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For a very, very long time, humanity has delved into utopias. I once sorted and read a few unread issues of DIE ZEIT and per chance the editions of Utopia (about Thomas More) and Communism came up right one after another. The problem is, however, that these utopias all have one thing in common: they do not work, however tempting their solutions to certain problems may seem. It is bothering me for a quite long time why they are not working and whether just I could build a system that works in reality, but there are a few obstacles. The main problem with the thing is probably that people are by definition not equal.

Although the gene pool is quite small compared to other species (and maybe therefore responsible for the success of the species itself), it is still large enough for what happens for example in chemistry if you leave inhomogeneous solutions : they differentiate themselves. Even in the primitive man clans, there were individuals who were taller, stronger and / or more aggressive and therefore took a dominant position, they got the best and biggest steak from the mammoth. An interesting subject of research is the behavior of certain populations in relation to altruism - most cultures have profited greatly from cooperation. A hunter alone could not kill a mammoth, but a group can and that affects us to this day when it is analyzed in psycho-tests for cooperation. In contrast, a farmer is quite self-sufficient. If one can deduce from this a natural principle: the head of the group rises up from the base, but only as far as it is accepted by that base so that the cooperation continues to work. It would be interesting to know how far this distance has fluctuated over time, for primitive manhood it was not very large due to general lack of resources, with the beginning of sedentariness and agriculture and livestock, it quickly enlarged, even that early chiefs lived quite well at the expense of the tribe. In feudalism, a maximum may have occurred, which was again reduced by the Enlightenment, especially because the general level of prosperity is at least locally uniformly high. Any attempt to treat everyone equally now leads to an unstable situation as the system would quickly differentiate again because the more proactive, more capable people would simply be more successful.

In principle, Marx is right when he realizes that at some point in the future enough will be produced to satisfy all the basic needs for all people. But that alone is not enough to construct a utopia where all people live happily ever after. The problem is the demand: there will always be scarcity somewhere, and like a starting point for condensation, it will lead to a currency, the invention of money. So even if you would get rid of the money and it would all be for free, this construct does not remain stable like a supersaturated vapor. A very clear example are athletes: because they can do something better than others, several people just want them to compete for them and are willing to give something for that. In Germany, for example, when money was effectively worthless after the Second World War, cigarettes became the substitute currency. And if someone in a Utopia wants something that's in short supply - and because resources are by definition limited, something must be scarce - bartering takes place and then we have money again.

The third facet is the psychological: what relationship we have to our environment, and there we have private ownership. Anyone who has painstakingly saved for an item or made it himself simply emphasizes a completely different value to it than if it is simply provided by the company for free and thus exchangeable. In addition, a sense of ownership too creates a sense of responsibility. That was very nice to see at the railway of the past. Back then, every crew of locomotive drivers and stokers had a steam locomotive on which they always rode. Even though they did not really own it, they nurtured and cared for it because they would be riding together on the same machine tomorrow. At the end of the steam locomotive era, there were no longer any permanent crews and the machines were constantly changing. The natural consequence was that nobody felt responsible and their condition deteriorated rapidly. Something's going to break here - no matter, tomorrow I'll be on a different machine anyway. Humans have just a reward center in their brains and that's not easy to switch off biologically.

It would be possible to derive from these three factors a situation in which a utopia actually works: when the environment is so saturated that it can no longer differentiate itself. So if there was such an abundance that everyone really got everything imaginable, then there would really be no way to differentiate themselves from their fellow human beings. If my neighbor gets a private jet, I will order one tomorrow. But that is - utopian.

The next scenario is neither stable nor desirable: to enforce it. Violence simply creates counter violence and violence is never evenly distributed, so utopia differentiates on the gradient between the leadership and the participants alone. In actual socialism, it was not bad a living at the head of the party.

As I have stated in my previous articles, it is the scarcity of resources (like fossil fuels that have not be further fueled) that creates challenges. I'm not giving up yet, maybe there's actually a system that takes the above points into consideration and creates a stable utopia, but I still looking for the crucial breakthrough. There are many kind of fiction where someone tries to break out of prison only to realize later that his attempted escape was already planned and observed by his keepers. In the extremely psychopathic variants, this is a matryoshka principle: one breaks out of the one faked reality just to realize somewhat later that the next one is just as fake.

If you want to draw a conclusion from the whole article, it is that the way to a fairer system can only be one of reducing inequalities.


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