The elite (as you say in your “Perspective,” October 1985) may, as you properly put it, “fall in with the first Utopian movement that presents itself,” because of their hatred for the United States. I think, however, that you didn’t carry your argument out far enough. Utopians spring forth all over the world, each proclaiming basically the same things, as a result of a hatred of humanity. Replace “United States” and “Western civilization” in the Scott Nearing quote with “men” and “humanity” and you get the formula for utopianism. (This replacement also gives the word “perforce” its proper context.)

Man, say the Utopians, is a carnivore; he is divided into sexes, each with its own particular characteristics; he prefers certain social and political arrangements to others; he has a violent and self-defeating nature, which must often be controlled from without and within; he is both emotional and rational; and he is ultimately fallible. Pick one or pick all, you won’t find a social reformer, Marxist or John Lennon, who doesn’t despise at least one of these characteristics.

This puts Utopians, of whatever stripe, in the same position as Nearing’s emissary in precapitalist Africa. They are “in humanity,” but because of their special insight into its awful reality, they are not “of humanity.” They are the ones charged with the burden of guiding the wretched race to enlightenment and fulfillment. They are the ones who are willing to sell out their own country for the sake of “a foreign ideology.” This makes them, then, traitors wherever they are found. It is a small step from the hatred of X to the affirmation of its opposite.

        —John W. Merline
Washington, DC