I've Got a Question

Since this place is a reliably lefty joint, I've got a question for the readers.

If you've been following Gavin's posts at S,N! lately, you've been exposed to some ghastly sneak previews of Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. This one in particular really made me shake my head: here Goldberg makes another one of those proclamations that liberals believe in utopia, the perfection of humanity, the achievement of a world in which there are no hard choices ever again, and so on. Only conservatives, he implies, understand that life is unfair, people are flawed, and so on. We've all heard this charge made, over and over again, haven't we?

Now, here's the thing. I'm pretty far out on the left (at least by American standards), and I do not believe, nor do I know anyone who does believe, in utopia. In my experience, the only utopians in politics are those who think, for example, that if you just invade a Middle Eastern country a perfect free-market society will pop up overnight all by itself. But me? Nah. The idea of a perfect society is silly. You can make things better than they are now -- there's always room for improvement, because we live in an imperfect world -- but you can't make things perfect, ever. When it comes to politics, I'm not actually sure what "perfect" means, and I'm not at all convinced that it even exists.

I'm really not sure where people like Goldberg have gotten the notion that modern lefties or liberals believe in utopias and such. But maybe I'm alone on this. So let me ask the question: does anyone reading this think that society or humanity can be made perfect?

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