The Utopian Conceit and the War on Freedom
By Julian Geran Pilon
Reviewed by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz
In The Utopian Conceit and the War on Freedom (Washington, D.C., and London: Academic Press, 2019), an intrepid defender of classical liberalism and my colleague, Juliana Geran Pilon, teaches us that the links between utopia and freedom are as old as the world. Further, they are universal and consider all known civilizations. They stem from a few impulses. First of all, there have always been attempts to self-deify among specific individuals. Some of us consider ourselves so unique that in practice, equal to gods, nearly divine. Next, there is the conviction that a perfect theory exists flawlessly, explicating our dreams, which can seamlessly be implemented in life (utopianism). To do so, it is enough for a self-selected elite to ensconce itself in a fantasy that it has achieved secret knowledge (gnosis), which shall solve all the world’s problems. The wisdom dictates, above all, that all matter (including private property) is evil. Still, that revolution shall lead humanity to redemption in an egalitarian paradise on earth where all evil shall cease. Thus, human freedom will be crushed in the process of constructing utopia, a scenario that has repeated itself in history all too many times.