Follow utopia, but don't believe you can make it

It's useful to imagine a world in a better form. But utopias generally go very wrong, whether they're initiated by states, markets, or cultures.

It's hard to create a better society, even within a small commune, or in the jungles of southern Mexico. 

But when the state gets ideas to fix the whole world for good, watch out, especially if you're in a minority like Jews, or Armenians, or drug users, or whatever.

It's almost as bad when the market comes up with The Answer, when thoughtful men (it's almost always men) think they can engineer happiness through capitalism, and bootstrap reality into utopia with the magic fuel of money and greed. (The death tolls are probably comparable.)

And when people of goodwill think they've figured out how to cleanse society of racism, sexism, and other bad tendencies, sometimes by attacking their peers... well, it's not quite as bad, but it can get pretty ugly.

Instances in which we learned this lesson