I’m kidding, but isn’t that the feeling some of us have at times? I’m certainly been guilty of it. I have ideas and plans that some would call crazy and utopian, but which seem to be worth pursuing from my point of view. Yet I see ideas from other people that strike me as utopian and unrealistic. So I’m acknowledging my biases right up front.
I don’t have any problem with people defining their own version of utopia. (I certainly know what mine definition of it is.) There’s a thin line between visionary and utopian, even if you accept the idea that there’s a difference between the two words. The thing that does bother me, though, is when people don’t understand that there are tradeoffs to be made. In the real world, when you gain one thing, you frequently give up another.
Different people are going to choose different tradeoffs as acceptable. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s the key reason why we need a world where different communities can choose different rules and people can choose which ones to live under.
If you want no restrictions on the way people use their property — residential or business — you give up a planned and orderly aesthetic to your community. And vice versa. There’s nothing wrong with either choice, but some people pretend there’s a utopia with no restrictions that still has the beautiful, manicured lifestyle they want. The truth is that we’ve ended up with the restrictions we have in modern America (and in the rest of the West) because people have valued safety and a certain lifestyle more than freedom of action in various areas of life. There’s nothing inherently bad about those particular tradeoffs. They’re not necessarily the wrong ones. The problem is that some of us think we should have a choice about which tradeoffs to make.
Your idea of a perfect life probably isn’t going to be the same as mine. If you won’t impose your idea of utopia on me, I won’t impose my version on you. Let’s create a world where all of us are free to build our own visionary communities and try to attract others who want to join us — of their own free will, not because it’s what a majority dictates.