Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Utopian dreams?

Pantisocracy is a term, coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, used by idealists to describe a classless utopian society in which all people have equal rights and all people rule. Is it possible to create such a society? Nah! Not even close.

In the first place, a pantisocracy implies that my 98-year old blind aunt has as much right to drive a Champ car or an Indy car as Catherine Legge or Danica Patrick. Actually, I don't see that happening anytime soon. There are just too many legitimate reasons why people can't, or shouldn't, be treated as equals, but that's not to say that people shouldn't be treated fairly.

In the second place, in order to establish a true pantisocracy, the privileged elite 1% of the population that hoards 80% of the nation's wealth would have to give up a significant portion of that wealth, and I don't see that happening anytime soon, either.

To round out the top three reasons why a pantisocracy won't soon replace our current arrangement, corporations would have to give up virtually all of the power they've managed to grab over the last 120 years or so. What are the chances of that happening? Jesus, I can hear them howling already.

No, I don't think we'll soon see our current form of government replaced by a pantisocracy. Too many people benefit from the kleptocracy that's already in place. And too many people are afraid to change the status quo.