In my previous installment, I compared the two different pseudo-utopian societies presented by Karl Marx and Plato, and analyzed the factors that would contribute to their eventual success/failure if implemented. I also examined the pros and cons of the society we are a part of today, and pointed out that there is definitely room for improvement. Finally, I finished the post off by presenting what I believe to be the key for creating an ideal society that will stand the test of time. For coverage's sake, here's a quick list to recap in more detail:
- The communist society Marx believed would overcome the capitalist system and bring equity and freedom to the triumphant working class was doomed to fail, as it ended up being even more exploitable than the current social complex. This is evident in the rise of communist powers such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in the early-mid 20th century, who were able to gain the support of the public by masquerading as champions of the socialist ideals, but promptly turned upon their people once they had achieved the absolute power they had sought the entire time.
- The ancient Greek philosopher Plato outlined his ideas for the "perfect society" as well, almost two millennia before Marx was even born. However, Plato's Republic is nearly the complete opposite of what Marx had in mind, structurally speaking (Marx's communism is obviously motivated more by economic factors, but they are comparable on the grounds of measurement of social status between the individuals that theoretically make up the two societies). Plato envisions a nation divided into different social classes, such as soldiers, merchants, scientists, etc., all ruled by a caste of philosopher-kings. The success of such a society relies entirely on the citizens' contentment with the individual tasks which they are each assigned early on in their lives; needless to say, not many people would be willing to settle for being forced to spend their lives in a position that they do not enjoy. Plato's Republic would collapse under the weight of the envy and resentment which would fill its populace from the moment of its inception.
- Our society today is adequately composed for most, but there are areas in which it can be significantly improved. Although modern society has made great strides towards equality for all races, genders, religious creeds, sexual orientations, etc., there are still conflicts between different groups which make productivity and advancement in certain fields a painstakingly slow process. Specifically, I mentioned the contentment with physical and emotional weakness that permeates our society, and how most of our generation is coming into the real world expecting the rest of society to hold their hand in every aspect of life, instead of dealing with its challenges and bettering themselves individually. I ended the post by explaining that the way to minimize such conflict is to create a brand new society which is tolerant and indiscriminant of all manner of people, but by necessity excludes those whose personal beliefs directly conflict with the ideals that your society is built upon.