The Perfect Country – Free Ebook

this is a film about the perfect country it doesn’t yet exist and it may never but thinking about it is no idle daydream sketching utopia’s is a way to address current problems and understand how to solve them focusing on the ideal version of something helps us more clearly define what we feel is wrong with what we have utopia’s bring our plans for reform into focus here therefore are a few glimpses of what the best place in the world might be like in the perfect country people are perhaps surprisingly still very busy working everyone isn’t on holiday while robots do the work that’s because people know that when it’s the right sort work can be far more fulfilling than leisure what people mean by the right sort of work is work that feels meaningful that is work that leaves one with a sense at the end of a working day that one’s made a genuine improvement to the lives of others and that one’s done so through the exercise of some of one’s distinctive and higher talents and skills that’s a lot more fun than sunbathing to get this point in the perfect country a lot of time is spent drilling into people’s characters from an early age in order to determine what sort of work they’d be best suited to realizing the potential of every worker is pretty much the national priority the perfect country is rife with a new breed of entrepreneur like the entrepreneurs of old they want to make money but they want something else too to properly and deeply satisfy their customers there’s no selling of [ __ ] here even if it flatters the balance sheet naturally aiming to make a profit while doing something meaningful is a very hard double act to pull off that’s why entrepreneurs are so lauded here it’s deeply taboo to be a philanthropist in perfect land because having enormous surplus wealth is generally a sign you’ve probably been extracting rather too much cash from your business and have not been courageous enough to risk money investing in properly meaningful goals in the perfect country respect is given not just for becoming wealthy but for how serious the problem was that you fixed while making your wealth there are famous people in the perfect land but not the usual suspects here celebrities are exemplars of qualities we really need in our everyday lives one of the most famous people in the country one the good apology contest last year few of us are ever called to be movie stars or great singers so these are the names people know about here the curriculum is reverse engineered from the things that used to give people most trouble in the old world therefore there’s extensive study of things like how to find your vocation and settle into a job you can love how to be confident defuse conflicts and know your own mind how to have satisfying relationships and this is a huge class how to wind down and not lose your temper a sign of being well educated isn’t erudition it’s being happy and kind people are incredibly unromantic in the perfect country that’s why unsurprisingly relationships go so much better here people don’t talk endlessly about finding the right person they know there’s no such thing romantic enthusiasm is deeply frowned upon and seen as the enemy of love people are extremely emotionally literate about their feelings psychotherapy has high prestige it’s not unusual to hear someone say you’re transference is interfering with my projection of your ego ideal people have a really good grasp of their own craziness and how it might affect their relationships it’s not uncommon for people on a first date to ask one another quite good-naturedly and so in what way are you crazy human fragility is a given as is the need to treat it with sympathy there’s a routine assumption here that no one has a clue how to bring up a child just as no one knows by intuition how to land a plane or perform brain surgery that’s why everyone is given a good deal of training classes start from an early age you can of course have a baby without doing the training but that would be like a Mountaineer setting out to climb an ALP in their slippers evidence of the success of the nationwide parenting program is that hardly any 11 year olds want to be famous or unusually good-looking the last person whose life was ruined by a messed up childhood died several decades ago there are some quite bad things on the news in the perfect country but no one comes away terrified or incandescent with rage the nightly news which is drawn up and read by philosophers provides a subterranean lesson in maturity and calm the news isn’t just any old thing that happened today its purpose is to guide people to the information that can best help them and their country to flourish it’s an applied branch of one of the country’s biggest industries wisdom in the perfect country very few people still believe but the population as a whole feels quite sympathetic to what religions used to bring especially community ritual and morality and they found some inspiring substitutes people gather in new kinds of secular temples dedicated to important qualities there are temples to calm and temples to community temples to forgiveness and to kindness there are rituals for all the major life stages and the best writer in the country has recently written a secular liturgy for weddings and funerals there’s a replacement also for the Ten Commandments which makes a big deal of the idea that most people are mean through anxiety and vulnerability rather than strength or evil in the perfect country people love art but they’ve entirely given up on the strange idea that art should be for art’s sake being an artist is a job with a very practical purpose it’s to make the best ideas vivid and persuasive so that we can keep them at the front of our minds at all times art is there to remind us to be calm forgiving open to experience and properly awed by all that exceeds us it’s a therapeutic medium which is judged to be part of the National Health Service in the perfect country the cities are beautiful partly because there are very few Architects around an originality in design is really frowned upon so rather than call in architects every time a new building is required developers here just follow templates that have already been shown to work six story high buildings with large windows contemporary forms and natural materials abound you build densely don’t give up all roads to cars and make sure that the streets are lively as a result of this beautiful slightly boring predictability there’s very little NIMBYism and property prices stay reasonable though people love nature they’re never that unhappy when a new development is announced as none of us would be if Venice or Bath was about to be built in a field near us that’s the sort of standard of beauty expected and delivered by developments in the perfect country people accept that they need help with many things so there’s no terror at living in quite a paternalistic or even you might call it nanny in culture the perfect country is a complete democracy therefore people know and trust that the government is always acting to defend citizens own best long-term interests it’s a force enabling them to realize their true potential that’s why the government bans business doing certain quite unhelpful things and whether a shows on TV about how to be a kind of person it’s not spooky because it’s properly democratically sincere people are grateful in a perfect country patriotism isn’t seen as a weird aberration it’s an appropriate response you don’t just feel proud of what you’ve achieved you can feel part of a bigger better collective adventure now the surprising thing is that perfect land is oddly not so far from many of the places we live in already all we need is a little more philosophy and a lot more willpower and imagination and we’ll get there you

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