The United States is a Utopia… But Not in a Good Way

Although it is still debatable what exactly Thomas More meant with his book Utopia, generally people seem to agree that the island called Utopia was supposed to represent a perfect world. In that, it definitely shares something with the US: both were meant to be a perfect world. Unfortunately, though, they also share the fact that they failed, as there is this one big issue with the entire idea of Utopia: it is impossible.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with striving for perfection. Actually, it was great that the founding fathers of the US had such huge ideals and that they tried to realise them, and it is definitely not something they should be blamed for. However, now that the world has managed to spin around the sun about 237 times since these people declared independence and started building their Utopia, a lot has changed, and for what was supposed to become a perfect world, that’s a bit problematic.

See, US culture and politics seem to be rather stuck at these founding fathers. Whereas in for example the Netherlands nobody really cares what William of Orange would have thought if he saw modern day policies, in the US, it still seems to be a big deal. There is a lot of pride about these people who helped set up the nation, and even though they lived three centuries ago, they are still constantly mentioned in politics.

But times change. That Utopia that was already unattainable to begin with is now even more unattainable. For example, Thomas Jefferson imagined the US to be a nation in which almost everyone had their own independent farm, and although this might come as a bit of a shock for the really patriotic American, that’s not going to happen anymore. In fact, about 99% of the population wouldn’t even know how to grow a proper potato, nevermind an entire farm full of them.

Of course, the US wasn’t the only Utopia in world history. As always, it’s the ones you hate the most who you have the most in common with, because as it happens, many of the countries the US has been at war with had such Utopian ideals: Communist Russia and Vietnam, and perhaps to some extent even Hitler’s Germany, which in fact didn’t differ very much from Jefferson’s Utopia, both in its goal and in its methods.

Those times have long passed now, though, and people in the US cannot be blamed for what their ancestors did any more than Germans could be blamed for the Holocaust. But unlike Germany, in the US, there is still that sense of pride about the founding fathers, and those Utopian ideals still exist. Even now the goal for politicians is to create a perfect society, and the idea that the US is in some way special seems to be here to stay.

But this is the 21st century, and perhaps that means it’s time to let that nationalism go. After all, nationalism is the most unreasonable ideology there is. It is the idea that somehow, your own country is more special or more important than the countries of those 7 billion other people, and for some reason, all those 7 billion people believe that THEIR country is the best. It is ridiculous, and it only makes politics more irrational. Perhaps that’s what the US needs to do to restore itself as a first world country and to catch up with countries in Western Europe: they need to accept that they are not the best nation in the world.

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More on this topic from Dean Richards:

America is a Third World Country

Why Again Do Europeans Worship The US?

Countries With The Death-Penalty: Pick The Odd One Out

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About Dean Richards

A young student with a passion for writing. Aspiring author and human rights activist, but I write about anything. "If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree!" New blog post every Monday!
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3 Responses to The United States is a Utopia… But Not in a Good Way

  1. Henshaw says:

    I don’t think the Founding Fathers thought that they created Utopia. The United States constitutional Republic was designed in such a way to protect us from ourselves.If there’s something outdated about the Constitution it can be amended by a super majority.

    I would argue that today our lawmakers are striving more towards Utopia than the Founding Fathers ever did.

    I’m not generally a nationalist, but there’s nothing wrong with having pride in our system of government. Sure, it’s not perfect, but Utopia will never exist.

    • Well, I wasn’t referring to just the constitution, but mainly idyllic ideas like the ones by Jefferson, who saw the US as a nation where everyone had their own property and worked self-sufficiently on their own little farm, enjoying peace and prosperity far away from the industrial mess that Britain was.

      Of course the constitution plays a role, because it stresses freedom etc, but in that, it is no different from any of the important declarations that were made in Europe, except for the fact that it is better known.

      Anyway, I do agree that there is nothing wrong with having pride in your country and system of government, but from my point of view, some countries go too far in that pride, and similar to North Korea and China, I think the US is one of those countries. I mean… there are only a few countries in the world that have people regulating the precise way the national flag should be used, and there are even fewer countries where anyone actually cares. But the US is one of those.

    • utopia lover says:

      How dare you! I’m fed up with this world not being an utopia! And so, I wont’ stop striving for it.

      For years, I’ve dealt with one problem after another. And I’m fed up with it! That’s why I’ve become an utopia-obsessed perfectionist who wants everything his way. Besides, I’m used to things going my way and not the way that I don’t want them to be.

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