Jeremy's Reviews > Utopia

Utopia by Thomas More
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Nov 28, 2010

liked it

Classic socialist propaganda. If only we could do away with property rights then everyone could share the land and be happy… If only everyone could have the basic necessities provided for them, and could have the same quality of life as everyone else, no matter what their vocation… If only we could do away with money and inequality…

Actually this book does a pretty effective job of lulling you into believing these possibilities. It was written a very long time ago but still seems relatively modern. It’s also not outright liberal as you can see from a few of the quotes below. The Utopians still believe in harsh punishment, including a system of slavery for criminals, and enforce the death penalty when necessary. They believe everyone must work or contribute something to society. They believe in the pursuit of happiness, as distinct from Hedonistic pleasure. And they don’t allow atheism, because they think it leads to anti-social and criminal behavior.

The bottom line is that this book will make you think.


…lusty beggars that go about pretending some disease in excuse for their begging…

Then consider how few of those that work are employed in labours that are of real service, for we, who measure all things by money, give rise to many trades that are both vain and superfluous, and serve only to support riot and luxury: for if those who work were employed only in such things as the conveniences of life require, there would be such an abundance of them that the prices of them would so sink that tradesmen could not be maintained by their gains.

If all those who labour about useless things were set to more profitable employments, and if all they that languish out their lives in sloth and idleness (every one of whom consumes as much as any two of the men that are at work) were forced to labour, you may easily imagine that a small proportion of time would serve for doing all that is either necessary, profitable, or pleasant to mankind, especially while pleasure is kept within its due bounds.

It is their opinion that Nature, as an indulgent parent, has freely given us all the best things in great abundance, such as water and earth, but has laid up and hid from us the things that are vain and useless.

They have no lawyers among them, for they consider them as a sort of people whose profession it is to disguise matters… The plainest meaning of which words are capable is always the sense of their laws.

Pride thinks its own happiness shines the brighter, by comparing it with the misfortunes of other persons.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Utopia.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Toe (new)

Toe Sounds interesting, though the lack of a price system is an insurmountable problem in trying to allocate scarcity. How long is this sucker and is the language impenetrable?

Jeremy The language is similar to your anus: not impenetrable. And Joy and I listed to it on our KINDLE which you still have yet to buy. It took a trip to Austin to finish, so not too long.

back to top