Utopia Essay Introduction

Utopia Essay Introduction-87
On the basis of surveying some hundreds of views of classical liberals, left-liberals with a strong commitment to freedom, and avowed libertarians, I conclude that their most common responses to the utopian range from great suspicion to high condemnation. She therefore felt impelled to distinguish a libertarian side to the utopian. Rothbard, in (1973), took an even more wholesale negative view of the utopian as a dangerous collectivist tendency: "The true utopian is one who advocates a system that is contrary to the natural law of human beings," as well as a foolish demand for something "that could not work," Yet most contemporary technologues would undoubtedly consider Barrett's views anti-technological utopianism with a fantastic insistence on Heideggerean "being" which demands a radical transformation of sensibility in the modern world (though one Barrett hardly faces up to).The ambiguities of utopian-anti-utopianism in these thinkers is central to much of characteristic contemporary utopianism.However, positing either better or worse societies hardly provides an adequate description, or use, of the utopian impetus.

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One of the anti-utopians only briefly noted by Shklar was F. Hayek who in (1944) excoriated "utopia" as the collectivist delusion of "democratic socialism" leading to a totalitarian society; indeed, he argued, perhaps excessively, that anti-democratic socialist ideologies such as fascism and Nazism also derived from it.

Such presumptuous rationalism, argues Hayek, displays the hubris, the arrogance, of a social-political thought that would claim to consciously construct institutions instead of allowing them evolutionary development.

"Somewhere there's gotta be a better world" (Refrain from a classic American Blues) "Utopia" and "liberty" may well be seen as perplexed terms open to no single and simple definitions; they really are loose binders for bundles of diverse notions and desires.

Their problematic inclusiveness perhaps makes them useful for social and political moral thinking.

Let us assume here the considerable value of the fullest possibilities of individual freedom, even though such notions also require considerable qualifications, as not a few utopian efforts will remind us.

Whether utopia is taken as a narrative fiction of an ideal society, as a plan for a radically different from current reality institution or community, or as a futuristic social and political vision, it may well appear to the skeptical individualist as considerably bothersome.

If the utopian is viewed (somewhat incorrectly, as I will point out) as a totalism of rationalistic planning, the individualist may well find it threatening.

But many utopias are the ordered responses of such threatened individualists seeking to posit individual-protecting counter-possibilities. Berneri in Yet she held to a degree of anarchist individual freedom that is generally considered quite utopian.

In contrast, liberal critical reason would more modestly create a framework of rules under which the growth of institutions beyond direct rational comprehension (the market, common law legal traditions, etc.) would be possible.

Apparently for Hayek, the liberal application of reason to society falls between constructivism and the conservative distrust of reason which emphasizes organic accretion of changes (as in Burke), if any at all, in institutions.


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