Walden Two: Human Nature And Society The Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Government Type: Essay Paper: #28468199 Related Topics: Utopia, Sleep Deprivation, Politicians, Human Brain
Excerpt from Essay :

Walden Two: Human Nature and Society

The bourgeoisie naturally conceives the world in which it is supreme to be the best.

Karl Marx

People throughout history, since the beginning of time began, have been expressing dissatisfaction with the way the world is and trying to find ways to make it better. Along the way various fictional societies called "Utopias," after the book of the same name written by Thomas More in 1515 and 1516, were created in an image of perfectionism. These utopian communities, all somewhat different in many ways and often ultimately oppositional in form and function, nevertheless had one thing in common. Each one boasted proudly that it alone was worthy of the ultimate claim: a foundation of consummate judicial and moral principles with the ultimate result of effortless happiness and true freedom for all its people.

B.F. Skinner admits that when he wrote Walden Two in 1945 is "was not a bad time for Western Civilization." (Skinner, January 1979) This was an innocent time that did not yet know the daunting confusion and helpless anxiety of a world being decimated by hate crimes, crack babies, deadbeat dads, industrial pollution, melting polar ice caps, and the greenhouse effect, AIDs and Hep C Yet Skinner was still compelled to write a book that outlined what he believed would be a perfect society, where behavioral engineering is used to manipulate the environment and the people in it to function in a way that guarantees a comprehensive and idealistic community, based on moral and legal standards so high that freedom for every citizen is guaranteed. Skinner himself says in his Preface to Walden Two that "the dissatisfactions which led [him] to write Walden Two were personal." (January...


There are true Christians who practice what they preach, so to speak, but quite often the beliefs seem to be more important than the actual values. In W2, there is a group of people who do not have a formal institution such as a church to tell them what is right and wrong, nor do they have formalized sanctions such as the promise of an afterlife spent in heaven or the threat of suffering in hell. Yet they still seem to know the difference between right and wrong and do it. In fact, in the real world, the Christian politicians are usually the worst of the hypocrites, spouting their beliefs during the day and cheating on their wives, having homosexual relationships, and snorting cocaine during the night. Eliminating politics altogether serves to bring W2 closer than our society to a Christian society without even trying.

In terms of right and wrong, W2 has a much different set of values than modern society. Today's society is entirely preoccupied with the morals and goals that are espoused by commercialism and consumerism, such as the Puritan work ethic, profits over personalities, and "the one with the most toys wins." The values of W2 include a four-hour work day, an equal division of labor and goods, and an emphasis on leisure time and giving meritorious value to the arts. Right and wrong is determined by the behavior and…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bruce, Susan. Introduction to Three Early Modern Utopias. (1999) New York: Oxford University Press.

Skinner, B.F. Walden Two. (1948) Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company.

- . Walden Two Revisited: Preface to Walden Two. (January 1976) Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company.

Three Early Modern Utopias: Utopia, New Atlantis, The Isle of Pines. Edited by Susan Bruce. (1999) New York: Oxford University Press.

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