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Freedom And Manipulation In Utopia By Thomas Moore

1573 words - 7 pages

Looking the word “freedom” up in the dictionary, I encounter with the following definition: the condition or right of being able or allowed to do, say, think, etc. whatever you want to, without being controlled or limited.¹³ Then, we can assume when you are unable to say things you would like to say, or to think in a different way than the one that has been imposed to you, you are not wholly free.
That assumption leads me to have a deeper look at the Utopian Republic, citizens of which are supposedly free beings.
In Utopia, one has to apply to the authorities and get their permission to visit other towns as well as to start the journey which cannot take longer than ...view middle of the document...

They are being brain-washed throughout their entire lives and have no idea of what they are being exposed to. The manipulation to convert each individual into a particle of the whole, to make them almost the same, and above all, to suppress their differences so that no one would go against the norms of the society starts when Utopians are little children, when it is almost too easy to affect and direct them however desired. “They do their utmost to ensure that, while children are still at an impressionable age, they’re given the right idea about things –the sort of ideas best calculated to preserve the structure of their society. If thoroughly absorbed in the childhood, these ideas will persist throughout adult life, and so contribute greatly to the safety of the state, which is never seriously threatened except by moral defects arising from wrong ideas.” ¹⁷
Silencing the children, not letting them express themselves before their ideas are thoroughly shaped by the elderly and taking their freedom of speech away from them in a sense is another way of keeping the young population under control and ensuring that they would not cause any problems not only now but also in the future as grown-ups. “The other children …wait at the table in the dining-room, or if they’re too young for that, just stand there and keep absolutely quiet.”¹⁸ They keep absolutely quiet until the time when what they say becomes what others would like to hear.
Religion, as expected, plays a crucial role when it comes to leading people to certain ways. In order to make people live with the values set by the traditions in a rather dull way, since the so-called lower pleasures are strictly discouraged, religious manipulation is used. Promising people an afterlife in which they would be rewarded for staying away from those pleasures and even for suffering in this world makes people expect things from the Parent, “For what’s the sense of struggling to be virtuous, denying yourself the pleasant things of life, and deliberately making yourself uncomfortable, if there’s nothing you hope to gain by it?”¹⁹, “God will reward us for such small sacrifices of momentary pleasure, by giving us an eternity of perfect joy.”²⁰. God will give you a lot more if you are willing to give up what you can get now. This centuries-old manipulative bargain has always been effective to make people live as you’d like them to live, as it is the case in Utopia, just like elsewhere.
They use the techniques of manipulation, especially by the tricks of the language, to justify their questionable actions. They declare a war out of the blue and say what is being said even today: It’s a war to bring peace to the region. “But they hardly ever go to war, except …to liberate the victims of dictatorship –which they do in a spirit of humanity, just because they feel sorry for them.”²¹ Similarly, even though they theoretically should be against exploitation, since they live a communal life in which everybody produces...

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