If one were to ask 100 different people a subjective question, one is likely to elicit 100 different answers. This shows that everyone is different and has a wide range of views. Knowing this, one can assume that each one of their views on utopia must be equally as varied. Therefore, achieving a common utopia is near impossible. A utopia is a perfect place where everyone is happy both in society and in oneself. Motivation; an element of life that gives someone the drive to achieve a certain goal. Motivation is the adrenaline rush to life without which humans cannot progress as a civilization.
It allows for the betterment of society, thus gaining some common ground between people which although does not constitute a utopia, will make a majority of people happy. Achieving utopia in society is impossible, but by using utopia as a goal or as a motivation, society will grow into a happier and more utopian like place, even though it can not reach actual utopia. A society similar to a utopia is possible through America’s motivation, and due to this, we have fruitful land, both agriculturally and socially.
Ignorance, the opposite of motivation, leads to a dystopia, a place or environment in which people are miserable, unhappy or uncomfortable in, instead of a utopian-like society. This shows us that ignorance will not make society happy, thus deviating from the track to societal transcendence; the metamorphosis of society into a state of well-being. Due to each person having unique wants and necessities, the scope of a utopian society, is broadened and stretched until it can no longer be perceived. This adds to the number of reasons why utopia is not possible.
Motivation is quintessential to attain near utopianism; a society that takes into account everybodys general view of utopia. Without motivation, society would suffer a dystopian lifestyle. Dreamers and visionaries alike possess the fire needed for success. This fire is known to us as motivation. An essential driving force in the creation of America, motivation at it’s finest can be seen in many instances. David Brooks, a New York Times writer, shows us that America is one of the hardest working countries on this planet.
“The average American works 350 hours a year — nearly 10 weeks — more than the average Western European. ” (Brooks 2004). One-upping the rest of the countries, America harvests some of the hardest workers. This hard work pays off in the long run because according to Christopher Matthews, “[America] leads the world in labor productivity. ” (Matthews 1). This hard work translates into society’s progress through time. The American Dream is the dream of being able to make a successful living out of nothing.
This dream prevailed in both the recent and earlier years. For example, the dispersal of America. Attracted to the city life, Americans saturated many of the popular cities in America, like Pittsburgh, for example. Although this is true, over time we see a dispersal. “… population of metropolitan Pittsburgh has declined by 8 percent since 1980…” (Brooks 2004). This expansion resulted from the drive to explore and conquer. After quenching this thirst, Americans have seen that they are much happier in the suburbs and exurbs, shown in their productivity.
These families are happy because of their success. This success is a direct result of motivated minds, minds that surpass odds which pose as threats, minds that feed off of the burning fire which incites progress, minds that envision utopia. Minds that simply do not care and are ignorant to societal problems achieve, rather, receive dystopia as opposed to utopia. Ignorance; that lack of knowledge or information. Those who are oblivious to problem solving and believe that ignoring all that is bad are considered ignorant.
In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Lenina Crowne visited a Savage Reservation, which was a place for Native Americans that were not “civilized. ” They led normal lives, but Lenina was disgusted by it because she had no previous understanding of the world before their god like idol Henry Ford “civilized” the place. He implemented a factory line way of doing things such as conceiving babies, the term parent was alien to them. She begged for her soma which was a drug that releases stress from the consumer and makes the consumer forget about all their problems.
This is ironic because the accused savages that stay on the savage reservation are not actually savage, it is in fact the “civilized” people of the World Sate (their home). They rely on drugs and ignorance to be happy. “A gramme is better than a damn. ” (Huxley 89). She explicitly shows how she would much rather take drugs than face her problems. Hiding the problems instead of solving them creates a dystopia in which ignorance is key. Their soma driven society knows no problems, because stability was given in exchange for individualism.
Instead of self-understanding, the humans of the World State are organized under a caste system ranging from the Alphas (highest) to the Epsilons (lowest). They rarely know solitude, but in those rare occurrences, soma quickly fills it with dreams and ignorance. Huxley satirizes utopia as a goal that is out of one’s reach by showing how ignorance and “fake” happiness is ephemeral and does not solve any real problems. George Orwell, a former student of Aldous Huxley and now famous writer, in the book 1984, mentions the Party slogan; “…
War is peace[,] Freedom is slavery[,] Ignorance is strength. ” (Huxley 26). The people of Oceania are brainwashed to believe that war is peace, freedom is slavery, and the most shocking, ignorance is strength. Ridiculing society’s problem of blind trust, Orwell shows the reader that ignorance leads to a more Orwellian society than societal strength. There is a dearth of sleep, food, creation of ideas, procreation, and yet society ignores this and continues to believe that there is in fact an abundance of sleep, food, et cetera.
Due to the society being more dystopian, we can attribute ignorance to a major role in the creation of such a dark place. David Brooks quotes a philosopher named George Santayana; “… Americans doesn’t solve problems; we just leave them behind. ” (Brooks 2004). Mr. Santayana is saying that Americans are ignorant and cretinous in our knowledge of the world. Not having any worldly information can lead to a withdrawal from society, removing from society’s pool of ideas, knowledge, and people that push for near-utopianism.
This leads to a lack of problem solving and degradation of a society at large. A society is composed of people, people each with their own taste and outlook on everything because according to science, no two are the same. Uniquity is prevalent which means that everyones needs and wants are widely dispersed. The common ground between people is limited. “ Bathroom tile is their cocaine: instead of white powder, the blow their life savings on handcrafted Italian wall covering from Waterworks. ” (Brooks 2004).
Instead of wasting money on drugs like other people, some people prefer bettering the finer things like, in this case, bathroom tiles or Italian wall covering. This backs up the statement, to each, their own. Due to everybody wanting different things, everybody’s utopia is different. So even if one were to set everybody in motion, society would just become even more choppy and divided. Where is the utopia now? Although self transcendence; the reconstruction of oneself into a higher being, is a huge part in creating utopia, this society has not progressed further than the selfish values it has already harvested within it’s people.
To be able to implement this action into society would create a place where everyone is happy. If near-utopia was set as a common goal in society, people would come together to achieve this, creating a happy place with a lot of common ground between people. This is true in many instances, for example; war and protest. In Greensboro, North Carolina around 1939, a sit-down strike took place. The blacks protested the segregation of color in buildings. Hundreds of other black Americans came to protest this together.
The amalgamation of protesters there show that common goals lead to accumulation of support and eventual achievement. Making utopia a common goal between all will result in near success; achieving something along the lines of common utopia. Reaching utopia is not pragmatic because there is a wide range of interests between humans which expands and ambiguates the concept of utopia, making it harder to reach, and also because ignorance is prevalent throughout society, making it more difficult to solve societal problems and attain true happiness as opposed to proxies of happiness i. e. Soma from Brave New World.
A characteristic that Americans possess which may assist on the journey to collective happiness is our niche for working hard. If instead we were to use the idea of having a place where everyone is at peace with their surroundings as a common goal throughout society, motivation would permeate and take control. It is only instinctual to act upon something one feels passionate about. If happiness is what is being offered, then I am certain that this will evoke many people to work side by side to achieve this goal. While working side by side with people passionate about the same goal as one is, one will be happy.
Hungry for more happiness, the people would continue to work at the goal, even though it is impossible. This leads to an infinite cycle in which society is constantly bettering itself, creating some type of near-utopia, but no one realizes it. Lying amidst the motivated crowd is utopia, but the minute the crowd loses motivation, the utopia vanishes. So let the idea of utopia tailgate the crowd because after all, the crowd is working towards something greater; societal transcendence, the evolvement of society into a common happy place, not perfection. This is the true utopia.
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