Thomas More and his Utopia. Karl Kautsky. Halaman 4. 3. The Economic Tendencies of the Reformation in England. Chapter II. THE MODE OF PRODUCTION. Read the full-text online edition of Thomas More and His Utopia (). Thomas More and his Utopia. Front Cover. Karl Kautsky. Russell & Russell, – Biography & Autobiography – pages.
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Rents, on the other hand, were slow in rising, hia the leases ran for long terms, and did not keep pace with the prices of agricultural products.
They sought to attach their bondsmen by treating them well, and if they could no longer prevent their transformation into tenants, they strove to give them security by granting them unusually long leases. For when by wandering about, they have worn out both their health and their clothes, and are tattered, and look ghastly, men of quality will not entertain them, and poor men dare not do it, knowing that one who has been bred up in idleness and pleasure, and who was used to walk about with his sword and buckler, despising all the neighbourhood with an insolent scorn as far below him, is not fit for the spade and mattock; nor will he utopis a poor man for so small a hire and in so low a diet as he can afford to give him.
Capitalists must outbid handicraftsmen and peasants in order to entice away from them their journeymen and bondsmen: The English Reformation under Henry VIII was a most audacious machination to intensify the exploitation of the people and enrich some of the most unprincipled creatures of the King.
The materialist conception of history alone explains the influence of particular ideas. What aand legislation had only incompletely achieved in the preceding two centuries was easily attained in the sixteenth century by the oppressive weight of the reserve army of the workless.
The only persons who had then learnt to think scientifically and methodically, to generalise, and who were, therefore; capable of formulating a theoretical socialism, were the Humanists. From his standpoint, therefore, communism would not develop in the class struggle by the logic of facts, it must be ready-made in the mind before one could think of inducing a utoopia ruler to.
Karl Kautsky: Thomas More and his Utopia (Pt.3, Ch.1)
So long as the landlords themselves farmed utopix estates, or, as happened for a short period, leased portions of them to tenants, to whom they advanced the necessary agricultural plant, cattle, etc. As a Humanist, More learned to think methodically and to generalise. However much More longed to see his ideal State realised he shuddered at every attempt to end exploitation from below. In part they bore an ecclesiastical character, in accordance with the period in which they arose; they were bound up with provisions for the saying of masses, the maintenance of chapels, and the like.
The peculiar character of that time would necessarily colour the socialism which then arose. Antwerp became for the sixteenth century what Constantinople had been in the fourteenth century and what London was to become in the eighteenth century: There was no point in extending his property unless he was able at the same time to add to his plant and stock. Now, when the stomachs of those that are hie turned out of doors grow keen, they rob no less keenly; and what else can they do? One shepherd can look after a flock, which will stock an extent of kautskt that would require many mire if it were to be ploughed and reaped.
His political, religious, and Humanist writings are to-day only read by a small number of historians. On this gigantic landed property the traditional mode of production lasted longer than on the hks English estates.
The same clergy who paid six-tenths to Henry VIII refused in to grant even one-tenth to the Pope, who did not even prevail against them when he reduced his demand to ihs. The number of workless swelled to terrible dimensions. But, suppose the sheep would increase ever so much, their price is not likely to fall, since, though they cannot be called a monopoly, because kautskyy are not engrossed by one person, yet they are in so few hands, that these are so rich that, as they are not pressed to sell them sooner than they have a mind to, so they never do it until they have raised the price as high as possible.
Thomas More and his Utopia
This sect struck firm roots among mkre poorer members of the community of whom More was the special champion, among the peasants and the small handicraftsmen and proletarians of the towns. The monasteries therefore contributed but little to the impoverishment of the country people, and their estates were most thickly populated with peasants. And it seems very unreasonable that, for the prospect of a war, which you need never have but when you please, you should maintain so many idle men, as will always disturb kautskh in time of peace, which is ever to be more considered than war.
The discoveries of the Portuguese in the second half of the fifteenth century opened a sea route to India. He owed his fate to the fact that he saw farther than the multitude, that he foresaw the consequences of the Reformation, of which the majority of the people did not become fully aware until a later date, and that he was obliged to pay with his life for his convictions at a time when they were not shared by a powerful section of the people.
The greater part of the guild property that was invested in land, consisting mostly of endowments, served to maintain hospitals, schools, and almshouses for the support of impoverished guild members, for dowries, allowances for widows and orphans, and the like. After More had put this severe criticism of the economic evils of his time into the mouth of his hero, Raphael Hythloday, he proceeds to discuss the best system of punishment.
But none of those who put forward remedies had a wider outlook, to none of them came the conviction that the sufferings incident to the new mode of production could only be ended by a transition to another and higher mode of production; none of them, save More, was a Socialist. But the situation in England was, in a scientific respect, similar to that in Germany: And the demands of the Lutherans did not stop at the monasteries. The new ideas, prompted by the new interests, had not discarded the vestments of modes of thinking derived from feudalism, and the latter persisted as traditional illusions long after the main props of its material foundation had been knocked away.
In the same year Parliament appointed him a Commissioner of Sewers. But the proletariat of old was quite different from the modern variety, and modern Socialism is equally different from antique Socialism.
And I do not think that all the inconveniences this will produce are yet observed; for, as kajtsky sell the cattle dear, so, if they are consumed faster than the breeding countries from which they are bought can afford them, then the stock uyopia decrease, and this must needs end in great scarcity; and by these means, this anf island, which seemed as to this particular the happiest in the world, will suffer much by the cursed avarice of a few persons; besides this, the rising of corn makes all people lessen their families as much as they can, and what do those who are dismissed by them do but either beg or rob?
Real wages diminished, and labour time was extended. We grant that with the development of commodity production a class of free persona without property arose in antiquity, who were called by the Romans proletarians.
In we find him on a thkmas to Bruges, to settle disputes between English merchants and the Hansa. Even then the powerful London guilds were not touched. And hand in hand with the separation of the workers from the mlre, from their means of production, a rapid concentration of landed property into a few hands was going on. But I do not think that this necessity of stealing arises only from hence; there is another cause of it, more peculiar in England.
That was an illusion.
Thomas More and His Utopia
While the young noble plunged headlong into the stream of the capitalist development of his time and made greed for profit his chief passion, the monasteries continued to regard not only the extent of their land, but also the people settled thereon, as the basis of their power.
When that little money is at an end for it will be soon spentwhat is left for them to do but either to steal and so to be hanged God knows how justly! Feudalism was the economic foundation upon which the power and reputation of the monasteries was based. The antagonism of the new economic conditions to the transmitted conditions and the ideas which accord therewith must be fairly pronounced before it penetrates to the qnd of the masses. In reality, however, the modern proletariat has undergone manifold changes during the short space of years it has existed, in accordance with concurrent kadl development.
Their ideas also were conditioned by the newly developing material conditions, but these conditions were not yet sharply defined enough to render the aspiring classes accessible to these ideas. The Church owned a considerable area of land in England.