>In a world of home schooling food cures, and 15-minute face-lifts it’s time we revisit history, and Sir Thomas More is the place to start.
By Don White
It was More who wrote the book entitled Utopia in the first generation of the sixteenth century. There had been earlier examples, but More launched the writing of utopias in the early modern era.
The word “utopia” means “no place.” Today’s meaning is a never-never land of beauty, plenty, and no worries, no work–the opposite of dystopia or fear. More’s idea was to describe a society where everything was wonderful, a condition that has existed on earth only briefly, but the conditions making it possible are known only to the spiritual among us.
In his book he combined social criticism with imagination, and a long series of writers from Thomas More to the present produced fictional utopias in increasing numbers.
Utopian mentality also motivated people like Marx and Lenin. An important history of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the 1980s (by Heller and Nekrich) is entitled Utopia in Power. From the October revolution onward, noble goals combined with bloody means, including deliberately engineered famines, mass executions, and cruel imprisonment in the Gulag Archipelago, the Russian network of concentration and labor camps.
Through control of the press, textbooks, and public demonstrations, and the willing cooperation of some western journalists, the Soviets created the impression of a happy, healthy society.
Like the Berlin wall, it all came tumbling down. As the true story has been told, we discover that for most people the supposed utopia was in fact a long nightmare. The Black Book of Communism, a quantitative analysis by an international team of scholars, reminds one of the gigantic human costs in Communist and other repressive regimes throughout our world today.
The trouble with utopia is human nature. Selfishness continues to canker the soul. Envy produces a desire for revenge. Power brokers utilize social engineering, treating others as pawns. Murder, imprisonment, child abuse, and torture are justified. Sadism seems never completely to disappear.
The term “human nature” has been used with a variety of meanings, but certain human traits have proved so resistant to change that it seems impossible to eradicate them completely. Where in the long history of human existence do we find a body of people capable of maintaining an ideal society?
Hand it to the Democrats and Rev. Jeramiah Wright’s anger and his reactionary use of vitriolic parable. Coded words with esoteric cult meaning are like barbs grinding from Wright’s tongue. Religionists like Wright yearn for liberation from a past of persecution they never lived—the “let my people go” struggle they cling to, exciting partisan sympathy, joy, and hate.
Wright knew what he was doing. He gave Obama a chance to further distance himself from his own political blunder in failing to quit that church 20-years ago. What a clever ploy! Or was it? If it gets Hillary elected the ever-cocky Wright will hate himself.
Liberals attempt to build their own Utopia based on legislated equality: equal in wealth, housing, education, jobs, and insurance. That this utopia has been tried before and always crumbled fails to faze wrong-headed people. What they envision is one step removed from pure communal living, socialism and communism.
The love-your-neighbor attitude brings the religious together, just as it unites other communities of interest. But then pride reasserts itself. Wealth and class divisions once again produce contention, inequality, iniquity, and crime. While some may experience the mighty change of a transformed nature, others — lots of others — remain carnal, sensual, and devilish. Inexorably, human nature bursts forth with a vengeance, reverting to former ways.
When will the Utopians learn? If they want it, they should go off and live together in the wilderness and build their own form of government, schools, legal system, and institutions.
To some, utopia means leveling the economic ballpark. But America wasn’t founded on sameness and boring uniformity but by exceptional conduct.
America rewards brilliance, hard work, initiative, invention, and industry. This nation offers equal opportunity, but some people excel far above the mediocrity of the common man. We would not have defeated Hitler, landed on the Moon, or conquered disease by being average. We are great because of forces for good that utopian equality always destroy—rare genius, faith in God, and incentives for hard work and sacrifice. Why do utopians resemble Democrats?
Don White is a writer, attorney, and author of recently completed SELLING FAST. Don@sellinghousesfast.net
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