“Perfect Society”

https://philosophynow.org/issues/73/What_Would_Make_The_Best_Society

“The perfect society would be one in which everybody got whatever they wanted.” One of the values that the author believes an ideal society has is the ability for everyone to achieve what they want by working equally as hard for it. The author believes that since a “perfect” society can’t actually be achieved because everyone does not think the same, therefore everyone cannot get what they want all the time. The author believes the next best thing is the “best possible society”, in which everything would be done so it was the “average” of everyones ideals. For example, the amount of hours that should be worked in a day would not be answered the same by everyone so to ensure that everyone is getting the “best possible” or “least bad” society, the average working hours in a day should be the mean of everyone’s ideal working hours in a day. The author believes that these values are not prevalent in today’s society, however he believes that we can work towards it. I agree with the author and believe that I’m living the same society as he is. An example of our society moving towards this “best possible” society is the democratic election of leaders, because we able to have a say in political matters “and as our administrations become more transparent and accountable, populations are able to exert greater pressure on their governments to act more in line with the collective will”.

Plato described a perfect society as one where everyone lived harmoniously and without the fear of violence. The quote from the article Plato, Republic excerpts states “what the philosopher-kings do is construct a political system- including primarily a system of socialization and education- that will distribute the benefits of their specialized knowledge of the good among the citizens at large.” This quote reveals that a system will be created benefiting citizens education. Plato has great ideas and I think he would agree with this authors ideal society.

Citation:
“What Would Make The Best Society?” Philosophy Now: a magazine of ideas, philosophynow.org/issues/73/What_Would_Make_The_Best_Society

Mohammed, team Vulcan

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Realism of Utopianism

When we think about “perfect society,” we all think of is as having everything perfect, with everyone living in harmony and having everything done for the good of people.

An article from the New York “Well Wouldn’t It Be Pretty to Think So?” states, “In fact, utopianism is now associated not with perfect societies, but with their failure, and not with political paradises but with horrific dystopias of the 20th century.” The author defines a perfect society using utopia as a reference word and believes that all those values are lacked in our current society.

Utopianism is the word used by most scholars to represents a perfect society. It closely associated with classy culinary experience and what most world term as a realization of the American dream. An island of paradise, coupled with perfection in the way individual and organization handle day-to-day issues, could represent this same word. According to Edward, utopia no longer represents what most perceive it to be. The thoughts of utopianism have been blamed for the rise of dictatorial regimes that have characterized a couple of nations. The idea of utopia provides too much blueprint and lacks the proper guidelines to achieve the ambitious agendas.

The society whether perfect or imperfect; has a set of beliefs it follows to latter. Some scholars argue out that utopianism is a way of believing. Hence, it helps the society to visualize and imagine a perfect society. Nazism and communism cropped from this same idea; the Soviet Union thought that polling of resource would eradicate the predicaments precipitated by the capitalist ideas. Adolf Hitler managed to convince a multitude of followers who had total faith in his mode of leadership.

In relation to the reading of Plato, it could be concluded that he would most likely agree that there is no such thing as a utopia due to his belief that a perfect society is one where everyone follows the law, more relate able social acceptance laws. This can be deduced from the quote “they are quite ordinary men, and therefore they should not determine them merely on their own judgement , but according to written rules, and to the laws.”

To conclude, democracy is one of tool that utopianism use to ensure that a perfect society is achieved. However, it has a brighter side as well as a dark side. Utopianism is a perfect idea, but it takes brave and charismatic leadership to achieve.

Rothstein, Edward. “Well, Wouldn’t It Be Pretty to Think So?(The Arts/Cultural Desk)(CONNECTIONS).” The New York Times, 15 Aug. 2005, p. E6.http://go.galegroup.com.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/ps/i.do?&id=GALE|A135115430&v=2.1&u=cuny_broo39667&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&authCount=1

Richard, Team Vulcan.

 

 

 

 

Let’s strive for a Perfect Society

Philip Gefter, the author of the article Portrait of American Paradises, Mostly Lost does not believe that a perfect society exists. He writes about a photographer named Joel Sternfeld who has been taking pictures of alleged ‘Utopian Communities’ across the county for at least twelve years.
According to the article there have been at least six hundred ‘perfect utopian societies’ between 1810 and 1850 alone. More utopias were founded in the 1960’s and the 1990’s. Yet, the article continues, the citizens of the United States of America still keep trying to develop a perfect community.
“The ‘perfect society’ may be a figment of the idealist’s imagination, but from the years of the republic, many Americans have tried to give those ideals a tangible form, organizing their lives and those of their neighbors in a variety of social experiments.”
The article then talks about many utopian society experiments, both religious and secular in nature that took place throughout history. The photographer, Joel Sternfeld, took pictures of many societies and found that the perfect society does not actually exist. The photographer was finally told, “Picture an ideal world and take a photograph of that.” Because while a perfect society doesn’t exist the idea of one most certainly does. There is no such thing as a perfect society because what one group of people would consider perfect would not be perfect for another group.
I agree with Mr. Sternfeld and Philip Gefter and I believe that I live in the same society. Everyone has a different opinion and a different idea of what a perfect society would entail and therefore one utopian society can not exist.
Xenophon and Plato would have also agreed with this article as they do not believe a perfect society exists either. According to them, neither the Spartan society or a democracy is an ideal society as they each have their own problems and therefore there is no such thing.
“As a result they begin to make laws and covenants; and what the law commands they call lawful and just…It is between the best and the worst.” (Plato’s Republic 354a)
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect society but it is the American ideal to keep trying and to strive to become as perfect as we can be. There may not be a perfect society but we can try to build a society that is as close to perfect as we can make it.

Hinda, Team Mars

Gefter, Philip. “Portraits of American Paradises, Mostly Lost. ” New York Times,18 Sept. 2005,p.AR32 (L).New York State Newspapers, go.galegroup.com.central. ezproxy.cuny.edu. Web. 2 Oct. 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Trouble in Hong Kong

kallipolis

Alan Wong, the author of the article, “Three Young Democracy Advocates in Hong Kong Are Sentenced to Prison” reported trouble brewing in the political system in the city of Hong Kong. Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow were sentenced to prison for six to eight months because of their involvement in Hong Kong’s democracy movement. These three argue that their city needs more political freedom and freer elections, their fellow protestors also agree that the Chinese government is becoming too involved in their political orientation. Before his sentencing to prison, the face of the democracy movement, Joshua Wong claimed interview that “the government wanted to stop us from running in elections, and directly suppress our movement.” His claims were later proven correct as originally they would have only received community service but after the local Beijing government demanded their sentencing be harsher they each got longer sentences. And even though because of their sentencing these three advocates won’t be able to run in elections, they still stand united that Hong Kong would be better suited with a democratic system.

This relates to our current reading in Classics about the Republic by Plato, because in both of these settings the individuals are looking for their ‘ideal society.’ The author of this article seemed more for democracy than against it, it could be argued that the  reason for this, could be that the author doesn’t believe that an ideal society could be under Communist rule. Which would mean that the author is highly in favor of a democratic rule. In this instance, I think that I live in a similar society as this person, where someone of higher power is in control of our freedom. I think that Plato would have argued that they are in need of rules or law to equivocate the stronger power, which in this case is China. From the perspective of Glaucon, found in book 2, page 37, “the ones who lack the power to do it and avoid suffering it-decide that it is profitable to come to an agreement with each other neither to do injustice nor to suffer it.”

Article Used:

  1. Wong, Alan. “Three Young Democracy Advocates in Hong Kong Are Sentenced to Prison.” New York Times, 18 Aug. 2017, p. A7(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA500925562&asid=ee57bb4fe60242a101cca4763e94bf09. Accessed 4 Oct. 2017

 

 

Trumps America…

Is there such as a perfect society? Can we all live perfectly in harmony and peace? We as humans of this world will forever strive for greatness. Perfection, impurity: an ideal society where everything is lush and pure. We want all there is to life. Whether its perfection through wealth or well-being, we want it. We want a world of peace and unity, however we all have different interpretation of perfection and therefore it divides us.

The first article “The Dreamers Need a Vote, Not Talk” speaks on the recent actions by current President of the United States Donald J Trump and his decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in an effort rid of all Non-Americans. This has been the way of action by the president in the past few months. It is as he says “the way to an ideal America”: an ideal society for those who are actually privileged to be in it. In this article the author is speaking on the efforts that can be made to correct this wrong and make this nation and simultaneously the world a more ideal one. Pass a law! The author makes it evident that they feel the lack of inclusion of Non-Americans and illegals is not what makes an ideal history. “I have zero patience for empty virtue signaling on this,” Susan Hennessey of Lawfare tweeted, in response to Rubio. “You’re a member of Congress. Don’t tell us how sad and pious you are; pass a law.” He speaks on how he hopes the nation can become whole: Congress should pass a law quickly, given the uncertainty plaguing Dreamers.” And makes it clear that those values are lacking in the present society and I agree with him. I too as we all do live in this modern America. “Trumps America”: a America that refuses to focused on the dreamers, immigrants and all those that make this country great. It creates great divide and I personally see us as America butting heads in the near future.

Therefore based on the reading, I would best say Plato would not agree with Trumps America. Text from our readings that best supports this claim: “So, since gods are good, they are not—as the masses claim—the cause of everything. Instead, they are a cause of only a few things that happen to human beings, while of most they are not the cause. For good things are fewer than bad ones in our lives. Of the good things, they alone are the cause, but we must find some other cause for the bad ones, not the gods.” Our society is one that further separating us from a perfect society and begs the question again, is there such as a perfect society. NO!

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/06/opinion/daca-dreamers-congress.html

IdealSociety,CLAS4, Plato, Xenophon

Utopia or Extremism?

In the country of Pakistan, power is gained through military or land. Without either, you’re likely a peasant or a servant. These peasants make around 25$ a month and are subject to the landlords they work for. This system hasn’t changed since Pakistan’s independence in 1947. Although Pakistan is transitioning into a democracy since 2008, little to no real change has occurred. This is where terrorism and extremists enter the picture. Many have grown tired of this unfair system, where your path in life is almost guaranteed depending on which social class you’re born into. In an article by Sabrina Tavernise in the New York Times, a specific religious extremist group is detailed. This group is compared to early Communists in Russia and are said to force their ideology down the elite’s throats. The extremists, similarly to Russian revolutionaries, seem to value overthrowing the elite. They believe power should be distributed to all and violence is necessary to bring about change. All revolutions in history have been violent and in order to change the status quo. The ones starting the revolution have always been seen as extremists and been rejected by those in power. The extremists in Pakistan are no different, however their goals are unknown so they are simply spreading violence at the moment. Xenophon, who praised Sparta’s discipline, would support these Pakistani extremists. Xenophon was a fan of Sparta’s way of life, even though they treated their slaves terribly. Sparta’s view on violence and authority can be compared to Stalin’s dictatorship. Crushing all dissent and using violence to have people conform to a specific view of society is a technic both have used. If Pakistani extremists are as described in the article, then Xenophon would be intrigued by their motives.

-Ahmed, Team Mars

Tavernise, Sabrina. “From rural Pakistan, tales of a hidden world lived and shared.” New York Times, 25 July 2009, p. A11(L). New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA204397896&it=r&asid=bb58caa7fbcc87d36c72ea4bd3aa731c. Accessed 22 Sept. 2017.

AudenHorae, www3.dbu.edu/mitchell/audenhor.htm. Accessed 22 Sept. 2017.

 

Be a Bird. You’re a Bird.

“Who gets wings in the perfect society?” The speaker of this article believes that the perfect society contains many people who do all of the “small” things in life. ”Let’s give wings to housewives, grocery clerks, supermarket cashiers,’’street-corner musicians, everyone who works two jobs.’’ The normal, everyday, ordinary people get ”wings” in the perfect society, and I support the author’s position. Without the everyday people, the quality of everyone’s life would go down drastically. There would be many imbalances and disorder. I also believe Plato, if he was alive today, would agree with the this as well.“Possession of this knowledge is necessary and sufficient for happiness” as it states in the Plato Republic extracts. Unless you’re immortal, you have a limited amount of time on this Earth, there’ is only one of you and there are billions of books. Adding onto of the seemingly endless amount of books, there’s also the internet which seems to have an unlimited amount of knowledge. Virtually anything could be found with a few typing of buttons. Limited live versus unlimited knowledge has a clear winner. The good news, however, is that there are also billions of humans, all of which do different things. So now, once you look at the bigger picture, you have billions of humans expanding and sharing their knowledge every single day. Everyone’s different jobs help create a nice balance of knowledge in the world and this is what creates what the author of the article sees as the “perfect society”.

-Christie, Team Hermes

Citation:

Klein, Alvin. “Modern ‘Birds,’ Timeless Message.” New York Times, 25 Mar. 2001, p. 8. New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.dop=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA72237568&it=r&asid=64c5b4a825f133f94705aaea810bd34b . Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.

What Is Ideal in the School System?

The author of “SCHOOL DISASTERS” in the New York post confronts the flaws of the educational system. More specifically the difference between the performance of black students and white students. His ideal school system is one where each race of students achieve at the same level whether or not they reach high scores. This way there is no one to blame for the lack of achievement. Not the teachers who are unable to raise the grades of their students, or the students who refuse to put in an effort. Their parents won’t be blamed for not preventing the issue and lastly, society won’t be blamed. In a world where everyone worked at the same pace and achieved the same way, there is nothing to make a comparison to. The educational system would be equal.

“While “educators” are quick to seize upon the defects of students, parents, and society, as if that automatically vindicates the schools, the fact is that if our public schools had perfect students, perfect parents, and a perfect society, these schools would still be failing… ”

However, I don’t agree with the claims made by Sowell. If every student in the society were to achieve at the same rate it would not equal a perfect society. I don’t think that Socrates or Plato would be satisfied with this form of perfect society. According to the philosophers, a Utopia can only be a Utopia if its members are happy which can only occur through “ethical intellectualism”. Limiting ourselves to only performing as well as our peers will not allow us the intellectual freedom to be happy.

 

Sowell, Thomas. School Disasters 

New York Post, 2003.

 

 

 

Capitalism the road to an ideal society?

“in a healthy society, the good of the individual can be dynamically integrated into the common good of the community.”

“For extreme freedom probably cannot lead to anything but a change to extreme slavery, weather in a private individual or a city”

The author of “Capitalism with a heart!?” believes that the values of an ideal society consist of the need of the people benefiting the society. The ideal society is “Capitalism with a heart”. What capitalism with a heart comes down to is that capitalism makes an ideal society. with a strong economic system the rest of humanity continues to prosper. The author believes that these values are currently lacking in today’s society. The author believes that today’s society has to evolve. The main flaw in capitalism today is that the building block of it consists of the adult wanting to pursue their own personal interest. I have to agree with the author and say that if the economy is doing well and everyone is benefiting from it that leads to a happier community and the society as a whole doing better. Capitalism can’t be thought of as a form of religion. People tend to take advantages and use Capitalism as an excuse to what they want. That’s what makes capitalism so hard to master. Plato would agree that those with power will use the system as a way to benefit themselves. Plato would agree with capitalism with a heart because its meant to have everyone benefit which means a society with no one suffering.

http://go.galegroup.com.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T003&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=5&docId=GALE%7CA494584696&docType=Article&sort=Relevance&contentSegment=&prodId=PPDS&contentSet=GALE%7CA494584696&searchId=R1&userGroupName=nysl_me_brookcol&inPS=true

#IdealSociety #CLAS4 #Plato #Xenophon

Andrew- Team Zeus

The American Dream – our ideal society?

The American society is presented as one of the best idealistic societies around the world. To an extent this may be true, that is only if we can look past the boasts of the uncertain. Yet, behind this great wall whose bricks were built by the American Dream, piled high from lies, we are left bare with our pretentious society. Don’t get me wrong, we are close. We have strived away from our past a great deal. But there’s more, there’s always more to improve upon. For example, the author of the article, “More perfect unions,” believes that an ideal society creates equality for every man and woman no matter their social status. He claims that each working individual must receive equal treatment during work. He does not appreciate dehumanizing the poorest workers who, actually, do the main labor. In our capitalist society, mainly those of higher power (the rich) have privileges beyond expectations meanwhile the condition of common workers are often overlooked. Cass believes that this treatment is wrong. In history, we have tried to combat against barbaric treatment of workers by creating laws, regulations and the very prominent unions. However, he states that as of now unions have become fairly ineffective in their methods to outreach to big corporations. Rather, they have become the big corporate, taking a monthly fine out of people’s paycheck only to provide no real help. Cass declares, “perhaps it is conceivable that policymakers committed to a robust civil society… focus on delivering economic benefits to workers instead of campaign contributions to politicians.” In other words, unions are created to help employees in the workforce receive fair treatment, proper wages and other benefits according to their labor, however, this is just not the case today. An ideal society must create equal opportunities to both the employer and his employee. A society where the employer rewards his staff with good income and safe working conditions. This author writes about the inadequacy of unions when coming to their part in helping their members receive fair salary according to the amount of work they do. As well as to fight for worker protection against hazardous working conditions in the work. He believes that we lack this strategy in our great society. I believe that this author is right about the unions. As an American, we should be thankful for all the rights that this country has offered us but we must see improvement in our unions. One of the biggest problems with our unions is that they don’t seem to do their job to bring equality for every person. Plato would most likely disagree with this idea because he does not like democracy in general. Unions are created to provide protection and to represent the workers and this is what democracy does. Plato stated that democracy was a failure and only led to subjugation and tyranny.

 

Citation:

Oren Cass is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute., Oren Cass. “More Perfect Unions.” City Journal, 4 Sept. 2017, http://www.city-journal.org/html/more-perfect-unions-15258.html. Accessed 19 Sept. 2017.

 

Ideal Is Not Real

What do you value the most in life? Some say money, family, love, luck, but students from Al Noor school may want something different, perhaps idealistic. Susan Sachs, author of The 2 Worlds of Muslim American Teenagers, states, “Their ideal society would follow Islamic law and make no separation between religion and state.” In other words, the ideal life the author is portraying has no boundary between religion law and state law. Contemporary society is so diverse that incorporating religion into our law would be spurious because the United States is a melting pot of different people with different traditions. The society where racism is still a big factor is no help to keep peace with other regions of the world. I have similar views and experiences as these students where they confronted racism through out their days. Being a Muslim teenager in the United States is pretty easy, only if you accept the fact that people will ALWAYS have something negative to say against the religion you follow.

Based on the reading, I can conclude that Plato would not tolerate such hate living inside our communities. The hate that lives upon the people are created by the people themselves, the racism we face today is enforced by the people and nobody else. For example, “So, since gods are good, they are not—as the masses claim—the cause of everything. Instead, they are a cause of only a few things that hap- pen to human beings, while of most they are not the cause. For good things are fewer than bad ones in our lives. Of the good things, they alone are the cause, but we must find some other cause for the bad ones, not the gods.” In other words, humanity is the cause of such dark emotions not the gods; separation of people based on their culture and tradition is just an effect of these long-lasting negative emotions. I don’t think that all persons consist of these negative emotions, but majority of the society fear Islamic communities. Pointing fingers at the Islamic nations for every catastrophic events the United States faced cannot help ease the ongoing conflict with the society—government and Muslims.

Sachs, Susan. “The 2 Worlds of Muslim American Teenagers.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 6 Oct. 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/07/nyregion/a-nation-challenged-muslims-the-2-worlds-of-muslim-american-teenagers.html?mcubz=3

-Amirjon, Team Juno

 

Ideal Society

“What is an ideal society?” One may asked. The answer of this question is quiet simple. “There is no ideal society.” why? Because society is a paradox by it’s very nature. Citizens in all cities wish to be live free, rich and peace. But none of the city satisfy with all these terms.

In the article “My Beijing: The Scared City”, the author went to Beijing, capital of China. He have seen the society was being transform in a way that “its great city walls and many of its temples and distinctive alleys, or hutong, were destroyed to make way for the new ideals of an atheistic, industrial society.” When he see all of this happening, he think the culture of the city has been lost.” Lost was a vast medieval city of 25 square miles and also a way of life, just as the local cultures of the world’s other great cities have been swamped by our restless times”. The author said. In the Beijing, many of the parks are being change into restaurant and places people will spend money, and more importantly, the Temple in Beijing (which have great meaning to the city because of what its symbolize) has also being sacrifices to benefit a wealthy minority.  The government believes in “Ideal Society” had drives China in a fast growth economic system. In order to do so, they had break down many things that came from the pass and very few of them can be maintain to the modern time. Although the author was first disagree and think that Beijing has lost it culture, he then prove himself wrong. ” And so the city changes — not back to the past but into something made up of ideas from the past — of filial piety, respect for authority, traditional religions, but also privilege for the rich. ” The culture has not been vanish but to be preserve in a way that new ideas are also being mix in. Also I do agree that I live a society which they live in because new idea will always come out, and for a society changes are needed in order for  a better society to being born.

But I think that Plato wouldn’t agree that they live in the same society because in Book 2, Plato mention that “They will recline on couches strewn with yew and myrtles and feast with their children, drink their wine, and , crowned with wreaths, hymn the gods. They will enjoy having sex with one another, but they will produce no more children than their resources allow, lest they fall into either poverty of war.” And because the “ideal Society” in Beijing  was bough out by war and many of the revolution, and the government wanted many change in economic, it’s much different than the “The Luxurious City” from Plato’s writing because Socrates idea of a “healthy city” should be peace and everybody should live happily under the existence of gods and no poverty.

Lan, Johnson. “My Beijing: The Sacred City.” The New York Times 7 May. 2017. Web. 18 Sep. 2017

 

The unrealistic Utopian Society

In the article, “The Concept of Realistic Utopia: Ideal Theory as Critique by Marit Boker, Boker explains how in our society the perfect society or utopian society does not and will not exist. He states that in our society it would not be impossible because,”The implementation of a perfect society, for it to be perceived as perfect by every member, requires either the support of all or the suppression of some citizens.” This meaning that in every society no one has identical thoughts and ideas as everyone else. In a functional society, like ours, everyone has their own opinions and ideas that make them unique and different. In this article, Boker states that the ideal society will never be achieved because everyone has different thoughts and to achieve a utopian society, then either everyone has to be able to think in a certain way; or the people that think differently from the others would become suppressed to a point that their voices would never be heard. I would personally would have to agree with this article and with Boker because realistically speaking, everyone is different and some people are born with a mentality that makes them think that it is okay to hurt others. In my opinion a perfect society will never be achieved because of our many differences and because of the manipulation that the media now has against our society, and how it can easily influence it.

I believe that Plato would  have disagreed with this article because it states that the government would have to suppress a part of society in order to become a utopian society. Plato believed that the government would be this source of just and good power that would help all of its citizens and would not cast anyone out. Like for example Plato believed that, “…defense of justice stand the philosopher-kings— who unite political power and authority with philosophical knowledge of the transcendent, unchanging form of the good and the ideal city they come to rule, Kallipolis”. Plato believed that the upper class and kings would be an advantage to a utopian society while Boker believes that authority would never carry out this utopian society without hurting others along the way.

Böker, Marit. “The Concept of Realistic Utopia: Ideal Theory as Critique.” Constellations: An International Journal of Critical & Democratic Theory, vol. 24, no. 1, Mar. 2017, pp. 89-100. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/1467-8675.12183.

Perfect Imperfections

It does not exist. A perfect society simply does not exist. Will It exist in the future? I am not very sure, but as of right now it does not exist. In the article, “ The Structure of Gratitude” by David Brooks, we find out about exactly what the title is: the structure of gratitude. Brooks clearly states, “If you think that human nature is good and powerful, then you go around frustrated because the perfect society has not yet been achieved.” Then he followed that with, if you hold the mindset that life is not that impressive and our goodness is spotty, then you’ll be amazed when life is sweet to you. Overall I think it is fair to say that Brooks wants us to not hold our expectations too high for the world. The reason being, if we do not expect too much when something extraordinary occurs we appreciate it all the more. Occurrences like this will ingrain in us a grateful mentality for the smaller things. I feel like Brooks strongly believe that gratitude is severely lacking in this society because in many accounts he reminds his readers that we live in a “capitalist meritocracy that encourages individualism…” Which means that it is encouraged for everybody to look out for themselves first before others. In relation to the article, in the reading “Xenophon and Aristotle,” it states, “…whereas nowadays there are some who even boast of their possessions. This corresponds to this society and how much it values individualism and when one becomes independent and does everything on their own it is very predictable that they would become very prideful of their accomplishments. #IdealSociety #CLAS4 #Plato #Xenophone  Izadora, Team Aphrodite

 

Citation:

Brooks, David. “The Structure of Gratitude.” New York State Papers, The New York Times, 18 July 2015, go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T004&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm¤tPosition=20&docId=GALE%7CA423329914&docType=Column&sort=Relevance&contentSegment=&prodId=SPN.SP01&contentSet=GALE%7CA423329914&searchId=R1&userGroupName=nysl_me_brookcol&inPS=true&authCount=1&u=nysl_me_brookcol. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.

 

One must see Underneath the Underneath

“The religious extremists’ view of the world, Mr. Mueenuddin said, is not unlike that of the Utopians in W. H. Auden’s ”Horae Canonicae,” whose rigid views of the perfect society, oblique references to Soviet Communism, are just as true today.”

This article follows Mr. Mueenuddin, a Pakistani-American who went back to Kashmir in Pakistan to find the land of his father being encroached on by other landowners. Here the elite control land and the landlords control the law and lived of poor that work on their land. The poor are paid only $25 a month whereas Mr. Mueenuddin pays his workers $84 a month. There is also a religious extremism in the area as Mr. Mueenuddin was scared so much he began to sleep with a gun. This society is not seen by outsiders as it is hidden away in the rural parts of Pakistan.

Mr. Mueenuddin’s example of a perfect society is not reflected in the area where he lives, poverty, violence and political conditions are very critical. The religious extremists promote their perspective of a perfect world. Mr. Mueenuddin’s perfect society is similar to America, where individuals don’t control the land and laws by the government are abided. I think that some attributes of this society are reflected in mine, there is poverty and people don’t abide all laws and there are religious extremist groups such as the KKK.

Plato said in The Republic “Justice is useful when money is useless.” This shows that Plato thinks if people work for money then justice won’t be achieved but if money is not involved people will genuinely work for the issues. In this society the elite work for things that are for their benefit. Even Mr. Mueenuddin took back his land so he could use it for farming to ultimately gain profit. Mr. Mueenuddin talks about the wrongs of his society but doesn’t do anything about it. If the issue didn’t involve money then justice would genuinely be sought.

Tavernise, Sabrina. “From rural Pakistan, tales of a hidden world lived and shared.” New York Times, 25 July 2009, p. A11(L). New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA204397896&it=r&asid=bb58caa7fbcc87d36c72ea4bd3aa731c. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.

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Shakiba Ghaffar, Team Vesta

We Want YOU, to populate!

The parts of a society all rely on it’s human corespondents. These societies all have flaws, and it is almost impossible to reach a sort of, “perfect society”. We can pick and choose the actual meaning of this idea, but it’s something all people wish to adopt. To have no poverty, no civil unrest, no famine, etc. all sound very appealing. Religions tend to have this idea of a “perfect society” with the path of the divine, will lead to this new place.

In the article, Urged to Multiply, Iranian Couples Are Dubious, the life in Iran is one of much struggle and turmoil. A couple, by the names of Bita and Sherag, discuss how religious and societal pressures make living a sustainable life very hard. The constant political unrest, economic instability, as well as rough living conditions, are very hard for them. Yet the government, along with the Muslim faith, encourages these families to produce offspring, and especially more than one. In the article, an Islamic cleric states, “Sitting behind a laptop, Mr. Takhtipour took a sip of hot tea and explained that Islam orders a quest for a perfect society. ”That means we need to increase the number of Muslims, so we also need more kids,” Mr. Takhtipour said. To those of his flock making financial arguments against having many children, he lectures on the scriptures of the faith. ”We do believe that ultimately God will provide our daily bread. So go out and have kids and have faith, is what I always say.” (Erdbrink para. 26-27).

The reliance on religious scripture in these heavily religious countries can put these families in a tough spot. As he puts it, a perfect society will include many Muslims, so you musty produce more Muslims. But in the case of Bita and Sherag, the idea of producing children will be a extremely bad idea, ands hinder them economically. Here in Iran, Erbrink is clearly showing how current Iran is nowhere near a perfect society, and the ideas push only further it from that place.

From a first person perspective, I believe all societies on this planet are nowhere near “perfect”. It is an idea, it is all but a goal that we will never reach. All the “perfect society” or “Utopia” does is gives humans a destination to work towards, providing function and effort to be placed in society. In regards to Classics, and the ideas discussed regarding human behavior and the talks of Plato, the readings of Plato completely support my ideas of human society. He states,

“And we will catch the just person redhanded, traveling the same road as the unjust one.  The reason for this is the desire to do better than others. This is what every natural being naturally pursues as good. But by law and force, it is made to deviate from this path and honor equality.” (Plato 359a).

The human person is merely present in society, and is only molded by the laws set in place. Perfection is impossible. The Iranian people are bound by the Muslim ideology and law to have children, to bring children into a very dangerous setting, and to hinder themselves. The natural human destroys the perfect society with it’s mere presence.

Sean Reilly, Team Artemis

Iranian Article

Erdbrink, Thomas. “Urged to Multiply, Iranian Couples Are Dubious.” New York Times, 8 June 2014, p. A1(L). New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA370501939&it=r&asid=c16e27415c9200c15bd0b3edcdc17ae6.

Do We Actually Need Leaders?

In the article “Followers Wanted” by Susan Cain, the author explores leadership roles in. It speaks of a father who openly admitted that his daughter was a natural follower, which at the time and still to this date is uncommon. We live in a society that idealizes the leader and pushes everyone out to try and become one. The article points out that, “…college admissions offices show us whom and what we value, then we seem to think that the ideal society is composed of Type A’s.” The author definitely doesn’t agree with thIs. Colleges push students to strive for leadership positions but ignore the fact that in order to function as a society we need followers. The author feels as though letting students naturally fit into whatever role they’re meant to play makes for much better leaders than if they were to strive to be a leader. I agree with this. Seeking out those who feel as though they are leaders limits out the possibilities everyone else has achieve something great.

Plato would likely disagree with a society that focuses less on encouraging leaders and more on developing skills without the intent on becoming one. He said once that, “But both for your own sakes and for that of the rest of the city, we have bred you to be leaders and kings in the hive, so to speak. You are better and more completely educated than the others, and better able to share in both types of life.” He believes that those bred to become leaders are more suited for every aspect of life.

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Can Artists Create an Ideal Society?

frederick Douglas

Imagine how the world would be if there was one universal government. Sounds impossible right? Today many people suffer injustices because they are a different race from others, because they are from a higher social status, their choice of lifestyle, their religious preferences or lack of it and the list goes on and on. Even the government, which is supposed to protect and care for its subjects have failed at doing so and some do the complete opposite. With all of the prejudice that the world has witnessed from the beginning of time a utopian society seems to be farfetched.

David Brooks, author of, “How Artists Change the World”, discusses how the way one perceives certain individuals in society has an effect on how those individuals are treated which in turn can contribute to either a just society or an unjust one. He believes that an ideal society is one in which everyone, despite the color of your skin, or your physical appearance is treated equally. Speaking about how Frederick Douglass used photographs of himself to alter the common stereotypes that African Americans are inferior, uneducated and are too foolish to do anything for themselves he states,“He was creating a new ideal of a just society and a fully alive black citizen, and therefore making current reality look different in the light of that ideal.”Furthermore, Brooks does believe that these values are lacking in the present society in which he lives because he goes on to elaborate on the idea that the only reason a new ideal has to be created is because the perception of Africans Americans in society has always been distorted. Not only do I think that I live in the same society as this person, I believe that humans have created a society that is so far from ideal that “reteach(ing) people how to see”(Brooks ¶12)  is nearly impossible. Even now, in the age of technology, seeing not only the faces of the oppressed but also the horrible actions of the oppressors does not reverse the hate and ignorance that is deeply imbedded in this unjust society. As a visual artist myself, works of art can express ideas that one can’t really put into exact words and artists can try to create their idea of an ideal society but injustice will continue.

Plato would agree with this thinking because he felt as though even though all humans are inclined to practice injustice the only way that Athens would be saved was by means of justice. Plato’s Extracts states,“Plato refers to them as moneylovers, because they pursue money as the best means of reliably satisfying their appetitive desires in the long term (580d–581a)” Thus, one can infer from this piece of text that Plato was not fond of systems that were built to dehumanize the poor, prevent them from acquiring education and use ethical or political education to fill individuals minds with wrong desires rather than to provide them with knowledge. This was all done because of greed, and when one has an intense and selfish desire for something it is very hard for justice to be prominent they practice injustice and it’s impossible to have an ideal society.

Brooks, David. “How Artists Change the World.” New York Times, 2 Aug. 2016, p. A23(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA459692876&asid=26b920b61929c02336f30e351f52e934. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

 

Plato Thinks Our Opinions Suck

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An “ideal society” or a utopia is simply unattainable in any organism with cognitive abilities simply due to the fact that everyone has a different perception of what “perfect” is. In today’s society many adolescents and even adults pride themselves in creating the perfect body via starvation , steroids, laxatives ,etc. due to the fact that they believe that society demands a certain look and they are the wrinkle in this society. Now , we all know that social media is absolutely no help with the dozens of godly looking people haunting our timelines and showing off their fourteen pack or even that 1:3 stomach to hip ratio.
In fact , in Perri Klass’ “Teenagers and False Body Images” she tries to enlighten her audience by revealing that there is no such thing as the perfect body because everyone is different , thus there is no perfect society. Klass shares “The representations of ideal appearance in society are very restrictive and very unrealistic both for men and for women,” and “There are a lot of unrealistic images out there to measure yourself against, and a lot of false promises about how you might get there.” In other words , everyone has a different perception of whats good or bad or ugly or beautiful.
In relation to the reading of Plato , it could be inferred that he would most likely disagree that there is no such thing as a utopia due to his belief that a perfect society is one where everyone follows the law , more relate able social acceptance laws . This is illuminated when he says ” they are quite ordinary men, and therefore they should not determine them merely on their own judgement , but according to written rules, and to the laws” . Plato believes that a perfect society is based off the rules of the system.
Moreover, we can say that Plato believes law is what runs a Utopian society , which is not the case in Klass’ eyes due to the fact that she doesn’t believe in social acceptance laws or conforming to what society deems as perfect.

– Samantha , Team Minerva.

Citations

  • Klass, Perri. “Teenagers and False Body Images.” New York Times, 1 Aug. 2016, p. D4(L). New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA459693053&it=r&asid=6a2aa4beace2fe1d8d305070e4941252. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.
  • (Image) http://www.quickmeme.com/Plato

“A Walden Two Experiment”

The utopian society, Twin Oaks, Virginia, was created and founded by Katherine Kinkade. Kinkade passed on July 3rd, 2016 due to breast cancer and was buried in her own society. The author, William Grimes, of the article “Katherine Kinkade, 77, Founder of Utopian Commune” describes the visions of Kinkade. She was “inspired by the ideal society described in Skinner’s book “‘’Walden Two’” and was determined to make the principles and ideas of the behaviorist into a reality. Kinkade began to set strict work schedules and gave everyone equal pay. She justified this with one of Skinner’s ideas of positive reinforcement, which means that the likelihood of an event recurring will increase from a subject if a motivating item is given.

Grimes states that “he fires of idealism faded somewhat with the years.” I think Grimes realized that the idea of living in a “perfect society” in Kinkade’s time period steadily became unpopular.I don’t live in the same society as Kinkade once did. My city doesn’t strive to be perfect. It has its laws and rules but it’s more laid back. Everybody has the opportunity to move up, or down, in their social class, depending on their salaries. Meanwhile, in Twin Oaks, if everyone is paid the same amount of money, it’ll be be a lot more difficult to become wealthy if you want to be. I don’t agree with Kinkade’s views that humans should be “about humans living in a hivelike egalitarian society.” It gives people boundaries and unable to live with the freedom to do as they please. They’re constantly restricted to do only do a certain set of opportunities and become less open-minded.

I don’t think Plato would’ve agreed with Kinkade. From the excerpts from Republic, it states that “The system they construct lies on Plato’s theory of the soul or mind, the seat of consciousness, emotion, desire, and decision-making.” According to Plato, a person’s set of desires vary depends on their own personal preferences. In Twin Oaks, a person wouldn’t able to do as they desire because they are being limited to how high they can achieve in that society.

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Citation

Grimes, William. “Katherine Kinkade, 77, Founder of Utopian Commune.” New York Times, 27 July 2008, p. A24(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA181869836&it=r&asid=f64e4d5692c5f1caeff69627fe4db118. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

An Imperfect Society: NFL Edition

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A Utopian society can be seen as an ideal and perfect society in which everyone lives in harmony and everything is done for the good of its citizens. We, however, do not live in that type of society nowadays. Not too long ago an incident occurred during the season opener of a professional football game that went against a Utopian society. During the time of this incident there had been several equality and freedom issues that led Colin Kaepernick to refuse to rise for the national anthem that eventually led more football players to refuse to rise as well. In the article, “Protests Leaves N.F.L. Necessarily Uneasy”, it gives the viewpoint of the coach of Kaepernick and how he states, “I support our players when they want to see a change in society, and we don’t live in a perfect society,’ he said ‘On the other hand, we believe very strongly in patriotism in the N.F.L. I personally believe very strongly in that.” This gives evidence that the society we live in is far from perfect and suitable for certain adjustments when necessary.

The coach of Kaepernick, Goodell, believes that change can create the ideal society, as long as it doesn’t effect patriotism. The value that is lacking within the society is patriotism. Since this recently happened, I do think and I do agree that our society is far from perfect but there are changes that can be made.

I feel as though Plato would have agreed with the Kaepernick choice of not standing up during the national anthem. In the introduction it states that the Socratic dialogue philosophy consisted in questioning people about the conventionally recognized moral virtues that included piety, courage, and temperance. Kaepernick showed great courage in standing up for what he believed to be was the right thing to do.

Bryana DeLuca, Team Ares

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Macur, Juliet. “Protest Leaves N.F.L. Necessarily Uneasy.” New York Times, 8 Sept. 2016, p. B10(L). New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA462768533&it=r&asid=1181ff22fc4dad61ac09244a14c3160d. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017

Another Failed Utopia

“They set about realizing Noyes’s vision of “Bible Communism,” believing that Christ had already made his Second Coming (“like a thief in the night,” as the Bible puts it), and that humans were thus living free of sin, with the responsibility to create a perfect world.

The pursuit of Perfectionism, as the doctrine was called, led to a number of unorthodox practices, notably “complex marriage” and “sexual communism,” which were essentially coinages for radical polyamory and free love. (Utopia is very good at rebranding existing human behaviors.) Underlying Oneida’s quirky sexual norms was, in fact, a set of deeply progressive beliefs in collective ownership and equality, notably for women.”

The Return of the Utopians

Akash Kapur

   

Throughout the many decades of the history of the United States there are “utopias”  that pop out every now and then. One of the most promising was a community called Oneida, named for the local native american tribe. Founded in 1848 by Vermont Preacher John Humphrey Noyes, the community was based on principles of “collective ownership”. There were no slaves as they didn’t like slavery and women had more freedom than most at the time. It wasn’t complete equality but they chose their own lovers and chose their own jobs. As these people broke off from society and created their own they didn’t believe that a typical society had what they needed. They believed that people should care more for the community than the individual. Parents were separated from their children so that they couldn’t form attachments that could be detrimental to the community. I don’t agree with this mindset and I’m glad that I don’t live in this kind of community. The concept of “sexual communism” actually isn’t that uncommon, it’s simply having multiple sexual partners and from the implication of it people don’t settle into relationships. The problem with this is that children are separated from their parents and that people who may have a functioning, stable marriage also separate. What happens to the children who are taken away? Who takes care of them? What about babies that come from the relationships take place? Does this separation have a negative physiological effect on the children? How they end up? We live in a society where children are a responsibility. The parents take care of them or if they can’t someone else does. I think that Oneida’s lack of familial instability leads to social instability.

 

“He believed motherhood to be the most important function of freeborn woman. Therefore,

in the first place, he insisted on physical training for the female no less than for the male

sex: moreover, he instituted races and trials of strength for women competitors as for

men, believing that if both parents are strong they produce more vigorous offspring.” [part 4]

 

Xenophon’s Constitution of the Lacedaemonians

Xenophon

Xenophon wouldn’t agree with this. Motherhood is very important part of spartan society so the separation of the children wouldn’t sit well with him. Also the lack of marriages would also sit uneasily with him. Unless one man asks another if his wife could birth him strong children men and women should be married and have strong children for Sparta’s future.

Kapur, Akash. “The Return of the Utopians.” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 19 June 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/03/the-return-of-the-utopians. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.

Fatema Islam
Team Jupiter

Reclaiming our “ideal” values

The article I read, “Joe Biden: Reclaiming America’s Values”, highlights the fact that our current president today, Donald Trump, has “misunderstood and misinterpreted” our nation’s values. This feeling is one that is shared between many, and that affects the central message of our nation and what it means to live as American citizens and our purpose in this country. The quote I chose from the article which includes the word “ideal” is: “That ideal made the world safer and more prosperous- for Americans and everyone else.” The author is referring to the ideal of American society that has been rooted in the constitution and the fact that these ideals are lacking in current society.

The speaker sends this message in a persuasive and argumentative tone. He believes that it is because of Trump’s “offset and clannish” resurgence of a world-view why these values are evidently lacking. For example, the author argues that Trump’s administration foreign policy is not building upon the notion of freedom and democracy and instead is giving us the notion that we need to be divided from other countries to succeed.

I agree with the author because I live within the same society. Plato, however, would have disagreed because although he was familiar with politics, he turned to philosophy because he felt it was the only way it could bring true justice to humans. “Horrified by actual political events, however, including the execution of his mentor and teacher Socrates in 399 BCE, he turned instead to philosophy, thinking that only it could bring true justice to human beings and put an end to civil war and political upheaval” (Reeve Plato Extracts, Introduction).

“Opinion | Joe Biden: Reclaiming America’s Values.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 14 Sept. 2017, mobile.nytimes.com/2017/09/14/opinion/joe-biden-more-perfect-union.html.

Image taken from http://www.euclidlibrary.org/kids/tickle-your-brain/the-american-flag

Twin Oaks, Virginia

Twin OaksThe ideals of a perfect society in Plato’s Republic were lost in the wave of Christianity and similar religions. Where Plato explored how to create an ideal society, those religions wrote about how to reach the already made Utopia or, as we know it Heaven. About hundreds of years later the belief in religion wavered as certain people sought to make their own ideal societies. First it arrived in the forms of fictional or philosophical literature, and then it took on its own practice.

We still live among those communes, groups of people that live completely off the grid, almost as if they are in a separate world. One of the places that still exists today is Twin Oaks, Virginia a small community of 100 people with a waiting list of members striving to join. About ten years ago one of their leaders Katherine Kinkade passed away, buried right there in the town she created. “Inspired by the ideal society described in Skinner’s book ”Walden Two,” Ms. Kinkade, who was known as Kat, joined with seven other fellow believers in 1967 and took over a former tobacco farm to realize her vision of a perfect egalitarian society.” However, it was not all paradise, Kinkade had a very rigid and strong work ethic based personality that did not blend well with the “pot smoking hippies” that lived there. She made enemies, and soon left founding several other communes (which also still exist), and making a brief return into the main world with a job in Boston as a computer programmer.

While the author does not say what he thinks of the society it is stated that the subject of the article, Ms.Kinkade, did not approve of what her society turned into. She wanted it to be a self sustaining egalitarian community, but she got was in her own words ” place for middle-class hippies to have a great time for a while”. The novel she based her community on highlights never ending improvement above all, whereas Twin Oaks has been on a standstill for the past forty years, its (now ended) hammock contract with Pier One remaining the only improved aspect.

Also to note Plato’s thinking, “There is in every one of us, even those who seem to be most moderate, a type of desire that is terrible, wild, and lawless.” I agree completely, and I feel as if even though they can glaze over the arguments and act as if they do not exist, eventually conflict will arise, and when there is only a few people in the community it must be difficult to not get everyone involved.

This society is very clearly different than our own society, and we have barely any similarities, our society does not generally produce its own clothes, food, and we also do not share each other’s children. Although our consumerist mindset is villainized, with many people sharing the notion that technology is the devil, I disagree. I do not think that their society is better off than ours, they live 20 people in a small home, where I can only imagine how fast disease spreads. I do see the allure of living in a place like this, but I feel as if everyone started going backwards we as a human race would cease progressing.

-Zunaira Naveed, Team Mars

Grimes, William. “Katherine Kinkade, 77, Founder of Utopian Commune.” New York Times, 27 July 2008, p. A24(L). New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA181869836&it=r&asid=f64e4d5692c5f1caeff69627fe4db118. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.

American Utopia

In Joe Biden’s words, “American democracy is rooted in the belief that every man, woman and child has equal rights to freedom and dignity.” This is what has created his, our, version of the American Utopia.This is the aspect of our country that inspires all others to observe us and follow in our footsteps. Until recently. Biden claims that America has become unbalanced with Donald Trump in power. Biden quotes Trump’s comment on the other countries and how “they” want to be like “us”. Biden says this is the way his thinking is flawed. That we are not one being in the world but are multiple separate beings. That we need to be considered one to reach our Utopia. “While the United States is far from perfect, we have never given up the struggle to grow closer to the ideals in our founding documents. “The result, then, is that more plentiful and better-quality goods are more easily produced if each person does one thing for which he is naturally suited, does it at the right time, and is released from having to do any of the right time, and is released from having to do any of the others.” In this quote Plato states that a perfect society would be complete if every person did their best at one skill. This way they would all be part of a whole. Such as America and other countries. We must work as one being to accomplish the goal of becoming a Utopia.

 

Biden, Joe. “Reclaiming America’s Values.” New York Times, 14 Sept. 2017, p. A25(L). New York State Newspapers

Create A Better School Environment

“While “educators” are quick to seize upon the defects of students, parents and society, as if that automatically vindicates the schools, the fact is that if our public schools had perfect students, perfect parents, and a perfect society, these schools would still be failing because of the three R’s that they do not teach – and the politically correct propaganda that they teach instead.”

Thomas Sowell the author of this article explains that no matter what way you look at it you can not have a perfect teaching method because there will always be a group of students that will blame everything on the teachers or on their parents and will never take the action upon themselves.  He had found statistics that there are always a group of students that just show no interest towards school and their classes but pay more attention to outside activities such as sports, entertainment, and hanging out with friends. This shows that students do not have their priorities straight and put this stress on the teacher or their parents and blaming their academic problems on them rather than themselves. Thomas Sowell had used John Ogbus’s book known as the “Black American Students in an Affluent Suburb” to back up his information. This book shows statistics of a study of the racial gap in students school performances . Ogbu had taken the test scores, and grades of the entire school and statistics showed that black students had been consistently behind the white students.  They have asked both black and white teachers what the reasons for this was and their answers were the same. They believed black people did not work as hard and did not put the same amount of effort in.

I believe that society will never be perfect because it is human nature for people to make mistakes. However just because people make mistakes, doesn’t mean that they can’t learn from them and the make the best out of their certain situation. I believe that not all students are on the same page in school, but as they mature and grow they will want better for themselves and eventually will pick themselves up.  Plato states “So, if you are willing, let’s first find out what sort of thing justice is in cities, and afterward look for it in the individual,to see if the larger entity is similar in form to the smaller one”. I feel like the author of this article and Plato are on the same page. The author found where students excelled in and how they could improve which is what Plato was saying to first find what is good, then employ it in the whole city or in the authors case the whole school.

“SCHOOL DISASTERS.” New York Post [New York, NY], 1 Mar. 2003, p. 17. New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA98268168&it=r&asid=4b8ed3bfbf5eafe283840645c5cb9ce5. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.

 

Link:

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RECONSTRUCTING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BLACK.

“As Gates writes, he was taking an institution like slavery, which had seemed to many so inevitable, and leading people to perceive it as arbitrary. He was creating a new ideal of a just society and a fully alive black citizen, and therefore making current reality look different in the light of that ideal.” (Brooks)

David Brooks in this New York Times article writes about how a photograph can change the perception of a prejudiced view on anything because a photo is a statement that you’re forced to see, a point that is undeniably made and cannot be interrupted because once you see it you can never consciously erase that image. He speaks about Frederick Douglas being the most photographed American of the 19th century, with George Custer and Abraham Lincoln with the second highest numbers. Frederick Douglas strategically took all of these photos to challenge the perception of black people during this time, he wanted to change the view of a man being made a slave, to a slave being made a man, his own words. The author speaks about an ideal society from Frederick Douglas’ perspective; in an ideal society, black people will not be viewed as the stereotypes that Douglas challenged, inferior, unlettered, comic and dependent, stereotypes that swarm over black people’s heads to this day. An ideal society is a just society. 

The world still is corrupted by stereotypes of black people, but it is being challenged every day, and black people are breaking the molds in which they are placed. The author speaks about “African American models in places where our culture assumes whiteness — in the Garden of Eden, in Vermeer’s , ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring.’ ”(Brooks) These images challenge the cultural norm and Brooks still believes that our current society is lacking the ideals of a world without these stereotypes because they still exist. I do not live in an ideal society, and I agree that for our world to be better we must overcome stereotypes. I still appreciate getting the chance to combat stereotypes that are placed on me, as a model it’s always liberating to take photographs that stand for something and influence some sort of change. I feel like Plato would disagree with me because I believe in justice and the equal treatment of people while Plato believes that being just is made up by society and religion to keep people pure. He says “to do injustice is naturally good and to suffer injustice bad.”(Plato) I don’t believe that all injustice is naturally good, such as the injustice of unequal and unfair treatment of people.

MLA CITATIONS 

Brooks, David. “How Artists Change the World.” The New York Times. August 2nd, 2016. New York State Newspapers. Accessed September, 18th 2017. http://go.galegroup.com.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T004&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=10&docId=GALE%7CA459692876&docType=Column&sort=DA-SORT&contentSegment=&prodId=SPN.SP01&contentSet=GALE%7CA459692876&searchId=R5&userGroupName=nysl_me_brookcol&inPS=true&authCount=1&u=nysl_me_brookcol

Plato. “How to Defend Justice.”

Achieving the Perfect Society

Many people have different views and opinions on achieving the perfect society. The basic idea of a perfect society would include no crimes, no government and each individual playing a role and contributing to the success of their society. Throughout history many people have had their input on what a perfect society would look like. In the article ” Gender Roles of a Perfect Society : the Oneida Community” explained how they did things differently and felt that their society was the best community for a person to live in. In the article it states, “Women were always seen as equals to men, unlike the traditional American ideas of the nineteenth century.” This was proof that in their society they did not assign roles to the population based on their gender. The women of their community were treated equally to the men of their society. Women in the Oneida community were allowed to hold any job they wanted such as a bookkeeper, business correspondents and etc. The Oneida Community believed women played a major role in the success of a perfect society.

However I feel that this would contradict with the ideas of Plato and Xenophon. Plato and Xenophon believed that everyone in a society should play a specific role. In Xenophon’s Constitution of the Lacedaemonians he states “He believed motherhood to be the most important function of freeborn women.” He explains that the main role of women would be to take care of the children and carry out the basic motherly duties. Contradicting the ideas from the Oneida Community he feels that its not right for women to have a choice to pursue any other career. Xenophon believed the only way to reach a perfect society is to assign and maintain roles to each person.

Naim Nuvel, Team Vulcan

Citation :

“Gender Roles of a Perfect Society: the Oneida Community.” GetMyEssay.com, 9 May 2017, getmyessay.com/essay-on-gender-roles-perfect-society-oneida-community/.

Ah, the American Paradise: We… aren’t there yet.

In the article “Portraits of American Paradises, Mostly Lost”, author Philip Gefter  states: “The “perfect society” may be a figment of the idealist imagination, but from the early years of the republic, many Americans have tried to give those ideals a tangible form, organizing their lives and those of their neighbors in a variety of social experiments.”  (Gefter, 1)

It may seem hard at first to see exactly what the meaning of a perfect society is to the author here.  To Philip perhaps, it is that a perfect society is simply an opinion of many minds that people come up with.  Perhaps Philip thinks that it just is a figment of imagination we are all capable of.  But he also chooses very specific studies to support his answer.  Throughout the article, Philip notes of people who made or studied “Utopian Societies” and all had the same idea.  They all similarly wanted to have equal balance in education, happiness, and also communes.  In doing so, I strongly don’t believe that the author finds them lacking in our society today.  When you look at the third paragraph in this article, you can see that there was a study finished not to long before this article was made, talking about a man who spent 12 years looking around the country for Utopian societies and taking photos of them, in which was to show what a utopia or “perfect society” might end up being.  I actually think that I don’t live in the same society as this person.  Why I feel that is because of how much bad stuff we talk about today.  All we ever do now as a society is talk about all the negative stuff going on in society, thus making us feel more and more upset and angry.  We no longer see nice fancy things as something to behold, but as something or rich and greed, even if the person who owns it is very generous and nice.  That being said, I will agree with the author on the note that a “Perfect society” can be seen as one of human imagination, and also that of which is one of something in equal and fair treatment for all.  All that is upsetting me is how far we are from it, and how the world around us is pushing us back further and further.  I feel that since then the article is meant to give off multiple impressions as to what a “perfect society” is portrayed or viewed by, I feel that Xenophon would have multiple opinions on this story.  Maybe he would be more positive to it when you look at how he portrays and talks about the Spartans in his stories.   Xenophon states that “They pride themselves on their humility, running instead of walking to answer any call, in the belief that, if they lead, the rest will follow along the path of eager obedience.” (Xenophon) when talking about the Spartans, specifically the soldiers.  Perhaps since this article offers multiple experiments people did to create or show a utopia/perfect society, I feel that Xenophon would like it because of his experience with other cultures.  He might have even wanted to add his example seeing as how he feels the Spartans in a way made their own little utopia.

#IdealSociety #CLAS4 #Plato #Xenophon

Gefter, Philip. “Portraits of American Paradises, Mostly Lost.” New York Times, 18 Sept. 2005, p. AR32(L). New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA136301464&it=r&asid=b2bf48035b11e3ce80c938a3c254dafd. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.

http://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T004&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=AdvancedSearchForm&currentPosition=6&docId=GALE%7CA136301464&docType=Article&sort=DA-SORT&contentSegment=&prodId=SPN.SP01&contentSet=GALE%7CA136301464&searchId=R2&userGroupName=nysl_me_brookcol&inPS=true

The Stupidity of an Ideal Society

Utopias have been a dream for most people in the world. It is a place to get away from all the hardships and regrets in life. People spend all their life to find their ideal society, where the stress is limited. However, these places simply doesn’t exist. Utopia is not a specific place, it is a state of mind which people go into in order to get rid of their worries. In history, many tried to bring the idea of an ideal society to life, but E.M. Cioran says

”To conceive a true utopia, to sketch, with conviction, the structure of an ideal society, requires a certain dose of ingenuousness, even stupidity.”

The author of this article seems to be torn between wanting to observe if a true utopia could be upheld and not wanting another dystopias, failed attempts at utopia. He says that going after a Utopian society has warped people’s minds creating suicide cults and terrorism.  Then, he says that the closest to the ideal society was the 16th century utopia where there was no private property and a ton of free time for their people. The author believes that the 20th century is lacking in this sense of utopia because there are too many ideas on which this ideal subject is based on. it is an idea to be used on people, but often it leads to tyranny, which is the complete opposite.

I believe that we are living in the same society as the author. We show that everyone has a different idea on how we will be and ideal society. Problems and controversies arise because there are others who disagree with one part of an ideal society. Things get in the way of utopia like sexism, racism, and more, which makes it harder for the utopia to be achieved.

In Reeve Plato Extracts, it says

“Just which type of desire rules an individual’s soul depends on the relative strengths of his desires and on the kind of education and socialization he receives.”

This shows that every person has different ideas because of their upbringings. Plato wanted his society to be surrounded in education. This way everyone would have the same ideas and not go against one another. In a way, this is the tyranny which the article was speaking of. You can’t stop ideas from flowing, but you can limit them, which still is not complete freedom.

Rothstein, Edward. “Paradise lost: can mankind live without its utopias?” New York Times, 5 Feb. 2000, p. B7. New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA59248141&it=r&asid=a995c9e57e2d96025f2a8946f034ee90. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.

From Guns to Glory

”Are we going to be able to screen and determine everyone who is going to be a threat? Of course not,” she[Ms.Riddle]  said. ”We are not a perfect society , and there is no way we can create perfect laws.”

 

In Lawmakers look to boost Guns in school, the author explores a school society that is haunted by a pattern of school shootings, the most recent having been Connecticut’s infamous Sandy Hook massacre. Though it is agreed across the country that the act was indeed deplorable and shocking, divide came in deciding how to tackle the problem of school shootings. Among the heavy debate of this issue, the state of Texas  offered its own solution, one that almost seemed to be the exact opposite of decreasing violence. Its solution was to allow school staff to carry their own firearms , in order to defend themselves should such an emergency occur.

Of course, this proposition was met with much backlash from other states, who condemned the allowance of firearms as being counterproductive. However, state represenatatives, stood by this proposition, which would allow teachers to protect their students, and countered that trying to screen for the kinds of people that would commit such a  crime would be a far more daunting and unrealistic task. This counterclaim claim leads to the quote mentioned above. It isn’t an ideal situation to arm teachers and other school staff with firearms, but  in a matter of otherwise life and death, it would indeed be the best choice. Ms. Riddle, the Texas representative, in acknowledging that our society is not perfect, justifies what would otherwise be seen as a completely outrageous decision.

The article seems to mostly speak in reluctant favor of the gun law in Texas within the school environment. Though it is a law, a decision that is undesirable, even to those who propose it, it is ultimately a decision made in light of the imperfect world in which we live in, one that is harsh, untrustworthy and indiscriminate,even preying on the innocent children and unassuming teachers of the then recent Sandy Hook shooting. It is one that embodies justice , especially in the lense of Plato, who makes the claim, within his excerpts, that “People love it [Justice], not because it is a good thing, but because they are too weak to do injustice with impunity”. The representative and by extension, the people of Texas embrace the usage of guns for protection within schools, not because it is ‘good’ but because it is the best decision that could be made. Other states against the law would allow the injustice of the school shootings to continue, not wanting to create the x-factor of allowing armed staff and would make that sacrafice for the sake of lawfulness,  but Texas, in forfeiting its lawfulness, allows the rigid neutrality of Justice to put a more plausible end to the school violence.

Smith, Morgan. “Lawmakers look to boost guns in school.” New York Times, 28 Dec. 2012, p. A19A(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA313191533&it=r&asid=4963e9e803df3db2b6cdeed9c11336b1. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

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Guns in Class?

 

 

140819-news21-k12-kasey_gun_10_33901b3a2cc46efdbb5976fcc53cd705.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg (1511×1000)The Second Amendment grants American citizens the right to bear arms and this amendment has caused debate between both sides of the political spectrum for years. One of the most controversial topics in United States politics is gun control and gun rights. After all the shootings, such as the Pulse Night Club Shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting, that have occurred over the past couple years, this debate has continued to heat up. On one side of the political spectrum, you have people and groups advocating for gun control laws. On the other side of the spectrum, you have people and groups, such as the National Rifles Association and its members, fighting to have no gun control laws and have everyone be able to buy a gun.

In an article from The New York Times, Morgan Smith talks about how some legislators what to allow guns in schools to protect teachers and students from shooters. This article was written shortly after the Sandy Hook Shooting. After the shooting, federal and state legislators were deciding what to do about gun fights and gun control. One idea suggested was from Texas legislators that stated that guns should be made more available and should be more available so teachers and other members of faculty couold protect themselves and others and prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook from happening again. This idea received many criticisms. Some who agree with the idea disagree on how to achieve it and some disagree and say that it distracts from the main issue of mental illness. One of the legislators who wanted to expand gun laws to allow guns on school campuses is Representative Debbie Riddle of Tomball. Riddle does agree that mental health does need to discuss, but she also states, “Are we going to be able to screen and determine everyone who is going to be a threat? Of course not…We are not a perfect society, and there is no way we can create perfect laws.” In this quotes, Riddle implies that a perfect society is one where we can prevent terrible tragedies like this from happening through preventative measures, like mental health screenings, and with laws that can help prevent tragedies from happening. Riddle believes that our society lacks this value because it is impossible to create perfect laws to prevent tragedies when society isn’t close to being perfect. I agree with this statement, our society is far from perfect and because of that we can’t make perfect laws, but more should be done to try to figure out how to prevent events like this from happening again. Unfortunately, society has not changed much in the past five years. We still look at these tragedies and wonder what more could we have done to prevent this. Also, after these tragedies happen, we grieve, we debate, and then we do nothing to prevent these terrible events from happening again. Even after the deaths of 20 children and six adults, nothing changed. Even after the deaths of 49 people at the Pulse Nightclub Shooting, nothing changed.

One person I think would agree with Riddle’s statement that since society isn’t perfect, we can’t make perfect laws is Plato. In his dialogue, The Republic, he states, “So, if you are willing, let’s first find out what sort of thing justice is in cities, and afterward look for it in the individual,to see if the larger entity is similar in form to the smaller one” (Plato 46). This quotes means that since the individuals of a city aren’t perfect, the city doesn’t have perfect justice and each city has it’s own, imperfect definition of justice. This supports Riddle’s claim because since cities and individuals aren’t perfect, there isn’t perfect justice or a perfect society, which means there can be no perfect laws made.

In his dialogue, Plato says, “Someone who has the power to do it (Justice), however—someone who is a real man—would not make an agreement with anyone, neither to do injustice nor to suffer it” (Plato 37-38). This quote means that you shouldn’t accept injustice or make others suffer injustices. I think that we shouldn’t just accept that these tragedies just happen. We should do everything in our power to prevent events like this. We shouldn’t wait for the next tragedy to occur so that the debate over gun control will get more attention. There should be stricter gun control laws so events like this don’t happen. We shouldn’t be arguing, we should be preventing these terrible events and the deaths that unfortuantely come with them.

Full Article

Citations:

CBS/AP. “Orlando Nightclub Shooting Victims’ Names Released.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 12 June 2016, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/orlando-nightclub-mass-shooting-pulse-victims/.
 “Connecticut Shootings Fast Facts.” CNN, Cable News Network, 14 Dec. 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/07/us/connecticut-shootings-fast-facts/index.html.
 Murphy, Kate. “’F’ Is for Firearm: More Teachers Authorized to Carry Weapons in Classroom.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 22 Sept. 2014, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/f-firearm-more-teachers-authorized-carry-weapons-classroom-n208946.

Smith, Morgan. “Lawmakers look to boost guns in school.” New York Times, 28 Dec. 2012, p. A19A(L). New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA313191533&it=r&asid=4963e9e803df3db2b6cdeed9c11336b1. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

 

 

Society Should Be Equal

There is nothing in the world is perfect, but people always want to pursue perfection, so does the society. Since ancient times, women’s roles in the society were lower than the men, they were seen as wives who were intended to stay home and do all the housework. As the article IN MALE-DOMINATED KOREA, AN ISLAND OF SEXUAL EQUALITY mentioned, “In Seoul, women’s rights advocates complain that girls are still being trained to obey three men – father, husband and eldest son – and that the eldest son’s wife is still expected to live with her husband’s family and perform the household chores”. In fact, not only in Seoul, but throughout the world. Men were seen like in charging the society, only they have the ability to work, to earn money to support the family, women’s job is to cook, clean, and take care of children. But that is not how the “Perfect Society” like. If there is not equality between men and women, how can you expect the society to be equal? On the island of Korea, the author sees the sexual equality, “To judge by some studies, family relationships on the island are a model of sexual equality, compared with those on the mainland where the honeymooners will begin married life.” Such as Dr. Kim Yang Soon said, ” A woman can dive and farm and live by herself, but a man cannot do without a woman. ” women can do the same things as men do, they’ re no longer weak and under the men. The author believed that human society requires the division of labor between men and women, which has a biological and sociological basis, which form a ideal society.

Plato also agree that women and men should be equal,  “…and that men and women with the same natural abilities should receive the same education and training and do the same kind of work, including guarding and ruling.” that’s how a “perfect society” be formed and functions. Different doesn’t mean Unequal, women should be treated equally and have a bigger role than what other people thought women should have.

Citation

Dullea, Georgia. “IN MALE-DOMINATED KOREA, AN ISLAND OF SEXUAL EQUALITY.” New York Times, 9 July 1987. New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA176109327&it=r&asid=88242afdf2c83f8f6443a96859918a1c. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

Fully Commited

“The ideal society is like a family.”

The true nature of the world those who dwell in it can be changed into a peaceful lasting balance by simply following a set of ideals that benefit not only the one but the whole that take part. The author in this article writes that there are five virtues from ancient Confucianism that are needed in a society for those in it to live in complete harmony those virtues being benevolence, righteousness, rites, wisdom and faithfulness. The author writes that these are needed to show that these virtues could and should in some cases take the place of the current laws and norms of today society. He believes that today these types of ideas are somewhat understood but seem to be to annoying and tedious for people to follow in their everyday lives “All the virtues are (or at least seem) readily comprehensible, excerpts rites. To moderns, rites are either irksome or aesthetically pleasing; peripheral either way”. I do believe that we are in an age where the majority of people are losing interest in their respective religions for differing reasons the main one being like the author says the actual practises within are to irksome. It is highly unlikely that either Plato or Xenophon would have completely agreed with the teachings of Confucianism they might have agreed with the fact that you need complete commitment of everyone within their society in order for their community to endure. The Spartans constitution was an edict that could only be achieved through complete devotion to the rules and regulations that came with being born into their society. This connects to how the practise of Confucianism also teaches that its five virtues must be taught and followed by all in order for the true goal of harmony to be achieved. Even though the ends are completely different the means of both of these methods of life full an explict demand for dedication and devotion in order to succed.

#CLAS4  #Plato #Xenophon

Citations-

Hoffman, Michael. “The prosaic state of ancient Confucianism.” The Japan Times 16 Sept 2017, N.P japantimes.co.jp Web. 17 Sept 2017.

 

Feminism in a “Perfect Society”

Feminism is a widely debated topic among our youth today, and this topic continues to dominate headlines in innumerable societies struggling with equal rights for both genders. Emma Gross, author of “Reconstructing the liberal consensus on what is feminist” discusses the need for feminism to take a more liberal and idealistic approach if the movement for this realm of equal rights is to achieve any success in its objectives. She compares the feminist movement to others such as liberalist and social work movements, and emphasizes what a perfect society would look like with more rational approaches.

“For liberalism, the means to such a society were the application and extension of democratic behaviors predicated on constitutional principles. For American feminists, the means to a more perfect society was the extension of these principles to women.” – Emma Gross

Gross believes a perfect society should have the application of independent activities based on lawful ideologies, aims of the liberalist movement, extended to women, because women are still currently at a great disadvantage in obtaining alike opportunities to men. I do agree with the author on these inequalities since this issue has been prevalent for a long time, and seems likely to be capable of being rampant until this movement gets what it deserves, but I also agree with Gross’ position on the need to take a more realistic and general approach to the situation.

Xenophon would have agreed with these views, to some extent, that women should be given the same rights as men in an unwavering manner, but only in the most basic fashions, and not into a position of great power, for it being part of a perfect society. He compares the women of the Greek states to Lycurgus’ claiming “the girls who are destined to become mothers and are brought up in the approved fashion, live on the very plainest fare, with a most meagre allowance of delicacies. Wine is either withheld altogether, or, if allowed them, is diluted with water. The rest of the Greeks expect their girls to imitate the sedentary life that is typical of handicraftsmen — to keep quiet and do wool-work.” He then continues, claiming that Lycurgus’ approach was different – “He believed motherhood to be the most important function of freeborn woman. Therefore, in the first place, he insisted on physical training for the female no less than for the male sex: moreover, he instituted races and trials of strength for women competitors as for men, believing that if both parents are strong they produce more vigorous offspring.” Though these views may be minor objectives to that of feminist movements currently, the Greek historian still generally supports the equal division of rights to women. Additionally, this idea of equality expressed by Socrates’ disciple would have been thought of as a good fit for a perfect society in that particular time, and currently.

 

Daniel, Team Diana

 

Gross, Emma. “Reconstructing the liberal consensus on what is feminist.” Affilia Journal of Women and Social Work, vol. 13, no. 4, 1998, p. 389+. Communications and Mass Media Collection, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=PPCM&sw=w&u=cuny_broo39667&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA21235077&it=r&asid=018d98581a09f1cb3581c0c28acf769c. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

It’s Your Society

Everyone has their own idea of what a perfect society would be. Maybe no more violence or having people assigned certain roles so that society could be more orderly. No matter what, we all have our own theory of what our “Utopia” would be. Some may agree, some won’t. In the article, Sexual Misery and Islam, it discusses the topic on the assaults inflicted on women of the western world. “In some places, women are veiled, stoned and killed; at a minimum, they are blamed for sowing disorder in the ideal society.” (par. 2) The article as a whole talks about the roles of women in a ‘male dominant’ environment. “Women are seen as a source of destabilization… and are respected only when defined by a property relationship” (par. 5) Now for some of you reading this, you are probably furious. However, in the world today, there are people who think that women are below men and that women should stay in their place so that society could run smoothly. The author of the article disagrees with what is going on and thinks that it’s quite absurd. I too disagree with what is occurring. I don’t live in the same society but I think that no one should be treated lower than anyone else or be tortured for going against their ‘specific’ position.* Xenophon would probably agree with what is happening in that society. Stating in Constitution of the Lacedaemomnians, “The rest of the Greeks expect their girls to imitate the sedentary life that is typical of handicraftsmen — to keep quiet and do wool-work” [1:3] and “He believed motherhood to be the most important function of freeborn woman.” [1:4]. Xenophon agrees that women have a particular role to carry out in society and that if they went against that, it would ruin how everything functions. Each of us have our own way of making our own ‘perfect’ society, some are just more different from others.

*Please DO NOT think that I think those who practice Islam are abusive and treat their women badly. This was a general statement and there are others who view women in this way.

Ivory, Team Artemis

Daoud, Kamel. “Sexual Misery and Islam.” New York Times, 14 Feb. 2016, p. 7(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA443169094&it=r&asid=842f93129915495704f79f8d519d34de. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

Islam the Ideal Society

“Ideal society would follow Islamic law and make no separation  between religion and state” a quote from “The Two Worlds of Muslim American Teenagers” by Susan Sachs. Everyone has their own idea of what characteristics the ideal society will possess. The author tells us the views of two American Muslims and how their ideal society would be one following the Islamic law. Some values in Islamic law are preservation of  religion, life, family, mind, and wealth. These teens say that there should be no separation between religion and state like there is today in America. They believe that today in America there not the same values in as there are in Islam. They believe an ideal society would be a society that only follows the ideals in Islam. In today’s society Islam is thought to be a destructive religion often associated with terrorism and considered a bad thing. ”Isn’t it ironic that the interests of America are always against what Muslims want?” this is a quote from the article describing how an American Muslim felt living in today’s society. I do believe that we are living in a pretty messed up society and I am also living in this society. I am a Muslim and I follow the religion of Islam and I experience everyday how people talk about Muslims and Islam people can’t tell I am Muslim because I don’t wear the hijab. So people will say stuff about Muslims and them being terrorist or will yell Allah Akbar  before doing something destructive there are even videos on social media  not knowing that the translation of Allah Akbar is Allah (God) is the greatest.  I have also been treated differently when I do wear the hijab by my peers and even people who are older then me this has been happening to me from a young age every time I wear the hijab people would call me terrorist to tell me to go back to my country and some times middle aged men would yell in my face terrorist which as you can imagine is pretty scary.I do agree that an ideal society would follow the teachers of Islam I grew up in a house hold where I knew my religion where I went to mosque and learned the teaching of Islam, if the rest of the world followed it the world would be a better place.  Plato would disagree with this Plato’s idea of an ideal society would be Kallipolis.  Plato states ” the place of religion in Kallipolis is then briefly  discussed.”  As we can see Plato didn’t really care much for religion therefore he wouldn’t agree with Islam being the new ideal society.

 

Works Cited

Sachs, Susan “The 2 Worlds of Muslim American Teenagers” The New York Times 7 October 2001

 

Dina Becaj Group Athena

Quiet Utopia

To many people an ideal society is where everyone work together. However, ever since we were young we were raised to be ‘future leaders of our generation’. It was expected of us that we were going to be at the top and as a person who others would look up to. According to Susan Cain, many students “…read “leadership skills” as a code for authority and dominance..”. I think that we have all put “leadership skills” or “to gain leadership skills” somewhere in our resume before. This shows that we were meant to think that society need many leaders.

However, in the article “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”, an ‘ideal society’ does not need that many leaders. A healthy running society actually needs more followers than leaders. To Susan, our society lacks followers because people are too busy striving for great things, and forgetting that working together can also lead to success. Each individual follower can apply their knowledge and creativity in their team, which makes them stronger.

I agree with this article because I don’t have many leadership qualities myself and I think it gives hope to followers to fit in society. If there are too many leaders out there, then there will most likely be conflict because everyone has different opinions and perspectives.

Plato would have probably agreed with this article, “By being trained to follow or obey them, therefore, a subject unwittingly adopting an ideology” (5). He is using a theory from Socrates to support the idea that a strong society comes from few leaders and many followers.

https://www-nytimes-com.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/2017/03/24/opinion/sunday/not-leadership-material-good-the-world-needs-followers.html

Cain, Susan. “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” The New York Times 24 March, 2017.

Dogs, and Their Linkage to the “Ideal Society”

Quotation: “‘Very few people are meeting their exercise goals,’ he [Dr. Richard Krasuski] said. ‘In an ideal society, where people are actually listening to physician recommendations, you wouldn’t need pets to drag people outside.'”

The article, “Owning a Dog is Linked to Reduced Heart Risk,” written by Anahad O’Connor, is about how dog owners are more likely to go outside (to take their pets for walks) and are more likely to have lower stress levels and heart rates when in the presence of their canine friends. O’Connor builds his argument by referencing several doctors and their opinions on the matter. One of these doctors is Dr. Richard Krasuski.

Dr. Richard Krasuski explains that, in a perfect society, one wouldn’t need to own a dog in order to get the exercise that they need each day. From this quotation, it is clear that Krasuski believes that an ideal society is made up of people who maintain their physical health and exercise. To him, an ideal society is a healthy one more than anything else. It is also clear that Krasuski, and perhaps O’Connor as well, believe that these values are lacking in our current society – otherwise, there wouldn’t be a need for this article in the first place to inform people as to how owning a dog is linked to reduced risk of heart disease.

Considering that this article is based on a study done by Americans, on Americans, I do believe that I, an American, live in the same society as referenced by Krasuski. I also agree with his assessment. I believe that a perfect society should value physical health, and I also believe that this is not necessarily the case in the United States of America, as this country is often ridiculed for having remarkably out-of-shape citizens.

Plato likely would have agreed as well. Ancient Greek society certainly valued good health, as they consistently celebrated the ideal male form with their art and sports showcases, like the Olympic games. Furthermore, in one of Plato’s texts, he mentions, when describing an ideal city through the dialogue of Socrates, “…And so they [the citizens] will live in peace and good health, it seems, and when they die at a ripe old age, they will pass on a similar sort of life to their children.” From this quotation, it can be inferred that Plato also valued physical health and associated that with an ideal society.

Harry, Team Vesta

Citation & link:
O’Connor, Anahad. “Owning a dog is linked to reduced heart risk.” New York Times, 9     May 2013, p. A14(L). New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA329238110&it=r&asid=cdceaa2bde2a4690bda15970c9a316ed. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.
Tags: IdealSociety, CLAS4, Plato, Xenophon

Does The World Need More Leaders?

In recent years our society has developed the thought that being a leader in any way shape or form is ideal. This thought process has put a lot of pressure on young kids forcing them to seek leadership roles in school simply to have something to put on a resume for college. In “Followers Wanted” by Susan Cain, she makes it clear that she disagrees with this ideology completely and blames colleges especially for pushing this idea further. She states that “if college admissions office shows us whom and what we value, then we seem to think that the ideal society is composed of Type A’s” Type A’s being those who have taken the role of leaders. Both the author and I share similar points of view, in our society there is a constant pressure pushing you to be better then others, often forcing you to put aside your true interests or passions. The other is not only speaking of a single country but instead the world as a whole. I believe that Xenophon would not agree with the author but rather take on the opposing point of view. As he says, “the law requires all Lacedaemonians to practise gymnastics regularly throughout the campaign; and the result is that they take more pride in themselves and have a more dignified appearance than other men.” this shows his belief that one must work their hardest to become better then those around them, giving them higher status which may result in them gaining the title of leader.

Cain, Susan. Followers Needed. The New York Times, 26 Mar. 2017, go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T004&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm¤tPosition=1&docId=GALE%7CA487104235&docType=Article&sort=DA-SORT&contentSegment=&prodId=SPN.SP01&contentSet=GALE%7CA487104235&searchId=R2&userGroupName=nysl_ca_dmvacces&inPS=true&authCount=1&u=nysl_ca_dmvacces. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

Oliver Khoury, Team Hestia

What is an Ideal Society?

In the article, “Utopia, and the rest of all Possible Worlds” the author Michael Kimmelman, seems to believe that an ideal society does not exist, and that every world has it’s flaws. Therefore, according to the author, there are no values lacking in the present society. He also thinks that most people dream about a utopia, when they have lost faith, yet everyone’s perception of a utopia is vastly different. Unfortunately. Even with the creation of the internet, views of an ideal society still remains intact, yet people have become more “cynical”, as time went on. The unrealistic perception of a perfect society, or utopia, has caused many to constantly crave for more, and never be satisfied with the way things are in life. However, Kimmelman believes that an ideal society does not exist, and neither does it need too.“Or maybe we keep dreaming up impossible schemes of perfection to remind ourselves that the real world, in it’s messiest is the best thing after all.” In other words, the flaws of a society, makes it different or stand out, and in reality nothing is indeed perfect. I also agree with the author’s statement, because nothing is perfect, and it is impossible for an ideal society to exist, as events in society will never go smoothly, and people make mistakes. Plato would also agree with Kimmelman, “Nontheless, everyone in this ideal system is enabled to travel as far toward the sun (The good) as education can take him, given the innate of his desires. Thus everyone comes as close to being fully virtuous, and so to pursuing and achieving genuine hapiness, as he can.. It is this that makes Plato’s city both an ethical, and a prudential idea.”


Source Citation   (MLA 8th Edition)

Kimmelman, Michael. “Ah, utopia, and the rest of all possible worlds.” New York Times, 19 Oct. 2000, p. E1. New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA66209837&it=r&asid=15928ec956c8ca3c513f69573ab27589. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.


Canada’s Racist Founding Father

When you think of Canada, one has the perception that they are the nicest people one could ever meet. Taking a look back into their history, the “ideal society” that we presume them to be isn’t what meets the eye. In the New York Times article, “In Canada, a Reckoning Over a Racist Founding Father,” by Ian Austen, Sir John A. Macdonald of Kingston, Ontario was the first prime minister of Canada.Even though his followers acknowledged his racism towards the native population, they turned a blind eye to his inhumane policies of “cultural genocide”. Arthur Milnes, a local author and self-described “public historian,” states, “Sometimes we like to hold ourselves up as this perfect, inclusive, nonracist society, but we’re not.” Very much like American history, where natives were sent to reserves, Macdonald made a policy where natives had forced schooling separate from the rest of the population.  “Macdonald said that an indigenous child educated where he or she lives ”is simply a savage who can read and write,” whereas children sent to boarding schools ”will acquire the habits and modes of thought of white men.” To assimilate students, the schools banned indigenous languages and prohibited, sometimes forcefully, indigenous cultural practices. ” Stripping one of their cultural background in order to conform to the white man’s standards of “civil” life is not unseen. There are many examples of this type of prejudice behavior scene throughout history.
The author, Ian Austen, stresses the importance of recognizing immoral actions upon another race. Austen believes that there is a lack of action to compensate for the wrongs Macdonald inflicted upon the indigenous population in Canada. In today’s society, racism will always be a conflicting topic familiar to everyone. It happens all throughout the seven continents, yet there is no solution for it. I don’t live in an ideal society because everyone has their own opinion which brings upon controversy to society. If one cannot change their mindset of “superiority”, racism will always divide the “ideal society”. Plato would have disagreed with this sort of treatment to different races. In the Reeve Plato Extracts it states that, “The goal of the elenchus is not to reach adequate definitions of the virtues or seemingly paradoxical doctrines about weakness of will and virtue, however. Its primary aim is moral reform.” With that said, Plato wanted individuals to think for themselves what is morally right or wrong. Given the knowledge they already possess, they should act upon it, but the fear of standing up for what one believes is unethical is a major weakness everyone shares. Everyone has different beliefs about virtues, but everyone knows the difference between ethical and unethical, right from wrong and so on. An ideal society could never exist because of a clash of opinions and a lack of justice.


Source Citation:
Austen, Ian. “In Canada, a Reckoning Over a Racist Founding Father.” New York Times, 29 Aug. 2017, p. A4(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA502097971&it=r&asid=d310a979f3b97a9fda47150e2d830860. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

Ideal Society through the library

 

In modern-day society, an ideal or perfect society is difficult to achieve. An ideal society is shown as a place where everyone is equal and free from suffering. In the kind of world we live in today, a place to this level is shown as inconceivable. However, according to Mahesh Rao, we already have such a place; that place, however, is gradually withering away. In Lost in the Stacks, Rao describes her experience at the City Central Library in Mysore, India. He delves into the various aspects of library by focusing on people’s lives around him and the scenery and objects inside. He also explains how he has used the library all throughout his life and goes into how fascinated he was with the libraries where he moved to. Around the middle of the article, he delves into how libraries act as the “’’the ideal model of society, the best possible shared space,” because there ”each person is pursuing their own aim (education, entertainment, affect, rest) with respect to others, through the best possible medium of the transmission of ideas, feelings and knowledge — the book’”, taking the quote from journalist Sophie Mayer as one of his “favorite descriptions of the public library”. Rao explains through his view that libraries are, in their own ways, ideal models of society. Rao demonstrates the values that an ideal society would have through metaphors. Rao shows the audience that the library is an ideal model of society by being isolations from the outside world; the library that Rao mentions includes uninterrupted lighting on its website, giving people a “place of refuge”, as Rao puts it, from the outside world, as it gives people a place free of heat, work, and any annoyances or irritations the outside puts on them. Rao continues by showing how the library also gives people a place of solace and freedom, opportunities for knowledge, anticipating possibilities, the list Rao gives goes on. To sum up his explanation, an ideal society has values of knowledge and freedom of distractions and suffering. He believes those values are lacking in present society because of said reasons; Rao says reliance on technology is slowly driving away the ideal model of this society, and the outside world’s distractions show the negative values of today that prevent such a possible of utopia. I believe I live in a mix of both because though we have irritations and distractions that prevent us from peace and tranquility, we have outlets to relieve such suffering, such as libraries, theatres, and the education system. Plato would have agreed with Rao’s belief because Plato believed that an ideal system was possible through several aspects. In the excerpts from Plato’s The Republic, in the introduction, the author explains Plato’s views on an ideal city; the author says, “Nonetheless, everyone in this ideal system is enabled to travel as far toward the sun (the good) as education can take him, given the innate strength of his desires. Thus everyone comes as close to being fully virtuous, and so to pursuing and achieving genuine happiness, as he can.” (462e-463b). The views on an ideal city are demonstrated through the quote based on the knowledge of Plato and the views of Rao shows today’s present societal version of an ideal society.

Rao, Mahesh. “Lost in the Stacks.” New York Times, 19 Feb. 2017, p. 9(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA481868038&it=r&asid=d279342a61d10c645a42c38a058ae68d. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

-A.C. Bowman, Team Saturn

Opinions, Opinions, and Onions (Cameron Cannon)

My morals are justified! Not yours!

Morals are different from one person to the next. It’s like saying someone is African-American and failing to forget how mixed their bloodline is or how huge of a continent Africa is; we are not the same. Each person has a different belief, value, family traditions and each of these factors contribute to what our morals are going to be. Marrying young is what many women in some places dream of meanwhile the average American woman would like to wait, get a career, maybe date to see who’s the best bachelor. Therefore the perfect, “ideal society” cannot exist when there are so many views on what one person should be versus what they are happy and accept into their “circle”.

It cannot be better said by other than David Brooks, author of  “This American Land”. He explains the barriers to attain such equal, perfect and accepting world.  In fact, his introduction is the most important part of understanding why any ideal society is always going to be a dream. “We’re living in the middle of a national crisis of solidarity — rising racial bitterness, pervasive distrust, political dysfunction. So what are the resources we can use to pull ourselves together? What can we draw upon to tell a better American story than the one Donald Trump tells, one that will unite us instead of dividing us, and yield hopeful answers instead of selfish ones?

Continue reading

Is the Ideal Society the Same for Everyone?

Does everyone have the same perspective on what their ideal picture perfect world would be like? According to the article “Browsing the Web for the ideal utopia site.” by Michael Pollak, a 45-year-old accountant in Baltimore who has written a lengthy online Utopian philosophy, Jon Will, stated ”My vision of Utopia is the ability for each person to live in their own picture of Utopia,” Mr. Will wrote in an e-mail message. ”A heaven on earth, where everyone lives as they desire.” [1] That being the case, he believes the ideal society would be best if each individual was able to live in their own utopia. On that account there would be no values lacking in the society people would live in, since everyone is living their own ideal world. For this reason, I would definitely agree with Michael because everyone’s imagine of their picture perfect society would differ from each other. Therefore, it’s best if people were able to live in their own utopia. However, in the philosopher Plato’s perspective he would disagree with Michael because he believed people should be able to work together to create one perfect society. For example,  in “The Republic” written by Plato himself he stated “That is why, too, these groups can cooperate with one another in a just system, where the money-loving producers trade their products for the protection provided by the honor-loving guardians and the knowledge provided by the wisdom-loving kings, rather than competing with them for the same goods.” His quote supports his perspective that he believed the people would’ve helped each other to reach the ideal world. Unlike to Michael’s article, everyone are living in their own utopia. Thus, Plato would have to disagree with Michael’s perspective on the ideal society.


[1] Pollak, Michael. “Browsing the Web for the ideal utopia site.” New York Times, 28 Dec. 2000, p. G8. New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA68562336&it=r&asid=5a620bcde72aeae7a55322e1d626656e. Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

Do you believe in a Utopian Society?

A Utopian society is the the imagination of a perfect and idealized world. In the article Utopia, and the Rest of All Possible Worlds. The author believes that the idea of a utopia society came after the world was left with war and chaos, wanting to have a longing for Utopian society. For example, it states, “ change the physical conditions of an imperfect thing, a city, and you will make it better.” This driven power of possibilities revolutionized many story books with wanting their own Utopian society. The author believes that thinking about a perfect place is after all a better way of living. There is this quote that caught my attention and it states, “There’s an answer. Or maybe we keep dreaming up impossible schemes of perfection to remind ourselves that the real world, in its messiness, is the best thing after all.” He does not seem to believe those values are lacking in the present tense because til this day, we still believe in such society at a certain point. No I don’t believe with the author, because if a perfect world is in fact perfect, I would make it such that nothing can go against it. The imagination of such dedicate world should live on. However, there will be lack of character in society, but I would like to see how long it would take until its rule breaks down. Plato would not agree in such a perfect world but rather fix it to become a better society. As stated, “ Plato brought to philosophy, the methods he invented to solve them, and the solutions he suggested and explored.” In this quote Plato seems to show his investment in making and producing answers for a better society but not a perfect society. One interesting fact that caught my eye was that in this article, there has been several calling from Sparta and Plato itself. Such as, “His colorful legacy is to the vast history of Utopian literature roughly what Plato’s Retreat is to the history of social custom in New York” and “some historians view Sparta as utopia’s fountainhead.” Not much was given, but the idea behind a driven force for a Utopian society did emerge.

To leave you off, here is a quote : “But we still keep dreaming, not necessarily because we believe in the idea of a secular utopia’s possible fulfillment but because, well, we seem to need to.”

Kimmelman, M. Utopia, and the Rest of All possible Worlds.” New York Times” [ New York] 19 October N: pE1

Indivisible, with liberty and justice not for all

In The New York Times article, “Joe Biden: Reclaiming America’s Values,” Joe Biden discusses the necessary improvements that society should make in order to unite USA. Biden begins the article with, “while the United States is far from perfect, we have never given up the struggle to grow closer to the ideals in our founding documents.” This statement acknowledges the United States’s flaws in society, yet, the country continues to reach it’s original aspirations of equal freedom. Throughout the article, Biden elaborates on his perspective of the recent politics that had shaken Americans in the past week. In a time period where stereotypes, assumptions, and racism take hold of mindsets, Biden attempts to push away the preconceived thoughts that has been reinforced by Trump’s language. Unlike the President, Biden delinates the importance of being a country that strives to reach aspirations as well as others. The ideal society would defend the principles of a democratic country — diversity, tolerance, and inclusivity. The former Vice President points out Trump’s negative language, in which does not represent the values of the whole country. Trump’s stance on DACA, neo-Nazis, and illiberalism was implied to have pushed the United States further from future progression. The recent growth of tension, hate, and violence, such as the events in Charlottesville, Va., portrays the lack of values in present society.

 

To fight against the lash of hate, Biden states that “you cannot define Americans by what they look like, where they come from, whom they love or how they worship.” This conclusion of the article summarizes Joe Biden’s beliefs in which the country is not a certain skin color, culture, and language. Instead, it is the combination of a multitude of people. It’s diversity in beliefs and values is what defines the United States. I agree with Biden, and believe that I live in the same society. There is a wide variety of qualities that make up American culture. History has shown the influences of events and trends that has shaped the society we live in today. There is no single explanation that answers the question of, “what is American society?” because the only constant is change. This is also similar to Plato’s, Republic, in which Socrates compares an individual to it’s society. “Socrates: …let’s first find out what sort of thing justice is in cities, and afterward look for it in the individual, to see if the larger entity is similar in form to the smaller one,” agrees that a single person does not mirror the whole of it’s population (Plato. 2.369a). By looking at a wide range of experiences, philosophies, and values, it gives a wider representation of everyone.

 

Vicky Lee, Team Hermes

Biden, Joe. “Joe Biden: Reclaiming America’s Values.” The New York Times, 14 Sept. 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/14/opinion/joe-biden-more-perfect-union.html. Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

Sweden’s downfall

The author of this article believes that Sweden has lost the ideal society on the way because of the tensions in the land. For example, Anna Lindh, Sweden’s Foreign Minister died of a stab wound and a 5 year old child was abducted and stabbed to death by a inmate. The two death brought sorrow into this land and people started started to lost hope that Sweden will ever become great. It even says that the lost of the Foreign Minister, they lost part of the future. In this article, it tells us that the history of the land played a big role in shaping this society. It’s rural land and harsh weather was a long confrontation that many people living in Sweden had to combat. Also in the rural area, there is lakes and dark forest that could be an effect to their society. An ideal society in Sweden where a land so inflicted of pain and so lost of hope when their Swedish foreign minister died can probably never forge a road to a perfect society. In the recent occurrence, the mentally unstable have been attacking people. So if they get rid of these people then they would feel more secure and safe in this land. I agree that getting rid of the mentally unstable is a good idea because if combining normal people with the mentally unstable, then the violence will escalate and therefore it will cause more harm to the society.

“He believed that if this habit were cultivated it would enable them to climb hills more easily and descend steep inclines with less danger, and that a youth who had accustomed himself to go barefoot would leap and jump and run more nimbly than a boy in sandals.” This quote is from the Xenophon explaining that training people in their young age could be a great effect to Society. To support my case if they get rid of the mental people now, no more younger people would need to be affected by the massacre inflicted onto the nation. Mental people that cannot control their violent side should be the first to be locked up somewhere far away from normal society. In order to not bring harm to the nation, the nation should develop a law that locks up the mental unstable, so they have no chance to ever bring harm to innocent people. In a different area the mentally unstable could learn and be teach the proper way of society before ever going back to society. This is what I believe because the mentally unstable is too unstable shown in the article that they killed and abducted a child no less than 5 years of age. Plato would probably agree that the mentally unstable should live differently. In their own way of justice they would ignore the consequences of their action but this is how to bring justice to criminals. Also the practice of justice isn’t for a good reason, it is a necessity. Therefore that if criminals are locked up and sent away, then this justice is a necessity because the criminal will bring harm to the people if he stays.  

Cowell, Alan. “Sweden’s Brooding Dramas, and Deadly Puzzles.” New York Times, 17 Sept. 2003, p. A4. New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA107816680&it=r&asid=32d3d361ae16bf7e26ed60f33b306ce8. Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

Leadership as a key to ideal society.

Susan Cain, the journalist in New York Times, in her article touched the topic of college. She tells the story of a girl named Sara Pollard and her application to Vassar College. In order to be accepted to the school, students need to have a lot of examples of leadership. And what’s connected to leadership – followers. If you don’t have it, the school won’t take you. As the author says, “If college admissions offices show us whom and what we value, then we seem to think that the ideal society is composed of Type A’s.” As she was explaining, nowadays not everyone wants to be leaders. However, if you want to get to “high quality” college such as Harward, being a leader in clubs won’t help you. You need to run a school. I think that I don’t live in the same society because there are so many other characteristics and qualities to show and present beyond leadership. I completely disagree with the school requirements about leadership, because I know how many students deserve the best college, but they are not “leadership type” of person, and college by requiring that just discourages some of the teenagers. However, others treat is a challenge. In the Plato story Socrates said, “But surely if someone lacks either of these qualities, he cannot be a good guardian.” (book2, 10d)  I think that Plato’s ideal society was based on the good’s for people and making sure that they have everything they need. However, as I cited Socrates, there are exceptions which we all need to cope with. I believe that Plato would definitely agree with college requirements.

Citation:

Cain, Susan. “Followers Wanted.” New York Times, 26 Mar. 2017, p. 1(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA487104235&it=r&asid=874fe11b543795ac8929e03db915fe3d. Accessed 15 Sept. 2017

Edyta, Team Aphrodite

The Three R’s

“While ‘educators’ are quick to seize upon the defects of students, parents and society, as if that automatically vindicates the schools, the fact is that if our public schools had perfect students, perfect parents, and a perfect society, these schools would still be failing because of the three R’s that they do not teach – and the politically correct propaganda that they teach instead.”
The author of the article believes an ideal society to be a society where all the world’s problems are not blamed on the racial separation and differences of people. In addition, an ideal society would be where all schools in the public education system get the correct and sufficient amount of funding, where all students within the system can get equal schooling. At the base of the modern world’s problems, race is one of the biggest ones. It creates unity amongst a group of people but creates distrust, anger, and violence between the groups themselves. He/she believes that the public schools in ghetto neighborhoods are not to blame for their failings grade wise and test score wise. Nor are the teachers or students themselves to blame. The author believes it is the public education system’s fault, as they lack to teach the three R’s, Resourcefulness, Responsibility, and Respect. I personally agree with this author and I believe that I live in the same society as this author. I grew up in a ghetto-ish neighborhood, as I live across from project buildings and the elementary school I attended is adjacent to those same project buildings. Unfortunately only some schools in the public education system teach these “three R’s”, but some schools have much less funding than others, and therefore don’t teach their students or faculty this. I do agree that if the public education system was better or improved than it is now, it would be closer to “ideal” and there would not be as much violence or discourse in the world. I think that Plato would very much agree with this, as he placed an emphasis on how important the education of the guardians of his Kallipolis was. “However, it is fit to be sure about what we were saying a while ago, that [the guardians] must get the right education, whatever it is, if they’re going to have what’s most important for being tame with each other and those who are guarded by them.” In this quote, he suggests that a solid education and schooling prompts proper etiquette and social behavior amongst people and within the community.

All this talk about the perfect society or ideal society makes me actually think about what we’re learning in our Art History class quite a bit.  In Art History, we’re learning about Greek sculptures and how they made an effort to make the sculptures that depicted humans or human-like beings to have the perfect human anatomy.  They wanted their sculptures to depict the desired and in reality, unrealistic, body parts.  I know we’re talking about Plato and how he is Greek himself, so it is probably safe to assume that a lot of Greeks wanted or desired a perfect society.  But it’s is very interesting to realize that the Greek civilization strove to have a perfect society so much, and in fact fought each other over who had the better and more ideal society on several accounts, that they ingrained that strive into their art (sculptures) and culture.  But in the end, what society doesn’t strive or want to be the “perfect” or “ideal” society?

“SCHOOL DISASTERS.” New York Post [New York, NY], 1 Mar. 2003, p. 17. New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA98268168&it=r&asid=4b8ed3bfbf5eafe283840645c5cb9ce5. Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

Why the World Needs Followers

“But if instead we seek a society of caring, creative and committed people, and leaders who feel called to service rather than to stature, then we need to do a better job of making that clear.”(Cain, 2017)

Writer of this article, Susan Cain, states that we need to stop focusing so much on a need for leaders. Applicants for schools and jobs feel pressured to say they have good leadership skills or have been the president of many clubs and organizations throughout their life. Instead of placing such a requisite as leadership, it is important that all roles in society are recognized. An ideal society is one in which all kinds of people coexist. Instead of leaders working for the good of the people, it has been corrupted into meaning those who control others underneath them.

I agree with Cain, we do put a great pressure on the youth to grow up and be leaders who change the world. That obviously isn’t a bad thing, the world could use some changing, but not everyone will grow up to be good with leadership. If everyone was leading, nobody would following their lead and it would be chaos. I believe that Plato would agree with this position as well. “The result, then, is that more plentiful and better-quality goods are more easily produced, if each person does one thing for which he
is naturally suited…” (Plato, 370a,c5). Plato believes that everybody plays a role in this perfect city he is planning out and that if anyone deviates from their role, the city would not run smoothly and eventually fall apart.

We can not have a society of only leaders just like we can not have a society of only followers. There needs to be balance in the world for it to run smoothly. Colleges and jobs alike should stop looking for leadership as a deciding factor for acceptance.

Cain, Susan. “Followers Wanted.” New York Times, 26 Mar. 2017, p. 1(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA487104235&it=r&asid=874fe11b543795ac8929e03db915fe3d. Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

-Sheila Kelly, Team Saturn

Bee’s World

“When you’re sitting in front of a hive, you’re in a different world,” he says, waxing poetic. “Inside the hive … is quite possibly the perfect society…..” says Detective Anthony Planakis. 20 years off working in the police department Detective Anthony Planakis found that helping a broken beehive set him to be a “bee whisperer”, even earning the name “Tony Bees”. In this article Planakis continues to describe the “perfect society” in which bees live in as “There is no nepotism, no jealousy, no fighting among the individuals. In order for it to survive, everyone has to work in unison.” It seems as though Planakis believes that bees live in a “perfect society” as opposed to our human society. We are lacking a lot of aspects that are included in a society. For instance “Asked what most pisses off bees, he spits out: “Ignorance. You have to respect, respect, respect. They’ve been around for 45 million years. Don’t walk up there thinking that you’re the man, you’re going to take them down.”” That refers to another major factor our society lacks; Respect—respect to others, respect to elders, respect to nature, respect to ourselves.

I feel as though that we do live in the same society—an imperfect society in which we have all the flaws a “bees perfect society” doesn’t have. I agree with Planakis definition of bees perfect world, since we do get jealous of people around us, we do fight with other people wether we have valid excuses or not, and we don’t always work together. We don’t have that perfect society. Plato seems to agree with us living in an imperfect world, as seen in Reeve Plato extracts “Indeed, all men believe that injustice is far more profitable to themselves than is justice.” Man wants whatever benefits themselves therefore we cant achieve a perfect society like the bees have.

MLA Cititation:

“The buzziest guy in town NYPD Detective Anthony Planakis has a honey of a job: saving the city from swarms of up to 36,000 bees at a time.” New York Post [New York, NY], 27 July 2014, p. 045. New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA379047162&it=r&asid=ab293edea403d2b52049444d858bc3b7. Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

-Anora, Team Diana

Imperfect Society

“’ Every society has to deal with demons, he said.’ Our society is not perfect. None is. These demons are named xenophobia, racism, and exclusion” is a quote from the article Canada’s Response to Hate: More Tolerance by The New York Times. This article is addressing the terrorist attack in Quebec City and how no society is free of terrorist acts. The author believes that a perfect society is a society free of its demons, meaning free from racism, exclusion and the fear of being harmed by people other countries. The author believes that there isn’t a society that is perfect no matter how hard we try, but the author believes that the way a country reacts to an event like the terrorist attack could make a difference. I also believe that we live in the same society as the one the author has stated because no matter how protected a country may be, destruction always finds its way in. That’s why many people are so paranoid about each other, thinking whether or not the other person is safe. Also because of stereotypes racism will exist no matter how hard you try to combat it. I believe Plato would have agreed because he wanted a perfect society where children wouldn’t have to be educated in a place where they had to fear death. “Shouldn’t they be told stories that will make them least likely to fear death?” (Plato, Republic, 3. 386a). This quote shows that Plato believes that a perfect society is one where people shouldn’t have to grow up fearing death and others harming them.

“Canada’s Response to Hate: More Tolerance.” New York Times, 2 Feb. 2017, p. A26(L). New York State Newspaperslogin.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA479689770&it=r&asid=773dc85be2b5a511b9486a5842c07339. Accessed 15 Sept. 2017.

Corrupt Society 

“If you think that human nature is good and powerful, then you go around frustrated because the perfect society has not yet been achieved.” A quote from the article The Structure of Gratitude by David Brooks. This article was basically talking about how in a perfect world everyone would be nice to each other. In their ideal society everyone one would would be treated fairly and everyone would help people with their problems and be grateful but in reality in our society that does really happen. We live in a world we’re bad things happen all the time, not everyone will treat you fairly, and not everyone will be thankful for what you did. This ideal society seen by Brooks is that everyone and everything would be fair and everyone would get what they deserved is not the society we live in and he acknowledges that we don’t live in this perfect happy society. I agree that the world we live in has terrible people that get much more than they deserve, that those who do good will sometimes go unrecognized but this is not the case all the time their are plenty of helpful, grateful, and kind people out there. Plato would have agreed with the article in that there are corrupt people in society. This is because Plato shows us an example of if a man was invisible he would abuse his power he goes on saying the man that was invisible would “seduced the king’s wife, attacked the king with her help, killed him, and in this way took over the kingdom.” Another quote Plato says is “No one believes justice to be a good thing when itis kept private.” In these quotes he is saying how people aren’t fair or just, when given the opportunity people are power hungry and self serving.
Brooks, David. “The Structure of Gratitude.” New York Times, 28 July 2015, p. A23(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA423329914&it=r&asid=9f8d2da4a8d3b3b05ceea871e73c0874. Accessed 15 Sept. 2017.

What’s your ideal society?

Everyone has their own opinion of how their “ideal” or “perfect” society should be. In 1986, an article was published called “Parents for drug free youth”. Ann and John Murphy received questions and responded through their newspaper article. This specific article spoke about the use of alcohol by young teens in celebration of their graduation. This is still an issue in our society today. This particular parent was worried about their children not being under parental supervision at these graduation parties and being under the influence of alcohol. Ann and John responded to this by discussing an “ideal society”. “We would like to begin by stating our dream of an ideal society. It would be one in which mothers, fathers and children derive so much fulfillment from their faith, jobs relationships and recreations that they wouldn’t need to intoxicate themselves… In this type of family, the parents teach and practice, their religious beliefs, maintain a happy, loving marriage, openly show affection to their sons and daughters and facilitate their friendships and hobbies.”
The authors of this article clearly believe that in their ideal society, faith and the involvement of parents in their children’s life is very important. Faith is Ann and John’s main topic. They believe that faith at home is a big part of life. Beside the article, a prayer is placed for the readers to recite. The authors also believe that these values are lacking in society because children are drinking alcohol at younger ages every year. I do believe that Plato would have agreed with this society. Plato was influential on Christianity, which was considered a superiority.

Brittany, Team Hephaestus

“North Country Catholic. (Ogdensburg, N.Y.) 1946-Current, April 16, 1986, Page 11, Image 11.” North Country Catholic. (Ogdensburg, N.Y.) 1946-Current, April 16, 1986, Page 11, Image 11 – NYS Historic Newspapers, Diocese of Ogdensburg, nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/np00010004/1986-04-16/ed-1/seq-11/#date1=01%2F01%2F1725&sort=relevance&date2=12%2F31%2F2016&searchType=advanced&SearchType=prox5&sequence=0&index=0&words=ideal+society&proxdistance=5&to_year=2016&rows=20&ortext=&from_year=1725&proxtext=ideal+society&phrasetext=&andtext=&dateFilterType=range&page=3.

IdealSociety, CLAS4, Plato, Xenophon