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Response Paper 1

How Do I Imagine a Utopian Community to Live?


I walk into the Hall of Records. It’s my first time coming here; we are only permitted to read the records of our pre-revolution city after our twenty-fifth birthday. Our parents teach us that, for children who have grown up in this utopian society, the knowledge of our city’s adverse past is too complex for us to understand and interpret before now. We must know what it is like to live in perfect harmony with ourselves, peers, society, and the world around us before we are ready to learn what went wrong in the past. The truth is, they are afraid that if we are introduced to these negative constructs before we are fully developed that our impressionable minds and susceptible human behaviors would be influenced by the sinister ideologies and prejudices of our ancestors.

I pick up books and skim passages about crime, riots, poverty, and genocide. I am horrified. I am given books on “peaceful protestors” and activists and I am even more appalled. How can there be so few enlightened people from the whole of history of humankind? The same names come up repeatedly: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad, Malala, Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks. In the thousands of years before the time I live in, were there truly only a couple dozen people who understood? And why, when the world was so dark, were these visionaries condemned, incarcerated, even assassinated? Even the dullest people I know believe in justice and equal rights. It seems comical that at some time, the majority of people held prejudices against those of different ethnicities, socio-economic classes, sexual identities and orientations, and genders. Now we all live in harmony. It seems as though those who came before us believed that it was best to be blind to our differences, but now we acknowledge the beauty in the things that make us all unique. We never have to be taught that there isn’t anyone better or worse than us because we see our parents modeling that behavior from an early age.

In these books there are explanations of government agencies and laws that were dedicated to ensuring equal opportunities for everyone. We do not need those things because all citizens regulate themselves here. There is no use for “No Child Left Behind” or affirmative action policies because we, as a society, function in a way that provides equitable opportunities for all citizens without bureaucratic intervention. No one goes hungry or without a home because we have done away with the disparity of wealth, food, and other goods. There are books here warning that people will lose their motivation to better themselves if survival and success is guaranteed, but it is the opposite. Because poverty and inequalities have been eliminated, everyone has the same chance to learn and work. We all live symbiotically, giving to others and receiving in return. This is a system that took many decades to formulate and even longer to perfect, but now that it is fully developed, we will never need to train younger generations. They will grow up as I did, thriving in our perfect utopian society, never feeling discriminated against or belittled. They will learn, when they are older and able to understand, about our history so that they may never fall into the same patterns that dragged our species down for so many thousands of years.