Personal Utopian View

Location: different planet
Can't be a Utopia unless there is no interference from other governments and societies. It is human nature to want what is not already in possession, thus the influence of other cultures would create a desire for them. It stands to reason that even if Utopians live in a "perfect" society, their human nature will override the knowledge that they live in a perfect world and make them desire another state of living.

Geographics: no states or separate countries.
Cities, towns, villages, etc. within voting districts. Each district shall contain no more than 100,000 people in it. If the quota is exceeded, the district will hive off and form a new district. Different countries create the need for foreign policy, foreign aid, etc. Without the need for such distractions, Utopians are able to concentrate on keeping their own world in the best possible state. The voting districts are roughly analogous to the congressional districts in present-day America.

Governing system: Democracy.
Voting is required on national election days and on Decision Days. Decision Days are those days in which legislation is approved/denied. The general public decides on major issues that have been selected by the representatives. Decision Days are once every month. All elections are once every two years.

Legislative body: Representatives that are elected in their home districts.
Each district will elect one representative. In order to be elected, candidates must receive a 3/4 majority of the votes in the district. All issues that need to be decided upon will be brought before the reps and the most important will be left for the people to decide. Because the general public votes on all the most important/most widespread legislation, the Utopian democracy is as close to direct democracy as is feasible on a large scale. (New England town meetings are not practical on a large scale.)

Democracy headed by: Facilitator.
Facilitator runs meetings of representatives, as well as playing the role of ceremonial head of state. Facilitator is elected from the representatives, by the reps. Fac. has no more power than any of the other reps. (Analogous to taking the American President, and putting him/her on the same level, power wise, as the members of congress do. Also analogous to the Pres. Pro Tem of the Senate in America, as the Fac. head meetings, but is also a voting member of the representatives.)

Crimes: Three levels of crimes, with some exceptions
Level 1: -petty theft -slander -traffic violations -small claims etc.
Level 2: -sexual assault (not rape) -grand theft -battery/assault etc.
Level 3: -rape -child abuse (any form) etc.
-Killing-- L1 if self-defense, L2 if not premeditated, L3 if in cold blood/premeditated.
-Hate Crimes-- L3 if fatally violent, L2 if serious injury results, all else L1.

Justice system: Judiciary panels
Citizens are elected in their district for one of 15 positions open on the Judiciary panel. The panel in each district hears all legal matters brought before it. Must have a Master's Degree in Utopian Law in order to be elected to the panel. Only one panel per district. All decisions by the panel are final and binding. Must have 13 of 15 votes to convict of Level 3 crimes, 10 of 15 for Level 2 crimes, and 8 of 15 for Level 1 crimes. If convicted of a crime, punishment shall consist of a jail sentence for L1 crimes, life imprisonment for L2 crimes, and immediate death penalty for L3 crimes. "Immediate" means two weeks past conviction. Two weeks are allowed for the convicted to contact family and friends that s/he wishes to bid good-bye/make peace with, settle matters in the event that family is unable/unwilling to do so for the convicted. Death shall be carried out by painless lethal injection.

Law enforcement: Sentinels.
Sentinels receive training in Utopian Law and how to keep order under law. In the case that the sentinels are unable to remedy a problem, it is then brought before the Judiciary panel for hearing. Sentinels also receive a superior grade of physical training, enduring a minimum of one year of physical conditioning before undergoing an examination of physical status. One sentinel from each district is elected by the other sentinels (same premise as the election of the Facilitator from the Representatives) to serve as leader and organizer for the sentinels in that district.

Military: None.
Sentinels are the only military-like presence in Utopia. In the case of emergency (i.e. natural disaster), the sentinels from each district will come together under the leadership of one pre-appointed leader, chosen from among the sentinel leaders from all the districts.

Economic: Barter
There will be no money in Utopia. All transactions will be based on the barter system. Goods and services are traded for the necessities of life. Elected persons barter their services as public officials for daily necessities. The more goods/services that are produced, the more trading can be done. Ex: If an elected person also makes a type of cloth, the person will then be able to trade the cloth, in addition to his/her service as a public official.

Education: Open and free.
All children will begin schooling at age 4. At age 16, students will be given the choice between becoming a skilled worker or continuing on with education. If the student chooses to become a skilled worker, s/he will take classes in business management, finance, etc. At age 18, the student will enter an apprenticeship with a worker in his/her chosen field. After a minimum of 4 years as an apprentice, the student may enter into the work force. If, at age 16, the student decides to continue schooling, the student will continue taking 'typical' high school classes for an additional two years. At age 18, the student will chose a major concentration to study. Within the next two years, the student will decide on a career within the chosen concentration. After a minimum of two additional years of study, the student may leave school and enter the work force. For both educational routes, the option of leaving after 4 years is just that, an option. On both tracks the student may chose to continue studying, thereby becoming more skilled and qualified in his/her chosen career. No one will be excluded from any educational opportunity because of lack of barterable goods or services. In the event that a child's family is unable to provide barter for the schooling of the child, the parents will be allowed to pay for the education at an extremely reduced pace. In addition, the student will be able to pay barter back to the school system after his/her education is complete and s/he is a productive member of the work force.

Environmental regulations: Moderate to strict
Callous misuse of natural resources is not tolerated. (i.e. logging trees without planting new ones, strip-mining without restoration, etc.) Polluting the environment is also not tolerated. The people will set specific levels for pollution of air, water, earth, etc. Violation of the regulations constitutes a L1 crime.

Religion: Liberal
Practice of religion is liberal, though not unrestricted. Religious practices that involve public defamation or injury against another party or religious group are prohibited. Private practices are not restricted. Proselytizing in prohibited in any form. No person or group shall be permitted to obstruct the free exercise of another's religious beliefs.

Marriage Custom: ungoverned and unrestricted. The governing system shall not cover marriages; any persons wishing to wed another may do so regardless of sex, age, religion, physical mishaps, or past experience, on the part of either party. Furthermore, more than 2 may join together, if that is the desire. There are neither penalties nor rewards to wedded couples or groups; the marriage is a purely personal ceremony, having no legalities attached.

Changes from Thomas More's Utopia and why.

The brand of Communism presented here is similar to More's Utopian Communism. However, in this form of Communism, each gives according to his/her abilities and receives according to his/her needs, but also has the opportunity to excel beyond that if he/she desires to do so. In effect a blend of the modern American Capitalist view and the ideological Communism.

The fact that the Utopia presented here is on another planet with no other countries to contend with naturally removes the idea of foreign Ambassadors mentioned in More's Utopian Contempt for Gold. However, neither More's Utopia nor this one has any use for money, or gold. Gold would do nothing beyond hinder either view of Utopia.

More's Utopia is distinctly Christian in religious beliefs, whereas this view of Utopia is religiously free, depending upon the citizens of Utopia. In More's time period, there were no other religions being widely practiced in his area, thus it is a natural conclusion that More would only include what he was familiar with and considered correct. In this age, religions are as varied as the people who practice them, and so a certain flexibility is necessary.

Marriage customs in More's view of Utopia and this view of Utopia are radically different, with very few of his ideals, if any, remaining. The customs set forth in More's Utopia are stifling and unreasonable. Perhaps in More's time, such customs were necessary or prudent; they are not so any longer. And, it is important to remember that More wrote Utopia shortly after the Anglican Church split from the Catholic Church, partly over disagreements on the subject of divorce and remarriage. More's view on marriage is distinctly Catholic in nature, and thus naturally against either divorce or remarriage.

This was my second essay for Survey of British Literature. Damn, but my instructor is cool...

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.