What makes a Great Society???

Robin Burton asked the question. In the wake of Trump and his ‘Make America Great Again’ (which seems to do exactly the opposite and should be MATLSOTW – Make America The Laughing Stock Of the World). Certainly, seeing someone as uncouth and ignorant as Trump getting elected says something about America.

It raise the question – what is a Great Society?

To me, in order to be considered GREAT a society needs the following criteria:

  1. To protect its citizens
  2. To promote an equal society in which all people of whatever colour, race, gender or religion are valued
  3. To be tolerant
  4. To be outward-looking
  5. To protect nature and value the natural world
  6. To be honest and extinguish nepotism, corruption, unfairness, racism, sexism and gross inequality
  7. To help the rest of the world develop
  8. To allow individual freedom, expression of views, expression of religion
  9. To allow freedom of speech while combating hate speech
  10. To remove all violence, aggression or belligerence
  11. To have a non-aggressive foreign policy
  12. To provide the basic needs for all people – food, water, power, clean air, health care, homes, support during sickness and old age and maternity
  13. To provide excellent education for all
  14. To provide power through sustainable means
  15. Not to pollute or produce harm to the natural world and to respect the wonders around us
  16. To promote awe and wonder
  17. To police in a way that is conducive to the local community
  18. To tax fairly in order to pay for quality services and infrastructure
  19. To ensure that the rich and powerful do not exert undue influence or gain advantage, but are treated equally
  20. To have a justice system that does not discriminate against any group nor favour any group and applies justice fairly and reasonably.
  21. To have politicians who are accountable and held responsible for their actions
  22. To have a media that is unbiased and holds all those in power to account
  23. To provide an environment that is safe for its citizens, healthy, clean and respects people, property, animals and all nature.
  24. To have fair work conditions with generous hours, holidays, fair pay and sickness benefits.
  25. To have a basic level of income for all
  26. To have a welfare system that provides for those in need
  27. To have pensions so that people can live to a reasonable level in old age
  28. To provide the spiritual well-being of its citizens
  29. To have a transport system that is efficient, cheap and clean

I have probably missed out loads but at least it gets the ball rolling.

Looking at my list I think the UK fails on a number of issues but the USA fails on most and what Trump is promoting makes everything worse.

Make America Great Again seems to only look at making the rich richer the rest is a con.

39 thoughts on “What makes a Great Society???

  1. Well, that’s quite a list Opher. Almost Utopian and quite a desirable wish list with the benefit of our knowledge today. I think it’s already been suggested we don’t actually need billionnaires!
    Some of it realistically achievable quite quickly and much in the long run but is some of it just wishful thinking and unrealistic?
    Which could be achieved in a decade or a few and which might be ‘wishful thinking’ items.
    And what would it all depend on?
    Here’s hoping you/we get some more answers here!

    1. Trevor – I think all are achievable – but some more difficult than others. But there’s nothing wrong in being idealistic and setting the bar high, is there. This is what, in my view, society should be like. Not too much in the way of response as of yet.

      1. 10., 19., and 22. are the points I think most difficult.
        10. To remove ALL violence, aggression or belligerence – How? (I’m not even sure such a society would be desirable – injections or brain surgery?). Settle for discourage/minimise or other qualifications?
        19. To ensure that the rich and powerful do not exert undue influence or gain advantage, but are treated equally – requires getting rid of the ‘rich and powerful’? They will inevitably gain some advantage
        22. To have a media that is unbiased and holds all those in power to account – I doubt it’s entirely possible but we could have strong regulation about honesty of reporting and make ‘lobbying’ (of the paid/bought variety) illegal??
        and 28. To provide the spiritual well-being of its citizens – not sure this ought to be the responsibility of society or the state. Freedom of religion (or ‘no religion’) might be a good idea but the ‘providing for’ should be the responsibility of religions, smaller communities and the individual within an enabling legal framework of rights?
        Just some thoughts!

      2. Trev – education. I saw the effects of utilising techniques such as restorative justice. It works. We will never eliminate it all but we can produce a society that is friendly, caring and not violent.
        Inequality is a scourge and needs addressing. It’s a cancer. But, as you say, that is a difficult one – but at least we can make it a lot better.
        To have any sort of democracy requires an unbiased media. There must be a way of achieving that.
        Spirituality comes out of respect, wonder and awe. in my view, – and I think we’re back to the power of education.

      3. I’ve just had a morning email from the Equality Trust about their latest podcast. Do you get it?
        I’ll find some links about awe and wonder on the NFN website and send them to you.
        I’m still not sure an unbiased press is possible, you’d have to remove all opinions and only allow publication of verifiable fact, implying censorship – balanced perhaps? But again, how? It couldn’t be state owned – so variously privately owned and probably undesirable to attempt balance in a single publication (BBC?).
        Perhaps every news channel should carry a ‘health’ warning: ‘owned/published by so-and-so’!

      4. Thanks Trevor.
        I like your suggestions. I don’t want to remove all opinion. Balance would be good. A clear statement of ownership and bias.
        A watchdog to check the veracity of facts.
        We have had forty years of pro-establishment media undermining political parties, spreading nonstop propaganda, slurs and lies. Forty years of anti-EU propaganda. Something has to change.

    1. Just what we need – a two thousand mile fence preventing all animal migration. Of course, nobody will be able to tunnel under that or climb over it. It will be extremely effective. They won’t be able to come through the checkpoints or on boats. And what is the coast of this project?? And the manning of the border?? And the upkeep??
      Fortunately, it looks as if the xenophobic, racist madman is on his way out. Good riddance to him and his half-brained wall.

    1. I have lots of rights, thank you. I don’t live in fear of some missile landing on my head either. What happens in America affects us all. Let’s hope for a return to sanity.

      1. Your an ignorant British citizen. The entire concept of citizens and rights separates serfs and peasant of Europe who had no rights. This defines the American and French revolutions of the late 18th century. Duh.

        The Constitution with its Bill of Rights applies only to US citizens. The founding fathers limited the franchise to white land owners. Over the 200 plus years the franchise has witness an expansion to include women and blacks. You as a British person, the Constitution and Bill of Rights does not apply to you. You have no US citizenship. The US Constitution only applies to US citizens. Duh.

      2. Silly Goy, if you came to the US the Bill of Rights would not apply to you. Reason: simple, even a moron can understand – you have no US citizenship any more than I have British citizenship.

      3. Pathetic idiot. Britain has no Written Constitution like as does the US. Parliament, what ever law which it passes become the Constitution of Britain. A British Court can not declare a law passed by Parliament at Unconstitutional! The US Supreme Court together with all 50 States (the 10th and 11th Amendments to the Constitution) have the right to declare laws passed by the Federal Congress and Executive Branch as Unconstitutional.

        Go back to grade school and get an education.

      4. If you came through legal channels then yes you would have and enjoy legal protections. But if you came into the US illegally, then NO you would not enjoy any legal rights from the Constitution.

      5. I find him amusing Trevor – plus, I think it’s important, occasionally to hear what these people have to say, how they justify their views.

    1. Well that is certainly a good start. Don’t you think that people are malleable though? They take on the ethos of the society they are part of? So how do we create tolerant, friendly individuals?

      1. Again, individualism. The process of individualism doesn’t stop, but is an ever-growing process of ‘growth’. A genuine individual is often, always found to be ‘tolerant’ as well.🤗

      2. I’m not sure about that Aman. In the USA this whole idea of individual freedom has gone nuts and has created tribalism, intolerance, selfishness, lack of empathy and compassion, fear and hatred.

  2. I’m glad mosckerr stopped posting!
    I decided to have a quick look at Aman’s website/blog before commenting.
    Interesting fellow if not very revealing about himself – the Phoenix that arose from the ashes (I assume) – or Phoenix, Arizona?
    He says this on his home page (nice photo of the Discoverer’s monument, Belem, Lisbon on one of his early posts):
    “If you wish to see what you can ‘be’ , join along. The blog will make you a complete being, starting with philosophy and ending at personality, and you’ll become content with who you are and your life, living every forthcoming moment with ecstasy.

    “All of this via voyaging and exploring and losing your being in the ever interesting aspects of psychology and astronomy , philosophy and poetry, music and art, fashion and literature, acting and god and on and on goes the ever-exciting list to infinity.”
    Well! Blog subtitle appears to be ‘the cult of personality’ – curious (not something I’m in favour of – much beloved of totalitarian dictators for example).

    Rather than all this ‘best minds’ stuff through history (although not without benefit), George Fox said ‘What cans’t thou say?’ (17th century English). The Buddha and Christ invite us to look within (I think).
    But I also think there’s no doubt ‘Opher is right and the society, culture and probably religion we grow up in has a profound influence on whether we become ‘great individuals’ – more the case that ‘a great, tolerant society’ creates great individuals.
    (A mean, intolerant society tends to create mean, intolerant individuals though fortunately a few will escape). Don’t ya think?

    1. Hi Trevor – I hope you and Georgina are keeping well??
      I think good education could be the saving of mankind. If done properly it promotes tolerance, compassion and caring out of which can blossom a better society and a better world.

      1. Yes we’re keeping well. Georgina is dancing to Dusty Springfield. Good Education? (That rules out the UK’s cheap child-minding service then?).
        You should know but it’s an optimistic view.
        Do you think it’s still possible to smuggle good education into UK secondary schools (past Michael Gove’s watchful eye and that other fellow in this government now who looks after teachers!)

      2. I think it’s become very difficult in these times of conformity, teaching by numbers, testing and content-driven curriculum. All that matters is what can be measured or assessed. We are producing cannon fodder for industry and failures for the streets.

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