Monday, April 19, 2010

Making a perfect society?

Well, nothings perfect, but I do wonder at the philosophy of the various political parties and their attempts to shape policy around what people actually want as well as what they actually need. The big 2 1/2 are all pretty similar in the sense that they see top down control as the answer to keeping the criminal elements as well as the general population in line, the EU perhaps more so as their legal system is more based on the Code Napoleon rather than the Bill of rights/Magna Carta.

I would venture to say that an objectively perfect society is impossible with humans being the cliquish, egotistical creatures that we are. In order for a "perfect" society to exist, we need to ask ourselves, whose perfect society it is going to be. My idea of a perfect society and your idea of a perfect society are likely to be drastically different - same goes for everyone else.

We are country divided by creed, bias, faith, greed, and plain old self-interest. Our entire economic and social structure is based on the inherent inequality of humans, not just on the basis of material possessions, but also on the basis of intelligence, personality, accident of birth, and life experiences. Without waving a magic wand, there is going to be unequal distribution of resources, and, therefore, opportunities. Even if our "perfect" society were to have an abundance of resources (or great revenues that would allow it to acquire those resources from somewhere else), it would almost certainly come at the expense of some other society. That is, if we could manage at least a certain minimal living standard for our country's citizens, where would the funding and the resources for it come from?

When I hear the term "perfect society", I am automatically thinking of something very much utopian. Problem is, utopia's work only on small scale, and when they can be protected - and funded - by someone else. You could have a small commune out in, say, Kent living a blissful existence where everyone is provided for accordingly to their needs, and everyone provides accordingly to their ability, without strict formal government, but this commune could only exist because one of the members is a multi-millionaire that sees it fit to use his fortune to maintain it, and because it exists within a framework of a nation in which rule of law generally exists. Try to extend that experiment from a group of hand-picked idealists to an entire nation, and historically, the results have been anything from disastrous to nightmarish.

So, perhaps what we should be looking for is what kind of a country we would create, given the best technology available today, and given an ability to set up social structures, government, and economy? I presume that this society must be functioning for the benefit of real people, and therefore must be accommodating of all the various creeds that are bound to exist in any nation's citizens without allowing any said creed to dominate - that is, instead of hoping that you can also automatically change the people's attitudes (very difficult without brainwashing, and then we're in Huxley's territory), or change the human nature itself (which I would chalk up to utter impossibility).

Yet to do all this we first have to remove the existing political strictures as they are simply now in the way of reform and the rebuilding of England and/or the UK if we still hold together. Still, removing ourselves from the clutches of the EU would be a start, setting up an English Parliament would be a good next step, devolving power down to as local level as possible a good third step, leaving only a weak state with control only over certain national interests such as transport and defence. Allow citizens greater control over their lives and see where that leads us rather than leaving us at the whim of every state directive to come down dis-empowering us, leaving us disarmed and at the mercy of criminals who often seem to have more protection under law than we do.
I doubt we can build a perfect society, but certainly I believe we could do it better without today's politicians and their inflexible dogmas and self-righteous belief in thinking they know best.

5 annotations:

Antisthenes said...

You have got my vote.

Anonymous said...

you should run for pesident

Anonymous said...

i mean president

Anonymous said...

I think you make a shedload of assumptions that dont follow.

Small government for the win though

Quiet_Man said...

My assumptions come from the manifesto of LPUK