The Case Against Societal 'Perfection'

The dictionary definition of “utopia” is: any visionary system of political or social perfection.  Wow, it sounds so… perfect, right? As much as we dream about a society so wonderful, could this actually be possible? Can we obtain perfection?  Of course not.  But it’s not striving for perfection that’s impossible, after all, we are always trying new and innovative ways to eliminate the negative aspects of society (stereotypes, racism, prejudice, etc.)  We’re trying. But the truth is, we’ll never achieve perfection, because perfection resides in the one place that we can’t mutualize: our minds.

Think about it. If we actually all thought of our own utopia, it would be just that, our own utopia that won’t match anyone else’s. Perfection in the mind of a war veteran, for example, probably has no similarities with that of a child in Syria, or that of an African-American teenager, like myself.  Also preventing mutual perfection are the negative aspects of our society, that have seeped into our subconsciousness. Stereotypes, racism, and plain old ignorance render us incapable of imagining a utopia that includes all people, which is a problem that unfortunately plagues us now. No matter how hard we may try, societal perfection is too open-ended a concept to fully grasp.

However, the fact of being unable to achieve societal perfection is not a failure on humanity. In a way, it’s reassuring that we can’t all decide on one utopia.  The reason why it’s impossible, the reason why we all have our own perception of perfection, is that we are all individuals.  We are all perfectly unperfect in our own way. To encourage a utopia would be discouraging our own individuality. In actuality, living in a world without “political or societal perfection”, but one with a richly diverse population, is better than an empty, uniform utopia.

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