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Response Paper 1

 

How do I imagine a utopian community to live?

            The utopian community I envision lives without concerns for the destruction of the environment; it coexists with the natural world in a non-threatening manner. The human integrants of the community reside in wooden buildings, not all the same size nor with the same commodities, but every single one of them with the means and facilities to satisfy all basic human necessities and comforts: sleep, food, hygiene, entertainment, etc. Although the residences’ exterior and interior appearance varies, and some are taller and more luxurious than others, they all occupy the same amount of ground territory. Hence, the “realized niche” (the space that an organism inhabits and the resources it can access as a result of limiting pressures from other species[1]) of the species that lived on the same territory before construction is always homogenous. This, coupled with the fact that all waste derived from these human residences is biodegradable, makes them all have the same minimal impact on the surrounding environment.

This does not mean however, that the community is not technologically advanced. Every single residence is powered by solar panels, the one human invention that converts an infinite resource (sunlight) into clean energy. Humans use either public or private transportation, ranging from automobiles to trains, all powered by sunlight as well. Such technological advancements pose questions of educational affairs, as a degree of intellectual skill is necessary for the development, or the existence even, of technology itself.

In this utopian community, education is universally accessible. Since their early years, all children, regardless of their parents’ or families’ socioeconomic status, have the opportunity to be enrolled in institutions where adult professionals teach the same, basic disciplines. There is no variation from one institution to another, the quality of education is uniform. After their elementary studies, the children can begin selecting the fields of study of their preference. Educational progress is not measured by standardized tests, but by allowing the individuals to demonstrate their knowledge or skills of any field through distinct processes they can select, including written responses, oral commentaries, physical demonstrations, illustrative or artistic representations, or a medium proposed and approved by the head entity of the institution. If a student demonstrates satisfactory aptitude (be it academic, nonacademic, or a combinations of both), this individual can continue to pursue further, more specific in-depth studies of the field of preference. After the completion of any study, the individual is allowed to enter the workforce of the community based on the specific areas of previous study. The branch of labor can be either public or private, and at either, the individual will find that even at the lowest ranked job, there will be sufficient financial income to afford a residence and a satisfactory lifestyle.

Private enterprise exists in this utopian community. There are private businesses that control significant amount of the market. However, no matter how large the private business is, nor how much profit the owner of the business makes, there is a limit to how sophisticated a life-style can be. Hence, if a business’ profit exceeds the amount required to afford the highest-end lifestyle, the excess money is collected by the government. With this money, the government is able to fund public institutions (such as schools) or other expenses. Because excess profits exist, there is an abundance of funds within the government. It is important to note that businesses cannot be legally inherited by the relatives of the owners. Every individual must earn its position in society, after proving adeptness during their educational career. Moreover, any adept individual can start a business, and if no capital is available to do so, the government will review the individual’s plans and offer start-up funds. In that sense then, even though private enterprise exists, all individuals have the same opportunities to convert their entrepreneurial ideas into new businesses, or earn their position in an existing one.

There is a government that is elected by the same inhabitants of the community. This government is composed of honorable individuals; the term “corruption” is nonexistent, in theory or practice. These individuals are elected by the people, but their ideology is constant, and always in favor of maintaining the status-quo. All inhabitants of the community are aware that the current state of affairs is beneficial; not all of them live equally, but they all have equal opportunities to mold their desirable lifestyle.

 

“I have neither received nor given unauthorized assistance during the completion of this work”

x. Daniel Majluf

 

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