Nothing is more dangerous than utopianism

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 00.54.51New Australia

Dalrymple on a ‘search for transcendence or forgetfulness on the political plane’ in Paraguay. The scheme ‘descended quickly into chaos, schism and squalor’. He quotes from Stewart Grahame’s 1912 account, with its prophetic last sentence:

Few, even among Socialists, realise the ferocity of Socialism. Of course they are aware of the frightful episodes which occurred during the Reign of Terror in Paris – but they believe that those sanguinary occurrences were occasions by other contemporary causes, and would not necessarily recur if State Socialism were now established. The few logical Socialists of to-day fully recognise, however, that a period of absolute tyranny – during which all opponents of Socialism, and even all Socialists who fail to agree with the precise view of their brother Socialists in power, would be pitilessly sacrificed for the sake of producing uniformity of aim among its citizens – would usher in the ‘Coming State’….In a small community, expulsion; in an international Socialist State, the lethal chamber, will be the fate of persistent offenders against the established conventions. And this though the executive authorities of the State may be, personally, the mildest and most human of men. The ferocity of the Socialist State will be, of course, a legalised ferocity; that is, it will be exercised nominally for the benefit of the State. The method of its working will be as emotionless and merciless as the vengeance of the worker bees upon the drones….The sordid drama rehearsed, on a tiny stage, at New Australia, may soon be played on a vast scale with the whole world for a theatre. When that day comes it will be a tragedy indeed!

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