Utopianism, at its core, is the pursuit of an unattainable perfect society; and in the pursuit it does not matter if morality, principle, and even human life are sacrificed for the so-called “greater good”. This is a concept that must be rejected not just by conservatives, but all mankind.

In the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, the people of Shinar had hopes of a Utopia upon which the power of Man would rival that of God. They said “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves” (Genesis 11:4). They believed, in their folly of hubris, that by building a ziggurat to reach the heavens, they could perfect human nature and create a world of earthly pleasure. To these people, it did not matter if they abandoned their principles, their morality, or even their God in their fight against the natural order of humanity. All was arrogantly justified that their sacrifice of their morality would be worthwhile for creating a perfect society, where divinity would rest in men rather than a higher authority.

Ultimately, the story ends with divine intervention scattering the people, leaving the tower unfinished and it’s architects’ plans unrealized. Whether the Bible is looked at as a historical or a literary source, this is the first of many records where humanity has suffered disaster due to Utopianism. But what is this idea of Utopianism, that has so often plagued human society? “The belief in or pursuit of a state in which everything is perfect, typically regarded as unrealistic or idealistic,” defines Oxford Dictionary.

Utopianism, at its core, is the pursuit of an unattainable perfect society; and in the pursuit it does not matter if morality, principle, and even human life are sacrificed for the so-called “greater good”. This is a concept that must be rejected not just by conservatives, but all mankind.

Time and time again throughout the history of civilization, Utopianism has wreaked havoc upon the ordinary lives of men and women. The pure hubris of men and women leads them to commit horrible crimes to pursue their idea of perfection, since the beauty of a perfect world blinds those who would do anything to make that world a reality. As Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky stated, “There are no absolute rules of conduct, either in peace or war. Everything depends on circumstances.” In other words, sometimes the pursuit of a Utopian omelette justifies the breaking of a few eggs; depending on the “circumstances.”

Now, there are a few different types of Utopianism, with varying degrees of destructiveness. There are significant differences between these different types of Utopianism, but they are still, nonetheless, Utopian. And thus, they are dangerous. Fascism and National Socialism, for example, seek to create a society of racial purity, while Communism seeks create a society of intellectual purity. In addition, one can even make the case that many contemporary movements, ranging from radical Islam to the so-called “Alt-Right,” are also Utopian.

Start with the German National Socialist movement, that, in the mid-twentieth century, murdered over 11 million people in its concentration camps; not to mention tens of millions more during the Second World War. All while in the pursuit of racial purity, and thus, Utopia, in their view. Built upon the precepts of the flawed social Darwinism, the regime believed in a hierarchy of races due to natural selection being applied to human societies, where superior races would thrive and “unworthy” races would be wiped out (or at least live in a lower status of servitude.) And of course, the Aryan Herrenvolk, or “master race,” was at the top of this hierarchy. Hitler sought to build a society dedicated to his Volk, as embodied by the totalitarian German state.

Of course, to achieve this, it meant the “cleansing” of people considered impure. In the 1930s, starting with the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring, a eugenics program was created to eliminate those with mental and physical disabilities. Hitler’s infamous ‘final solution’ to wipe out the Jewish people, as well as other ethnic groups such as the gypsies, was the apex of this warped ideology. To implement this goal, the Nazi regime demanded total loyalty to the State, disregarding and even outlawing religion and alternate institutions for men and women to place their faith in. In this fashion, the state replaced nature (or God, from a certain point of view), just as the Tower of Babel was designed to do. It was the single-minded adherence to the Nazi pursuit of Utopia that resulted in the deaths of so many. Fortunately, the Nazi quest for an Aryan Utopia never succeeded, as the Allied Forces ended Hitler’s final solution at the end of the Second World War. 

Compared to Nazi Germany, the Marxist ideology of the Soviet Union was even more destructive. The Soviet Union was based on the principles of Karl Marx and Vladmir Lenin; that ‘the people’, or rather the Leviathan of a state acting on behalf of the people, should plan the economy and society at large. This was the largest break with Lockean individualism ever seen, creating a totalitarian state with the power to make Lenin’s dreams a reality. Under Stalin’s plan to industrialize the Soviet Union, over six million Ukrainians died of starvation, while Ukrainian grain was being sold abroad to pay for new factories. Millions more died in the decades to come.

Although both the Soviets and the Nazis committed horrible genocides, the reasons for both were different. The Holocaust was caused by direct malice aimed at specific ethnic groups to purify German society and allow the Volk to prosper. The Soviets, on the other hand, indirectly killed millions upon millions not because that was the primary goal of the leadership, but because the central planners thought that an industrialized economy was more important than the life of their human subjects. The Communist mentality regarded individuals as cattle, whose lives could be lost if it meant the Communist Revolution could move forwards in its plan. The Holodomor was the ultimate Machiavellian ‘the ends justify the means’ scenario. The central planners were so full of their hubris and their blind ambition to build a socialist utopia, that the fact that millions upon millions of deaths simply did not matter.

Furthermore, just like in Nazi Germany, the Soviets attempted to make the state the pinnacle of human experience. Religion was banned in an attempt to make Communism the new ‘religion.’ By taking power from individuals to use their free will to control their life and giving it to the Leviathan, the Soviets attempted to break the very laws of human nature. Ultimately, the Soviet experiment also ended in disaster. With millions upon millions dead, all the Soviet Union had to show for it was a weak economy and an empire held together by fear. This unraveled starting in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and ended in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed after the failure of Communism.

As previously mentioned, there are also a few contemporary political movements that would also qualify as Utopian. As a result, they also have the potential to be just as disastrous as the aforementioned catastrophes. Radical Islam, as demonstrated by its latest practitioner of the Islamic State, seeks to build a utopia of religious purity; one where all unbelievers are taken as slaves or killed. In a radical Islamic society such as the Islamic State, political power and religious power are one entity, so there is no alternative to state/theocratic power. Alternatively, the so-called “Alt-Right” seeks to build a society of racial purity much like the National Socialists did in Germany. Although this movement has little, if any, power, their vision for the world is one where an unnatural hierarchy of race governs human interaction and the political system. Opposing the Alt-Right, are the equally deluded neo-progressives. The neo-progressives are quite similar to the Alt-Right in seeking to build a society based upon an unnatural hierarchy, however, their hierarchy is based upon being a member of a supposedly disadvantaged minority group. Organizations such as Antifa, mainly based in the United States, have demonstrated the neo-progressive capacity for violence to promote their political views, a trait shared by all the aforementioned ideologies.

Although each of these examples of Utopianism sprouted from different ideologies and causes, the same actions drive all; the rejection of human nature, the embrace of the totalitarian state, and the sacrifice of individual lives and liberties that are in the way of ‘progress.’ They are all motivated through the arrogant desire to usurp human nature in favour of a flawed ideology. To combat the rise of this deadly fallacy, let all ask themselves “how to make the world better” rather than “how to make the world best”; let all endeavour to place value upon human life before ideology; let all keep in mind not only an idealistic vision of the future, but also a realisitic plan to improve the lives of ordinary people. For Utopianism must be utterly and completely opposed by both conservatives and liberals if the folly of the architects of the Tower of Babel are to be avoided. 



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