What makes a society great?

Subject: Philosophy
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Word count: 910
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A society is a broad collection of citizens sharing the same geographical or social territory. Greatness is a concept that is specific to people living in a given geographical area. This implies that a society, when compared to others of a similar type, possesses a clear distinction. A society is made great by a litany of factors. These factors include equity, justice, prosperity, concern for good citizenship, right to defense, and right to property and good leadership. This essay will look at equity, real leadership and the right to security as the major factors that make a society great.

Equity refers to the equal life chances availed to everyone regardless of their identity that ensures that all citizens are provided with necessary and same income as well as goods and services. Generally it takes good people to make a good society and good leaders to design a good society. When people reside in the same geographical area and there is no equity, it will result into disparities. Some will be underprivileged while others will be rich; Lyndon B. Johnson spoke of the “Great Society” which for him meant social reforms designed to eliminate poverty and racial injustice. Johnson’s vision was formed by the radical changes of the 1960s and the Civil Rights Movement. He saw the nation’s greatness in terms of economic prosperity and opportunity (Johnson 183). Equity ensures that each and every individual in the society can access the national resources without bias.

Good leadership ensures that policies that will reduce poverty and boost growth of the economy are put in place. This requires that the role of women and youth in the society as well as global decision-making be enhanced. When leadership in a community is well organized, it helps to reduce political war that might affect the greatness of a corporation. Oftentimes, when good leadership is in place, it contributes to the reduction of the chances of corruption that might undermine other people while benefitting the minority. This ensures that resources are shared equally in all the sections of the society hence creating economic stability. Good leadership will ensure eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, while ensuring environmental sustainability. These aims cannot be met in the foreseeable future without clear roadmaps and can only be met with good leadership. Leadership also brings unity in a society and without unity in a society the economy of the state will remain stagnant. Certainly there must be some unity in a country, as in a household, but not an absolute total unity. There comes a point when the effect of unification is that the state is vital, if it does not cease to be a state altogether, will certainly be a very much worse one; it is as if one was to reduce harmony to unison or rhythm to a single beat (Ferns, 105).

Defense ensures that there is peace in a society, without order a society cannot carry out any economic activity. Levitas argues that utopia works towards an understanding of what is necessary for human fulfillment and towards  a broadening, deepening and raising of aspirations in terms different from those dominating the mundane present ( l4). If a state wants to succeed, it should ensure it has invested much in its defense mechanisms like the army, air force, navy and the internal security such that it can avoid terrorist attacks. Peaceful co-existence among people and their security is central to ensuring economic development (More 65). For example, More gives us an example of utopia that had a mayor elected from among the ranks of the Bencheaters. Every household has between 10 to 16 adults and people are re-distributed around the households and towns to keep the numbers even. There is no private ownership on utopia, with goods being stored in warehouses and individuals requesting for what they need. There are no locks on the doors of the houses, which are rotated between the citizens every ten years. Every person is taught agriculture and must live in the countryside, farming, for two years at a time, with women doing the same work as men. Every person must learn at least one of the essential trades like weaving, carpentry, metalsmithing and masonry. All people wear the same clothes, and all able-bodied citizens must work; thus unemployment is eradicated. In utopia slaves are either from other countries or are utopian criminals and wealth, though, is of little importance and is only good for buying commodities or bribing nations to fight each other (More 106).

It does not mean that if these three factors are provided we will have a great society. This is because needs vary among different groups people. Additionally, the areas where these elements are provided may be smaller and as a result it might make a significant count because it might be interfered with by other surrounding regions. In addition other factors like justice, prosperity and right to property must also be put in place for one to have a great society.

In conclusion, it is clear that a great society must be depicted through a number of factors. These factors include; equity, right to property, justice, good leadership and the right to defense. All the above factors are extremely essential to marking a great society. The most important factor among these are; security, equity and good leadership. When these three factors are guaranteed, then a society can be classified as being great.

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  1. Davis, J C. Utopia and the Ideal Society: A Study of English Utopian Writing 1516-1700. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P, 1981. Print.
  2. Ferns, Christopher S. Narrating Utopia: Ideology, Gender, Form in Utopian Literature. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1999. Print
  3. Levitas, Ruth. Utopia As Method: The Imaginary Reconstruction of Society. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Internet resource.
  4. More, Sir. Thomas. “Utopia, trans. Robert M. Adams.” (1975).
  5. More, Thomas, H B. Cotterill, and Ralph Robinson. The Utopia of Sir Thomas More. London: Macmillan, 1937. Print.
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