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Why ‘Perfect’ Societies Always End in Epic Disaster

Foundation for Economic Education

A centrally-planned and closed-off society like New London operating with the success that it displays is simply not possible in the real world. But such dreams have long been the fantasy of many progressive thinkers over the years, especially in the early 20th century.

Philosophers and writers like Huxley, George Bernard Shaw, and Bertrand Russell were convinced that central planning was not only good but necessary for managing the rapidly increasing complexity of the modern world, up to and including eugenics. Huxley, unlike most of his contemporaries, was prescient enough to foresee the profound, negative psychological effects of such a level of state control over people’s entire lives. The latent unhappiness that would definitely exist with such a lack of personal autonomy is the reason for the invention of the fictional drug Soma, which does everything from calming anxiety and easing pain to, in a large enough dose, quietly euthanizing those members of society who have outlived their usefulness. The combination of centralized control, intense psychological conditioning, and psychotropic drugs has created a society of mindless drones in New London. And when the cracks in that society begin to appear, which are then exacerbated by the arrival of John the Savage, we see just how fragile such a society would be.

Narrator Sean W. Malone discusses the inherent fatal flaws of a hyper-centralized state, and an over-controlling centralized management of society and the economy. Watch:

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