Thomas More was a diplomat, a humanist, a friend of Erasmus Rotterdam, and, in addition, a Chancellor. More wrote one of the most famous books, in which he analyzed the ideal human society – Utopia. Another work on the theme of ideal societies was written by Plutarch. Still, it was after this book that the term “utopia” was started to be used to refer to a fabulous, beautiful, but impossible dream. Great people of humanity take utopia as a model trying to change the world. Key features, which make society an ideal state as described by Thomas More and Plutarch, are different for a society with no finance and a completely liberal and free state with no limitations. Nevertheless, the ideal image of a society is based on free will and equality.
More describes an island, that is a home to 100,000 people. These people have a strong government; The population is regulated by authorities. Population does not know what are taxes, poverty, and thefts. Every 50 families live in a group and have their own mayor. Mayors (syphograntes) visit the Soviets. The Board elects a Prince (Ruler) from a list of four candidates. The governor is elected for life. However, if he becomes a tyrant, he can be removed. For wars these residents use mercenaries (Zapoletes). Those are killed in fights, so nobody is afraid of military coups by the army. Even though everything seems to be ideal, there is a clear evidence that people are deprived: government here lives its life, since people have no rights and no voice. Freedom is completely absent. For example, this book does not mention who these people fight with and who pays for wars and trainings.
Secondly, there is no financial structure in a society. Hence, there is no money in this society. Each person takes what is needed. All houses are the same. There are no locks on the doors. Everyone should move to another house every 10 years not to get used to the previous one. Clearly, equality is dominant. It is evident that such a trait is extremely beneficial for a society. What is more, idleness is prohibited. There are no housewives, no nobility, no priests, no servants, and no beggars. The working day lasts 6 hours. Everyone needs to work two years in the field in order to create free products. Still, redistribution of manufactured products for creating a savings fund society is not described. In cases of adultery in a family, attempts to escape from the island, and attempts to assign results of social labor a person loses his title of a citizen and becomes a slave. Again, More (1885) does not describe what evaluation criteria for these offenses are. However, it is clear that all power is in hands of the Soviets, who form an analog of the ruling party. The “ideal” system invented by Thomas More (1885) prompted political activity of Lenin, who repeatedly stated his desire to make a humanity become a society based on the principles presented in the mentioned work.
In this book, More (1885) described the ideal state, which does not practice the oppression of the weak and does not have forced labor. Once again the idea of equality is prevalent resulting in an ideal society. Namely, these are two specific notions, which cause main difficulties in real societies. People want to be stronger and work for fun. Hence, the success of Island Utopia was huge. This work immediately made More one of the first politicians in England. In living images More (1885) draws a picture of a decent state, already created, and living a full life on an imaginary island. The life of this classless nation-state is described in great detail. More knew life too well to believe that any class, no matter how good its intentions were, could hold power in its hands without the oppression of poor majority. More looked far into the future and opposed the communist system, in which everything belonged to everybody, to a class society. In his state everything is distributed according to a notion that labor is necessary. One needs to work and can get all he needs. All labor is rewarded according to a merit, and everyone lives in luxury (1885). There is no private property. The island of Utopia has 24 large cities identical in language, customs, laws, and institutions. In addition, there are farms equipped with all necessary farm implements. These estates consist of people, gradually departing from cities to the countryside. Each rural family should not be less than 40 members: men and women. Every year after spending two years on a farm, 20 people return to a city and are replaced with 20 other citizens, who study agriculture with the remaining 20, who had already lived for a year on a farm and are knowledgeable about agriculture. Queue for farmers is introduced in order to prevent anyone from going against his will and be forced to do hard and exhausting agricultural work for too long.
Villagers work on fields, tend livestock, and cut firewood, which is transported to a city. They are also engaged in artificial breeding of chickens by means of special devices for incubation. The main occupation of Utopians is farming, but along with that, every person masters a craft as his/her specialty. In fact, both men and women are taught. Their crafts are mainly connected with processing wool and linen. In addition, there is a craft mason, a profession of blacksmith and a carpenter. Other branches of labor have very little use. Here, all people work except the leaders of the society and those, who have received permission from the people to devote themselves to science. If these people do not justify the hopes placed on them, they are placed in the category of artisans. Hence, there is no private property and no money in Utopia. Everyone is only concerned with affairs of a society, and everything is evenly distributed based on the principle that everyone is working as much as he can and gets as much as he should. Although there is no property, all people are rich and everyone is calm and leads a carefree life.
More’s book Utopia tries to create an ideal image of a country. It is based on author's view of social organization that knows no private property. In Utopia land belongs to all people, while family is a basic economic unit of Utopia. Everything a family produces it donates to the state, while in turn receiving items it needs for free. Gold and silver are valued below Utopians iron (1885). There are slaves in Utopia, but they can become free if they show their best. Utopians have big dining rooms in their houses, which offer luxurious and plentiful food. People are taken to well-equipped hospitals when they need it.
Religious views of Utopians are based on reason and nature. While writing Utopia, Thomas More refers to an ancient tradition. He quotes Plato and his dreams of a state without private property (State). He also uses Four Sailing by Amerigo Vespucci and other works (1885). Utopian novel presents a well-designed model of a perfect world order. It is a large drawing not pretending to be a painting. Thomas More's novel Utopia had an impact on the creation of utopian novel genre in literature (1885). More was a supporter of collective land property, public labor, equality, and elimination of contradictions with mental and physical labor. In other words, More tried to discover characteristics of an ideal society. In fact, at the first sight, it might seem that this goal was achieved since More created a world with no problems and a well-organized structure.
However, something fell behind. This equality is false since no freedom is available. Utopian socialists did not care about people’s psychology. A key factor here is freedom and the right of choice. In other words, by creating equality among people Utopians deprived a person of happiness. Finally, a person can be happy when he/she is unique in some way: richer or poorer, smaller or taller. Utopia denies any differences and makes all equal. There is no opportunity for a person to differentiate from a crowd: he/she is just a part of it. What is more, socialists of Utopia suggested punishing any deviations from established standards. A man should become an obedient and unambitious robot. Can this be possible? Most likely, yes. However, one needs much time to fill in gaps without information. Here, only the state can reinforce propaganda to make it applicable. Hence, there is a need to completely isolate a country from the outside world as well as to keep its residents away from any chance to experience the joy of freedom. Again, complete isolation of people from the outside world is impossible.
Hence, the idea of communism presented by Thomas More was utopian and unattainable (1885). However, it was created based on profound knowledge of life and understanding of needs of the time. More was the first who tried to adapt communism to the newly emerging capitalist society. He was also the first in the world to state an advanced basic principle of communism, which later became the theory of scientific communism of Karl Marx: from each – according to his ability, to each – according to needs. Unfortunately, the ways to create a communist society were not advised by More. However, at that time he simply could not do it. What kind of a society can be rightfully named ideal, taking into account the sociological thought contemporary achievement? There is no doubt that this will be a society of equality. But this should be the equality in opportunities and rights. This is a state full of freedom: freedom of speech, thought, movements, and actions, but with equal approach to every human being. Even though Utopia has many advantages, it does not make people happy. This is because an ideal society cannot exist without freedom and equality.