Utopia, written by Thomas More in Medieval England, literally means “the dream country. This fair, loving and equitable country has the society and state order that it should be according to Thomas More.
UTOPIA: THE DREAM COUNTRY
At first glance in Utopia, the ideas of the Ancient Greek philosophers about the state stand out. The fact that the means of production are the common property of society is an indicator of this. This idea put forward by Socrates and Platon in Ancient Greece also treats women and children in this way. It is clear that in Utopia, Thomas More was influenced by Christian family and moral understanding. According to Thomas More, families are the cornerstone of an ideal society. The father or the eldest man leads these families and there is no common property of women or children. As Aristotle stated in the Politics, it is aimed to create an incentive to embrase and protect each other in. humans. Since the state will consist of these families, the society is expected to work for the good of each other. It was thought that this would also contribute to the unbringing of children. The belief that children growing up in the family order will benefit society.
In Thomas More’s Utopia, Plato’s regime of philosopher kings and Athenian democracy is involved. Thomas More wanted the kings to be philosophers or the philosophers to become kings, as Plato puts it. In this way, he envisaged that democracy is not a goal, but a tool to support the system. In Utopia, presidents are mentioned, not philosopher kings. There is no noble class. As such, an early Marxist approach can be mentioned. It is noteworthy that the powers of the president are limited. The assembly, which it called the Senate, is the main focus of power in management. This is an indication that he was influenced by Magna Carta and the parliamentary system in England.
Unlike the British parliament in Utopia, it is not the nobility of the Senate. These senior executives and judges come to their positions through gradual elections. The term of office of these individuals, who are selected from families and gradual units of society, varies according to their authorities. While some continue this task until their death, some transfer it to another after a certain period of time.
This situation is similar to the principle that “every citizen has a place in the administration for some time” in Athenian democracy. Direct democracy in Athenian democracy is not found in Utopia. The fact that Thomas More does not mention the absence of the state in this work, where he compares an imaginary country with his own orders, shows that the state thinks it is a natural being. He argues that regimes and laws can be regulated, but there is no desire to eliminate the state seen in Marxism. Being a good Catholic has an impact on this idea of Thomas More. It is believed that God is satisfied with a regular society and a hierarchical state. A hierarchical society is definitely opposed. Equality was tried to be observed among people.
EARLY MARXIST FEATURES
The collective means of production and the collective fulfillment of everyone’s needs give Utopia a Marxist feature. The fact that there is no apparent difference between the rulers and the public, the abolition of money, the value of functional things rather than rare things increase this situation. A clear opposition to money holders and the aristocracy is also the reaction of Thomas More to the newly emerging bourgeoisie. Utopia society has a Marxist structure, except that the state is preserved and people are united in the common “existence of the One God” belief.
HUMANISTIC EFFECT OF RENAISSANCE
Another feature of Utopia is its humanist structure. Such a feature emerged as a result of being influenced by the Renaissance thought. Thomas More argued that although he is a Catholic Christian, people cannot be differentiated because of their religion. In Utopia, where even temples are common, people unite in the idea of God. God’s body, features, visibility do not make sense. Everyone is respected in Utopia as long as he/she worships one absolute god. The lack of tolerance to the atheism in the Utopia shows that, under the conditions of the period, the Church and religion preserved their importance to people. The conversion of Utopians to the Christianity after they met with Christianity is an indicator of this.
Another situation that adds a humanistic characteristic to Thomas More’s ideal state is that the laws keep human life superior. It is clearly stated in the book that there is nothing more valuable than human life. It has been suggested that the death penalty is unfair. This idea, which has affected even today, is one of the biggest differences of Europe from the rest of the world. Thomas More advocates the idea that crime, not the criminals, should be eliminated and those who committed mistakes and crime should be brought back to the society.
To sum up, Utopia is a work in which the state is regarded as a natural phenomenon and is largely influenced by Ancient Greek philosophy. The humanist movement of the Renaissance intensely makes itself felt. Although there are cases that can be evaluated as an early Marxism, a complete Marxist state cannot be mentioned because the basic features are not met.