A philosopher drives his spouse through the countryside on a Sunday afternoon.
Philosopher: I should write an essay about utopia. Defining a utopia helps one define one’s own personal ideal; of course, reaching an ideal in this life is impossible, but it would be a good project to define the terms that I personally find ideal so that I can then use those terms as I reach for personal improvements.
A moment of silence as the spouse looks out the car window at the beautiful countryside.
Philosopher: My ideal world looks like the following: there will be no disruption of natural motion: migratory patterns of animals, rivers, and oceans will flow according to their want without human interruption: all man-made objects will be torn down. These man-made objects include all national boarders, fences, dams, and dikes. Likewise, all roads will be destroyed and trees will be planted in their place. This road here that we are driving will become a forest and, therefore, will cease to exist.
Another moment of silence.
Philosopher: Trees! Trees are natural water purifiers and they evaporate ninety-five percent of the water they absorb from the soil, which then rains down on earth as distilled, life-giving water. Because my utopia has removed all dams, the water that is no longer horded in dams, will be held in the trees along long, winding water ecosystems and this water will be evaporated into the air, and rained on the planet for collection in copper pots. Why copper: well, copper is self-cleaning, so water held in copper will remain pure indefinitely. There will be no human infrastructure of purifying water: just trees and copper. Humans will poo in the ground or in compost toilets; no one will be allowed to pee or poo in the water supply, and, as a result, there will be no waterborne viral or bacterial diseases and no chemicals in the water supply. Again, copper and pure water. Now then, how will humans travel without roads: humans will fly. How: Humans will be able to excite a strong magnetic field from the atmospheric current and from this small starter current, will build large enough magnetic fields to induce ionic wind and so float airships off the ground. The ships will be any size desired: some humans will live in castles in the air and others will commute between town and country via a small airship the size of a car. Speaking of strong magnetic fields, each household will maintain a plasma ball in its garden and this plasma ball will allow humans to send and receive all manner of electromagnetic radiation—that is, telecommunications. In a phrase, households around the world will create a worldwide mesh network. Plasmas are electromagnetic mirrors, so each house, car, or village will be able to easily join a local network with others nearby and, by extension, across the whole globe. Humans will work for one another in a virtual environment whenever possible. The web will be a second or third version of the internet circa May 21, 2021: this new web will include a monetary and social component in the code underlying its infrastructure, which will make governments and companies obsolete. There will be no need for stewardship of monetary or social apparatuses from a third party—that is, a government—so the people will pay few taxes. There will be no roads, bridges, or libraries for which the people need to pay in order to have a chance to crawl out of the inherited ghetto created by the social and political forces circa May 21, 2021. In addition, Humans will, as a whole, discipline themselves to learn to read. Hollywood movies as we know them—
Spouse: Circa May 21, 2021?
Philosopher: Yes, my dear. Hollywood movies circa May 21, 2021 will be anathema. Companies will be obsolete along with governments. There will be no shareholders or international markets. There will be no middle man of any kind anywhere. As I said at the beginning of this lecture: there will be no inhibition of natural motion of nature. All human technology will aim to enhance nature’s motion vis-a-vis today’s technology, which aims to inhibit nature.
Spouse: Lecture? But I thought we were enjoying a drive in the country together! Haha!
Philosopher: There will be a few companies, of course. I envision manufacturing of various airships and, of course, the tools that each homestead or village will use to process natural resources for food, clothing, and shelter. Looms, 3-d printers, kilns, forges, etc. What will be obsolete is the consumer products of circa May 21, 2021.
Spouse: Excuse me, dear. I hate to interrupt, but I think the police are pulling us over.
Philosopher: That’s a good point: the police. I don’t see many taxes in my utopia, but there would naturally need to be a few police for the illusion of security. Government’s main job, let’s say, is to steward finances and physical peace. Who would ensure that there is physical security between homesteads? Can someone break in and steal someone else’s stuff? No, of course not; and, if someone did break or steal, there is a police officer, a judge, and a court to arbitrate the details. So, I need a small tax for paying the military and judiciary arm of my utopia dream.
Spouse: Did you remember to pay the car insurance?
Philosopher: No, no, there is no insurance in my utopia. Insurance is a middle man between a natural event and a human. In my utopia, when there is a natural disaster or a shingle falls off the house when an airship lands on the roof, one’s neighbors come over and help solve the problem. In this way, there is an active cultivation of neighbors, neighborhoods, and civic duty among the citizens of the polis.
Spouse: Is it a polis, though? Didn’t you say that everyone is living in the woods and jetting around on airships? To my thinking, a polis is by definition urban.
Philosopher: That’s a good point; I agree. My utopia takes the idea of a polis to a microscopic level. A polis is a city state oft mentioned by philosophers for presenting a democratic ideal. My polis is a homestead or group of homesteads. My ideal polis is as small as a household and no larger than a village. It is connected to all other villages in the world via a peer-to-peer network, but there is no urban center or city of any kind. There are merely trees, jungle, forest, ecosystem atop ecosystem, and the occasional clearing with a solitary house or village.
Spouse: Sorry to interrupt, dear, but the police officer is standing next to your window. If you ignore him, I image he will tap on the glass with his gun, which will be disconcerting.
Philosopher: Guns. Yes, guns. I am not sure what I think about guns. In fact, I’ve overlooked them entirely because in my utopia guns are obsolete, too. The citizens of my utopia will focus their attentions on electromagnetic radiation instead of metal projectiles. Why shoot a bullet when you can shoot a beam of light? Or a pulse of microwave energy? A bullet is an antique weapon in an information age and a polis will need to arm itself by reading books and by commanding an array of electromagnetic tools.
Spouse: Well, maybe this officer has a taser instead of a gun. I don’t know. Seems to me that a taser is a great way to have the living daylights zapped out of one’s body, and, I’m sure, such a zapping would be a state of the art way to feel the—what did you call it—military and judiciary arm of your utopia?
Philosopher: That is a good point about tasers being an electromagnetic weapon even now, circa May 21, 2021.