Author: George Kunin

Parris Island

Designer Statement

This Utopia I designed finds its home on Parris Island, currently a marine corps training base. I chose to convert this area to my utopia for several reasons, not least for the irony. I decided i wanted to create a utopia that focuses on what i believe to be the most noble aims. So, I decided that a utopia ment to train the individual in skills necessary for success would be good and “useful” for society, but then i decided to have it go one step further. I decided that this utopia should try and export itself to the surrounding world. Not by means of mass recruitment or the building of more utopian communities, but by rebuilding communities that have fallen apart. So, back to answering why Parris island marine corps base. Symbolically the military is seen as a force of war, brutality and destruction for some, although it is clear it also acts as a force of order and peace as well. Using the notion that the military represents “destruction”, i decided to use the same space that people are trained to do this to have them trained to the opposite and this is to rebuild.

As for the broadside, i wanted to continue off the theme of repurposed military symbolism in other facets, so i chose a classic recognizable piece of american propaganda, uncle sam. He is probably one of the most iconic and recognizable examples of propaganda in the US, second only to rosie the riveter maybe. Since it has a history as a symbol of recruitment it is useful to me as a broadside of recruitment for my utopia, however I specifically changed “enlist today” to “volunteer today” and from “I want you” to “we need you”.

For the portrait of the people, again i appropriated a commonly understood symbol, this time of the average soldier. Its meant to the show the idea the common marine who be trained at Parris island is being converted into something else entirely. Instead of a gun this marine wields a hammer and flowers, representing both peaceful intentions and the intention to work and rebuild.

Lastly is the barracks, a building associated with the military. The barracks is traditionally where soldiers sleep. In my variation i’ve converted the military barracks into the classroom for which the utopians are trained and taught the knowledge and skills they need.

Manifesto

The Parris Island Utopia will bring an end to the pointless practice of training people to kill and destroy for no other purpose but for the sake of ensuring success in war and foreign conflicts. Instead people shall be trained at Parris island to know leadership, compassion, management, engineering and teaching. These are skills needed by the modern person in order to enable them to have the necessary skill set to rebuild the world piece by piece.

Step1: Utopians will be trained in these skills at Parris island

Step 2: The Utopians will select areas afflicted with extreme levels of poverty or failing education systems, and live there.

Step 3: The Utopians will now use their acquired skills to begin to rebuild these places physically and morally. This will come in the form of leading community events or projects, rebuilding run down or abandoned buildings, organizing youths into sports teams and other groups, and also providing proper education to those who lack access to it.

The Moon

Timeline:
It is theorized that the moon formed when a planet known as Theia collided with the earth. The resulting debris began to orbit the earth and eventually formed into a solid sphere known today as the moon. Humankind as long desired to reach this faraway barren rock, and we did achieve that goal when the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 mission crashed on the moon’s surface in 1959. The first successful manned moon landing was achieved by the US in 1969 when Neil Armstrong became the first human to step foot on our precious moon. Since then there has numerous more ventures to our grey home away from home. However, there has never been a permanent settlement on that uninhabitable orb of desire.
Analysis:
As most people know the moon has no food, no capacity to grow food, no water, no breathable atmosphere, and severely less gravity. A perfect place to build a home. Obviously, the moon base community would have to be sheltered in large domes to protect them from the cold vacuum of space. We will create a self-sustaining community of five thousand people living together in this dome, all with assigned careers. The dome shall be called the bubble. There will be greenhouses as well as air and water production plants. There will be great views of the absolute nothingness of space. The members of the moon base will be divided by class. There will be the lower proletariat class and the upper bourgeois class. The proletariat will wear red and the bourgeois will wear blue. Every thirty years there will be the customary workers revolution in which the red shirts will rise up and overthrow their oppressive overlords the blue shirts. The red shirts shall impose a new order over the blue shirts who they shall make do the labor that once was the binds of their oppression. And all shall be well and happy in the moon base. If anyone refuses to perform their role as part of the collective, they shall be exiled to a smaller separate faraway dome where they will be forced to do labor for the greater good. Children of the moon base will be indoctrinated to know what is right and what is wrong from an early age since wrong-thinkers are dangerous to the sustainability of the bubble community.

The Crisis of Humanity

The Problem: Crisis of Humanity

It is a fact of nature that in this world there is, and always will be, conflict, suffering and inequality. It is a constant of the reality in which we live for a variety of reasons. Physical limitations as well as mental. These views are not so much pessimistic as they are realistic. Throughout history humanity has answered this seemly unanswerable problem in many ways. The first I’ll mention is the cynical response. This is actually where the pessimism comes in. It is nihilism. It is the belief that all the worlds suffering does not amount to anything that makes it bearable to undertake, and so they become resentful of the world there after. But, there are others who in the past tried to resist the crushing weight that meaninglessness has to offer, they looked for a solution not an excuse. Societies established themselves and from there they established governments. Humanity left the state of nature which consists of meaningless suffering and molded it into society to make the burden of life a little less burdensome. They question then became, how ought we rule ourselves in manner that maintains an acceptable level of freedom (chaos) while also providing security (order) to counter balance that freedom? And that is the question I will be attempting to answer. There have been many suggestions in past to remedy this problem. Some have led to fairly balanced societies while others started piling up the corpses in their crude attempts to force order.

 The Solution: Freedom and Security

My solution runs in parallel with the suggestions that came out of the European enlightenment period. Many of there ideas formed the basis of modern western society. Is modern western society perfect? Obviously not. Is it pretty close? I would argue that we are getting pretty close, but the goal is to understand that we will never reach perfection. The goal has never been to reach perfection because it has been to get as close to the perfect society as possibly. You create a perfect system out of imperfect parts (people). The reason for this lies in something that the enlightenment figures figured out. You can’t eliminate conflict, suffering or inequality, you can only mediate it. Its like in calculus when you have a function approaching an asymptote, but it can never touch it. In response the enlightenment thinkers suggested a society and government that promoted specific values and allowed for the most amount of participation. This was their attempt to balance order and chaos, freedom and security. The best way we know of achieving this aim is by means of a democratic system with enough bureaucracy that power is distributed enough that if a single actor becomes corrupt it doesn’t bring the whole system down, but also not spread out too much that nothing can get down. The specific numbers are irrelevant as they are situational. The government should enable and protect the rights of the people, no one else’s rights shall supersede another’s. To resolve inequality the government must promote equal opportunity. There shall a free and open market economy.

Now, this society should not be mistaken with a meritocracy. A meritocracy is the most libertarian society, borderline anarchy. It’s a society that accepts that the competent shall dominate the incompetent and they have the right to because of their competence and ability. This would be a horribly unequal society. To explain how my society is different let me give an example. In a meritocracy if your poor the government’s proposed solution would be to tell you to work harder. That doesn’t help anyone. In my society the resources needed for success would be offered to the people (free public education) and if one chooses to utilize these resources good for them, if they don’t however, there is nothing the government can do if you are unwilling to make the attempt. In my society that responsibility falls in the hands of the individual.

As well as being opposed to radical conservatism my society is also opposed to radical liberalism. A state cannot provide every service for free to the public. The state it has its physical limitations, and it has its lines it should never cross lest it sacrifice the rights of the people for the security of the nation. The most basic unit of society is the individual not the collective. When governments treat societies as collective rather than separate individuals we a tyranny of the majority over minorities. And when we separate people I this way we divulge into tribalism. Its us vs them mentally is self-destructive. No one wins that game, in the long run at least. You have an immediate winner, but they will have won out of brutality not out of reason.

Rhythm of Life

In my society it is not for me or the government to dictate the daily life of the individual. The system is specifically designed to allow for a free society. There cannot be an ideal day either because by virtue of being free I cannot say what someone else’s ideal is, that is for them to determine. So, instead I will tell what a “productive” day would look like.

Wake up, have breakfast

Go to work

Break for lunch

Work again

Go home, have dinner

And the rest of the day is personal leisure time

Sleep, and then repeat

Basically, in my society you ought to spend your time working with sufficient breaks along the way, while also having leisure time for self.

George Kunin – My House

The ideal family, logically, would be the family that most adequately fulfils the roles allotted to it. So, what is the role of the family? Well first, the family exists, as we now, as the first social relationship/bond that people find themselves in after they are born. It usually consists of those who are genetically related to you, but it is not limited to that. One could be adopted for example. So, if its not genetics it must be something else that binds you to the family. And that relates back to the purpose of the family, which is to socialize the newest members of society, within the confines of the bubble that the family is, in preparation to be an individual in larger society and the world. Ideally the family will instill the values that will lead the individual to live a “virtuous” life. So, what is this “virtuous” life that the family is to facilitate. A virtuous individual is one whom is true to themselves and one who does not shirk away from the trials of life, nor who merely accepts it but instead it is those who when offered the less noble easier path they do not hesitate to take the more difficult one.

House Values
– Liberty
– Equality
– Justice

The ideal structure of the family should consist of two paternal figures a father and a mother. Multiple children, around three or four, would be optimal because with one child they do not have siblings around their age to socialize with and with two it is possible that the older will dominate the younger child. The actual physical space should consist of all the amenities need for survival. The home itself should be modest and not luxurious as to leave room for the desire to improve and strive for more. The actual structure of the family and the home only play a limited role though. What is most important is the social relationship between its members. Healthy social relationships means a stronger family, a family that can fulfil its obligation to socialize its members.