Utopia by Thomas More (1516)

“Utopia” is a book written by Thomas More in 1516. It is a work of fiction that presents an ideal society called Utopia, which is governed by reason and communal ownership. The book is written in the form of a dialogue between the author and a traveler named Raphael Hythloday, who has visited Utopia and describes its customs and institutions.

The book was banned in several countries for its controversial content, including England, where More was executed in 1535 for refusing to acknowledge the supremacy of the king over the Church of England. The book was also banned in Catholic countries for its criticism of the Church’s practices and corruption.

Here are 20 key points from the book:

  1. Utopia is an ideal society where everyone is equal and has equal access to resources.
  2. Private property does not exist in Utopia; everything is owned collectively.
  3. Utopians value education and all children receive a good education.
  4. Utopians work six hours a day, with the rest of the day devoted to leisure activities.
  5. Utopians practice religious tolerance and allow freedom of worship.
  6. Utopians have a system of communal living, where families live in groups of 30 or so people.
  7. Utopians value simplicity and avoid luxury.
  8. Utopians have a complex system of laws and punishments to maintain order and harmony.
  9. Utopians have a unique form of governance, where officials are elected by the people and serve for a limited time.
  10. Utopians value agriculture and farming over other industries.
  11. Utopians value physical exercise and sports.
  12. Utopians discourage the accumulation of wealth and material possessions.
  13. Utopians have a system of social welfare to support the elderly and disabled.
  14. Utopians have a system of public healthcare.
  15. Utopians discourage the consumption of meat.
  16. Utopians have a system of public hygiene and sanitation.
  17. Utopians have a system of public education.
  18. Utopians discourage the use of money and instead use a system of barter and trade.
  19. Utopians have a system of communal child-rearing.
  20. Utopians believe in the importance of social harmony and cooperation over individualism.

Overall, “Utopia” presents an ideal society that challenges the norms and practices of More’s time. The book was banned for its criticism of the Church and its radical ideas about social organization and governance. Despite its controversial nature, “Utopia” remains an important work of political philosophy and has influenced many thinkers and writers throughout history.