Sunday, January 16, 2011

Utopia: A Silly and Deadly Concept

Like many fantasies and myths, Utopia is a silly concept when you really think about it.  According to "Wordnet" the definition of a Utopia is:
  • a book written by Sir Thomas More (1516) describing the perfect society on an imaginary island
  • ideally perfect state; especially in its social and political and moral aspects

The word "perfect" is the operative silly word in both definitions.  It is silly because there is no way to define "perfect" and therefore no way to define or delimit "Utopia".  Given the millenniums-long violence among adherents of religious organizations over what constitutes a "perfect" way of living, organization, or even whether nudity constitutes pornography (another silly concept), there is nothing that is always perfect in space and time, only "more perfect" as stated in the Preamble of the US Constitution.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Bigots of every stripe (religious, scientific, or political/economic) claim to know what is right for everyone of all abilities accross every age and are willing to kill or otherwise destroy or enslave all non-true believers to institute what they consider their Utopia; note the definitions of a bigot.

  • A bigot is prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own.

  • A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.

  • This makes the concept of a Utopia very deadly--more people have died for their beliefs in various types of Utopia, than for, perhaps, any other reason.

    So beware of any and all Utopians.  More more see my book, Organizational Economics: The Creation of Wealth, forthcoming.

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