What is Utopia?

The definition of utopia in wikipedia gave the usual etymology and then lost it’s way.

It starts:

A utopia (/juːˈtpiə/) is a community or society possessing highly desirable or perfect qualities. The word was coined in Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island society in the Atlantic Ocean.

From there it drifted into More’s socialistic ideas, Plato’s Republic and several other concepts without drawing the cogent conclusion (conclusions are forbidden at Wikipedia) that Utopia isn’t a “one size fits all” concept.   One government, one society will and can never be everybody’s’ Utopia.

Hypothetically (hypotheticals also aren’t allowed in Wikipedia), one man’s utopia may enslave others.  Some like the cozy feeling of being controlled and subjugated, otherwise they wouldn’t pay to be the slave of a dominatrix for an hour or day.  If some want to be slaves and others want to be their masters, that’s ok.   However, it must be voluntary.  Not everyone would want to be a slave – at least not for a lifetime.

Many would think that being a billionaire is utopian.  However, it’s not realistic to think that everyone can be a billionaire.  Without providing any calculations, let’s just assume that everybody can’t be a billionaire – at least not all the time.  So as desirable as it is to be a billionaire, let’s cross this one off the list of utopian ideals.  We want to make a plan that will increase the aggregate level of satisfaction in a society.

What is Utopia?  It’s perfection.  Some argue that Utopia can never be achieved because perfection can never be achieved.   This is true.  Yesterday’s commercial airlines surely wouldn’t be perfect by comparison with the airlines of today.  So let’s qualify Utopian perfection.

Let’s qualify the definition.  Let’s define Utopia as a society that as perfect as possible for the era.  We should probably also add that the utopian society is one that constantly improves.   As technology improves, so should society.

Other questions arise with this definition.   Is a utopian society perfect for the middle class, the upper class or the poor?  Or is it utopian for all three?   Does technology have to be perfect?  Does government have to be perfect?  Do people have to be perfect?  Does education have to be perfect?  Does the standard of living have to be perfect?  Does the environment have to be perfect?  Does population control have to be perfect?  Does freedom have to be perfect?

The most logical answer is that the aggregate satisfaction level has to be highest for the most people.  Another logical answer is that, since all of the previous questions are important and since utopia is arguably the quest for perfection, that all the questions should be answered as a quest for perfection.  Everything should get better.

Utopia is then a perfect society that undergoes continual improvement to achieve the highest aggregate satisfaction level for the most people.  Utopian society also provides freedom for all.  Everybody has different needs and different concepts of Utopia.  Utopia therefore provides different governments and conditions so that all can live in a world that’s perfect for themselves.   One man’s heaven may be another man’s hell.  A utopian society would allow a man to move from a society  that is his hell to a society that is his heaven.

In Utopia, one size does not fit all.  Each man can move to a place that gives him what he wants and needs.  One man might prefer to live in a billionaire’s mansion as a slave or servant.  Another man might rather live in a dormitory or barracks and live in total freedom from subjugation, suppression and government.

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