Sunday, March 12, 2017

People in Search of a Utopia

This week, I sat and read an essay by a Brit, who had fallen into some illusion that Iceland was a utopia, and came back on an additional trip to rediscover her utopia had these faults (amongst them, being right-wing and just not friendly enough toward migrants/immigrants). She had fallen a good bit in her prospective and noted in analysis....that utopias can only be run and managed by left-wing politicians.

I was humored by the piece.

People in search of some utopia....tend to run through a lot of travels and spend countless hours thinking there is a utopia out there.

Utopia is supposed to represent some land where real things or imagined things seem to work in conjunction with society...everyone is happy....and peace is seen by everyone's actions.  No one starves.  Roads are maintained....bridges are renovated on schedule....bad things are taxed to prevent usage....everyone seems to have a job....cheerful greetings are exchanged by people as they come and go....and left-wing governments seem to run things in these utopias.

Yeah, that's the odd thing.  It's hard to find someone on this utopia-hunt, who doesn't have a problem with right-wing politics.  That idea of only right-wing politics being bad or evil....makes this whole discussion rather amusing.

How do you achieve a utopia as a liberal or left-wing politician?  Well, it's a rather secretive matter, but you tax people enough to give them back various 'gifts', which can stimulate the utopia-world to exist in your mind.  A thoughtful and careful politician might be to carry this on for years or decades.  The minute that you take excess funds and start to do really stupid things (like 780-million Euro opera halls)....then you get noticed and people ask why don't you lessen the taxes and allow us to spend as we see fit.  The utopia-mind-liberal politician will state that only he can be wise bring about change.  Then people start to walk away from the utopia.

In the case of Iceland....I don't think a single member of Icelandic society, over the past fifty years....would brand their little Iceland as some utopia.  It's mostly these outsiders or foreigners that dream up this comment after some visit to a glacier, or a whale-tour out on some bay.  With a sip or two of beer or five shots of Brennivin (the favorite liquor of Icelandic folk), you get drawn into some fantasy of having found utopia.

I worked for several years with a guy who felt Germany was a utopia.  He defined this position of perfection on mostly on great history, castles, fine wine, Schnitzel, classical music, German culture, and the autobahn system.  If you brought up this utopia fantasy with working-class Germans, they'd mostly laugh.  It's hard these days to find a decent German restaurant with outstanding Schnitzel.  There are some awful tasting German wines and beers (Bitburger for example). The autobahn system is continually under repair.  And castles are magnets for renovation and state-money.

I am drawn to Iceland, although I don't label Iceland as some utopia.  It's more like a Viking-Disneyland without all the crafted structures or fancy rides.  As for the left-wing or right-wing label, I'm mostly amused.  I guess it depends on which Icelandic people you hang around and how they cry over some situation in life....that you might be convinced of the evils of one side or the other. To suggest that utopia can only be run by some left-wing idiot or right-wing idiot....generally takes your whole utopia fantasy down a notch.

Is there some kind of irrational thinking involved here?  Maybe, but why deny someone this search for a utopia?  It gives them pleasure and gives hope that maybe somewhere....there is such a place.

No comments: