In Utopia, the presumed goal in confronting a new virus would be to prevent a single death, a single illness, even a single infection. With an imaginary social purity, defined in the narrowest physical terms, as the overriding purpose, there would be absolutely nothing — no folly, no delusion, no atrocity — Utopia would not commit (or submit to) in the name of “maintaining” this imaginary purity.
In Utopia, there would be no false opinions, no ignorant bias, no unfair treatment, no moral error. To sustain this condition of perfect truth, all-knowing judgment, perfect fairness, and moral unanimity, Utopia must determine forever each of the following: the precise parameters of truth, in order to limit the extent of Being so as never to allow the society’s own perfection to come into question in any way; the exact content of proper knowledge, so that no new thought could ever press unpredictably against the permanent outer limits of the Utopian social membrane; the exclusive definition of justice, so that nothing Utopia judged “fair” in one regard might ever be judged “unfair” in another; and the absolute mechanism of moral progress, so that no two notions of the good, even contingent and transitional goods, could ever come into conflict, thus tainting the waters of universal social clarity.
Such perfect determinations, of course, could only be achieved from the top down, disseminated by centralized indoctrination, and maintained by careful restrictions on private thought and, when necessary, merciless and immediate force exerted against violators, who must be regarded, and disposed of, as poisonous insects.
In Utopia, the central authority must never be capable of error, for even granting the possibility of error would in itself falsify the major premise of the Utopian syllogism. Preserving the universal certainty of the infallible wisdom of the central authority — which authority is sometimes flatteringly and euphemistically dubbed “the People” — therefore becomes the fundamental concern underlying all practical decision-making and social regulation. The infallibility of this authoritarian wisdom is the basic tenet of the Utopian faith. Like all religions that enforce their basic tenets with fanatical and unmoderated seriousness — that is, which seek to bend all practical human existence to the principles of the faith without exception or debate — the Utopian must be prepared to suppress or kill on a moment’s notice, in his god’s name.