Utopia of Thomas More
History of life and creation of Thomas More. Basic ideas of his prominent work are "Utopia". Criticism of early feudal and capitalist society and idea of the perfect social and political systems. Opinion of contemporaries and criticism of "Utopia".
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1. Thomas More Biography
2. The main ideas of the book "Utopia"
3. The criticisms of early feudal and capitalist society
4. The perfect social and political system
5. Critique of "Utopia"
In 1516, More published Utopia, a work of fiction primarily depicting a pagan and communist island on which social and political customs are entirely governed by reason. The description of the island of Utopia comes from a mysterious traveler to support his position that communism is the only cure for the egoism found in both private and public life--a direct jab at Christian Europe, which was seen by More as divided by self-interest and greed.
Utopia covered such far-reaching topics as theories of punishment, state-controlled education, multi-religion societies, divorce, euthanasia and women's rights, and the resulting display of learning and skill established More as a foremost humanist. Utopia also became the forerunner of a new literary genre: the utopian romance.
The era of the late middle ages at the turn between the middle ages and the new time-Renaissance-enriched the political thought of the brilliant and deeply original formulation of the principle of social harmony and justice, based on public property. This scientific feat was performed by Thomas Moore issued in 1516, the famous "Utopia", eight publications which emerged one after another, were snapped up with incredible speed.
utopia literary political society
1. Thomas More Biography
Philosopher, Lawyer, Saint, Journalist (1478-1535)
Thomas More is known for his 1516 book Utopia and for his untimely death in 1535, after refusing to acknowledge King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. He was canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint in 1935.
Born in London, England, in 1478, More's book Utopia was the forerunner of the utopian literary genre. More served as an important counselor to King Henry VIII of England, serving as his key counselor in the early 1500s, but after he refused to accept the king as head of the Church of England, he was tried for treason and beheaded (he died in London, England, in 1535). More is noted for coining the word "Utopia," in reference to an ideal political system in which policies are governed by reason. He was canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint in 1935, and has been commemorated by the Church of England as a "Reformation martyr."
2. The main ideas of the book "Utopia"
2.1 The criticisms of early feudal and capitalist society
"Utopia" is written in the form of a story about the journey, which is maintained on behalf of the fictitious person Gitlodey. The book is divided into two parts and it is dominated by two themes: criticism of contemporary society; description of the political system on the island of Utopia, the lost in the expanse of the Indian Ocean.
The sea reveals the parasitism of the aristocracy, the clergy, the army of servants, hired troops and unabated desire of the upper classes to luxury with no worries of workers.
"There are a large number of notable, he writes, that live in idleness, like drones, the works of others, for example, holders of their lands, which are to increase revenues they shorn to the live meat".
As the sea and makes the first steps of capitalism on English soil-"ring-fencing", leading to "sheep devoured men.
Criticism of early feudal and capitalist society focuses on State policy. As he writes, European society itself has established thieves in order to enjoy the spectacle of their hanging. He sees a solution to the problem of crime in the abolition of social contrasts, taking care of workers, protection of their land to the landless, etc.
The sea brings innovative for its time, the idea that the punishment should re-educate, not frightening. on proportionality of crime and punishment: to replace the death penalty forced labor. Thomas has sharply criticized the feudal rulers, who see their calling in the conquest, rather than in a public improvement. The root of social injustice More sees in private property.
2.2 The perfect social and political system
On the island of Utopia no private property, money, complete equality reigns. The basis of society is family run and the staff. Work is compulsory for all. All citizens learn a craft and alternately engaged in agricultural work, moving back to the countryside for two years. In order not to contribute to the development of their own instincts, the family regularly exchange houses. Collectivism brought up the meals together citizens.
Everything you need for the life of the head of households receive from public warehouses. ..
For unpleasant the work of utopia resorted to slave labor. However, the number of slaves small. They are prisoners of war, the citizens of Utopia, convicted of a crime (on the island banned capital punishment).
However, it can be removed if there is suspected quest forty runny. The remaining officers and Senate, consisting of the old and experienced citizens who are elected annually. No important matter is not solved without the Senate and National Assembly. Thus, the representative system combined with elements of direct democracy directly.
The main concern of the State Organization of production and distribution of the races. It fights against crime and protect the country against aggression and maintained a foreign policy which aims to ensure peace.
3. Critique of "Utopia"
As Socialist ideas won public recognition around socialism Thomas began an acute ideological struggle. It is possible to distinguish two main directions: one was to prove that socialism was not the ideal of Thomas, and the other is to prove that this ideal is bad.
A prominent place in the interpretation «Utopia» belongs to the Catholic literature. Listing of Thomas as a Saint of the Catholic Church, for reasons of propaganda was to dissociate themselves from socialism. Therefore, the ideologists of the Church trying different ways to instill the idea that Communism is not a conviction of Thomas that the meaning of "Utopia" only in abstract preaching brotherly love, team spirit and release a shower of instinct of greed. The second direction of critics Thomas, on the other hand, binds his ideas with socialism, not only in a utopian, but scientific, and even with the real. The leitmotif of the critics-the danger of utopias, of their ability to become a reality and the threat that they pose to the free development of man. "Utopia can be, life goes to Utopia and now we are facing problems, agonizing in a completely new respect: How can we avoid their actual implementation? "wrote N. Berdyaev
Thomas was not only the founder of the school of Utopian socialism, but also the founder of its democratic direction, understanding socialism not merely as a rational organization of society, but also as a means of resolving social contradictions, the abolition of social inequality and exploitation. Thomas, a Democrat, and in the sense that he built a political system of Utopia on the principles of freedom, equality and respect for the human person.
In this way. Thomas has made a major contribution to the history of socialism. The utopian writings of Thomas and another major philosopher and humanist-Tommaso Campanella (1568-1839)-served as a source for socio-political ideas of Socialists-19th century utopians A. Saint-Simon, R. Owen and other representatives of Socialist thought.
1. Thomas More. "Utopia"-M., 1978.
2. M. Alekseev "Slavic sources of Thomas More's Utopia", 1955.
3. Volodin A.I. "Utopia and history, 1976.
4. Zastenker N.E. "Utopian socialism", 1973.
5. Kautskiy N. "Thomas more and his Utopia”, 1924.
6. History of political and legal doctrines. The middle ages and the Renaissance-M. Science 1986
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