All reformism is characterized by utopian strategy and tactical opportunism.
The Utopian way of life provides not only the happiest basis for a civilized community, but also one which, in all human probability, will last forever.
Know then that all true creation is not a prejudgment of the Future, not a quest of utopian chimeras, but the apprehending of a new aspect of the Present, which is a heap of raw materials bequeathed by the Past, and it is for you neither to grumble at it nor to rejoice over it, for, like yourself, all these things merely are, having come to birth.
Two centuries ago, the philosopher Kant predicted that perpetual peace would come about eventually – either as the creation of man’s moral aspirations or as the consequence of physical necessity. What seemed utopian then looms as tomorrow’s reality; soon there will be no alternative.
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacriﬁce, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magniﬁcently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an inﬁnite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in deﬁance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
That being said, is there anything to say in support of utopian thinking? Everything, if the meaning of the word is somewhat restricted. If utopia means the highest set of values we want to defend and see implemented in social life, nothing prevents us from hanging on to all of them even if we know that they will never be perfectly compatible with each other. If utopia is a regulative idea of the optimum and not an assurance that we have mastered the skill to produce the optimum, then utopia is a necessary part of our thinking. But it would be a puerile fantasy to pretend that we know how to rid the world of scarcity, suffering, hatred, and injustice: nobody knows that. Whatever can be done in softening these conditions can be done only in specific points, on small scales, by inches. That this should be so unacceptable to the genuine utopian mentality which looks for the vision of the Last Day, the great leap, the final battle; everything else seems (and is, indeed) grey, boring, lacking pathos, requiring specific knowledge instead.
Television screens saturated with commercials promote the utopian and childish idea that all problems have fast, simple, and technological solutions. You must banish from your mind the naive but commonplace notion that commercials are about products. They are about products in the same sense that the story of Jonah is about the anatomy of whales.
But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, ‘the reign of love and justice’ ... What are they going to produce? ... A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train.
What we and other nuclear powers are practicing is really nuclear apartheid. A handful of nations have arrogated to themselves the right to build, deploy, and threaten to use nuclear weapons while policing the rest of the world against their production. . . . Nuclear apartheid is utopian and arrogant. It is a recipe for proliferation, a policy of disaster.
To grasp and hold a vision, that is the very essence of successful leadership - not only on the movie set where I learned it, but everywhere.
The working classes in every country only learn to fight in the course of their struggles.
But instead of this world unification ushering in an age of prosperity and peace, as most globalists believe it will, it will be a time of unimaginable human suffering as recorded in God's Word. The Anti-Christ will tightly regulate who may buy and sell.
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is itself to succumb to the violence of our times. Frenzy destroys our inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
We have reached the point, however, where we no longer have the luxury to indulge in self-centered comfort and personal acquisition or to escape into religious pursuits at the cost of collective interests. For us there can be no escape, no withdrawal, no private arena in which we can turn our backs on the sorrows of humanity, saying, “I am not responsible. Others have created a mess; let them mend it.” The writing on the world’s wall is plain: “Learn to live together or in separateness you die!” The choice is ours.
Is it not evident that our current methods of production are already eating into the very substance of industrial man?