Utopian Filter - Part One

There is absolutely no problem with wanting to promote a better society, one that is inclusive, empathetic, fair, just, equal, accepting and cohesive. Most people want to promote healthier living, a happy life, a clean environment, as well as respect and consideration for all living things. Acting upon your ideals and beliefs, with the purpose of creating a better society and world, is in fact quite admirable. There is however a problem with this approach to solving the worlds issues and that problem will only emerge at the point where fantasy meets reality.

I personally believe in working towards a conceivable utopia, but I am not so ignorant nor naive, as to believe in the improbable manifesting into reality. The idea of Utopia is in fact subjective, meaning it can never materialise until the precise definition is agreed upon by all people. For arguments sake lets assume that a Utopian society and world is a beautiful place, a place without hate, anger, pollution, violence, division, war, famine, struggle, pain and all other associated negative aspects. It sounds amazing doesn't it? This is unfortunately where fantasy and reality meet.

Within human society we have idealists, people who believe and encourage ideas via whatever medium or means accessible or necessary, promoting ideas, which are often based on theory and often lack any true application in the real world. Don't get me wrong, these ideas can be applied and often are, but the results seldom meet the vision. Ideals by nature are rooted in emotion and emotion clouds logic. Implementing and acting upon utopian ideals is fraught with danger, due to the fact that, a theory based ideology has rarely, if ever been tested in reality. Another key issue with global transformation based on academic theory and group ideology, is the fact that the predicted result of these theories usually ceases at stage 1, meaning the possible knock-on effects are often ignored.

Take for instance globalisation. It seems like a good thing, lifting poorer countries out of poverty by connecting business to people internationally, but what are some of the negative consequences of this global approach.

  • Cheap overseas labor markets compete directly with homegrown labor and there is no competition. Home grown employees will lose out in most cases.

  • With the need for cheap labor, the possibility of illegal child labor may increase.

  • National Business, especially small business, will struggle to complete with the cheaper products and services being offered by overseas markets.

  • Jobs will go overseas and the economy in some countries will suffer for it as a consequence.

  • The production costs, say between a country like the U.S and China, will result in lost jobs for the U.S and business moving overseas.

  • Quality in many cases will also decrease with healthy competition dying out.

  • The potential for unhealthy monopolies may increase.

As you can see in this example, a change to how we connect and do business throughout the world has knock-on effects beyond what might be predictable initially. Of course there are positives too, but the point is to understand the need to look beyond the first step and immediate positive result.

Utopian Filter- Part II. How Human Nature Is In Conflict With Utopian Theory.