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Discuss Utopian ideas

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This is an incredibly broad question, so I'll try to touch on a variety of points. Hopefully you will find at least some of them helpful!

First off, let's define "utopia." By definition, a utopia is an idea of a (nearly) perfect community or society. The term originates from Sir Thomas More's Utopia (16th century), but the concept has existed for much longer.

Some common examples of utopia in literary and religious tradition are the biblical Garden of Eden or Shangri-La, a mystical valley in 1933 novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton. Both of these terms are so commonplace that they are often substituted as names for any concept of an earthly paradise.

Throughout the centuries, many utopian communities have been proposed and attempted.

The first known proposal for a utopia is Plato's Republic (c. 380 BC). Plato's plan centered around rigid economic and social classes and the concept of "benign oligarchy" via philosopher-kings. Since then, a variety of communes, townships, and more have been discussed or (partially) actualized.

Current utopian ideas tend to fall into one or more of several categories.

Economic utopias focus to rid their societies of poverty, greed, and other hardships often caused by capitalism or commercialism. This concept became particularly popular during the 19th century, as economies and industry boomed.

Ecological utopias serve as an example of society working more harmoniously with nature. Typically, this involves undoing or moving away from modern practices (i.e. deforestation, mass use of nonrenewable resources, etc.) that destroy or harm the environment.

Religious utopias may be inter-religious or intra-religious. These hope to unite citizens under a united moral understanding, which may be under a single faith or through understanding of how their faiths unite.

Feminist utopias have often been proposed as a way to consider "reworking" gender roles, misogyny, and the relationship between biology and social status.

Overall, utopian ideas are useful tools for examining what humanity values most, what struggles face us, and how we might realistically (or hypothetically) improve our world.

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