The Fruits of Civilization (27-1) Thomas More

Thomas More

If honor were profitable, everybody would be honorable. ~ Thomas More

Thomas More (1478–1535) was an English lawyer, statesman, social philosopher, and Renaissance humanist. More’s economics ideas were outlined in his satirical fiction Utopia (1516).

Utopia is a narrative of a mythical island people: the Utopians. Utopian society was founded upon the principles of justice and communal effort. Utopians had abolished money, and distributed goods based upon need. Utopians did not eliminate scarcity via mass production, but through educating Utopians to use resources wisely, and to limit material wants. More’s Utopia was a thinly veiled riposte to the economic trends of his times.

Thomas More criticized the excesses of the rising capitalist and commercial classes, and their shameless exploitation of common workers. ~ American economist David O’Connor

Utopia was a widely read critique not only during the 16th century, but also inspiring to socialists and social reformers centuries later. The Soviet Union honored More for the communist attitude expressed in Utopia.