Ideal Society Term Paper

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Every person has thought, at least once in their life, that it would be nice if there were no disease, no crime, no poverty, and/or for some other improvement in the Human condition. Since everyone has dreamed of a better world, it is fair to say that Humanity has a common dream. While no two humans are exactly the same, we are all of one race, the human race, and we all share the experience of life in an essentially identical carbon-based life-form structure. We all work for continuing survival while in this structure, and hope for a happy, safe, and good life for ourselves and for our loved ones. Therefore, everyone has a common desire for the best life attainable."

Economic Equality

Extreme gaps exist between the rich and the poor around the globe and, in particular, in the United States. Reports of the corporate earnings of executives and the recent corporate accounting scandals have called for social reform even among political moderates and some conservatives.

The question is this: how do we equalize incomes in a society, at least to some degree, without instituting a communist or socialist state?

First, we should focus on redistributing wealth and opportunity at the point where it matters - at the stage where people are young and can take full advantage of opportunities. In other words, a society's children should be guaranteed a first-rate education, a lack of poverty, and an abundance of necessities such as shelter and health insurance. These strategies are the building blocks for income generation and a redistribution of wealth that relies on the individual taking advantage of his or her opportunities, rather than literal redistribution of money by the government.

Second, the minimum social wage must be increased to a high enough level that everyone can live comfortably. There will always be people in society that will be unable or unwilling - for whatever reason - to work at the highest paying jobs. In such cases, it makes little sense to have people working night and day at back-breaking work for $5.50 an hour. At this wage, they can scarcely take care of themselves or their family, and they face a future of little opportunity. Moreover, with such dim prospects, citizens might instead opt for unemployment or a life of crime. Therefore, the social wage must be set at a level that keeps pace with the cost of living and allows citizens to live at least a lower middle-class lifestyle.

Roles of Women and Men in the Family

The roles of women and men in the family have changed relatively significantly in the last century. Yet we still have a long way to go before we achieve equality between the sexes within the family.

For women to achieve true equality within the family, they must be accorded the same autonomy and respect as men.

Unfortunately, women are usually stereotyped as the "caretakers" within the family, while men are by and large thought of as the head-of-households. We need to re-align our thinking and view both fathers and mothers as having equal roles as caretakers within the family. Such a viewpoint is crucial if fathers are to play central roles in the upbringing of children.

Moreover, the stereotype of the mother as caregiver and the father as breadwinner is largely a myth. Nevertheless, while many American families are now two-income households with both mothers and fathers working outside of the home, women are still bearing more of the domestic and caretaking burden inside of the home than men. For example, it is estimated that fathers spend only 33% of the time that mothers spend in taking care of children. This is the case not only in American society, but in hundreds of societies worldwide, according to recent…

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Given this, and without falling down the slippery slope of moral relativism, we must therefore recognize that one group's behaviors, and the meanings attached to those behaviors will always provoke a negative reaction among some other group.

Nevertheless, if we do not fall prey to moral relativism and therefore, do recognize that some behavior - at least according to our belief system - is wrong, we must treat cultural "deviants" as humanely and justly as possible. In an ideal society, we should also act pro-actively and engage in societal reform to reduce the extent of social deviance in the first instance.

Jon Will, "Utopian Philosophy." Utopia Now Studies. July 20, 2002.

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