Utopia is a work of fiction and socio-political satire by Thomas More (–) , written in Latin and published in The book is a frame narrative primarily. In his most famous and controversial book, Utopia, Thomas More imagines a perfect island nation where thousands live in peace and harmony, men and women. Utopia [Thomas More] on forfindsebullperf.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Thomas More's Utopia is one of the most influential books in western literature.
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Utopia book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Utopia (Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optim. Sir Thomas More ( - ) was the first person to write of a 'utopia', a word used to describe a perfect imaginary world. More's book imagines a complex. Utopia. By Thomas More Sir Thomas More, son of Sir John More, a justice of the. King's Bench The book, which seems to contain the knowledge and opin-.
Marx had no interest in human perfection. There is nothing in his work to suggest that post-capitalist societies would be magically free of predators, psychopaths, free-loaders, Piers Morgan-types or people who stow their luggage on aircraft with surreal slowness, indifferent to the fact that there are 50 people queuing behind them.
The idea that history is moving ever onwards and upwards is an invention of the middle-class Enlightenment, not of the left.
Photograph: The Granger Collection, New York Marx, however, was aware that there are two kinds of starry-eyed idealist. There are those like the French 19th-century thinker Charles Fourier, who looked forward to a future in which the sea would turn into lemonade, and whose ideal social unit consisted of exactly 1, people.
Then there is the other bunch of wild-eyed idealists who hold that the future will be pretty much like the present. Our system is run by a set of dreamers who call themselves realists. To expect the future to be different is not of course to maintain that it will be better. It might be a great deal worse. The point is that history is malleable enough for us to choose. No sooner had the political theorists of the s proclaimed that history was at an end than two aircraft slammed into the World Trade Center , and a whole new historical narrative began to unfold.
All true utopianists do themselves out of a job. The only place where there is no need for utopian thought is in utopia, a country that Oscar Wilde considered every genuine map of the world should contain.
There will be no need for feminists once patriarchy and sexism are dim memories of a benighted past. Until then, critics of the present must remain properly otherworldly, despite the taunts of their political opponents. They must refuse the transparent falsehood that the world we see around us is the best we can muster.
Now when the stomachs of those that are thus turned out of doors grow keen, they rob no less keenly; and what else can they do? But this bad custom, so common among you, of keeping many servants, is not peculiar to this nation.
In France there is yet a more pestiferous sort of people, for the whole country is full of soldiers, still kept up in time of peace, if such a state of a nation can be called a peace: and these are kept in pay upon the same account that you plead for those idle retainers about noblemen; this being a maxim of those pretended statesmen that it is necessary for the public safety to have a good body of veteran soldiers ever in readiness.
They think raw men are not to be depended on, and they sometimes seek occasions for making war, that they may train up their soldiers in the art of cutting throats; or as Sallust observed, for keeping their hands in use, that they may not grow dull by too long an intermission.
But France has learned to its cost how dangerous it is to feed such beasts. Every day's experience shows that the mechanics in the towns, or the clowns in the country, are not afraid of fighting with those idle gentlemen, if they are not disabled by some misfortune in their body, or dispirited by extreme want, so that you need not fear that those well-shaped and strong men for it is only such that noblemen love to keep about them, till they spoil them who now grow feeble with ease, and are softened with their effeminate manner of life, would be less fit for action if they were well bred and well employed.
And it seems very unreasonable that for the prospect of a war, which you need never have but when you please, you should maintain so many idle men, as will always disturb you in time of peace, which is ever to be more considered than war.
But I do not think that this necessity of stealing arises only from hence; there is another cause of it more peculiar to England. They stop the course of agriculture, destroying houses and towns, reserving only the churches, and enclose grounds that they may lodge their sheep in them.
As if forests and parks had swallowed up too little of the land, those worthy countrymen turn the best inhabited places in solitudes, for when an insatiable wretch, who is a plague to his country, resolves to enclose many thousand acres of ground, the owners as well as tenants are turned out of their possessions, by tricks, or by main force, or being wearied out with ill-usage, they are forced to sell them.
By which means those miserable people, both men and women, married and unmarried, old and young, with their poor but numerous families since country business requires many hands , are all forced to change their seats, not knowing whither to go; and they must sell almost for nothing their household stuff, which could not bring them much money, even though they might stay for a buyer. When that little money is at an end, for it will be soon spent, what is left for them to do, but either to steal and so to be hanged God knows how justly , or to go about and beg?
And if they do this, they are put in prison as idle vagabonds; while they would willingly work, but can find none that will hire them; for there is no more occasion for country labor, to which they have been bred, when there is no arable ground left. One shepherd can look after a flock which will stock an extent of ground that would require many hands if it were to be ploughed and reaped. This likewise in many places raises the price of corn.
For since the increase of pasture, God has punished the avarice of the owners by a rot among the sheep, which has destroyed vast numbers of them; to us it might have seemed more just had it fell on the owners themselves. But suppose the sheep should increase ever so much, their price is not like to fall; since though they cannot be called a monopoly, because they are not engrossed by one person, yet they are in so few hands, and these are so rich, that as they are not pressed to sell them sooner than they have a mind to it, so they never do it till they have raised the price as high as possible.
And on the same account it is, that the other kinds of cattle are so dear, because many villages being pulled down, and all country labor being much neglected, there are none who make it their business to breed them. The rich do not breed cattle as they do sheep, but buy them lean, and at low prices; and after they have fattened them on their grounds sell them again at high rates. And I do not think that all the inconveniences this will produce are yet observed, for as they sell the cattle dear, so if they are consumed faster than the breeding countries from which they are brought can afford them, then the stock must decrease, and this must needs end in great scarcity; and by these means this your island, which seemed as to this particular the happiest in the world, will suffer much by the cursed avarice of a few persons; besides this, the rising of corn makes all people lessen their families as much as they can; and what can those who are dismissed by them do, but either beg or rob?
And to this last, a man of a great mind is much sooner drawn than to the former. You have also many infamous houses, and, besides those that are known, the taverns and alehouses are no better; add to these, dice, cards, tables, foot-ball, tennis, and quoits, in which money runs fast away; and those that are initiated into them, must in the conclusion betake themselves to robbing for a supply.
Banish these plagues, and give orders that those who have dispeopled so much soil, may either rebuild the villages they have pulled down, or let out their grounds to such as will do it: restrain those engrossings of the rich, that are as bad almost as monopolies; leave fewer occasions to idleness; let agriculture be set up again, and the manufacture of the wool be regulated, that so there may be work found for those companies of idle people whom want forces to be thieves, or who, now being idle vagabonds or useless servants, will certainly grow thieves at last.
If you do not find a remedy to these evils, it is a vain thing to boast of your severity in punishing theft, which though it may have the appearance of justice, yet in itself is neither just nor convenient.
For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them? And that I may begin where I promised, there were four things —' "'Hold your peace,' said the cardinal; 'this will take up too much time; therefore we will at present ease you of the trouble of answering, and reserve it to our next meeting, which shall be to-morrow, if Raphael's affairs and yours can admit of it.
But, Raphael,' said he to me, 'I would gladly know upon what reason it is that you think theft ought not to be punished by death?
Would you give way to it? Or do you propose any other punishment that will be more useful to the public? For since death does not restrain theft, if men thought their lives would be safe, what fear or force could restrain ill men? On the contrary, they would look on the mitigation of the punishment as an invitation to commit more crimes. God has commanded us not to kill, and shall we kill so easily for a little money? Jewels are worn by children, who finally give them up as they mature.
Other significant innovations of Utopia include: a welfare state with free hospitals, euthanasia permissible by the state, priests being allowed to marry, divorce permitted, premarital sex punished by a lifetime of enforced celibacy and adultery being punished by enslavement. Meals are taken in community dining halls and the job of feeding the population is given to a different household in turn.
Although all are fed the same, Raphael explains that the old and the administrators are given the best of the food. Travel on the island is only permitted with an internal passport and any people found without a passport are, on a first occasion, returned in disgrace, but after a second offence they are placed in slavery.
In addition, there are no lawyers and the law is made deliberately simple, as all should understand it and not leave people in any doubt of what is right and wrong. There are several religions on the island: moon-worshipers , sun-worshipers , planet-worshipers , ancestor-worshipers and monotheists , but each is tolerant of the others.
Only atheists are despised but allowed in Utopia, as they are seen as representing a danger to the state: since they do not believe in any punishment or reward after this life, they have no reason to share the communistic life of Utopia, and will break the laws for their own gain. They are not banished, but are encouraged to talk out their erroneous beliefs with the priests until they are convinced of their error. Raphael says that through his teachings Christianity was beginning to take hold in Utopia.
The toleration of all other religious ideas is enshrined in a universal prayer all the Utopians recite. Only few widowed women become priests.
While all are trained in military arts, women confess their sins to their husbands once a month. Gambling, hunting, makeup and astrology are all discouraged in Utopia. The role allocated to women in Utopia might, however, have been seen as being more liberal from a contemporary point of view.
Utopians do not like to engage in war. If they feel countries friendly to them have been wronged, they will send military aid, but they try to capture, rather than kill, enemies. They are upset if they achieve victory through bloodshed. The main purpose of war is to achieve that which, if they had achieved already, they would not have gone to war over.
Privacy is not regarded as freedom in Utopia; taverns, ale-houses and places for private gatherings are non-existent for the effect of keeping all men in full view, so that they are obliged to behave well.
Framework[ edit ] The story is written from the perspective of More himself.
This was common at the time, and More uses his own name and background to create the narrator Baker-Smith. In an amical dialogue with More and Giles, Hythloday expresses strong criticism of then-modern practices in England and other Catholicism-dominated countries, such as the crime of theft being punishable by death, and the over-willingness of kings to start wars Getty, Book two has Hythloday tell his interlocutors about Utopia, where he has lived for five years, with the aim of convincing them about its superior state of affairs.
Utopia turns out to be a socialist state.
Interpretations about this important part of the book vary. Gilbert notes that while some experts believe that More supports socialism, others believe that he shows how socialism is impractical. The former would argue that More used book two to show how socialism would work in practice.
Individual cities are run by privately elected princes and families are made up of ten to sixteen adults living in a single household. It is unknown if More truly believed in socialism, or if he printed Utopia as a way to show that true socialism was impractical Gilbert.
More printed many writings involving socialism, some seemingly in defense of the practices, and others seemingly scathing satires against it. Some scholars believe that More uses this structure to show the perspective of something as an idea against something put into practice. Hythloday describes the city as perfect and ideal.
He believes the society thrives and is perfect. As such, he is used to represent the more fanatic socialists and radical reformists of his day.