In Thomas More’s 1516 work Utopia, he created what was, at the time, an ideal society. All the citizens of this imaginary world had an excess of resources. The town had no system of currency so Utopians never experienced wealth-based conflict and the society was peaceful. These revolutionary ideals of the perfect society were contrary to many of the central principles and beliefs of the dominant countries of the time. The stark contrast forced readers to compare their own society to Utopia and revealed their society’s weaknesses. But does Utopia still have the same effect today?
In many ways, More’s critiques of reality are still applicable. Throughout the world, rampant inequality across socioeconomic classes still remains. Lower-class citizens do not have access to all the same resources as their high-class counterparts and those that they do have access to are usually of a lower quality. Additionally, the concept of a peaceful society is still a novelty. Violence occurs between citizens and tensions are growing between police and their communities in many U.S. cities. While these better aspects of Utopia force us to analyze our present society, some aspects of Utopia, if written today, would be significantly different to suit our advancements. To many, the ideal world would rely on and revolve around technology. The fact that the development and continued advancement of technology would be a central characteristic of most utopias constructed today reveals our dependence on its use and continued progression. The inclusion of technology in a new utopia demonstrates just how much value it has in our society and how much the public’s ideals have changed since More’s time.
[Above word count: 272]