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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 287 of Daniel Boorstin’s great 1973 book, The Americans: The Democratic Experience:

Urban renewal, like other utopian movements, was plagued by the vagueness of its definitions. What was the meaning of “slum’ or “urban blight”? What housing was “substandard”?

DBx: Yes.

Yet in another way the utopian “urban renewal” movement’s mix of vague definitions and liquid language was, for it, a blessing, for this vagueness and absence of concrete meaning are superb marketing tools. They enlarge the size of the audience who will embrace the utopia-peddler’s schemes, as well as ease the utopia-peddler’s ability later to explain that the apparent failure of his scheme to achieve heaven on earth is really no failure at all.

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