Fed by distrust of the political system as a whole, we find ourselves in the heyday of political cynicism. That’s why—back in January, in the run-up to the Dutch general elections—Get Me and Glamcult created The Political Utopia, a triptych of surveys on politics, culture and economics. By concentrating on the basic ideas and pillars that shape our society, we wanted to move away from conventional political thinking and reflect on what could (and should) be next. Our generation of voters is asking for vision. So we collected your ideas on what society would look like if generation Y would make itself heard and determine our collective future. This is what we found.
In your ideal society, we live in high-tech cities that are highly saturated with green and full of biodiversity. Preferably we see these cities as mosaics of cultures that colour our daily, urban life. We seek for diversity in people and would like to have clear general rules that are applied equally to all citizens. If someone is not following the set rules, we approve using light forms of punishment; you’d rather see people reintegrate well into society than have them extensively placed in jail.
You’re asking for strong leaders. Not the populist type, with a lot of empty words and shallow promises, but leaders that are chosen based on their knowledge. A technocracy has a strong preference. Striving for an intelligent society, scientific research would be made available for everyone. Knowledge is power. And although generation Y prefers a technocracy, you still appreciate a number of democratic values. For instance, you’d like to be able to dispose of leaders peacefully if necessary, and with a bit of effort you want to be able to adopt and reject laws.
Although our generation seems to be a lot more susceptible to a sharing-and-caring philosophy, you do not seek another communism-inspired society. Income differences and private ownership are acceptable, but there’s a significant difference. The market would determine earnings for just a modest part; what mostly regulates income is social (added) value. According to our survey we’d look differently at the relationship between politics and business. Neither the government nor a company’s board should have a lot to say about the company’s vision and goals—as these would be primarily defined by the staff itself.
In general, The Political Utopia shows an interesting conflict between desires for a collective identity and a strong need for individual freedom. We embrace an open community full of free individuals. Free from racial and gender boundaries, and free from religion. However, we do long for collectively set values that are shared by everyone. Universality is chosen to be the most important value. This means: embracing equality, wisdom, beauty, social justice, a liberal mind, a meaningful life, inner harmony, true love, unity with nature, protecting the environment and guarding the world in peace. Next to universality, you voted for free will as the second most important shared value. This includes: freedom, creativity, independence, self-determined personal goals, intelligence, curiosity and dignity.
In The Political Utopia, these are the most important values that our new generation shares. This is your ideal, better world.