The Nature of Utopians

"A Utopia [in modern discourse] still means the model of a perfect society that cannot be realized because an important sector of reality has been omitted from its construction, but its author and addicts have suspended their consciousness that it is unrealizable because of the omission. I am speaking cautiously of a suspension of consciousness, because it frequently is difficult, if not impossible, to determine in the case of an individual activist whether the suspension is an act of intellectual fraud or persuasive self-deception, whether it is a case of plain illiteracy or of the more sophisticated illiteracy imposed by an educational system, whether it is caused by a degree of spiritual and intellectual insensitivity that comes under the head of stupidity, or whether it is due to various combinations of these and other factors such as the desire to attract public attention and make a career. Whatever the individual case may be, the suspension becomes manifest in public as the professed belief that the unrealizable image of perfection can be realized." -- Eric Voegelin, "Wisdom and the Magic of the Extreme," in The Collected Works, Vol. 12, p. 316


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