Thursday, March 26, 2009

Utopia and the Socialist

Last night while channel surfing I can across an old movie made back in the 1930's. Never caught the name, but did watch enough to grasp the theme. It was the old Utopian idea wrapped in the 1930's Hollywood love affair with communism and fascism, something that many today have either forgotten or never knew about. The movie got me to thinking about our present day situation and how it related to socialism, the state and Utopian thinking.

Most men dream of Utopia, their own personal utopia. The socialist also dreams of utopia, his vision of what every man should want. One dreams of a better life for himself and his family, the other plans on how to make HIS dream for others a reality. These two visions , at first glance, sound similar but the difference is staggering. The first sounds self-centered, but actually its the latter that falls into that category. One man, simply wants to live his life and go his own way, the other has what I call the herd mentality and must seek to control the lives of others in the group. And he will continually attempt to get those around him to adopt what his perceives to be "the right way". This puts the first man at a distinct disadvantage in this ongoing struggle. A good analogy would be a tug-a-war between two with one just trying to hold his position while the other attempts to pull him to his side. The outcome would, at first glance, appear to be obvious; however the first man does have one advantage---individual initiative. While those on the other side, for the most part are only the followers of some almost mystic leader.

Socialism, almost seems a victim of these leaders. They invariably pop up during times of economic turmoil and hardship. They present themselves as the ones with the solutions to the complicated problems of the day. And the masses hungry for answers, give these leaders the power to project their ideas, into some form of action. Usually the changes are sweeping and draconian, and enacted with little or no debate and the results at first are pleasing to the common man. But the leaders of these movements, being the Utopians they are, never seem to be satisfied with the changes they have brought about. For they are seeking a world that doesn't exist, except in their own minds. Not being able to bring about the changes they have dreamed of, they will turn to more and more desperate measures and in the end theirs will become a repressive and totalitarian state.

The quest for utopia can be a noble goal. One should, however always keep one thing in mind, "one man's Utopia is another man's hell."
Ron Russell

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