Thomas More “Utopia” ctd.

Utopians disdain the use of cosmetics and think the inner virtue trumps beauty in terms of long-term relationships. They honour those who have rendered special services to their countries with public statues.

Any man who campaigns for a public office is disqualified for all of them. This is the sentence I liked best so far but also the most utopian principle, I think.  Utopian officials are not proud and they are not distinguished by any rich clothes or special signs, except for a sheaf of grain carried in front of the governor and a tall candle in front of the high priest.

They have very few laws, very simple ones and no lawyers. In court everyone is his own representative.

Many neighbouring countries invite Utopians to be the rulers of their country for a few years. They are excellent rulers because they are incorruptible (they have no use for money when they go back to Utopia) and impartial, since they are outsiders. I think this shows Utopians are made of altogether a finer metal than common people – why shouldn’t such an elected official think “Oh, fuck it, I’m not going back to Utopia, and I’m gonna become a rich and cruel tyrant?”

Utopians enter no treaties because they see no point in them, especially in their part of the world when they are constantly broken. This of course never happens in Europe, says Hythloday with heavy irony (somewhat foreshadowing Gullivers Travels, I think). But their logic is, if we want to be friends with a country, we will, and if we don’t want to, we won’t, and no amount of finely-worded documents is going to change that.

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