Political Science 3170 - Political Science 3170 Utopia is a concept which many people claim to aspire to It is likely that there are very few people who

Political Science 3170 - Political Science 3170 Utopia is a...

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Political Science 3170 Utopia is a concept which many people claim to aspire to. It is likely that there are very few people who if asked if they would like to live in a utopian society would say no. The odd thing is that the definition of what utopia actually is can be highly debatable. The term itself was coined by Thomas More. The word Utopia came from the word eutopia which means good place and the word eutopia which means no place. So, essentially More wanted to describe a place that was good but did not exist. There are many different solutions or ideas for creating utopian societies. Large scale ideas do not seem to work very well for a variety of reasons. Forcing people into utopia is not only a difficult way to create a utopian society, but also inherently contradictory. One of the best solutions is one in which membership in the society is voluntary, and the size of the society is kept at a manageable number. This solution appears to be the only one that is truly feasible assuming that people are self interested. The world which More created was kind of complicated. As far as laws go, there were very clear cut laws, but lawyers did not exist. Private property was allowed to exist because if there was common property, people would not work hard for the property that they had. Money also did not exist. All people were involved in some sort of farming as well as another trade. All Utopians only worked six hours a day. The other time that they spent was up to them, as long as they did something productive. This is a brief summary of what the conditions were like in More’s Utopia (More, 1852). A more modern literary example of a utopian society is given in the book The Giver by Lois Lowry. Lowry describes a world that is much bleaker. In Lowry’s world, everybody is basically the same in talent and appearance. This makes it so that prejudice cannot exist. War has been eliminated entirely as has pain and hatred. The ability to choose ones’ career path has also been eliminated. Parents are not allowed to procreate independently, but instead must get their children from people whose job it is to have children (Lowry, 1993). Lowry’s book portrayed a

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