Bryden Allen's Website

A Utopian Period in My Life



For the period I lived in, I think I had a perfectly normal childhood. I was born in 1940 and I spent my early days on Mt Stromlo, Canberra. My Dad was an astronomer there. Then, soon after the war, my Dad got a professorship in London and we moved to that city. From then onwards, I can remember everything that happened there and I can evaluate it all. So I can compare my life then, with life as it now. And it is this comparison that I wish to tell you about here.
            In London I suppose my family was slightly better off than other ordinary people. But my family’s advantages were fairly marginal. There were seven of us in our family and we all fitted in a normal 4-bedroom house. So this didn’t exactly indicate an excess of wealth. We all went to the normal various local state schools and this was fine. We ate the same standard school lunches that all children did in the UK at the time. This was soon after the end of the war and the government had decreed that every child should have a least one good nutritional meal each day. That was a sensible decree and I partook of this meal everyday with pleasure. I have to admit most of the other school kids grew quite contemptuous of these school lunches. But I’m afraid all children are like this. Also, for a few years, many foods were still rationed. But I was completely happy with this rationing and it didn’t worry me at all.

 

This scene comes from Animal Farm.

We all have different ideas of Utopia.

When I look back at this period, I realise I lived in a rather Utopian world. Thus all people were treated fairly equally, as my discussion above has described. I remember the rates of pay that applied to the various workers in the long summer holidays, when I worked in the local cemetery. These figures were, of course, in shillings and pence. We temporary students were paid 3/1p per hour (i.e. 3 shillings and a penny per hour), the regular workers were paid 3/4p per hour, and the boss in charge was paid 3/6p an hour. I thought these rates were almost too egalitarian. We, the students, on the whole didn’t work anything like as hard as the normal regular workers. So we were over paid. The boss was overweight but in his way he was fairly conscientious. He used to go blue in the face, when in a passion, he told one of us students off for slacking. I thought he was likely to suffer from a heart-attack when he did this. I can’t see that it is worth a person risking their life for a mere tuppence an hour.
            There were still a few landholders nearby who had big houses with large grounds. But these people allowed these grounds to be used for our church fetes and our scout groups to camp in. So these facilities were well used. As I remember the situation, no one worried too much about money then - at least not as much as we do now.
            Public transport was also very reasonable. My Mum could do all the family shopping just by using public transport. And I could get to school or uni either by public transport or by pushbike without difficulty. Our family car was almost only used for social trips on the weekends. When my scout group camped locally, which was quite often, we walked there pushing our trek-cart piled high with our gear. Our parents didn’t need to help us in these adventures at all.

 

In case you don't know, More's Utopia was

actually remarkably horrible.

And everything else was quite reasonable as well. So no one worked too hard and yet all people could obtain good simple practical jobs easily. All people had an adequate life-style in terms of material goods. And, most important of all, all people could have a good social life in terms of local groups like: church, scouts and many other active clubs and societies.
            But, as we all know, this quite recent Utopian world has now completely disappeared. So, in these webpages, I want to deal with the fundamental reason why all such Utopian worlds must always disappear. This is a subject I have become very passionate about. I hate to feel I am leaving this world in a worse state than the world in which I was brought up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please go to the We always accept the Easiest Path webpage now.

 

This is Rousseau's view of Utopia.

 

You might now also like to look back at:

either my "Home Page" (which introduces this whole website and lists all my webpages).

 or “Political Fundamentals or The Unstable Nature of Life”, which introduce these general subjects.

 

Updated on 9/11/2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can click on any of the following pictures and this will send you to the relevant webpage.