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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Utopia, for once

The nature of man must change before the nature of society can change. This is what prevents a Utopia from being successful.

The corollary is that if we want a Utopia, we must change the nature of man. But how? By correcting sentence fragments such as "But how?" No. By changing the culture, which is transmitted from individual to individual and forms the basis of our thoughts and actions.

Democracy is a form of society superior to feudalism. Would you trust illiterate peasants to vote and sustain a modern democracy like the United States? It could work, but it would much more readily fail. Although democracy is innately superior by certain standards, it cannot work when applied to a society that is not prepared for it.

In 1000, in France, democracy would have been an unattainable Utopia. It is now a reality.

I have no doubt that it will be possible for us to improve on democracy someday, if and when society is prepared. Yes, that is Utopian. No, I don't expect it to be any time soon. I also doubt that Marx, Rand, or myself can logically deduce the form of such a future society.

I like to build castles in the air, and then put a foundation under them, but there is a practical purpose to my diatribationalizationism:

We must put more effort into changing the nature of man. The way he interacts is exploitative. Now, unlike the commies, I don't reckon we can eliminate greed with modern psychological 'psience.' Certainly, ethical and moral systems are in place that cause individuals to act contrary to their own self interest, or at least seem to. That may not even be necessary, if systems are developed to make self interest benefit society. Here's the thing: If people are aware that they are exploitative, they will be aware of others, and it will cease.

I was thinking specifically of the interaction between genders. Men and women do things to each other they wouldn't do to their own gender. Well... maybe not, but anytime you mix them, there are unfortunate knife fights, cat fights, fault-based divorces, implicit prostitution and general mayhem. As long as we permit this sort of thing in the most important area of human conduct- sex- it's bound to spill over into other important things, like money, power, and engineering.

Rather than have a car that crashes once a month, a patrilinear system of identity theft, and systematic theft from 49% of the people, couldn't we have a society based on, say, mutual respect and a system of personal honor hobbesian in its pragmatism?



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