Who defines this 'firmer grounding in reality'? *THE* reality is that mankind cannot perfect itself. Nobody is immune to BHN (that's Basic Human Nature, for those of you in Rio Linda). Thus any attempt to build 'utopia' by *any* human being is doomed from the start.
It appears that this simple cause-effect paradigm is totally beyond most academics, though. I guess it isn't obscure enough for them to comprehend...
I completely agree that humanity cannot perfect itself. And whenever the utopians have gained power, rather than improving the human condition, the outcome is usually the deaths of millions . Yet it seems that we also have an inescapable obligation to improve our condition. Sometimes that seems like a contradiction.