Kimball quotes the German thinker Hans Blumenberg: “If there were an imminent final goal of history, then those who believe they know it and claim to promote its attainment would be legitimized in using all the others who do not know it . . . as a mere means.” Once the “final solution” is believed to be an option, it becomes certain that some totalitarian, a Hitler or a Stalin, will use that “ideology of historical inevitability” to justify whatever means are necessary.

Kimball reminds us that “the twentieth century has acquainted us in terrifyingly exquisite detail with what happens when people are treated as ‘moments’ in an impersonal dialectic.”11 The danger of historical determinism is that it provides philosophical cover for any megalomaniac who seeks to prove that his or her program is historically inevitable.

Paul, Rand. The Case Against Socialism (p. 242). Broadside e-books. Kindle Edition

From my perspective, the cautionary moral of a utopia is: don’t succumb to any end-of-history utopias from the right or the left. Don’t accept any preordained linearity to history. Because simply that acquiescence, that attenuation of free will, may be enough to allow the recurrent strongman in history to justify his or her edicts as science or evolution or simply as the inevitable.

Paul, Rand. The Case Against Socialism (p. 244). Broadside e-books. Kindle Edition.


The evolution of philosophy documented so well in The Tyranny of Reason by Yuval Levin (2000) brought the dream of scientific reason to the social realm, expressed by Hegel and influencing Marx, the communists, the fascists and to a much lesser extent, the progressives. It is expressed innocently as the arc of history or the right side of history.  Darwin provided the link from science to society, though he should not be held accountable for those who so bastardized his work. The ‘inevitability’ of history provided cover for the most brutal regimes of the last century.