A Utopia is a perfect society, a paradise, or as close to it as possible. It is a society of happiness, fairness, and peace where everyone prospers. It is an idea, which many famous philosophers and writers contemplated about and many people tried to create, to a different degree of success. I studied many of these models but always came short-handed or disappointed. No one really offered a model that I could stand behind and support.
Looking around, I accidently found a place like a utopia, and it was in a small touristic town called Pai, Thailand. Almost overwhelmed by positive emotions, I made a short video to describe my experience:
Essentially, most people in this town are tourists who come into town for few days to relax and experience a small place like paradise, with remaining people being locals working for the tourism.
As a tourist myself, traveling through South-East Asia, I quickly realized that a new degree of connection I was experiencing with other tourists, especially these of the similar racial background as me. Indeed, being in the minority, I noticed all people who were also western foreigners and felt like smiling and making friends with them. They felt the same, which made it super easy to meet new people and make now friends. We were all friends, regardless of nationality, age, gender, or any other personal characteristics that could create a certain sense of division if we were home. Furthermore, we were nice to our hosts, and they are nice to us. Everyone was smiling, was happily, and was greeting everyone else, creating a sense of family with strangers. I met many new people who I liked, and if I did not like them, I didn’t have to be around them. This is to say that the town was small enough to always run into people I knew and liked, but never too small to have new people around, with whom I could make friends if I didn’t like the once I was not with.
Of course, there were some negatives to town too. These were things like a town being too small, so I did not know what to do after several days there. There were not so many clubs, which I personally enjoy. Also, people would mostly smoke there, as a form of “chilling” which is not my cup of tea either.
Because of these negatives, I soon left this wonderful city and went to other bigger cities also in Thailand, such as Chiang Mai. There I also met other tourists and friendly local hosts, but it was never the same. I guess because Pai just had some unique characteristic, which contributed to it being a small paradise on earth. It made me think what these characteristics were and what would it take to create something similar, somewhere else on our planet. It made me consider some nice and ugly of our society today.
In my writing, I focus on how consumerism is affecting our happiness, and I truly believe that everything we are doing is to increase the quality of life. Sometimes, however, we do the wrong things completely.
This is to say that, consumerism brought us a lot of good, but also a lot of bad. The negatives come from us not being mindful of this idea of creating things to improve our lives, which if we took to the extreme, would be to create a utopia.
We do live in one of the most prosperous societies on the planet to this date, but let’s not fix what is not broken, and focus on things that are still is not working. These are the things such as record high debt, depression, obesity, anti-social behaviors, to name a few problems that we have today. Focusing on all these ideas separately would take a book to consider, so I want to focus on few things in specific.
For example, I want to look at Hitler and some of his controversial ideas. Hitler was a sick man in many respects, and there is no justification for a genocide that he created. Still, for all the wrong that this man has done, he created was the first person to create a non-smoking campaign in the world. He wanted to eradicate smoking as he saw it be something negative for society, which was destroying it from within. If it were for Hitler, perhaps today we would not be smoking. Instead, today one-third or people on our planet today is estimated to be a smoker! And many other bad products exist on the market today that we don’t have a solution for. And we can’t deal with these issues because of political correctness which we have to oblige today.
Thus, another Hitler’s not so politically correct idea today is an idea of essentially killing people who were of no value to society. We are talking here about people like these who are in “vegetable” like states, permanently connected to medical machines, which cost society billions of dollars. These people are not living, yet, no one can do anything about it because we have values of being pro-life. In this category also come vicious criminals, for whom we have no solution, but to keep in prisons. These are heavy drug users, with no hope of recovery, and cause nothing but suffering for themselves and others around them. These are the older adults who gave up on life a long time ago but can’t do anything but wait for unavoidable. And there are many other cases, where death would be a great solution, but we can’t do anything about, again because we are pro human life.
I mean, we are pro-human life, but we are definitely not pro-animal life, a life of the plants, planet, sustainability, and much other life causes.
This is the realization I got from watching a sci-fi series called Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In season 4, episode 14 or 15, we take a look at a perfect world simulated by a computer, to surprising realize that this world is being controlled by Hydra, which is the bad guys, like Hitler, in this series. This made me think that all wars, in reality, are just conflicts over control, where people are forced to fight on one side or another, and the biggest victim is the truth.
Indeed, for all this talk about how bad the WW2 was, there is still one-third of countries of the planet that are still in some sort of armed conflict. There are still concentration camps in different parts of the world. And some political leaders cause more harm than benefit in many parts of the world. Can we, therefore, say that we truly learned our lessons?
I guess what I am trying to say is that the system that is too inflexible to change. We say we want to change, which we believe in change, but when people like Donald Trump start changing things we get nervous and protest. Indeed, I strongly disagree with many things Trump is up to today, but if we want real change, we need to have real change. We need to shake fundamentals of the society and make some hard decisions.
Indeed, I believe that Utopia Today is possible. To reach it we need to be mindful not to stick to models of the past that are clearly not working. Instead, we should make utopia as our goal and pursue it with all our heart and desire.