Thomas More And His «Utopia»

On July 6, 1535, the English humanist writer Thomas More was executed.

The history of humanism and the origin of the ideas of utopian socialism in England is the brightest page of the Renaissance culture. The new, humanistic worldview that emerged in this era was associated with the deep socio-political changes in Europe of the XV–XVI centuries – the emergence of new, capitalist relations and the emergence of a new class – the bourgeoisie. Humanism became the first form of bourgeois enlightenment. The central figure in the humanistic movement of England in the first third of the 16th century was Thomas More, a follower of John Colet and an associate of Erasmus. But Renaissance humanism was the ideology of a transitional era – from feudalism to capitalism. Therefore, in such an environment, humanists could express more radical currents of social thought, for example, utopian socialism, as happened in England with Thomas More.

The great historical merit of utopian socialism lies in its proclamation of the requirements of equality, which was no longer limited to the field of political rights, but extended to the social position of each individual. It was this equality that Thomas More dreamed of, proving the need to destroy not only class privileges, but also class differences. The demand for the abolition of classes is an important achievement of Thomas More, distinguishing him from the environment of humanist thinkers. It laid the foundation for a new direction of social thought – utopian socialism.