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rbehr
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Re: More's HISTORY OF KING RICHARD III - Misinformation or a Joke?

Sorry for the late answer - I just noticed this post. I'm using Bolts AMFAS and the Norton Edition of Utopia. I've enjoyed the discussions and the reading of these pieces. I'm also going to join the Paradise Lost discussion.


Choisya wrote:
Hello Rbehr and Welcome to the British Classics threads. This thread on Richard III is only as 'aside' to the Man for All Seasons and Utopia threads, which I hope you will enjoy when they open later in the month. Meanwhile go to Message Listing and nosy through the other threads. Which copy of the play and books will you be using?




rbehr wrote:
I'm going to be joining this group for A Man For All Seasons and Utopia. I'm new to this format, but am thoroughly enjoying the background on the subjects I'm getting in these posts even prior to starting the discussions. I'm a former "techie" who now has more time to read and enjoy good literature. I'll look forward to a learning experience.




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Everyman
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Re: More's HISTORY OF KING RICHARD III - Misinformation or a Joke?



book-nut wrote:
Personally, just based on the ACTIONS of these men (and how they lived their lives), I'd be much more likely to believe Thomas More than Richard anyday.

If you are at all interested in myth vs. reality, a reasonable place to start is
http://www.r3.org/rnt1991/supposedcrimes.html
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Everyman
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More's ideas

As I have been reading, I have been informally sorting More's ideas into several categories. These are:

Ideas which have been adopted by later Western civilizations, at least to some significant degree.
Ideas which have been tried and have failed.
Ideas which have never been tried but seem to have the potential maybe to work.
Ideas which have never been tried, and thank goodness for that!

I'm not an expert historian, so there may have been some ideas here and there that have been tried that I'm not aware of, but in general I'm getting the ideas sorted out this way:

Adopted:
Elected representative assemblies with mostly universal suffrage
Limited work weeks
Freedom to travel
Universal government provided education
Freedom of religion

Tried and failed or abandoned:
Shared resources
No private property
All citizens sent for a time as farmers (sort of, at least, in China under Mao)
Punishment for failure to work hard enough
Slavery
Premarital intercourse severely punished
Adultery punished by slavery
Hiring mercenaries for warfare (Western countries don't, though others may still)
Atheism forbidden

Never tried, but interesting:
I set this up as a category, but never found anything to put here

Never tried, thank goodness:
Death penalty for elected officials discussing politics outside of meetings
Trading houses every ten years
Identical cities
No lawyers


I expect that some people will find other things to put in the various categories, and others will disagree with some of the places I have put things. But if you're too mean to my scheme, I'll cry, so be kind. [g]
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Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Re: More's ideas

Great list, Christopher! The "identical cities" idea reminded me of a hilarious and poignant Soviet film called The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy your Bath



Everyman wrote:
As I have been reading, I have been informally sorting More's ideas into several categories. These are:

Ideas which have been adopted by later Western civilizations, at least to some significant degree.
Ideas which have been tried and have failed.
Ideas which have never been tried but seem to have the potential maybe to work.
Ideas which have never been tried, and thank goodness for that!

I'm not an expert historian, so there may have been some ideas here and there that have been tried that I'm not aware of, but in general I'm getting the ideas sorted out this way:

Adopted:
Elected representative assemblies with mostly universal suffrage
Limited work weeks
Freedom to travel
Universal government provided education
Freedom of religion

Tried and failed or abandoned:
Shared resources
No private property
All citizens sent for a time as farmers (sort of, at least, in China under Mao)
Punishment for failure to work hard enough
Slavery
Premarital intercourse severely punished
Adultery punished by slavery
Hiring mercenaries for warfare (Western countries don't, though others may still)
Atheism forbidden

Never tried, but interesting:
I set this up as a category, but never found anything to put here

Never tried, thank goodness:
Death penalty for elected officials discussing politics outside of meetings
Trading houses every ten years
Identical cities
No lawyers


I expect that some people will find other things to put in the various categories, and others will disagree with some of the places I have put things. But if you're too mean to my scheme, I'll cry, so be kind. [g]


"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Choisya
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Re: More's ideas

[ Edited ]
Tried and failed or abandoned:
Shared resources
No private property
All citizens sent for a time as farmers (sort of, at least, in China under Mao)
Punishment for failure to work hard enough
Slavery
Premarital intercourse severely punished
Adultery punished by slavery
Hiring mercenaries for warfare (Western countries don't, though others may still)
Atheism forbidden


Good lists.


Shared resources - There are still kibbutz in Israel and quite a few Cooperatives in Europe (and in the US I think?)
No private property - The above societies only allow limited private property.
Punishment for failure to work hard enough - I suppose that having pay docked for various reasons, like not achieving a quota, is similar to this.
Premarital intercourse punished - There are some societies which still punish this.
Adultery punished - Punished by stoning to death (of women) in some Islamic societies.
Hiring mercenaries for warfare - quite widely practised everywhere, including by US and UK.

Message Edited by Choisya on 03-26-200712:25 AM

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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
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Re: More's ideas

[ Edited ]
Choisya wrote:
There are still kibbutz in Israel and quite a few Cooperatives in Europe (and in the US I think?)

That's true, but these are mostly small scale, not national scale (after all, when y ou think about it, families are basically economic cooperatives). And even the kibbutzs are moving more toward private property ownership
http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/22447/edition_id/451/format/html/d...

I suppose that having pay docked for various reasons, like not achieving a quota, is similar to this.

I was limiting it to government actions, not private employer actions. Otherwise we get into parents docking their children's allowances for not finishing their chores! But More has the government impose these punishments as a matter of law; it's that aspect that I was thinking of.

Premarital intercourse punished - There are some societies which still punish this. Adultery punished - Punished by stoning to death (of women) in some Islamic societies.

That's why I prefaced my list by saying Western societies.

Message Edited by Everyman on 03-26-200712:36 AM

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PaulK
Posts: 222
Registered: ‎11-02-2006
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Re: More's ideas



Everyman wrote:
As I have been reading, I have been informally sorting More's ideas into several categories. These are:

Ideas which have been adopted by later Western civilizations, at least to some significant degree.
Ideas which have been tried and have failed.
Ideas which have never been tried but seem to have the potential maybe to work.
Ideas which have never been tried, and thank goodness for that!

I'm not an expert historian, so there may have been some ideas here and there that have been tried that I'm not aware of, but in general I'm getting the ideas sorted out this way:

Adopted:
Elected representative assemblies with mostly universal suffrage
Limited work weeks
Freedom to travel
Universal government provided education
Freedom of religion

Tried and failed or abandoned:
Shared resources
No private property
All citizens sent for a time as farmers (sort of, at least, in China under Mao)
Punishment for failure to work hard enough
Slavery
Premarital intercourse severely punished
Adultery punished by slavery
Hiring mercenaries for warfare (Western countries don't, though others may still)
Atheism forbidden

Never tried, but interesting:
I set this up as a category, but never found anything to put here

Never tried, thank goodness:
Death penalty for elected officials discussing politics outside of meetings
Trading houses every ten years
Identical cities
No lawyers


I expect that some people will find other things to put in the various categories, and others will disagree with some of the places I have put things. But if you're too mean to my scheme, I'll cry, so be kind. [g]




The Utopians also tired to keep their laws few and simple. I think that could be an idea worth trying. At least a movement to simplify. I propose hiring the Utopians to rewrite the US tax code. For the last couple of years I have been teaching my 3 children how to do their taxes and it hit me just how strange it is when I had to explain it.
Also some might think having no lawyers is an interesting idea.
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rbehr
Posts: 354
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: More's ideas

A great way to structure the ideas. Coming from the view of a non-literary reader, this makes it easier to internalize the content in the book. Is this a technique you use for all "heavy" reading?




Everyman wrote:
As I have been reading, I have been informally sorting More's ideas into several categories. These are:

Ideas which have been adopted by later Western civilizations, at least to some significant degree.
Ideas which have been tried and have failed.
Ideas which have never been tried but seem to have the potential maybe to work.
Ideas which have never been tried, and thank goodness for that!

I'm not an expert historian, so there may have been some ideas here and there that have been tried that I'm not aware of, but in general I'm getting the ideas sorted out this way:

Adopted:
Elected representative assemblies with mostly universal suffrage
Limited work weeks
Freedom to travel
Universal government provided education
Freedom of religion

Tried and failed or abandoned:
Shared resources
No private property
All citizens sent for a time as farmers (sort of, at least, in China under Mao)
Punishment for failure to work hard enough
Slavery
Premarital intercourse severely punished
Adultery punished by slavery
Hiring mercenaries for warfare (Western countries don't, though others may still)
Atheism forbidden

Never tried, but interesting:
I set this up as a category, but never found anything to put here

Never tried, thank goodness:
Death penalty for elected officials discussing politics outside of meetings
Trading houses every ten years
Identical cities
No lawyers


I expect that some people will find other things to put in the various categories, and others will disagree with some of the places I have put things. But if you're too mean to my scheme, I'll cry, so be kind. [g]

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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: More's ideas



rbehr wrote:
A great way to structure the ideas. Coming from the view of a non-literary reader, this makes it easier to internalize the content in the book. Is this a technique you use for all "heavy" reading?


Not always, but I do try where it makes sense to organize ideas. But I wouldn't consider Utopia to be particularly heavy reading. The language is unfamiliar to readers of modern writing, but the ideas, while they may have been original for their time, are not particularly deep or complex, which may be one reason why there's so little discussion of the book.
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I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Timbuktu1
Posts: 1,572
Registered: ‎12-31-2007
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Re: More's ideas

So glad I found this thread! It's a gold mine of ideas and I've printed a lot of it out so I can read it carefully. Thanks everyone!
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Timbuktu1
Posts: 1,572
Registered: ‎12-31-2007
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Re: More's ideas

Now that I'm done with Utopia I just have to say that I love More. I think this is an incredible book, a kind of Christianized Republic, fully of wisdom intermingled with irony and ambiguity. It's hard to think that it was written five hundred years ago. All of your comments were very helpful.
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