Utopia by Thomas More (3.7 Stars)

I’m not quite sure why I’ve decided to read this book. Probably because I’ve heard of it one too many times. Plus, there is the concept of Utopia that I have so often considered and tried to find a solution, so I wondered what other people made of it – especially in a title that has survived for centuries. Finishing it, I wasn’t too sure about More’s concept and just how serious he was about it.

I admit, it’s been a while since I’ve read the book, so really, I have few memories of actually reading it to go by and much more of the status updates I made on goodreads. Here they are (edited):

-I was so excited to read about Utopia, but now it seems to be rather a socialist and surveillance state. I don’t quite like the view.

-I do seriously wonder whether this is fiction or non-fiction, as the way More portrays mankind in Utopia is just not realistic. We are selfish beings in need of luxury and hierarchic structures, and no laws in the world will ever be able to change that.
I can’t say some idea aren’t good though.

-I do wonder if this was, all these years ago, seen as the perfect solution. Or is it critical? To exactly not do that?
There are a few ideas I like, but for the essential things I can only shake my head no.

-It’s supposed to sound like the people have the choice for a proper education, but I can’t see them developing their own mind. More like they are stopped at a certain point, regulated and controlled, told to be happy and satisfied with what they’ve got. The people don’t and cannot know anything else, beyond their borders.

-How much philosophy can there be in pleasure? I wonder how much longer he can talk about it!

-Slaves and marriage under the same paragraph? Well…
And why does Utopia need slaves? That’s such a contrast, the way I see it!
Plus, supporting assisted suicide, but frowning upon actual suicide? Both should be no-nos, especially the first, in a place called Utopia.
It seems my Utopia would look fundamentally different from More’s

-So, they have not many laws. But their lives seem to be ruled by regulations. It can’t all be common sense and understanding, can it?

-I feel like it wants to sound good and tempting, but from my current and modern perspective it doesn’t

-I don’t like what he has to say about Utopian religion. But I suppose it fits the time.

-I don’t understand his concept of freedom of religion, as they have the same priests and temples between the different believes. How can you make worship so general that it fits for all?

-Okay, Thomas does not completely agree with Raphael, that’s something.
Man is selfish. He can say what he wants, I don’t believe that it is possible to have a Utopia as he paints it.
I’m going to research now, whether I can take him serious, or whether he is criticizing some government or another.

Turns out, they aren’t quite sure of his meaning either. But he may have inspired some of the more fanatical politicians in the history of the world.

Rating

Idea: 4 Stars
Realization: 3 Stars
Writing Style: 3 Stars
General Rating: 4 Stars
Personal Rating: 4 Stars

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