A basic misconception about the purpose of politics and government

At least we think it to be a basic misconception. The idea that we should be attempting to design the population to fit the world as we’d like it to be. A version of which is this, about the development of the New Towns in Essex post-WWII:

….while Harlow’s town centre featured work by the English sculptor Barbara Hepworth, all of which implied that the future of the UK was to be guided by civic-minded, social democratic ideals. “I believe we may well produce a new type of citizen,” Lewis Silkin, Labour’s minister for new towns, told the House of Commons in May 1948. “A healthy, self-respecting, dignified person with a sense of beauty, culture and civic pride. In the long run that will be the real test.”

The new citizen, as with New Soviet Man, failed to turn up. Give that we are talking about Essex, obviously failed to turn up.

Thus neatly illustrating one of our basic beliefs. We shouldn’t be designing the world for people as they ought to be. Rather, attempting to harness humans as we generally are to the best result that can be achieved with us. For example, rather than attempting to abolish greed, harness it though capitalism. Sure, it then needs controlling which we do through competition. Instead of those continued attempts to insist that we’ll all gladly do everything from the pure love of our hearts which is that more communal insistence.

Not that there’s anything wrong with love from the heart, nor community. It’s just not the thing that tends to motivate the humans we’ve got - as with Essex not having produced New Silkin Man.