Utopias: Thomas More’s “Utopia” UtopiaJune 29, 2021
Utopia is a future fiction book written by Thomas More, bearing the same name as a word “created” from the Greek word “non-place”.
More brought a syllable that evokes the words “eu” meaning good and “ou” meaning absent before the Greek word meaning place, thus a genre meaning “good place” and “no place”, that is, “no place” at the same time. he has committed a pun.
In this work, Thomas More criticizes the social situation of England at that time. According to him, the source of inequality and unhappiness in society is private property. The only way out of this situation is the abolition of private property. Therefore, the ideal society should be a classless society; All people should be equal in terms of values. The state should be democratic and its rulers should be chosen rationally by the people and should undergo a rigorous training just like Plato. Peace should prevail in the life of the state and society.
More wanted to make the society he lived in happy, like Plato, whom he was influenced by in this utopia. Because, according to him, the purpose of the state is to ensure the happiness of the people. Today, we see some of his visions come true.
Some of these are the compulsory and free education, ensuring the equality of women and men, reducing working hours, expanding the public service area with the understanding of the social state, and gaining a universal quality of religious tolerance.
In Utopia, More says that Utopia Island has fifty-four big and beautiful cities. Six thousand families live in each city. Each family is twenty-two people. Twenty of them are free citizens and two of them are prisoners. The same language is spoken in all cities, the same customs, the same institutions, the same laws are in effect.
People do not see themselves as the owner of the land, but as a farmer or worker. Managers come to work by election. Everyone is equal except the prisoners. Some problems are presented to all islanders.
To give information about the country of his dreams, no one knows the concept of private property in his country. Everyone’s house is the same style. There is a street and a garden gate in the houses and there is no lock.
Anyone can enter any house they want. A house is changed every 10 years so that there is no sense of ownership. On an island where the houses are so orderly, the clothes are also very orderly. Almost everyone dresses the same.
There are farms in the villages where 40 people work, and these are run by two people, one woman and one man, old and wise. Working times are also only 6 hours.
More explains this situation by saying that today’s working people need to take care of not only themselves but also the rich people, so this situation makes the work of the workers very difficult.
Another situation in Utopia is that animals are not killed by the people of Utopia. In Utopia, slaves do this work instead of the people of Utopia. This situation ensures that the Utopians stay away from such brutal behavior.
Nor can one brag about war victories in Utopia. They go to war only when necessary. Here, there is a morality that finds happiness in pleasure and a religious attitude that is far from asceticism.
Utopia, the work written by Thomas More in Latin, was first translated into German. The first English translation was by Ralph Robinson in 1551. Although it has some shortcomings, this translation is considered the most successful translation of the work.
Although there are many different translations of Utopia into Turkish, all of these translations are in English. However, in April 2009 Prof. Dr. Utopia, translated from the Latin original by Çiğdem Dürüşken, was published by Kabalcı Publications.
THE BIRTH OF THE UTOPIA CONCEPT
If Thomas More had not been the father of the word utopia, a concept that would affect all “social engineers” who came after him, perhaps it would only have remained an item in British political history and his honorable struggle would not have been known.
However, Sir Thomas Mooe, born in 1478, was a person who knew how to say NO to the King even at the cost of his life and did not change his beliefs under any pressure. Their differences began to appear even during University education.
He had been introduced to Greek at Oxford and sympathized with the Italian Renaissance, which re-examined Greek thought. When his family and authorities reacted to this tendency, he chose law with the influence of his friend Erasmus. In 1504, he was a dissenting member of parliament – who opposed Henry VIII’s tax request. He was knighted in 1514.
Although the king did not like it much, he tried to keep his relations warm with More, who became increasingly popular and distinguished by his knowledge and attitude. He was first brought to the Ministry of Justice. However, he violated the conventions by refusing to receive gifts from those who had a job in the court! He subsequently refused the King’s request for divorce.
Thus, he fell out with the palace and he resigned from the ministry in 1532. He did not attend the marriage ceremony to which he was invited. VIII in 1534. Henry’s “Law of the Superior” passed by parliament was against his beliefs and the law.