"One of the great achievements of modern times, in Trilling’s view, was the development of political liberalism: the view that there were universal and inalienable human rights and that the powers of reason could both honor those rights and ameliorate the world’s evils. This is not a utopian belief; it is a humanitarian and practical one. It grows out of experience, it acknowledges ambiguity and complication, and it refuses to seek perfection. This kind of liberalism, which has now become the unspoken premise for most mainstream political discussion in this country, does not believe in absolutes; it believes in accommodation and adjustment." (p. 24)
"Much technological innovation, in fact, is driven by a kind of utopianism: something new is introduced to the world that promises transformation. Technology is disruptive, sometimes destructive, displacing older procedures, products, and ideas. And with each change comes the promise of further changes yet to come. Technology has also been connected with a form of gnosticism, an almost mystical attempt to purge illusion and reach true knowledge. Computer hackers use terms such as “deep magic” and “casting the runes” to describe their craft. Virtual reality promises to break down the physical restraints of body and mind." (p. 31)
Edward Rothstein, Utopia and its Discontents. (2003). Visions of Utopia. Nova Iorque: Oxford University Press.