Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Although the exact definition of a utopia varies from person to person, there are a few characteristics that seem to be common amongst most. Most people feel that in a perfect world there will be no classes. No one will be poor, no one will be rich, no one will be hungry, and no one would consume more than they need. Another common thread a utopia is that everyone will work towards the common good and not their own self-aggrandization. Although I personally do not think I would be able to stand everyone smiling and being nice all the time, the concept of this kind of utopia has almost universal appeal.

But if a utopia is the goal, how do we as greedy self-centered human-beings achieve it? One of the most notable attempts was the USSR. Due to the oppression of the czars, the people of Russia revolted and tried to establish a government that would create equality. But as George Orwell put it in his book Animal Farm, some people were more equal than others. This system led to oppression as a ruling class emerged from a supposed classless society ruled by the people. The grand experiment of Communism/Marxism failed.

Why did it fail? Because people, by nature, do not like being forced to do something even if it is in their best interest. Utopia cannot exist if it is forced upon the people it is trying to help. Utopia, by most definitions, is a place where people help one another out of the goodness of their hearts not by being forced into it by some authority figure. This is why all utopias have failed, because people are inherently greedy and inherently anti-authoritarian. People (collectively not individually) will not be charitable out of the goodness of their hearts nor will they do it because someone else is making them. So the question must be asked, can a utopia exist or is it merely just a fantasy?

Even if we do not know if a utopia is possible, we do know ways in which it will not work. Most notably, government forced compassion/income equality. Yet people continue to push government programs, under the guise of creating a utopia. If utopia by those means is impossible, why do people in power continually want to create their version of a “better” world? There can only be the following two reasons: One, they are ignorant of history, human nature, and the amount of real good a government can do; or two, they are very aware of another inherent human trait, the lust for power.

I believe that most people who want government intervention to make the world “better” are good people who simply want the less fortunate to have better lives. I would like to think that most of them do what they can by charitable giving, basically overcoming the greed that encompasses too many. I also think they do not know the best way to help so they turn to the government to do it. Although this is shortsighted, I think they are honest in their want to help.

Sadly, there are the a few (mostly within the government itself) that could care less about helping the needy. They only act in their own self interest, either to secure votes or make money (or both). The more control the government has on its people, the more power those inside the government will have. It is only the quest for power that drives their expansion of the government, not the welfare of the citizens.

In short, government intervention will never create a utopia. Those who think otherwise are either delusional or stand to benefit from it. A utopia will never exist until people overcome their greed and lust for power.


Kristy said...

Very well put!

Jai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jai said...

Craig, heres a story you might want to write about: