I’m designing a utopia but there’s one problem remaining.
The setting is one of a highly advanced human society. We’ve eliminated disease and allowed the natural environment to replenish. Individuals live for about 100 years on average with good physical ability for almost their whole life. Space travel is possible, and we’ve colonised mars and the moon. Nothing travels faster than light, so we’re restricted to this one solar system and because of the differences in gravity, anyone who visits one of the colonies will only stay for a short time.
The challenge I’m facing in building this world is about human psychology. What should the social system be like to ensure that people are happy?
I was thinking that people need to be challenged and maybe even deprived for the first part of their life to allow them to appreciate this world in their later years. Say that until the age of 20 people have very basic and stressful lives and are told by some figure of authority that they must work hard for the sake of their future. After 20 years, they’re told that they have succeeded. They’re then entitled to go out and have a happy life where they can work if they want to or just enjoy doing whatever they enjoy doing. It’s a lie and no one ever fails. For the rest of their life all individuals have a memory of unpleasant times, which allows them to appreciate pleasant things, and a sense that they have earned the life that they enjoy. The idea is that with those things they will be happy.
I don’t know if that’s the best design for a social system that allows people to be happy. It may be too simplistic… What are some alternatives?