According to Webster’s Dictionary, a utopia is defined as “a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions. ” For years, many people have attempted to create Utopian communities across the world. Some were founded with faith-based ideas, including the Mormon and monastic communities. Others were simply founded around similar beliefs and goals among the people within the community. Utopias search for peace in a communal living situation, attempting to solve a key issue or problem. The physical structure of some Utopias are a major part of the community.
From studying many of these historical Utopias, an idea for another Utopia may be formed. This idea for a utopian community will be founded on a variety of principles, including the importance of advancing education and technology, equality among all people, and religious freedom. The leaders of this utopia will strive to set an example for the rest of the world through the peace found within the community. The schools will be far advanced in their teaching methods, continuously producing the best and most productive students.
The technology in the community will always be up to date, and experimenting with the new tools and inventions will be a delight for each member of the community. Each adult in the community will be given equal treatment, equal rights and equal responsibilities. There will not be one set religion in the community, but there will be different religious centers where each person can worship how they choose. Through finding peace in these key issues, the founders of this utopia hope to set an example for the entire world.
Although there is not a key problem to be solved in this society, the importance of education, technology, and gender and religious equality have been addressed in other utopian lifestyles before. Many historical utopias put a strong emphasis on the education of their children. Even some celibate communities focused on education, teaching some the children of the villages outside of the community. Such communities include the Shaker communities and many monastic communities.
The Shaker education system was so advanced that parents would drop their child off at the village to be educated, only to return several years later to pick their children back up. Christian, monastic communities adopted a similar form of education, although religion was a much larger part of their system. Technology would be an incredibly important part of this society. Since technology is still relatively new, there are fewer historical communities focused on technological cal issues. E. P. C. O. T. was a planned utopia that put much emphasis on the growing system of technology.
Although this utopian community was never followed through with, there was a large part of the plans dedicated to the advancement of technology which can still be explored in the Disney World theme park today. Gender equality has been an important issue since the times of the ancient Greek societies. This idea bled over into many different communities, once again, the Shakers being a prime example. The leadership in the Shaker community was completely equal when it came to gender. There was one male leader and one female leader for religious concerns, and there was also one male leader and one female leader over each family.
Lastly, religious freedom is a core belief of this utopia. Since many historical communities were based off of a prime religion, there are few historical examples to follow. One slight example would be Theosophy. The motto in the Point Loma community was “There is no religion higher than truth. ” This encouraged its members to seek out truth, without discrimination of religion. This utopia will have come about, just as many other utopias were formed – by one sole, charismatic leader with radical ideas. The leader would have grown up in a place where peace as hard to find peace. This person will have grown up working in incredible amount of hours to provide the little he or she could for his or her family. This left little time for education, and he or she will have been self-taught, putting much emphasis on his or her education throughout his or her childhood. Watching other people like himself or herself struggle to find the means to take care of themselves initiated the core ideas of this individual. Although the leader worked extremely hard as a young adult, he or she was often discriminated against based on age.
The pay was not as much as other older individuals with much less of a good work ethic. Because of these discriminations and harsh judgements, this individual sought to make things right for others, building a community that would treat each person equally and provide for each member. He or she began to share his or her ideas with his or her friends and the concepts grew from there. Many followers were attracted by these goals and ideals, and a community was soon born. The physical structure of the society would be set up to reflect its belief system. The community would be centered on factories and workplaces for the people.
Here, members of the society would work on technological advancements for the society and outside world. Outside the industrial part of the community, there would be shops for trade and everyday goods. If one didn’t work as a technological engineer, they would work at trades or on farms or simply owning stores for others to buy their average goods. Outside of the business area, there would be a multitude of small communities. Each community would contain many family houses, a religious center, a school, and some sort of recreational area. Just outside of this area would be farms for food.
No one would live on this land, but many citizens of the community would work here, providing the necessary foods for the community. Social activities in the community would be heavily promoted. The recreational areas would be open at all times for families to enjoy themselves at their leisure. Often, families and friends would put on productions of a sort to entertain each other, while other times, they would just use the areas to relax and connect with others. There would be no formal political meeting place. When something needed to be addressed, the religious center would be used to hold meetings to report the change.
It would then be restated in some sort of news to assure that each person got the message. Political institutions would be nearly non-existent, as the government of the community would strive to please each member of the community without conflict. The ultimate power of this society would be found in the hands of the people. This utopia would be an absolute democracy. If someone had a concern with the government of the community, they would clearly write it out and send it to each of the communities’ religious centers. Then, at the next meeting, it would be voted on by each member of the community.
In this way, most of the members of the society should be satisfied with the decisions which are produced. The economy would not be monetarily based, but work-based. Every person would be required to participate in an allotted amount of time for work. The more elderly members of the community would work in teaching the younger children, while young and middle-aged adults would be participating in farm and factory work. Age and health played a factor in how many hours of work each person was allotted, so that most work was accomplished as a young adult, and more free and recreational time was saved for when it was needed.
As long as each member did his or her work, they were given the necessary provision. The inventions being produced in the factories in the center of the utopia needed to be tested. Whenever a new invention was created, one of the living communities was selected to be the first to try it out. This kept each family’s home up to date and well-maintained. The family unit would function in a similar way as the United States today. The average family size would be four to five people. If a family had more than three children, they would be given a choice to give the child up to someone who was unable to have the status quo.
In this way, each family would be equal, just as each person would be considered equal. A family would not be required to give their child up, but it would be expected of them. The housing would comfortably fit four to five people, but not many more. Therefore, to ensure the best for their child, it would be in their greatest interest to give them up. The educational system in this community would be a vital and complex part of the society. Much emphasis and importance would be found on this part of the society. Education began at infancy and continued unto death.
Children would be dropped off at the religious centers during the days from infancy until six years old. Here, they would be nurtured and cared for until their parents were finished with the required time at work. As they drew closer to the age of six, they would be required to learn how to roughly read and write, but that was all. They were encouraged to explore things on their own, with supervision, teaching themselves what they could, and having their supervisors teach them the rest. Education from six to sixteen years was based on the factual, textbook type of learning.
Each student would go to school for 8 hours each day and learn the required information. After they came back home, they were assigned another hour of teaching themselves something, whether it be a new trade or a new concept of material. Each week, every student would be assigned a day to give a presentation on the new thing they learned. Through this, the child would be required to enhance their growth in learning at the same time as they grew their ability to learn things on their own. From ages sixteen to eighteen, education was more hands on.
Teachers who had been watching the students grow up for ten years, along with the student’s parents would assign the child’s ultimate job and responsibilities. For the next two years, the student would only take upon himself or herself what he or she had to know for that job. Weekly presentations would still be required, but now, they were to be given in the religious centers at the nightly meetings, along with the rest of the adults of all ages. These nightly meetings were not only required to attend in case something was brought up that needed to be voted upon, but was also a way to enhance people of all ages learning.
Young and old would present what they had learned in front of the assembly, to continue to stir learning and growth in their minds. Moral values were taught throughout the entire education system and would be based on a person’s conscience and religious beliefs. There was only on exception about the religious beliefs. If a belief would harm or could potentially harm another individual, then it would not be tolerated in the community. If need be, laws would be passed to prevent harm, but good morals would be instilled in the children since infancy, and there shouldn’t be much problems.
Through the routine of life in this community, an advanced system of education, and a balance of equality – gender, religious, etc. , a workable utopia made be found. In a peaceable, working condition like this, the outside world may see that peace may be found quite simply. Meanwhile, within the community, not only the newest, most profound inventions may be found, but also the brightest of students who not only know head knowledge, but understand how to learn things on their own. This may not be the most controlled setting of a utopia, but if everyone worked together and followed the goals, it would be a sufficient one.