True. But that reminds me of the pilot average life span statistic conundrum.
Some years ago, let's say in 1985, a statistic found that commercial pilots have a very low average life span. They were wondering what about being a pilot makes you die young. But the simple reason was that commercial pilots were only around in great numbers since around the sixties. So the only way to get in the average life span statistic was by dying young. Pilots were unlikely to be 90, so statistically commercial pilots died young.
The same with right-wing utopianism. It just wasn't around long enough to have much of a track record.
Sure, but the argument that because something hasn't been tried yet it ought to be given a chance isn't necessarily a strong one. I have not tried dipping my hand into a vat of sulphuric acid.
All utopian projects involve a certain degree of setting aside realism. Humans have different needs and desires and different conceptions of freedom.
I have never been to the US - and so can only really comment on what I see via media channels - but my impression is that if I were to meet some of the loudest voices in favour of putative "freedom" I would be in for a heated debate if I were to support things like freedom to abort unwanted pregnancies, or parity of esteem for homosexuals.
These are things I equate with freedom and am willing to defend (when I can be bothered and if the risk of actual harm to my person is minimal).
There are also freedoms I cannot respect - such as the freedom to pollute the environment or eat endangered species or oppose immigration whilst sireing more than a single child. Freedom to teach scripture as scientific method also raises my ire.
There are also freedoms people generally agree shouldn't be allowed, such as freedom to kill arbitrarily or molest children.
All utopian projects bank on people setting aside their differences in regard to these freedoms - ignoring the apparent truth that there can be no true consensus on even the most obvious of them. Adaptable and resourceful methods of social organisation which meet the needs of the situation will tend to fare better in the long run than those who run off a belief that their values are sacred and/or immutable. Hence why the US respect for ammendments - which might seem a little weird to a European at first - seems a good idea provided the ammendment is open to ammendment.
Yes, I'm saying: Not project todays problems on the future. We will have new solutions and new problems.
I am also convinced that mankind will cope - in some manner - with the problems of today, and tomorrow. However, what sort of world will result from ignoring the problems of today?
The problems of last century were largely those of political projects preaching utopian transformations of society in Europe and the USSR.
What sort of world would we be living in today if the prevailing attitude had been to worry about the problems of tomorrow?
Not that it matters, but I think the big increase in murdering ability through technology was the century before.
Atomic, biological and chemical weapons are pretty much a twentieth century phenomenon. The death-dealing hardware of the 19th century - whilst impressive - count for little against modern conceptions of WMDs.
Well, we still have the potential of an aristocracy who doesn't want to put in the effort to compete in a flat world. The only other way to be on top, is putting every body else down though a Orwellian government.
It was "clear to all thinking people that the need for human drudgery,
and therefore to a great extent for human inequality, had disappeared... hunger,
overwork, dirt, illiteracy and disease could be eliminated within a few generations".
However, since the Party wants to maintain a hierarchical society with itself on top,
this real possibility of eliminating poverty and inequality is a deadly threat
rather than something to be desired: "If leisure and security were enjoyed
by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty
would learn to think for themselves"-eventually sweeping away the oligarchy ruling them.
"In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance."
The conceptual leap that the leaders of the party in 1984 had taken was they admitted to one another that the reason they wanted power was because they liked power. The methods by which they abused their power are less important than the conceptual leap. 1984 is not a pro-prosperity fable - it is a lesson to be wary of power seekers of any hue. Also note that in 1984 the effort put in by the inner party to maintain the status quo was huge. By O'Brien's account he didn't enjoy luxuries - just power.
In regards to capitalism - is the endless barrage of messages a member of such a society receives to produce and consume "for the good of the economy" orchestrated, in part, to shore up an oligarchy? Surely so, it's just that the big winners are directors and magnates rather than a political elite.
I would also point out that 1984 is a fiction written to address the problems of yesterday rather than those of today, even less those of tomorrow. It's a great book, but I feel the ease with which it can wheeled out to address almost any political standpoint speaks less of it's practical political application and more to it's strength as a story.
Any political system can be tyrannous - the right wing has it's roots in defence of absolute monarchy after all...
And sadly, they have taken over the education system lock, stock and barrel.
Oh come off it! This is pure conspiracy theory - no more worthy of serious consideration than supposing that the US government orchestrated 9/11.
Still, I suppose if you'd had more respect for educators you might have grasped the meaning behind 1984...
This challenge can also be met with technology, there will be alternatives, just like in 1900 nobody would have expected nuclear energy to become a solution. Well, in many countries we reject it for silly emotional reasons, but France gets 78.8%
of it's energy from it.
The fact that this 'clean' source of energy is also responsible for some of the world's worst industrial accidents when it goes wrong is surely a worthy subject of debate rather than "silly emotional reasons". I think nuclear energy is a better alternative to fossil fuels - until I consider living next to nuclear power plants.
But in todays world, the US dismantling their military would be devastating, because the bad guys wouldn't. I'm more for 'peace through superior fire-power' for now. I don't think the world as it is today would be nice just because the US stops being mean. But thats a different debate.
The lesson Iraq has taught the world is that if one does want a degree of security from invasion by US it better make sure it has servicable WMDs. Hence North Korea's desire to demonstrate that it is capable of launching rockets I suppose.
Personally I think leading by example is the best policy, rather than preaching to others to do what you are unwilling to. I used to think that a stronger UN might be the best answer - but I know reject such thinking as utopian.