Thomas Morer’s, Utopia, examines the fundamental ways in which a society works and maintains itself. Utopia exposes the insanity and evils of Morer’s society by painting an alternative, the ideal society. There was a time and place in England where the wealthy were extravagant and the poor were worse than poor. The rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer. Under the ruling of King Henry VII, there was an enormous gap between the wealthy and the poor. Majority of the people where homeless and poverty stricken. Then came the ideal society which uses rational thought alone in political, religious practices, and in society. The Utopian political structure was revolutionary compared to any of Europe’s. Decisions were made to benefit everyone in the Utopian society. There was no such thing as financial superiority since Utopia, had no form of money. Values were placed on human life rather than possessions. Through Utopia, More illustrates a fantasy, an alternative way of living for the people.
Utopian society, portrays a nation based on rational thought. Utopians believe that human life is of a higher value than that of material possessions. For example, in the conversation with the lawyer and Hythloday, the lawyer praises English laws for hanging of thieves. Hythloday answers, It seems to me a very unjust thing to take away a manr’s life for a little money, for nothing in the world can be of equal value with a manr’s life (More, ebook). Hythloday states that the capital punishment in which England is enforcing is too harsh and theft should not be the cause of the death penalty, and death will not stop a person from stealing in order to provide food for their family. In regards, they should find other options to punish these people because it will only eliminate crime not the criminals. Hythloday offers other options like making sure everyone has enough to eat which goes in hand with the Utopian policies in which everyone has and shares everything, not one citizen in Utopia has more or less than someone else everything is shared equally. Because of this no citizen of Utopia will suffer or ever be short of utilities, food etc. Utopians believe in equality and it is one of the many things that sets it apart from England.
In addition, Utopian society has eliminated wealth, Utopians do not believe in financial superiority therefore, there is no form of money. Since wealth does not exist neither does private property, Utopians have established communal property instead. Hythloday states, …as long as there is any property, and while money is the standard of all other things, I cannot think that a nation can be governed either justly or happily (More, ebook). Hythloday states that since there is no private property wealth does no exist which is one of the main reasons why the civilians of Utopia have happiness. Where there is private property happiness among the people will not exist and more problems will arise among the society. But since Utopia is an establishment of communal property, the civilians do not care about being rich. Therefore, greed does not exist and people will not have to worry about financial issues, which will lead to no greed or corruption in the society and everyone will be happy.
As stated before, Utopia is not like any other civilization they do not believe in social classes and hierarchies. Every citizen of Utopia is equal and works the same amount of hours and lives in identical houses so no one feels higher than others. As Hythloday described it, …yet they do not wear themselves out… as if they were beasts of burden…but they, dividing the day and night into twenty-four hours, appoint six of these for work, three of which are before dinner and three after… go to bed and sleep eight hours (More, Ebook). Unlike England, Utopia follows this schedule rigorously. Utopians do not believe that human beings should exhaust themselves over laborious work so everyone splits up their work to help one another not only to benefit their society, but to help their neighbors and people from their community because that will help their community prosper. Unlike England, where the poor tend to work many hours of harsh work and still not make enough or any money at all, while the rich and wealthy barely work and still have tons of money left over. That is exactly what the Utopians do not want to happen in their society which is why they do not believe in social classes and hierarchies. In the Utopian civilization everyone helps one another and contributes to their community which in all helps it grow, and leaves no room for beggers or for people to be homeless. However, the same cannot be said towards England.
In addition, Utopia is tolerant of many religions however they are all similar in that they all believe in one God. All the religions practice tolerance of one another which keeps the peace in Utopia. Religions are able to try to convert others into their own faith only by means that they do it quietly and politely. If the person denies conversion that religion is not allowed to attack other religions or cause violence of any sort. One believe that Utopians do not accept is atheism because it is seen as immoral. Utopians believe that if one was atheist that person would act selfishly and would seek physical and mental pleasures which could disrupt the peace.
One similarity exists between Utopian religion, Calvinism, and Lutheranism and that is faith. For example Utopians believe, the soul of man is immortal, and that God…therefore, appointed rewards for good and virtuous actions, and punishments for vice, to be distributed after this life (More, Ebook). Utopians have faith in the afterlife in which God will punish the bad and reward the good. No matter what religion they all have faith in one god. Calvinism and Lutheranism both believe in justification by faith only. However, all Utopian, Calvinism and Lutheranism differ, but are similar in that they do not accept atheism. For example, in the article John Calvin: On Predestination Calvin states, Whence we infer, that they who know not themselves to be God’s peculiar people will be tortured with continual anxiety (Calvin, 1). Calvin states those who do not believe in the word of god, salvation, or in an afterlife will live in torture. In addition, the article The Tower Experience, 1519 Luther states, “The justice of God is revealed in it, as it is written: ‘The just person lives by faith.'” the justice of God is that by which the just person lives by a gift of God, that is by faith (Luther, 1). Luther states, that God will forgive us if one has faith. Once again stating the justification of faith that all three; Utopians, Calvinism, and Lutheranism have in common.
There are some people in England who would not approve of a society like Utopia. Due to the fact that Utopia abolished some of the things that England people take pride in. For example, Utopia eliminated money from their society and private property. Clearly, in Europe the rich are very prideful when it comes to money and their private property so a society like Utopia would not suit them or benefit them in any way. Another important aspect about Utopia is that they centralize the common good of all in their community, not just the private. Utopians like to see everyone in their community prosper, not just one group of individuals like England.
In that matter, people like the King, the Pope, and the wealthy would not agree or accept Morer’s model state. This group of people belong to the upper class, have tons of money, and power in their society. A society with the rules and values of Utopia would not suit them due to the fact that Utopia believes in equality. In England, the rich get richer and the poor seem to get poorer. People like the King and wealthy seem to benefit from the poor, so they would not want to see or be in a place where their just as equal as someone who is poor. Not to include the fact that if the wealthy including the King, were to live in a society like Utopia their power and riches would be nonexistent because one Utopia abolished money, social classes, and hierarchies;three things that people in England take pride in. In conclusion, a society like Utopia would not benefit them, theyll end up losing everything they prioritize. Since they wont be able to get richer nor have people to make them richer everything and everyone would be equal.