THROUGHOUT THE AGES utopian dreamers, impractical and often fantastic in their altruistic efforts, have nevertheless fought in the vanguard of social progress. They are charged with a divine unrest which is not satisfied until they have settled upon a prospect of the ideal world. Critics of their generation and of the ways of men, they envision a society purged of the evils they abhor. Their utopias know no poverty, pain, or persecution; the foundation pillars of their imagined societies are peace, plenty, and complete happiness. These perfect communities remain, of course, a beautiful dream. Yet their ardent creators frequently have succeeded far better than they knew, since in stirring the imagination of many thousands they have initiated movements for reform which in time have brought at least a good part of their utopias down to earth. "The Utopian dreamers of social justice," William James remarked, "are . . . analogous to the saint's belief in an existent kingdom of heaven. They help to break the edge of the general reign of hardness, and are slow leavens of a better order." Anatole France, a keen critic of human foibles, was even more positive in his estimate: "Out of generous dreams come beneficial realities. Utopia is the principle of all progress and the essay into a better future."
Most utopians have started from the belief that man is naturally good and that a favorable environment is bound to bring him to a condition of perfection. Their chief task therefore has been the