Sunday, December 18, 2011

Transcendentalist Society - Con/Pro Essay

Walden Island Con/Pro

                The transcendentalist society Walden Island has a lot of great things about it. Majestic nature, self-sufficiency, no pollution, and acceptance without hiding your true self are all bonuses of being a citizen on Walden Island. Walden Island is all about freedom, and is great in theory. It is easily a society that offers more freedoms than any other functioning society in the world. Functioning, however, is a key word. It could be said that if people really truly believed and strove for unity, a place like Walden Island could exist. Yet, with how impossible such sufficiency would be, how easily humans disagree and create conflict, and the difficulty that would be faced maintaining an isolationist society, it is not likely that a transcendentalist society like Walden Island could exist in today’s world.
                Walden Island would be able to work if its’ citizens were stubborn and unyielding people, who always stayed on the straight and narrow. Walden Island is based off of growing (and fishing) its own food, making its own manufactured goods, creating its own green energy, and each individual saying what he wants in the votes. If the farmers and fishers worked hard and produced a large yield every year, then there would be no need to import food. The manufacturing plants would produce all of the material goods that island needs, utilizing Walden Island’s incredible supply of natural resources, and there would be no need to import non-edible goods from other countries. The civil servants would organize elections, and the people would steer the country in whatever direction seemed right to them. The power plants would churn out eco-friendly energy, and the island could be run cleanly. This would all require determination and preservation, and a good amount of luck, but it would make Walden Island feasible. However, if the citizens did not hold the necessary motivation, then a system like this would not be possible. The slim margin of error involved makes it near impossible for Walden Island to exist.
                Each person is unique and individual. When a person can be themselves it is a great thing, but with every being an individual, how often would they agree without a social contract that expects them to compromise. The individuals that Walden Island would need to run at all would have to be pretty like-minded, patient, and compromising individuals, which would mean that by becoming diverse, Walden Island would destroy itself. Walden Island would essentially need people with ideals that conform to each other to survive in a direct democracy society. Walden Island would also need people to conform to the roles of their jobs, and to the limited amount of job opportunities on the island. Residents would also have to be content with the lack of imported goods that they may have previously enjoyed, and the lack of contact with people they know in the outside world. Every person on the island would have to be willing to sacrifice for the island as a whole, and not many humans are willing to sacrifice a part of themselves for the whole. Walden Island is not possible because it would need to be a society built of a select kind of people, which is both conformist and exclusionary.
                Human beings are very habitual creatures. People become partial to brands, teams, and even other people, namely family and friends. Walden Island is an isolationist society that is based upon keeping foreign ideals from influencing the island. Many people that would come to Walden Island would probably struggle with the very human emotion of missing their loved ones and favorite things. Not many people would be content to live without seeing their family. Walden Island rules, however, would prohibit family from contacting you while you are on the island, and Walden Island has no tourism, so your family cannot come visit you. This would not be easy to deal with for many people, and would probably contribute to a discontent society. People would also miss things that they are familiar and partial to. Sports aren’t allowed on Walden Island because teams are a conformist group and sports also promote others to be more important than less talented people. Foreign brands would also be illegal. Technology, food, clothing, and other things would be illegal to bring in, and people would have to okay with the options on Walden Island. This isolation from the outside world, while a haven for some, would be unpopular with many.
                Self-sufficiency is an all encompassing concept. In the common eye, many people think of it in terms of food or energy, but full self-sufficiency is truly everything. Walden Island would attempt to have full self-sufficiency, and that alone might be its’ dooming factor. Walden Island prides itself on its natural resources, and surely has enough to be self-sufficient for a time, but certain resources are not renewable. Walden Island is heavily forested, and new trees can be planted, but resources like metals would run out after a time. Walden Island makes all of its manufactured goods, and that includes all vehicles, construction materials, and other metal goods, in its plants, and it would either run out of resources or need to break its imports law. Realistically, self-sufficiency is near impossible for a small island nation. Walden Island would also have to make all of its own medical supplies, which would be near impossible without the rain forest areas that most of modern medicine comes from. Walden Island would face the problem of needing to expand its housing and food productions to accommodate a rising population, and the nature that is so revered on Walden Island would shrink exponential. To make a society that is truly self-sufficient, Walden Island would end up destroying itself.
                Walden Island would be an incredible place to live, an island balancing a fully functional, self-sufficient society with rugged untouched wilderness. If populated with resourceful and determined people, Walden Island could become a transcendentalist haven, promoting freedom in a self-sufficient and natural place. Alas, this is not a possible reality. Not all of the people are going to be individual, focused, united and self-sacrificing all at once, and without such a populous Walden Island would falter. The people of Walden Island, without the things that they were accustomed to, would mainly suffer, and not find it a solace. And a truly self-sufficient island is near impossible. If Walden Island was really self-sufficient, then it would completely consume itself. For all these reasons, a transcendentalist society, such as Walden Island, cannot exist in this day and age.

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