Utopia Essay

4225 words - 17 pages

Utopia

In the year 1515, a book in Latin text was published which became the most significant and controversial text ever written in the field of political science. Entitled, ‘DE OPTIMO REIPUBLICATE STATU DEQUE NOVA INSULA UTOPIA, clarissimi disertissimique viri THOMAE MORI inclutae civitatis Londinensis civis et Vicecomitis’, translated into English would read, ‘ON THE BEST STATE OF A COMMONWEALTH AND ON THE NEW ISLAND OF UTOPIA, by the Most Distinguished and Eloquent Author THOMAS MORE Citizen and Undersheriff of the Famous City of London.’.

Utopia (Latin: no-place) is a society of great planning and capability. A community where individuals compromised their rights for the good of the collective and focused on a communal goal. These ideals of an infinitely capable and cooperative. Utopic society have captured the imagination of the greatest minds throughout the centuries. One may find the origin of Utopian thoughts in the Republic and Law conceived by Plato and in The Nicomachean Ethics and Politics created by Aristotle. The two individuals are the founding fathers of western philosophy, and their works are the basis of the western political science. Despite the thoughts on a planned society that preceded More in the field of Utopic philosophy, the first complete Utopia was credited to More and it became the pinnacle of Renaissance humanist thought. In the book, Utopia, More employed the fictional character Ralpheal Hythloday to bring a practical Utopia to the readers. The travelogue of the Island of Utopia from Hythloday would act as the model of many Eutopias (Latin: happy-place) and dystopias (Latin: opposite-place) created from a variety of interpretations by authors such as Karl Marx, revolutionist, and H.G Wells, Eutopian thinkers, to Aldous Huxley and George Owell, dystopian writers.

As Logan, Adam and Miller writes in the introduction of MORE: Utopia Latin text and English Translation :
‘Utopia treats fundamental issues of human nature and society, and brings to bear on them a seldom-matched combination of classical learning, practical experience and depth and complexity of the mind. Richly elusive and endlessly enigmatic, intriguing to scholars in several disciplines and inspiring to reformers and revolutionaries,’(Pg. xvii)

The fundamental issues of human nature and morals continues to be examined and explored by scholars as many attempted to find a compromise between the individuals and the collective. Ancient testaments such as the Bible, Koran and Torah were attempts to set a standard for human behavior and morality that is optimized for the well-being of the individual and the strength of the collective. Utopia serves to prove the pinnacle of human achievement possible by a community that practice the art of self-sacrifice and unselfish care of its citizens.

I remain optimistic to the thought of Utopia as the following text attempts to clarify the true Utopia as a contrast to 14th century Europe, failed...

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