1. Hi there, Guest

    Only registered users can really experience what DLP has to offer. Many forums are only accessible if you have an account. Why don't you register?
    Dismiss Notice

Utopia

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Taure, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,430
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    High Score:
    13,152
    What's your ideal society?

    There are a lot of people interested in politics and political philosophy on here. Very opinionated people, and very creative people. If any of you are like me in this respect, you will have given thought to how you would arrange society if you were given dictatorial powers.

    Try to keep it semi-realistic. Your society is still set in the real world, so you don't have infinite resources or technology that is hundreds of years away from us (near future technology, I think, is permissable). However, beyond this you have free reign. So you can turn your nation communist, even if the population has no inclination to go communist at the present time. Don't worry about likelihood of it actually occurring.

    Also, try to be detailed. Don't just say "society where people have liberty, lol". There's no reason to read that. Be as TL;DR as you like, especially regarding not just how you would arrange society, but why. The justification of it, the values underpinning it.

    And since this is DLP Politics, no doubt we'll have all sorts of fun discussions/arguments where we try to poke holes in each other's Utopia.

    I'll wax lyrical about mine in a future post, but I want to keep the OP neutral and not too long, so I'll leave it there.

    Go!
     
  2. Tehan

    Tehan Avatar of Khorne DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    3,742
    [​IMG]

    I want to join The Culture.
     
  3. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    665
    Location:
    Canberra, ACT
    High Score:
    1,800
    Okay...

    I've always thought that the idea of a Utopian society is not only fundamentally flawed but impossible. Utopia suggests a balance, a perfect harmony of social contexts within an ideal and uncorrupted political/legal system. The only way to achieve this would be to suppress any dissidents and expel them from the society, and the very act of doing so undermines the ideal of a 'perfect' society. Indeed, although it may look pretty on the surface, acts of suppression force only an illusion of individual freedom - and afford any 'Utopia' an automatic classification as a Dystopia.

    But let's assume I could make changes, creating a society that is striving for a Utopia, then there is a lot that needs to change:

    Straight off the bat, a society that has surpassed any factions of racism and/or desire for war. I know that's broad, and mostly a given, but there we have it.

    Renewable energy sources, I guess, as well as an understanding of civil responsibility instilled in the masses. Values of the society would be based on a normative ethical theory of utilitarianism. The right choice is the one that brings about the best results for society, or the least amount of bad results. That may seem a touch black and white, but its better than a very small minority controlling most of the wealth, power, and influence (i.e. reality).

    There has to be contact and respect for the natural world.

    I'm just writing these as I think of them. Nothing like a fluid or workable plan here. The problem with designing a Utopia, or near-Utopia, is ten times out of ten, you're going to end up with an Orwellian nightmare.

    Crime will always be a factor - people are always going to kill, rob, rape one another. Whether the offender comes from a violent home or a normal home, there are sometimes no factors to explain 'why' the offender did what they did. Its not simply free will, but it couldn't be predicted, either. You can't have freedom without anarchy.

    Hmm... my society is a contradiction unto itself at the moment. I'll just list some desired traits:


    • Universal Health care
    • Renewable energy sources (because why the fuck not!?)
    • Water desalinization (rather vital down here in Aus)
    • An additional tax on the population (estimated population of 200 million) of roughly $300 US dollars a year. That would be a collection of $60,000,000,000 annually. Enough to end world poverty. That's all it would take.
    I'm going to stop here before I descend from ideals and into a bitter political rant about what should be happening now in the real world. Basically, all the points above would be an improvement and advancement on the models of democracy we have now, yet the idea of ever reaching a Utopian society is complete fantasy.

    You would need to destroy free will, liberty, and the right of all men and women to be complete fuck-ups.
     
  4. Lyndon Eye

    Lyndon Eye Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Germany
    Purpose of my ideal society: to maximize happiness.

    My utopia has no scarcity.

    No really. Hear me out here.

    In present American society, the main problems we have are income inequality (resulting in poverty at one end and excess at the other) and an economically centered conception of success (material acquisition is key; bigger is better and life is dictated by pressure to keep up with the Joneses). But do we really need the fancy sports cars, the ipads or the Louis Vuitton bags? I would argue: not at all. They don’t really make people happy. Rather, the most fulfilled and content people I’ve ever encountered were academics and artists: they followed their passions and spent their life doing something they loved (positive contribution to society was the fortunate side effect). On the flip side, very few people working in white-collar office jobs are very happy: they push around papers and grind away for 8 hours, ultimately seeking contentment elsewhere in life (hobbies, family, etc.). Even fewer of the blue-collar workers are content.

    The solution then, to maximize happiness is society, is to eliminate the capitalist-consumer aspect of it (and with it, the cubicle jobs) and foster a society that values pursuit of knowledge and arts. A somewhat comparable analogy is to think of life in my utopia as being in university for life. The government will provide uniform housing, facilities, and food (in terms of material comforts, all individuals are equally well provided for so all physical necessities are satisfied), but after the age of 24 (before which, there is compulsory structured elementary education teaching societal norms/values, but also fostering thymos and curiosity, as well as mandatory service), people will have absolute freedom to take the classes they want, form the clubs and societies they want, study the subjects they want (politics, economics, history, law, medicine, etc.), to teach their passions, and do the research they want. They are free to flourish in an encouraging environment.

    But a problem: tuition at a private university costs $50,000. How is this ever going to be economically feasible?

    First, I’m assuming that technologically, energy will be more cost-efficient in the future. Nuclear fusion is already on the horizon (10-15 more years). There may be breakthroughs in harnessing solar technology.

    Next, I’m assuming administrative efficiency. The most competent and accomplished citizens will be elected to a Central Planning Board that performs tasks similar to university administration (housing maintenance, growth of food, providing the resources necessary for research, etc.). [Insert the usual checks/balances/political accountability to decrease incentive for corruption...]

    The sheer manpower necessary for the functioning of society will come from the youth- there will be eight years of mandatory service from ages 16-24 during which people make their physical contributions to society (someone needs to man the tractors in the cornfields, or clean/take out the trash). Of course, it won’t be 8 years of sheer menial labor: 6 hours of labor a day can be complemented by 4 hours of continued education/specialization and 6 hours of leisure (reminiscent of work-study). After completing this stint of service, they will join the university-society as a whole. And of course, all the academics/researchers in society will be continuously making contributions to progress and greater efficiency.

    Obviously, there are ideological assumptions I’m making as well. I’m assuming that for every human, pursuit of intellectual and aesthetic passions is the highest good, no matter what your initial potential is. Factor in the very distinct possibility of genetic engineering in the near future, and the potential for every human is refined and maximized. I’m also assuming that if we take away consumer society and create an environment without scarcity (which many universities essentially are, with time as the only constraint), then the best of human nature will be brought out and crime/punishment ought not be an issue – people will not steal, or murder, or lie, as is the case in most universities.

    EDIT: I forgot to include the importance of values such as family and friendship in my utopia. Human relationships can be just as rewarding for personal happiness as intellectual pursuit (indeed, I would argue that both are necessary for optimal utility).


    TL;DR- Let's all stay in college forever and ever and ever because life is lovely here. :awesome
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  5. Riley

    Riley Alchemist DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,336
    Location:
    On The Eastern Seaboard, USA
    In Russia, Utopia create you!

    No seriously though, I'd probably do something similar to what America has now since I like the concept a lot and my belief in Anarchy will never work in any large communities since there are too many factors.

    I'd keep presidents, and the senate, but I would get rid of the electoral college's ability to vote against their state and I would remove the House of Representatives altogether. I would instate a computer program instead where people all over the U.S. can vote on an issue or put forth an issue. Yes this will most likely create a backlog of points/bulletins that need to be addressed but it is more fair in my mind than one person pushing forth an issue that their state doesn't believe in.

    I would also create a yearly lottery to pick the Presidents cabinet and each person would belong to a different "background" involving politics, race, religion, and heritage. For instance, a Cabinet could have a black jewish person and a redneck die-hard christian amongst others.

    Immigrations would be a bit looser but not enough to allow more "terrorists into the country. I like this idea mainly because I like to think that if I loosened the restrictions, there wouldn' be quite so much smuggling of people and I know this will raise a cry from those who believe that more people equal less opportunities and I would like to point out that if someone from another country can do better than maybe they are the best people for the job and I would urge that accuser to take a step back and think about why they are not skilled enough.

    I would institute some kind of "Green" law for the environment, maybe something like all cars must be hybrids, and then use some government funds to help research even more energy efficient means of travel.

    I would have people research time travel

    I would enact a law similar to Israel in that all people between 18 and 24 must volunteer one year of service in the army, in any branch at any job. However those that volunteer to be either infantry or any branch that actually goes to a skirmish area or a "war zone" would receive the free college package that is so popular now in America.

    I would make Presidency a heretical position...lol, just kidding.

    I would bomb the fuck out of the moon, just because I can.

    That would be my perfect society I guess. I can't really think of anything else at the moment so feel free to rip this apart.

    And yes, I know I seem like a politically ignorant guy however I make no excuses.
     
  6. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,430
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    High Score:
    13,152
    The Culture is an interesting one (though they effectively have infinite resources, so not really very realistic), in that, while you'd be very happy as a citizen, I don't think I'd feel very fulfilled. Humanity, in the Culture, has the status of pets. Very happy pets. Being part of the Culture would only be fulfilling if you were a Mind.

    @Joe: agreed that Utopia is unlikely (though I wouldn't go so far as to say impossible). It requires a shift in mindset so radical that I'm not sure if it could be produced by anything short of mass reprogramming of the human brain.

    That said, it's fun to speculate. My idea of the ideal society is a bit like Lyndon's (very much like it, actually), but a bit more militaristic.

    Here goes:



    I feel that the primary concern of a nation should not be individual liberty (though this is certainly valuable), nor public ownership of the means of production, but greatness. Economic, military, scientific, technological, biological and cultural greatness.

    Many of my views would resemble communism, except in motivation. I have no interest in equality beyond the provision of a baseline beyond which no one should fall (everyone should have access to food, shelter, education, healthcare, and equal opportunity for merit-based self-advancement). So long as these basic needs are met, I have no problem with inequalities in material circumstances - so long as these are linked to merit and contribution to society, not luck of the draw (e.g. happening to be born to a wealthy family).

    With regards to liberty, my belief here is that a "bill of rights" means nothing. Liberty is not some kind of metaphysical state guaranteed to you by a sentence on a piece of paper. There is no such thing as liberty separate from actual instances of exercise of free action. If I can publish what I want, go to the shops and purchase what I want (so long as I have the money), read what I want, watch and listen to what I want, live where I want, fuck who I want, think what I want etc. then I am free.

    Though, given the primacy of the greatness of the collective rather than the individual, liberty must be tempered by duty. People should not get to free ride on society. Everyone should be put to work - and in return, society shall provide for them (see basic needs above).

    I don't care about GDP, which is merely a measure of numbers in a computer, but rather industrial capacity, scientific and technological breakthroughs, innovation, infrastructure, etc. These are the true measures of the state of a nation. Money would have a much lower importance in my state, as it would be only used for the purchase of luxuries (defined as that which is above the basic standard of living provided by the state). Strategic industries (including farming) would all be nationalised and protected.

    Immigration would be pretty open, as it is evident that immigration is a good thing. All of the most powerful nations of today have a history of wave upon wave of immigration. Immigration prevents stagnation.

    Socially my ideal society would be liberal. The state should have no interest in that which does not affect the state. The only thing that I can think of which would be banned would be offspring from an incestuous union.

    Society should be dedicated to improving the genetic fate of mankind too. Eugenics has a bad rep, but this is because people have used it to try to promote racial groups, and done so via mass murder. This is not what I'm talking about. Physical strength, stamina, endurance, eradication of genetic disease, increasing the power of our immune system, increasing our neurological capacity, increasing our lifespans - these should be the aims of our genetic program. They are all benefits of absolute value, not political positions. Further, we don't do it via simply killing off those who possess traits we do not like, but rather through technological process - direct intervention in the genome of individuals, genetic screening and embryo selection. Of course this would have to be cautious, to prevent causing more damage than we are attempting to fix.

    Governance would be constitutional semi-democratic meritocracy. A constitution would be there to keep society on the track of putting collective greatness first, basic welfare second, while still maintaining as much actual liberties as possible. Democracy would prevent corruption and stagnation in the governance of the nation, but it must be tempered by meritocracy so it's not rule of the mob. Voting would be a privilege allowed to those who have shown themselves to be intelligent, creative, and industrious citizens.

    My society would value three professions above all others: the scientist, the artist, and the soldier.

    There would also be a commitment to sustainability, as it's just stupid to shoot yourself in the foot to make a fleeting gain in the present. This means making sure you don't screw up your environment so much that it hinders your way of life.

    TL;DR: my politics is based on an image of society as engaged in a massive collective project, the aim of which is the betterment of mankind - with the eventual aim of the colonisation of space. Instead of everyone pursuing their individual goals (accumulation of wealth, etc.) society would share this common purpose.
     
  7. wordhammer

    wordhammer Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,659
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    In the wood room, somewhere flat
    First thought when you posted this topic: 'The gods and Taure are conspiring to prevent me from caring about my current workload. Well done.'

    I was still ruminating through my own version when I read through this, and I was close to on board, just saying 'What he said, with ice cream!'.

    Here's my problem: The right to vote and thereby give voice to an opinion should not be limited to a privileged few, or we'll never hear from the outside perspective. Yes, basic competence should be a requirement for voting, but beyond the fulfillment of obligations of responsibility (you haven't committed crimes or failed to put in your time to the needs of the community) I think exclusion at this level is a dodgy policy that leads to stratification.

    Also, a few significant occupations are missing from the honored few:
    The educator
    The healer

    If honoring the scientist for his rigor, the artist for his vision and the soldier for his duty is meant to give them a desire to reach further and live greater than just 'good enough', then we should include those who share knowledge and understanding effectively, along with those who work to alleviate suffering. Maybe if they are respected more, their performance of duties will rise to the occasion.

    Still processing...
     
  8. Antivash

    Antivash Until we meet again... DLP Supporter Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    6,930
    Location:
    Ghost Planet
    Utopia? This;

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,430
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    High Score:
    13,152
    @wordhammer:

    Accepted on the educator part. I consider doctors to be scientists, of a kind, so included them in that.

    On the topic of voting: stratification/the creation of an elite is kinda what I was aiming for. So long as it's not a hereditary elite, because being born to clever people is no guarantee of being clever (unless, perhaps, you've come along nicely with genetic screening). As I said at the beginning, I see no problem with inequalities so long as they're tied to merit and contribution ('sup, Rawls?) - this extends not just to material goods but also to political power.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  10. Darje

    Darje Groundskeeper

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    385
    Location:
    Yesterday's leftovers.
    Ah yes, the thing about this is that in other parts of the world there might be less conflict and more cooperation. There would most likely be bastions of harmony and anarchy alike. I.E.: The community that took root in the city at the end and of course Bartertown.

    So in theory anybody's fantasy utopia could take place in this setting. I'm in favor of this because the nuclear war would reduce mankind to a baser form again; a fresh slate.

    (though if mankind were humbled enough by something to do that without the ridiculous death toll then I'd be fine with that too)
     
  11. Ayreon

    Ayreon Unspeakable DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Messages:
    764
    Location:
    Germany
    Holy shit, I certainly wouldn't trust you guys with dictatorial powers.

    Let me correct that: I would trust no one with dictatorial powers, but especially not you guys. o_O



    If I had to wish for Utopia, I would wish for a society where aggression against other sentient beings is as reviled as slavery is for us today. (Except in immediate self defense of course, some crazies will always exist.)
    Then just maximize individual liberty as much as possible. Tada!

    I also would wish for society to value the life of sentient beings so much, that it would begin to see death itself not as a natural or even good thing, but just another obstacle to be overcome and focus its efforts in that direction.

    (I used 'sentient being' because we're a step into the future and I have no idea if and when real AI might be possible and that should be included.)
     
  12. Swimdraconian

    Swimdraconian Denarii Host DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,420
    Location:
    Florida
    Taure, in your utopia, how would you define "artist"? Are they entertainers, artisans, technicians, writers, sculptors, painters, engineers? I know that older definitions of the term "artist" meant someone who perused science, philosophy and medicine amongst other things.

    Is that what you're going for?
     
  13. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,430
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    High Score:
    13,152
    "Artist" was meant to be a very broad term, referring to literature, music, art, and so on. Engineers I would put under scientists (as I would for economists and similar social sciences).
     
  14. Oz

    Oz For Zombie. Moderator DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    8,831
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Baile Átha Cliath
    What about programmers? Some code is art in itself.

    On topic, my utopia would be a united thirty-two counties.
     
  15. vlad

    vlad Professor Prestige

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    479
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Georgia, SSR
    High Score:
    2000
    I don't want a utopia. I don't want anyone dictating what are the ideal qualities for my culture, what I ought to believe, and what I ought to encourage. I want a government that establishes a set of rules that protect everyone equally against enslavement and persecution and then pretty much the right to do what I will.

    Basic education and health-care publicly financed and available to children. I've made my point on both of these time and again in the forums, so I'm not going to inflame things by going into great detail. But as I suppose this is a utopia where I'm allowed to frame the hearts and minds of my denizens, I want a no-bullshit education system, and a culture that supports it.

    I suppose I could say all cultures abhor war, but I might as well then stipulate that this society has no disease either which would make the whole thing moot. So what I'll say instead then is a society that upholds both in theory and practice to make no moves of aggression against any nation that upholds the same towards it, but a zero tolerance policy if threatened. Hedge-hog defense, if you will.

    So in short, a minimalist government that exists more to cut down other would-be tyrants within the society rather than day-to-day governing. Public services geared towards dependents, and taxation shifted towards local government, with total public spending being no more than ~15-20% GDP. No taxation on any individual over 33% of one's annual income, perhaps tapped with the same cap for an inheritance tax so that those low-income, high-wealth old families can share as well. A culture that supports this.

    And everything else: Material desires, religious opinions, personal lifestyle, work ethic, profession... left to the individual. Personal freedom uber alles - you only live once.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  16. Hugo

    Hugo Second Year

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Canada
    I'm sorry, but the idea of a utopia is, in all probability just a wish or a dream of a pacifist. A utopia basically signifies a) no violence (wars) b) peace and prosperity c) no poverty...the way the global world functions demands all three of these things. As long as globalization occurs...a utopia is just a dream. You wanna see hell? Look at the state of Colombia...and you have the answer to your utopia.

    Sorry if this sounds pessimistic to anyone, but the shit I've learned throughout my...volunteer work just makes me desensitized to the idea of a Utopia. It’s an impossibility just because of the human nature which is signified by greed; as long as humans constantly desire something...a utopia cannot and will not exist.
     
  17. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,430
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    High Score:
    13,152
    The idea of Utopia as pacifist is just one conception. You'll note that my conception was quite the opposite. As for no poverty, this isn't a pipe dream at all. As Joe notes, there's more than enough resources to eradicate poverty with plenty left over. It's just a matter of distribution.
     
  18. Sooner90

    Sooner90 Groundskeeper

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    Oklahoma, USA
    I'm going to back up Vlad. I believe that a top down management of society would inevitably lead to intractability and stagnation of thought. The lesson that evolution teaches us is that striving, one against the other, can lead to the elevation of the species. By maximizing liberty we ensure creative expression, fresh ideas and the elimination of dross. I also don't believe we need a bill of rights. Rights are assumed, unless specifically limited by the original framework of the constitution. The Government should be strictly limited to its most basic functions, concerned primarily with the protection of those basic rights. I'd even toy with the idea of selecting representatives through a lottery and judges would be term limited and easily censured or impeached.

    For humanitarian purposes we should provide a basic safety net of social welfare, but tie it to service. If you are aged, infirm or unable to provide a basic living, then you should be indentured and given a productive task to earn your services. We regularly condemn minimum wage jobs as unable to support a family. Well, populate those jobs with those who are unfit for other work.

    I also like the idea of mandated service for adolescents and young adults. They would be afforded a small pension, healthcare, etc...

    Also, I would want the government to be expansionist. Not necessarily militarily, but through active propoganda and infiltration. Kinda like Mormons..[​IMG] I don't know how realistic it is that it could be accomplished peacefully, but I would hope that if the people of Haiti, for instance, were offered a chance to be voting members of Utopia, with all the rights that follow, they would jump at the chance. Pay off the dictators if you can, support the rebels if you must. If not, just open the borders and let them make their way here as best they can. (subject to screening)

    Criminal prosecution would be swift, but public punishments would be substituted for jail time for minor offenses. Why are the stocks such a bad idea? Even public canings would be better than institutionalizing petty criminals. Miscreants would henceforth be referred to as "Idjuts" or some other term of ridicule. Corporal punishment in schools would be done publicly, as well.

    Labor unions would not be afforded any special protections under law. Feel free to organize and act collectively, but if you run afoul of anti-trust laws, suffer the same as any other business enterprise. In a free market and with minimal government protections (safe working conditions, child labor laws, etc..) such organizations are not needed. If you demand more salary than your boss feels your labor is worth, then you can leave you job and find another. If you old boss has miscalculated the worth of his employees, then his business will fail from lack of labor. The only wage protection a worker needs is a full labor market.

    Education would be free, up to any level you want to pursue, but post high school education would require you to work for the government while your schooling lasts.

    To encourage development of the sciences and arts in the public interest, prizes would be offered, especially centered on green technologies and cures for disease. (especially male pattern baldness)
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  19. Vir

    Vir Centauri Ambassador Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Canada
    High Score:
    1,907
    This. Jesus fucking Christ, this.

    According to Kurzweil's Singularity theory, this style of technology is within the current generation. Also, in Kurzweil's vision, humanity would become "Minds."
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  20. Blaise

    Blaise Golden Patronus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,194
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Eh, these types of questions are always a mixed bag. Yeah, it's fun to think about the "ideal society" and all, but sitting down and straight-out planning how it would run/how people would think....I dunno, that type of thinking more often than not breeds feelings of dissatisfaction with how the world is now - in addition to the kind of intellectual snobbery and armchair politics that doesn't really solve anything. Because you're not trying to provide solutions, so much as envisioning a world where everyone just agrees with how you think things should be.

    (Also known as: The Catholic Church.)

    My 5-minute vision of utopia doesn't involve too much in the way of politics; it focuses more on the kind of pie-in-the-sky ideas I have for society's landscape and metropolis structure, and personal physical development:

    The Landscape:
    - Power = solar, wind, hydro, piezo (via road vibrations), nuclear.
    - Heat = 'Power' + geothermal.
    - Using intelligent urban planning/development to make the "ideal standard" transfer from 'single-family suburban home + land' to 'top-floor apartment + views' (a la NYC to a large extent, and more dense cities in France and Spain).
    - Skycrapers capped at around 30-40 stories, with emphasis on building underground as well (like Montreal and Kansas City). In cases of inclement weather, city life doesn't have to slow down at all.
    - Eliminate the need for 18-wheelers.
    - Eliminate the postal service.
    - All interstate/major highways go underground (no worries over weather interference, less road damage via weather, no interference with natural landscape, more space in general for people)
    - A rebirth of the railroad and zepplin - because no one really believes in the saying "it's the journey not the destination" anymore, even though it should be more like that IMO.
    - A public rail transportation network that's so well-planned and connected, that a child could (in theory) go from coast to coast, and everywhere in between, without taking a bus or plane.
    - A free broadband wireless internet service, set at a standard speed that facilitates practical web applications.
    - Automobile-free zones within larger cities.
    - Algal-based fuels, self-sustaining refueling stations
    - In-city vertical terrace farming (only these buildings will have more lenient height restrictions).
    - Rebirth of intercity auto racing (like Monaco).
    - Libraries becoming major information/resource centers that lighten the load on businesses and local schools, and sites for vocational education. In short: being able to go to library, study by oneself, and get valid instruction and certification in anything.


    The People:
    - Mandatory 4-day work week...(EDIT: Though if your business can get away with less from your workers, do so)
    -...because the 5th day would be 'Give Back' Day. Kinda like Lyndon said, a mandatory conscription of median-age population to give back to the community (either manually or monetarily). Of course, since "manual labor" basically amounts to "drive/control/repair machine A to do task B," it's not even a real strain.
    - Mandatory minimum fitness standards
    - Eliminate use of fertility drugs for multiple children.
    - No use of fertility drugs if couple/person hasn't attempted to adopt first.
    - No adoption of children from outside of your country, unless already related by blood.
    - Mandatory yearly driving test for ages 50 and older
    - Reward-based middle- and high school education format
    - Some sort of card-based payment/credit system for those under 18, that makes it impossible for them to buy certain items (forgoing the 'Check ID' nonsense). Parents and employers can "pay" their kids in credits, kids can still buy their shitty junk food and video games, but nothing illegal.
    - Every city has their own representative teams in different athletic disciplines (soccer, football, basektball etc) that different age groups can try out for, which would compete against different groups of cities in large tournaments.

    All of the above would provide:

    1. Low-cost/less dependence on power.
    2. Low-cost shelter.
    3. Low-cost food.
    4. Low-cost access to consistently above-average resources.
    5. Low-cost, safer, diverse, and more enjoyable transportation.
    6. Low-cost access to education.
    7. Low-cost/constant forms of entertainment.
    8. Healthier lifestyle.
    9. Mostly independent from foreign resources.
    10. More nuclear families, with more time for each other.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010