Across time, many people have written,thought about and illustrated Utopian societies. Many times, these are just visual descriptions of how a more or less ideal world would look.
Looking around with a critical eye to your surroundings, you might notice that in many regards, we already are living in an Utopian world.
If you would have described the world of 2018 to a person from 1918, they would not have believed you. Most people, at least, since there have always been wonderful visionaries around.
Just imagine: having the technology to see and talk to most people in the world; seeing events in real time; accessing not only the press from anywhere in the world, but also being able to read people’s own thoughts and seeing the pictures they want to share. Not to mention that you can also launch your own video channel, publication or release your own books.
If you stay and think about it, even 30 years ago when computers were new, the idea of having the internet at your fingertips was not part of common imagination. I am writing this on my tablet. I really enjoy tablets.
Also, the fact that we can travel at really high speed and arrive from Athens to Vienna in a matter of hours is quite Utopian.
We can cure more medical problems than ever before in recorded history, we can read and write in more proportions than ever and most people have heat and water without even thinking about it.
It’s hard to argue that we don’t live in an Utopia.
And still, we feel that we’re not there. With all these incredible things around us, we still feel we aren’t there yet.
What is missing?
My answer so be that when we look at images of Utopias from the past, we feel a sense of serenity. And that is what is lacking. While we have advanced a lot, we have not advanced our morals. The world is increasingly more developed, but in many ways, our morals are going downhill.
As the physical world advances, so must our morals.
Our souls are not connected to other developments. We see it in the arts, for example. While there are of course amazing works of art and artists out there, the general consensus is that today’s art is mostly bad.
In my opinion, besides the brave artistic exceptions, the luxury market is the only one that caters to an audience for whom the aesthetic experience, both in looks and feel, is important.
Thus, what we need to do, in my humble opinion, is to make sure that as our environment and the things we use become more sophisticated, so do we.
Written in Milan, January 2018