Essay on Utopia, by Thomas More and Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx

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George Gilliam Marx/More Comparative Essay English 215 In both Thomas More’s Utopia and Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, we see the authors portray two different visions of an improved reality in which all citizens are on an equal plane with one another. Both works stem from the authors’ own grievances regarding the ‘status quo’, and seek to provoke serious thought and (in Marx’s case) action about the existing state of affairs in their respective times. The context of both of these works is quite important when considering the substance of Utopia and the Communist Manifesto – Thomas More lived in a time when Europe’s government was based on of Feudalism, meaning royal families and rich nobles had the overwhelming majority of power. Marx …show more content…
First, Hythloday explains that maintaining a standing army merely allows for a population of soldiers who could potentially become very good thieves. He also explains that the peasants in Europe are greatly exploited by the nobles, and are left with almost no other options for survival other than “banditry”. Essentially, Hythloday proclaims that the European society “manufactures thieves and then blames them for being thieves.” Hythloday then goes on to explain that there can be no ‘ideal world’ without the abolishment of public property – communal property must be established. Hythloday argues that private property alone is the cause for a large majority of people who are dissatisfied. He also brings up Plato, who in The Republic proclaims that communal property is the foundation for the ultimate city. More, in the story of Utopia, responds negatively to Hythloday’s call for common property – I should note, however, that More’s character in the story shares very different opinions than Sir Thomas More himself. Hythloday continues to explain Utopian society in detail. Everything in Utopia is strikingly analogous. All of the cities in this land are almost indistinguishable from one another. The layouts, customs, architecture and populations of these cities are essentially identical. Hythloday also describes the agricultural system of Utopia – almost every single being in Utopia puts in some sort of time on the farm.

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