Monday, November 21, 2011

On Utopia

After the philosophers had abandoned the search for the absolute, the utopians took it up. They weave dreams about the perfect state. They do not realize that the state, the social apparatus of compulsion and coercion, is an institution to cope with human imperfection and that its essential function is to inflict punishment upon minorities in order to protect majorities against the detrimental consequences of certain actions. With "perfect" men there would not be any need for compulsion and coercion. But utopians do not pay heed to human nature and the inalterable conditions of human life.
Source: Ludwig Von Mises, Human Action, Chapter 2, Section 11, The Limitations on Praxeological Concepts, 1949

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