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MAYBE HE GETS IT 'SPOT NO'?
Written by; David Galland
Again, I drift.
The point I am making, or at least attempting to make, is that we humans want to believe that a perfect world can exist. Whether it is Venezuela's poor hoping that in his next six-year term Chávez's socialist paradise will finally bear the promised fruit, or my friend Charlie's staunch belief that public officials wouldn't lie and that with just a bit of encouragement (and maybe a few bombs), the rest of the world will fall in line with the American way of life, it's all much the same.
Thus, rather than accepting the world for what it is and making the rational decision to adopt systems that are proven to benefit the greatest number of people, but not benefit all equally because that's not possible, the body politic chases rainbows to the detriment of everyone.
Which brings me full circle to the runaway horse.
You see, the negative consequences of utopianism are apparent wherever we look these days.
I could, of course, go on... and on... and on.
But the point is, I hope, clear. Modern society, like a runaway horse, has got the bit of utopianism in its teeth and is running full speed toward an uncertain future. And, if history offers any guidance, a serious accident.
The "bit in the teeth" metaphor is, I think, a good one. That's because like a runaway horse, people can see the problems and to varying degrees feel the pain. But as the situation has evolved in a slow, long pull, we have grown accustomed to our circumstances, as painful as they may be to many, and so feel no urgency to alter our path even though we can see it is leading toward a precipice.
Instead, we cling to our hopes that the "next guy" will fix the problems, even while encouraging the politicians to vote down any restraints on entitlement programs or, in some segments of the particularly panicked population, even any reduction in bankrupting levels of military spending.
In fact, pick a pocket of public spending, any pocket at all, and you will find an outraged constituency ready to fire up the petitions and pull out the placards to defend it. And right behind them, a politician ready to wheel and deal to keep the spending intact.
Cut PBS! Don't you dare! I mean, what kind of utopian paradise would this world be if I had to be subjected to commercial interruptions in my Masterpiece Theater?
It is what it is. We are locked in the hot pursuit of utopia and will remain so until the sharp pain begins. But, like a runaway horse, it won't take just one episode of sharp pain, but several before "we" finally get it and realize that the closest thing to utopia - but not utopia itself - is only going to come about when we humans are left to pursue our own peaceful interests with the absolute minimum of government interference (or, in a place like Pakistan or most of the Middle East, the maniacal mullahs).