Tag Archives: Utopia

Court (from Thomas More’s “Utopia,” 1516)

Published by:

Utopia (Third Edition) (Norton Critical Editions) Book Cover Utopia (Third Edition) (Norton Critical Editions)
Thomas More
W. W. Norton & Company
August 31, 2010
paperback
320
Amazon

Inspiring, provocative, prophetic, and enigmatic, Utopia is the literary masterpiece of a visionary statesman and one of the most influential books of the modern world.

Based on Thomas More’s penetrating analysis of the folly and tragedy of the politics of his time and all times, Utopia (1516) is a seedbed of alternative political institutions and a perennially challenging exploration of the possibilities and limitations of political action.

Raphael: “Now in a court composed of people who envy everyone else and admire only themselves, if a man should suggest something he had read of in other ages or seen in far places, the other counselors would think their reputation for wisdom was endangered, and they would look like simpletons, unless they could find fault with his proposal. If all else failed, they would take refuge in some remark like this: ‘The way we’re doing it is the way we’ve always done it, this custom was good enough for our fathers, and I only hope we’re as wise as they were.’ And with this deep thought they would take their seats, as though they had said the last word on the subject—implying, forsooth, that it would be a very dangerous matter if a man were found to be wiser in any point than his forefathers were. As a matter of fact, we quietly neglect the best examples they have left us; but if something better is proposed, we seize the excuse of reverence for times past and cling to it desperately. Such proud, obstinate, ridiculous judgments I have encountered many times, and once even in England.”

Utopia (Third Edition) (Norton Critical Editions), 1516