Saturday, November 16, 2013

Utopia revisited

When I was a teenager in the 1960s, it was an accepted fact that humanity was on the road to Utopia, a scientifically perfected existence.

Sci-fi writers showed us what this might be like. Apparently, every person on Earth would be able to reach his or her potential. Opportunities and education would be available to all, tailored to match each person's talents. Money, of course, wouldn't matter at all. We could have all the goods we wanted; robots would make the stuff to our specifications. There would be no need for money in Utopia.

It sounded grand and likely. After all, humans are such an intelligent species. It's obvious we would work toward this goal and achieve it. The golden age of mankind was right around the corner.

But of course, over 50 years has passed and we're further from that egalitarian goal than when it was only a hippie dream. I don't think I have to embellish this statement with links. You know it's true. The world, as currently managed by humans, is an ugly cauldron of greed and suffering -- the latter caused by the former. So much for utopian dreams.

As I pondered this loss, something occurred to me. You know what couldn't exist in Utopia, even for five seconds? Filthy rich people. And that is why it's still only a dream.