The problem with ideologists…
Human nature and the laws of physics, not technocratic liberalism, are still the best guides to the madness around us. Money borrowed has to be paid back or the debt eaten by someone, period. Poverty is defined by a want of material necessities, not by lacking the appurtenances that someone else better off enjoys. Gas and oil are miracle fuels and it is very hard to find alternate energies at comparable costs and reliability.
The problem with ideologists on both sides of the aisle who demand that we rise to our “better natures” and believe that mankind can be made better is that they believe that human nature and the laws of physics can be waved with the right legislative action or the right design.
And they believe that, since the laws of physics and human nature can be reshaped by legislative fiat, they believe that the reason why we don’t suspend both for the better good is because of a government/corporate conspiracy.
And while in the extreme it sounds insane (like the folks who believe that you can run a car on water: “Thus the oil whole industry would fall and that’s why they are trying hard to keep us from knowing about new fuel alternatives such as the water fuel.”), it is that same denial of the laws of physics that underly the Repower America campaign, launched by Al Gore, demanding 100% renewable energy by 2020. It is the same denial of the laws of physics that give us people who believe we can power city busses from the excess energy generated by bicycle riders, and refrigerators powered by magic gel.
After all, so these folks believe (and I almost wrote “the left”, but there are plenty on the right with the same problem), as long as you can imagine it, it can be done–it just takes some engineer to stop lying to you and actually create your magic design.
In the movie Objectified there is an interview with a designer who proposed that designers should be put in charge of the world. After all, they imagine the world and thus help create the world.
I hate to say it–given that a really good designer (one who can envision good design that answers a problem in a unique way that can be made real) is an invaluable resource–but “imaging the world as it should be” is easy. “Imaging the world as it can be” (that is, imaging a world that we can create, given the limits of human nature and the laws of physics) is fucking hard.
After all, I can imagine a solar-powered flying car that can hover and flies itself using only the sunshine that lands on the hood of the car. It doesn’t mean it’s physically possible to build–and the only reason why we don’t have them today is because of a conspiracy of airplane manufacturers, oil companies and airline companies preventing us from building them.