Listen To The Bob Tuskin Radio Show Weekdays 8 to 10pm EST.
By Michael Vail
“Communism and socialism is seductive. It promises us that people will contribute according to ability and receive according to needs. Everybody is equal. Everybody has a right to decent housing, decent food and affordable medical care. History should have taught us that when we hear people talk this stuff — watch out!” –Walter E. Williams
“Read Plato’s Republic and More’s Utopia both socialist works and imagine yourself living in the community portrayed by either. You will see that boredom would drive you to suicide or rebellion. A man who has never had security may think that it would satisfy him, but in fact-to borrow an analogy from mountaineering-it is only a base camp from which dangerous ascents can begin. The impulse to danger and adventure is deeply ingrained in human nature, and no society which ignores it can long be stable.” –Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science On Society
In the mind of every bureaucrat and ideologue exists the future society they wish to create for themselves. John F. Kennedy made speeches about building a new government for establishing his ‘city on the hill’. JFK’s administration was likened to Camelot, a romantic medieval utopia.
We will discuss some of the characteristics of utopias and how they compare to our modern centralized governments. We may take a peek in to governments of the future as they attempt to carry out some of these ancient ideals.
Characteristic 1.) The World State/Globalism
“If the surmise of a developing New Republic, a Republic that must ultimately become a World State of capable rational men, developing amidst the fading contours and colours of our existing nations and institutions be indeed no idle dream, but an attainable possibility in the future, and to that end it is that the preceding Anticipations have been mainly written, it becomes a speculation of very great interest to forecast something of the general shape and something even of certain details of that common body of opinion which the New Republic, when at last it discovers and declares itself, will possess. Since we have supposed this New Republic will already be consciously and pretty freely controlling the general affairs of humanity before this century closes, its broad principles and opinions must necessarily shape and determine that still ampler future of which the coming hundred years is but the opening phase. “ --H.G. Wells
“As the world must turn to the democracies for world government, the democracies must turn to their vanguard. To begin this task in a constituent assembly composed of all the peoples that call themselves democratic is to burden the most experienced nations with those least experienced. It is as well-intentioned and foolish as trying to preserve the Bill of Rights for our children by giving children the vote.” -Clarence K. Streit, Union Now(1939)
A global government is the central plan in most writings on utopia. This establishes a super centralized world government which will be able to command all of humanity. In these writings the world state or government has control of all industry and provides food and shelter as long as they are willing to work hard for the bureaucrats.
The utopian world state operates best in a communitarian/communism system so as to keep the citizens under their thumb. In our world today capitalism at times allows a select few to behave like wild hogs but I wouldn’t want to abandon it, only to replace it with something far worse.
Many today want a global government but never say who will be running it or how will we the people interact with it. Will a country with the largest population get the most votes in a global democracy?
Characteristic 2.) Feudalism
“The trend of modern thought is entirely against private property in land or natural objects or products, and in Utopia these things will be the inalienable property of the World State. Subject to the rights of free locomotion, land will be leased out to companies or individuals, but—in view of the unknown necessities of the future—never for a longer period than, let us say, fifty years.” –H.G. Wells, A Modern Utopia
“The World State in this ideal presents itself as the sole landowner of the earth, with the great local governments I have adumbrated, the local municipalities, holding, as it were, feudally under it as landlords. The State or these subordinates holds all the sources of energy, and either directly or through its tenants, farmers and agents, develops these sources, and renders the energy available for the work of life. It or its tenants will produce food, and so human energy, and the exploitation of coal and electric power, and the powers of wind and wave and water will be within its right.” –H.G. Wells, A Modern Utopia
“But in the City of the Sun, while duty and work are distributed among all, it only falls to each one to work for about four hours every day…They say, moreover, that grinding poverty renders men worthless, cunning, sulky, thievish, insidious, vagabonds, liars, false witnesses, etc.; and that wealth makes them insolent, proud, ignorant, traitors, assumers of what they know not, deceivers, boasters, wanting in affection, slanderers, etc. But with them all the rich and poor together make up the community. They are rich because they want nothing, poor because they possess nothing; and consequently they are not slaves to circumstances, but circumstances serve them.” –Tommaso Campanella, The City of the Sun
Welcome to life in the commune. You are given your job for life and your children will carry it on after you have left the earth. You own nothing, you are nothing but a statistic in the grand schemes of the world state. There is no free market, no entrepreneurial spirit which would drive one to succeed.
There is only your role and everything is handed to you by the state. No private ownership of property because ownership would imply empowerment, authority, responsibility and control of your life. Remember the old adage ‘there is no free lunch’ when government wants to ‘give’ you something.
Characteristic .3) Eugenics
“Love is foremost in attending to the charge of the race. He sees that men and women are so joined together, that they bring forth the best offspring. Indeed, they laugh at us who exhibit a studious care for our breed of horses and dogs, but neglect the breeding of human beings. Thus the education of the children is under his rule. So also is the medicine that is sold, the sowing and collecting of fruits of the earth and of trees, agriculture, pasturage, the preparations for the months, the cooking arrangements, and whatever has any reference to food, clothing, and the intercourse of the sexes. Love himself is ruler, but there are many male and female magistrates dedicated to these arts.” –Tommaso Campanella, The City of the Sun
“”The moment we face it frankly we are driven to the conclusion that the community has a right to put a price on the right to live in it … If people are fit to live, let them live under decent human conditions. If they are not fit to live, kill them in a decent human way. Is it any wonder that some of us are driven to prescribe the lethal chamber as the solution for the hard cases which are at present made the excuse for dragging all the other cases down to their level, and the only solution that will create a sense of full social responsibility in modern populations?” –George Bernard Shaw, Prefaces(1934)
“I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others, which, one must suppose, opponents of birth control would prefer. War, as I remarked a moment ago, has hitherto been disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full. There would be nothing in this to offend the consciences of the devout or to restrain the ambitions of nationalists.” –Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society
Characteristic 4.) Scientific Dictatorship
“A pill to enhance moral behaviour, a treatment for racist thoughts, a therapy to increase your empathy for people in other countries – these may sound like the stuff of science fiction but with medicine getting closer to altering our moral state, society should be preparing for the consequences, according to a book that reviews scientific developments in the field. Drugs such as Prozac that alter a patient’s mental state already have an impact on moral behaviour, but scientists predict that future medical advances may allow much more sophisticated manipulations.” –Manipulating morals: scientists target drugs that improve behaviour
“This subject will make great strides when it is taken up by scientists under a scientific dictatorship…Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for a generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen. As yet there is only one country which has succeeded in creating this politician’s paradise.” –Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society
“No sexism, racism or homophobia. No corruption. No need for Batman, Superman, Spiderman or any other superhero. And in a world without crime and wrongdoing, there’d be no need for prisons either, because anyone displaying deviant tendencies would be fed a puree of morality-altering drugs that would turn them from thieving liars into simpering altruistic do-gooders.” --Pop, to be a good human being
Governments around the world are attempting to augment the populace in ways that will make their jobs easier. The idea is to produce a pill, neurological virus or chemical which can be sprayed to alter social behavior.
There are millions of people on depression medication which alters their mood, so what is stopping them from changing your preferences so that you become a good government minion? Of course nothing, since we were in grade school the perception management masters have worked towards shaping our reality to suit their goals. Forget utopia, this would be a paradise for those drunk with power.
Our world is facing a transformation and we need to know who will be in the driver’s seat. There have been many works dedicated to tyrants and many dedicated to people who resist them. We don’t need a utopia we need responsible people who are working towards goals that would improve our existence.
Spare us your pontifications from the bully pulpit, telling us all the wonderful things you are going to do for us. Let us do for ourselves, get out of our way and then we can feel fulfilled when we revel in our achievements. A government that gives you everything, gives you everything but a reason to live.