Thomas More's Utopia

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Utopia is a work of fiction and political philosophy by Thomas More. The book is a frame narrative primarily depicting a fictional island society and its religious, social and political customs. There is no private property on Utopia, with goods being stored in warehouses and people requesting what they need. There are also no locks on the doors of the houses, which are rotated between the citizens every ten years. Agriculture is the most important job on the island. Every person is taught it and must live in the countryside, farming for two years at a time, with women doing the same work as men. Parallel to this, every citizen must learn at least one of the other essential trades: weaving (mainly done by the women), carpentry, metalsmithing and masonry. There is deliberate simplicity about these trades; for instance, all people wear the same types of simple clothes and there are no dressmakers making fine apparel. All able-bodied citizens must work; thus unemployment is eradicated, and the length of the working day can be minimised: the people only have to work six hours a day (although many willingly work for longer). More does allow scholars in his society to become the ruling officials or priests, people picked during their primary education for their ability to learn. All other citizens are however encouraged to apply themselves to learning in their leisure time. Slavery is a feature of Utopian life and it is reported that every household has two slaves. The slaves are either from other countries or are the Utopian criminals. These criminals are weighed down with chains made out of gold. The gold is part of the community wealth of the country, and fettering criminals with it or using it for shameful things like chamber pots gives the citizens a healthy dislike of it. It also makes it difficult to steal as it is in plain view. The wealth, though, is of little importance and is only good for buying commodities from foreign nations or bribing these nations to fight each other. Slaves are periodically released for good behaviour. Jewels are worn by children, who finally give them up as they mature. Other significant innovations of Utopia include: a welfare state with free hospitals, euthanasia permissible by the state, priests being allowed to marry, divorce permitted, premarital sex punished by a lifetime of enforced celibacy and adultery being punished by enslavement. Meals are taken in community dining halls and the job of feeding the population is given to a different household in turn. Although all are fed the same, Raphael explains that the old and the administrators are given the best of the food. Travel on the island is only permitted with an internal passport and any people found without a passport are, on a first occasion, returned in disgrace, but after a second offence they are placed in slavery. In addition, there are no lawyers and the law is made deliberately simple, as all should understand it.
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Additional Information

Publisher
BookRix
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Published on
May 22, 2019
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Pages
175
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ISBN
9783736808225
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Dystopian narrative is a product of the social ferment of the twentieth century. A hundred years of war, famine, disease, state terror, genocide, ecocide, and the depletion of humanity through the buying and selling of everyday life provided fertile ground for this fictive underside of the utopian imagination. From the classical works by E. M. Forster, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, and Margaret Atwood, through the new maps of hell in postwar science fiction, and most recently in the dystopian turn of the 1980s and 1990s, this narrative machine has produced challenging cognitive maps of the given historical situation by way of imaginary societies which are even worse than those that lie outside their authors' and readers' doors.In Scraps of the Untainted Sky , Tom Moylan offers a thorough investigation of the history and aesthetics of dystopia. To situate his study, Moylan sets out the methodological paradigm that developed within the interdisciplinary fields of science fiction studies and utopian studies as they grow out of the oppositional political culture of the 1960 and 1970s (the context that produced the project of cultural studies itself). He then presents a thorough account of the textual structure and formal operations of the dystopian text. From there, he focuses on the new science-fictional dystopias that emerged in the context of the economic, political, and cultural convulsions of the 1980s and 1990s, and he examines in detail three of these new "critical dystopias:" Kim Stanley Robinson's The Gold Coast, Octavia Butler's The Parable of the Sower , and Marge Piercy's He, She, and It .With its detailed, documented, and yet accessible presentation, Scraps of the Untainted Sky will be of interest to established scholars as well as students and general readers who are seeking an in-depth introduction to this important area of cultural production.
We have long since lost our faith in the idea that human beings could achieve human happiness in some future ideal state—a state that Thomas More, writing five centuries ago, tied to a topos, a fixed place, a land, an island, a sovereign state under a wise and benevolent ruler. But while we have lost our faith in utopias of all hues, the human aspiration that made this vision so compelling has not died. Instead it is re-emerging today as a vision focused not on the future but on the past, not on a future-to-be-created but on an abandoned and undead past that we could call retrotopia.

The emergence of retrotopia is interwoven with the deepening gulf between power and politics that is a defining feature of our contemporary liquid-modern world—the gulf between the ability to get things done and the capability of deciding what things need to be done, a capability once vested with the territorially sovereign state. This deepening gulf has rendered nation-states unable to deliver on their promises, giving rise to a widespread disenchantment with the idea that the future will improve the human condition and a mistrust in the ability of nation-states to make this happen. True to the utopian spirit, retrotopia derives its stimulus from the urge to rectify the failings of the present human condition—though now by resurrecting the failed and forgotten potentials of the past. Imagined aspects of the past, genuine or putative, serve as the main landmarks today in drawing the road-map to a better world. Having lost all faith in the idea of building an alternative society of the future, many turn instead to the grand ideas of the past, buried but not yet dead. Such is retrotopia, the contours of which are examined by Zygmunt Bauman in this sharp dissection of our contemporary romance with the past.
Bill Cooper, former United States Naval Intelligence Briefing Team member, reveals information that remains hidden from the public eye. This information has been kept in Top Secret government files since the 1940s. His audiences hear the truth unfold as he writes about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the war on drugs, the Secret Government and UFOs. 


Bill is a lucid, rational and powerful speaker who intent is to inform and to empower his audience. Standing room only is normal. His presentation and information transcend partisan affiliations as he clearly addresses issues in a way that has a striking impact on listeners of all backgrounds and interests. He has spoken to many groups throughout the United States and has appeared regularly on many radio talk shows and on television. In 1988 Bill decided to "talk" due to events then taking place worldwide, events which he had seen plans for back in the early '70s. Since Bill has been "talking," he has correctly predicted the lowering of the Iron Curtain, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the invasion of Panama. All Bill's predictions were on record well before the events occurred. Bill is not a psychic. His information comes from Top Secret documents that he read while with the Intelligence Briefing Team and from over 17 years of thorough research. 


"Bill Cooper is the world's leading expert on UFOs." — Billy Goodman, KVEG, Las Vegas. 


"The only man in America who has all the pieces to the puzzle that has troubled so many for so long." — Anthony Hilder, Radio Free America 


"William Cooper may be one of America's greatest heroes, and this story may be the biggest story in the history of the world." — Mills Crenshaw, KTALK, Salt Lake City. 


"Like it or not, everything is changing. The result will be the most wonderful experience in the history of man or the most horrible enslavement that you can imagine. Be active or abdicate, the future is in your hands." — William Cooper, October 24, 1989.

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