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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 260 of Matt Ridley’s deeply insightful 1997 book, The Origins of Virtue:

[O]ur dim and misty understanding of the human social instinct can be translated into a political philosophy. For a start, it teaches us that Utopia is impossible, because society is an uneasy compromise between individuals with conflicting ambitions….”

DBx: The quest for Utopia-on-earth – which is to say, the stubborn insistence that all social interactions conform to the particular norms, or achieve the particular outcomes, that you personally deem to be exclusively acceptable – leads, as many wise people in the past have noted, to hell-on-earth. Inevitably so. If by some freakish accident your particular Utopia is established, the result would be hellish for the great majority of people, for they would not share your idea of Utopia. If – as is far more likely – neither your nor anyone else’s Utopia is established, the fight to impose this or that Utopia will itself unleash hellish consequences.

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