"Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not."... "Why not?"
It never occurred to (utopian progressives) then — and it doesn't occur to them now — that there might be good and sensible reasons why not. In the summer of 1968 we were not quite four years into the War on Poverty, and no one except for those evil, wicked conservatives ever wondered if it was ever going to end; poverty was already on the decline after Lyndon Johnson made his pitch and Congress followed through, and the level of poverty hasn't changed very much in the decades since. (Did someone say "quagmire"?)
If you think about it, just about every single ostensibly-"progressive" idea pitched in the last forty years has been motivated largely by "Why not?" It's not a function of partisan politics per se: pie-in-the-sky notions have risen from both sides of the aisle on a regular basis, and there's no reason to think the practice is in decline. And once in a while, something actually works: (our cities have cleaner air, for instance...) But generally speaking, the more utopian a proposal... the more likely it is to generate something downright dystopian.
Monday, March 08, 2010
Posted by Hatless in Hattiesburg at 3/08/2010 10:11:00 PM