Society is a group of people living together, in a more or less organized setup. Due to the variance of origin and upbringing of the members of the society, there are likely to be various problems. Many scholars have undertaken to find out what exactly makes a great society (Califano, 31). This paper relates to the statements of Thomas More, in his book, Utopia. The best way of achieving a great society is by encouraging and upholding the freedom of every member (More). Setting up of restrictions only instills a feeling of rebellion among people.
Freedom of people should take three dimensions: The social, economic and political aspects. For example, Landownership in every society should be communalized, as is a common characteristic of the Utopia Island, where both men and women did the same work. It ensures that no superiority complex arises in the society, consequently preventing social conflicts due to gender. In the island of Utopia, people wore the same type of clothes and there were no dressmakers to make fine apparel, which placed all people in the same social class, adding up to a great society (Michael and Humes, 430). People lived together, and the doors did not have locks from outside. The people inter-changed houses in every ten years, hence creating a sense of responsibility for the people, since they knew that house that you burn down today might be yours in the coming years. There was also a sense of security, due to the freedom of the people. No one would steal from the other as it was a brotherly household.
Social freedom also includes freedom of worship. Allowing people to engage freely in religious activities of their choice promotes tolerance among the people. In the Island of Utopia, for example, people were allowed to practice religions of their liberty, like monotheism, moon-worshippers, sun-worshippers, planet-worshippers and ancestor-worshippers, and each was tolerant to the other. Atheists were advised to voice their beliefs to the priests so that they could get convinced. Other religious ideas are tolerated and enshrined in a universal prayer all the Utopians recite. ...but, if they are mistaken, and if there is either a better government or a religion more acceptable to God, they implore His goodness to let them know it. Due to the liberty in Utopia, the people were able to accommodate each other without feelings of hatred or arousing chaos due to religious differences, thus enabling the functions of the society to run smoothly.
People practice economic freedom by engaging in economic activities of their choice without much restriction. In the island of Utopia, for example, farming was the only necessary action. However, people were allowed to learn at least one other essential activity, like weaving, masonry, carpentry and metalsmithing. The maximum number of hours one was restricted to was six hours. However, people willingly extended, because there was no pressure to overwork themselves, hence, the freewill to maximize their energy, which in return bore extraordinarily good fruits. Societies should, therefore, emulate the economic freedom of people as illustrated in Utopia, so as to achieve a great society (Michael and Humes, 430).
Political freedom entails people being allowed to make the political decision without undue influence (Karl). Each household in Utopia consists of 10 to 16 people. Each thirty families are grouped together and elect a phylarch. Each ten phylarchs elect a Syphogranti, who rules over them. There are two hundred Syphogranti in total, who choose a prince who stays for a lifetime, although he is liable to impeachment if they get deposed. Therefore, freedom of the people contributes to peace and tranquility that enhance society.
From the Utopians, other benefits that accrue from the freedom of the people include; having an obligation to maintain harmony. Utopians do not like to engage in war. They believe in capturing their enemies, rather than killing them, and they do not rejoice in victory acquired through the shedding of blood.
One may argue that freedom may give the people a leeway to carry out activities that harm others. However, rebellious people will always dispute the rules and regulations set in place. Moreover, during the pre-colonial period, humanitarians argued that people gave better results when they work freely, rather that when forced to work.
Califano, Joseph A. "What was really great about the great society."Washington Monthly 31 (1999): 13-20.
Mannheim, Karl. Ideology and utopia. Routledge, 2013.
More, Thomas. Utopia. No. 14. A. Murray & son, 1869.
Peters, Michael A., and Walter Humes. "Educational futures: Utopias and heterotopias." Policy Futures in Education 1.3 (2003): 428-439.
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