resources. Resources are gathered by labor, though. Gathering these resources has resulted in the specialization of labor, because some resources are valued more than others. To eliminate the specialization of labor in a utopian society, I imagine that all individuals would be required to work a job that constantly changed. By making resources uncompetitive inequity and inequality are eliminated, nobody is different.

Hegemony in society confers social value onto prestigious figures. I imagine that in a utopian society superiority does not exist. In order to eliminate superiority from society, absolute uniformity would take its place. The concept of gender would be nonexistent, so the institution of marriage is obsolete. Moreover, people would think in terms of unisex rather than debating on how to close gender gaps. The ideas that Thomas More put forth about uniform clothing would allow this (More 2001). Finally, superiority can only exist if individualism does simultaneously. The importance on which we place on individualism in society today would not be found in my utopian society. Instead of placing emphasis on individual identity, a utopian society would place emphasis on a human identity.

Nationalism is the most lethal of the isms as it has often put mankind against one a
nother. The concept of nations implies that there are differences between individuals. Likewise, in a utopian society nations would not exist. Instead, smaller groups of people would interact with each other. This would eliminate the differences of which nationalism principally creates. People would no longer strive to serve the state, instead they would strive to serve mankind.

Altering the current economic, social, and political conventions of today’s society to create utopia seems intuitive to me. When the differences which drive inequity and inequality are disposed of in society, I believe the truest form of a utopia has been achieved. Eliminating the competition which is placed on resources, imposing social uniformity on all people, and dismantling the concept of nationalism, are all steps that I think would be taken as means to this end.

Works Cited

More, Thomas. 2001. Utopia. Translated by Miller H. Clarence. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.