Have you ever noticed how man has a near infinite capacity for creating ideas as to what Hell, dystopia, or any perceived horrible existence would be? If you did notice this pattern in human thought, then perhaps you also noticed man’s inability to truly create ideas as to what Heaven, utopia, or a perceived beautiful existence would be? Consider that for a moment.
Dante Alighieri’s most infamous work is ‘The Inferno’, his depiction of Hell. Why? Did the banished man of Florence not write of Heaven and Purgatory? He did, they too were part of the ‘Divine Comedy’. Yet, we are so quick to forget them. Perhaps it was Dante’s failure to depict them so well in his works, or perhaps it is because they do not appeal to us in such a powerful way.
We can surely create fantastic works of fiction depicting horrible future states. Some of the most renowned literature was of this variety such as George Orwell’s ‘1984’. How many works have depicted a magnificent future existence, either in this life or the next? We cannot name any. You may cite the Bible, and that is fair, but it is much more than texts describing Heaven now is it not? There are none. That may be a testament to one of three factors:
1. No man has found the subject of utopia or Heaven all that interesting. The darker, drearier aspects of life (or the life to come) hold more sway of the minds than that of great joy. Arguably, this is true because man has a tendency towards self-loathing, fear, and melancholy. This is no true answer because man’s great yearning is for joy, not despair.
2. No author has thus far been imaginative enough on the subject. This is another good argument. But why would this be true? Could it be that the topic is too difficult for an author to write about? That cannot be so, authors have written on far more arduous matters.
3. The people are not receptive to the subject of utopia or Heaven because there is simply no consensus as to what they find joyous. An author may come forth and write about eternal happiness, bliss, joy, serenity, and so forth. The audience may declare it uplifting. But they are not going to invest much time or thought on the text. Why? It is because man simply does not agree upon what constitute the necessary factors for true joy. That people accept an author’s declaration of joy as a state in Utopia or Heaven exists only insofar as they do not understand the author.
Number three must be correct and, if it is so, then one must accept the consequences thereof as quite important. That two or more people agree upon the desirability and the emotional state of a utopia comes forth from their misunderstanding each others’ factors. This is why Left-wing groups splintered into smaller and smaller associations. They all laid claims to a utopia founded upon X, Y, and Z, values; yet they could not all agree upon those values or, they could not agree upon the way to achieve their goals. Liberalism survived through an evolutionary development it created within itself by intentionally blurring the factors which constitute utopia. By making them obscure, many could agree with the goals and ways to achieve those goals without truly acknowledging what they are consenting to.
If two Liberals were to be stopped on the street and asked what, specifically, would constitute the ideal state, they would give differing answers. One might end at saying we would have homosexual marriage and all the races living in peace while the other might say we would have no marriage and the melting of all peoples into one race. Both would agree their ideal state is multicultural, egalitarian, free, and tolerant, but those terms have no precise meaning; they are broad and open to interpretation.
Human rights are another good example of this. All Liberals would agree Human rights are necessary for an ideal state; however they may disagree on what constitutes Human rights. Does that mean free, state funded abortions for every woman or that every woman should be able to obtain an abortion if that is her choice, not have people fund it? Liberalism can survive because of its built in obscurities. It has found a way to circumvent human limitations regarding utopia. Whereas man is unable to agree on what specific factors constitute utopia, Liberalism establishes the factors as too broad for specificity yet too narrow for total misinterpretation. Communism killed itself because it had a clearly established utopia, and the steps towards its achievement. Now, everyone from a “Conservative” to a Communist can be a Liberal without compromising; they only differ on the application of Liberal values.
What may be more telling of Liberals, due to human nature, is what they agree upon as bad, or evil. All of them hold disdain towards the pre-Enlightenment Era. They agree that great Church involvement in Government affairs, Aristocracy, Nobility, Hierarchy, and racial separatism are atrocious. All can pinpoint exactly what they find to exist in a Liberal’s dystopia. Nearly all would agree on those factors, to a greater or lesser extent. That is because dystopia is easier for man to acknowledge than utopia. We hold greater agreement upon what we dislike than what we like.
Progress has no clear definition because, to define it, is to kill it. Were Liberals to make all their goals perfectly clear, along with the way of achieving said goals, the coalition would splinter. The 19th and early 20th centuries were the great battleground of philosophies; therein the future was to be determined as to what philosophy would triumph. Liberalism and Bolshevism made it through, but only Liberalism had the necessary tools for its evolution and thus, survival. The philosophy discovered an adaption the others failed to; how to have people agree with the goals, steps, and the values, without even having to define exactly what they all are.