Hello to those who’ve faithfully followed my crazy mind through the alphabet days. After nearly boring you to tears yesterday, I’ll be brief today. We’re down to the nitty-gritty. Day 21 of the A to Z Blog Challenge is reserved for the letter “U”, not an easy letter to blog about, but strangely the topic jumped out at me right away, Utopia. According to Wikipedia, Utopia is an ideal community or society possessing a perfect socio-politico-legal system derived from the 1516 book by Thomas More. I actually read that book in my first year of university–in English, thank goodness, not in the original Greek, and two things remain true about it: it was reasonably short, and full of utter nonsense.
Utopia is supposed to mean the perfect place. Some people say it’s a synonym for Eden, Paradise, or Heaven on Earth. That may be true, but from what I can see, we have a long way to go before we’ll see Utopia in this lifetime. The easiest way to see it is in works of fiction, but even there, there’s always a serpent of some sort in paradise. My first novel, Fire Angel, was set in Paradise, a community I created in Northern Ontario. I specifically chose the name because under the beauty of the place lay an evil force–the Fire Angel who killed at will.
In More’s Utopia, you didn’t have a perfect society–you had a different one, but a society still morally flawed. In the guise of being the perfect place, it was to me, simply an example of an early version of communism–no one owned anything, everyone owned everything, and it was commonly shared. Everyone dressed the same, ate the same food, learned the same things–no rich, no poor, no unemployed–sounds great right? Wrong. Sounds boring! So what if gold was devalued for its citizens by using it for the chains on the slaves and the chamber pots, the governing bodies, and make no mistake they had some, still used it to trade with other lands–they even used it to incite foreign wars–how was that right? More’s Utopia condoned slavery; in fact, each household had two slaves, either foreigners or Utopian criminals. While any kind of sexual immorality was severely punished, women were subservient to men–had to look after the households and confess their sins to their husbands monthly. No! Not my idea of paradise.
More’s Utopia is complex. That link will bring you to a synopsis and explanation of the book. If you want to read it, you can get it on Kindle. Just think, will my books still be for sale five hundred years after I’m dead? Utopia is different for everyone. What suits me as the perfect society might not suit someone else. I can’t even describe my Utopia because like everything else in my life, it evolves and changes everyday.
Don’t forget to check out the other A to Z Blog Challenge entries today.