by Thomas More
Utopia Wealth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Book.Page) based on the 1989 Cambridge University Press edition
It seems to me that men cannot possibly live well where all things are in common [...] If the hope of gain does not spur him on, won't he rely on others, and become lazy? (1.40)
More is voicing a pretty direct objection to Hythloday's picture of human life. How do the Utopians avoid being lazy? Do you buy Hythloday's explanation?
The doors [in Utopian houses] open easily and swing shut automatically—and so there is nothing private or exclusive. Every ten years they exchange the houses themselves by lot. (2.47)
Nope, Hythloday wasn't kidding about the whole no-private-property thing. Too extreme?
Since [the Utopians] share everything equally, it follows that no one can ever be reduced to poverty or forced to beg. (2.61)
Even if you aren't sold on the whole no-wealth thing, it's hard not be sold on the no-poverty thing. But do wealth and poverty necessarily go together as Hythloday describes? Would this system work in the real world?