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September 2, 2017


Utopia? meh

Though I lean toward the socialistic side of our capitalist/socialist hybrid I have no illusions about the viability of the classic socialist model as presented in so many fellow Occupy Wall Streeters. I heard my fill of utopian visions accompanied by insults about my allegedly being a reformer as opposed to a revolutionary like my accuser whose utopian narrative always begins after the system has been installed. There’s no talk about how the installation happens and what strategies and events lead to the handover of the nation.

The fact is that an extreme shift in social and economic systems mainly occur via violent revolution. South Africa avoided a major civil war. But Nelson Mandela did not take power with a new political/economic model beyond ending systemic racism. Little has changed in the economic plight of it citizens.

If a society has not already evolved to accept a new model, only a police state can impose and maintain it.  What makes the American Revolution unique is that the colonies, in large part, did the evolutionary shift before the first shot was fired. The feudal type system that ruled the colonies had already become an anathema. The days were past when it was understood that a citizen could not make direct eye contact with the landed gentry. And so was the willingness to have local commerce commanded by Britain’s corporate monopoly, the East India Company. The colonies didn’t revolt in order to install a brand new paradigm of a merit-based egalatarian, free market, democratically elected society. They’d already made the shift. They just needed the freedom to test it and live without the severe limits imposed from a faraway monarchy.

When the society hasn’t made the organic shift ahead of time, the revolutionary system that gets imposed is a conceptual abstract – a utopian state – based on an idea inspired by a particular predispositionan which is often that of altruism, based on the idea of equality and the sharing of all resources and profits and controlled by the all-knowing state in order to keep things from lurching toward the corporate predator model. The problem is that the vision includes no institutional expression of a competing human disposition toward the idea of innovation and hard work being recognized and rewarded with a degree of wealth that distinguishes it from the masses. That capitalist predisposition can be a free-market one or a monopoly corporatist one.

Without a place for both predispositions that are apparently hardwired into our DNA along with so many other character traits, that ideal system can only fail or be maintained violently. That applies just as well to a corporatist state with no socialistic components.

The problem with societies built on utopian ideas is that they just don’t comport with the human genome. Another predisposition ideal systems don’t take into account is the one that embodies leaders who are inclined to want to retain their power and privilege by any means necessary. And they’re the ones with the means. So any model based on equality and sharing is gone on Day One.

Other social species don’t seem to suffer from the social problems we homo sapiens face with our too-big brains. They seem to be well organized and provide necessary resources for the entire population without revolutionary mayhem busting up the hive.

So a sloppy species like our own would benefit by all of us accepting of a margin of the non-ideal in all things. That seems like a good starting point for any political process and for any gasbag politican and think tank.

— Polar Levine, News Goo Dissection, September 2, 2017

© Polar Levine 2017 content should not be reproduced elsewhere without prior permission

Polar Levine

working class college dropout who loves to learn, poke his biases and waste time looking around