Monday, August 27, 2007


Because it encompasses what I believe are goals common to most of humanity, I hope that my version of an ideal society will be embraced by existing societies. I expect, however, that it will be either dismissed as the ravings of a lunatic (a variant of the escape response) or confronted with earnest reasoning (“this isn’t an ideal world, so just give up”). My purpose, of course, is not to force a new way of living on people, but rather to use the discussion of “an ideal world” as a tool for exploring the underlying structure of “the real world” to spark and hopefully inform a debate about future change.

Since, as I’ve discussed, my ideal society has much in common with existing societies (especially Christianity and, to a large extent, representative democracies), its introduction would involve emphasizing the more advantageous aspects as tweaks to those societies, like new features and better performance from a software upgrade (“the same, only better”). The environmental movement has taken this approach, with mixed results. By highlighting economic efficiencies (albeit over a longer time frame than most western consumers normally consider) and potential health gains (less pollution, more nutritious food) environmentalists are marketing their preferred changes in lifestyle as the equivalent of bug fixes to software. And, as a handy byproduct, users get to save the world from destruction (or at least massive damage).

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