Monday, May 21, 2007
There is probably a new Great Idea for every generation. It changes just enough for people to be duped again, but it always entails some form of large-scale change for millions of people. The less it corresponds to reality, the better. The point is to outbid others in Utopian ideas. What is behind it? Well, the joy of destroying the Established Order to bring purpose into otherwise purposeless lives and the desire to immerse oneself into grandiose ideas. The desire for personal power and the joy of being able to harass opponents shouldn’t be underestimated, either. If you claim that your Utopian ideas are about justice and equality, you can also claim that those who disagree with you are proponents of injustice and inequality, in other words evil, and outside the boundaries of civilized debate. One should always be mindful of people who profess an ideology that entails sweeping changes to society, claim that this represents the unstoppable tide of history, and yet for some reason need to shut down critics through intimidation. If their ideology is so great, how come they are so reluctant to accept criticism? Good ideas can be rationally defended. If people resist critical scrutiny of their ideas, this is usually a powerful indication of the fact that these ideas are neither truthful nor desirable.
Posted by rws at 5/21/2007 09:27:00 PM