The hitchhiker through the galaxy stops at the aged wizard and asks directions. “Which way to Utopia?” The guide shrugs and replies with an answer older than the traveler, older than the guide, older than any seeker. “Utopia? You can’t get there from here.”
Conservatives knows there is no such place, there is no such condition among mankind. Even naming your a “Arcadia,” the Greek word for utopia, doesn’t work. No amount of rules or laws will produce utopia. No amount of campfires with unending refrains of “Give Peace a Chance” or “Imagine” will produce utopia.
No imagining. It may be nice to imagine as John Lennon wrote, but his implied prescription was wrong. Imagine all the people living life in peace. No possessions. No need for greed or hunger. A brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people sharing all the world. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will live as one.
No amount of imagining, sharing, or surrendering property rights would have stopped the Newtown massacre.
As James Bowman points out in his book “Honor, A History” peace is not the natural condition of mankind. He writes, “Even those who do not consider themselves pacifists have been taught to think of peace as the natural condition of mankind just as health is the natural condition of the body.”
No more laws. Just as war is not the result of failed of diplomacy, conservatives know shootings are not the result of the weak gun laws. Conservatives know getting rid of geopolitical boundaries will not produce utopia. Allowing free entry to the U.S. will not produce utopia. More social programs will not produce utopia. Making the rich pay their fair share will not bring in even a scent of utopia.
Liberals wrongly believes that if we only get rid of wars, or famine or class distinctions then utopia will reign. Hitler took the search to an extreme by believing racial purity would produce economic and cultural utopia. Stalin tried it. Marx preached it. Mao enforced it. It didn’t work.
The expression, “There oughta be a law…” reeks of the mistaken philosophy that if only another law were enacted, things would be better. Tell that to Newtown where one sick person broke more than a list of laws when he slaughtered 20 innocents: murder, theft of firearms, illegal transport of firearms, bringing guns on school property, violating a “gun free zone.
Humans are imperfect. Liberals misdiagnosis the human condition. Conservatives know that humans are not basically good and just need a little _fill in the blank, (health, wealth, education, marijuana, religion, time, laws, self-esteem).
Russell Kirk wrote in 1982, “Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created. Because of human restlessness, mankind would grow rebellions under any utopian domination and would break out once more in violent discontent – or else expire of boredom. To aim for utopia is to end in disaster.”
Getting rid of nukes, weapons of mass destruction or guns will not bring world peace. There was no world peace before these things were invented and restricting them has not brought peace.
Conservatives know these truths because they know history. They know there is nothing new under the sun, just the same old deception in new clothes.
The hope of a conservative is not heaven on earth, but a moment of peace may result from a balance of moral order, personal responsibility and personal freedom.
This time of year we hear the oft-repeated phrase, “Peace on Earth.” The proclamation did not come with more law, more programs, treaties or restrictions. So, if you’re looking to Washington for peace on earth or utopia, your search will go unrewarded.