Mann vs. Utopia, Essay Example
Nicholas Mann is instrumental in exploring the aspect of humanity. The author explores the humanistic obligation of individuals to serve the society. This argument is applicable to the human situation due to the actuality of structures and hierarchies in the society. The society is characterized by leadership structures through which the society must conform to avoid anarchy. This aspect is evident in the sentiments of Mann concerning the book Utopia, whereby he attempts to explore the depictionof the ideal society. These ideas contradicted with the beliefs and policies common in the sixteenth century in the European society. Royalty and aristocrats being the principle classes in the society characterized the era. This aspect influenced the leadership of the society to be inclined towards the interests of these classes. The author depicts a view about the society, which were influenced by the humanistic approach. The society and leadership as portrayed by more was based on the principles, which included equality and tolerance approaches, which were adopted, by the communistic approach a few centuries later (More, Robinson and Sacks 25). The approach of more meant that political, leadership structures in the society had a responsibility to the community, and this should be evident in their principles and policies (Mann 14). This according to More, this will lead to the creation of the perfect society since individuals will be involved in shaping the community positively. The humanistic approach is inclined towards ensuring the well-being of individuals in the political, religious and social aspects of life. Mann uses the humanistic approach to explore the concept of a utopian society, through the scope of service to the king, according to the sentiments of Thomas More.
As aforementioned, the setting of the sentiments by Mann concerning the society in Europe was in the sixteenth century. This era was synonymous with monarchies. This meant that the political system in the era was based on the service to the king. This system was significantly different from the principles of humanity since the political structure expected to be served by the society and not vice versa (Mann 14). This system was a fundamental ill, which influenced the European society detrimentally. This was due to the vanity and pride, which was depicted by the aristocrats and royalty, which in turn created economical differences in the society. Service to the king was unquestionable, and this could lead to tyranny and absolutism. This is evident with the excesses of several kings, who subjected the state to supporting his personal interests, as opposed to that of the majority. The author explores the ill of the society concerning royal tyranny, which caused dystopia. The author used examples and situations from his own country to depict the ills, which plagued the society. The utopian political system, which was proposed to replace the royal approach, shows significant similarities to democracy employed in the contemporary scenario. This meant that the political system should benefit the society as opposed to the privilege classes solely as was the case in the monarchy system. The author argues that, for the change to be affected in society, the humanistic approach should be employed. This approach reflects the mood of the Europeans society concerning political and societal reforms. This was facilitated by clear reasoning and logical thinking on the human situation of the Europeans society and monarchy rule. The approach of the author supported reforms in the society through criticizing the situation, which was evident during the era (Mann 5). The proposed ideology was that human life should be considered in the society as the most salient aspect of the society. This means that all the structures should be reformed to support this approach.
When analyzing the text of Mann, it is apparent that the view of the European society concerning leadership was that reforms are necessary in order to ensure equality and participation of all classes in the society. This meant that the system of monarchy and aristocracy practiced in the society were no longer acceptable to the society. The society was ready for reforms, which will enhance the situation in the society creating a perfect approach as per the sentiments of Plato as per his sentiments in republic (More, Robinson and Sacks 24). This meant that the society was becoming more proactive in the leadership aspect of the society as opposed the earlier years whereby the society was passive to the monarchy system despite its injustices to the society, especially the lower classes.
In the utopian approach concerning society, identical traditions, language, laws and customs characterize the society. This meant that there were no discriminatory practices in the society. The society in this approach also dictated that nothing was privately owned. This was to ensure that the resources in the system were distributed equally and that there were no classes created by status of economic factors. This meant that the royalty and aristocrat classes did not confine the resources in the society to themselves. The society also supported equality through is social structures since there was no hierarchy in the society. The elderly were to be afforded respect due to their age. Despite this, there were no leaders. These practices evidently depict the common day communistic approach. This in relation to the service to the monarchy was inclined to ensure that all the individuals enjoy the resources of the society despite their background. This was necessitated by incompetent leadership, which was experienced in the era through the monarchy system (More, Robinson and Sacks 29). Since the society lacked an avenue to air, their displeasure towards the government they had to conform to the system. Reforms brought about by the utopian approach facilitated the participation of the population in government. This means that the approach of Mann depicted the transformation of the society from the aristocratic system to a more inclusive one whereby there was equality.
The societal systems including religion were also questioned using the humanistic approach. Religion was a crucial aspect of the society during the medieval era. This meant that it affected the political and social inclination of the society. The church was instrumental in providing the ethics, which dictated the actions of the society. This ethical percolated to the laws practiced in the society. Powerful individuals, to suit their interests, corrupted this aspect of the society. This meant that ethics in the society became a negotiable code whereby the original intentions of these codes could be corrupted to conform to the intentions of the interested parties. This was especially evident with the king using the law to propagate his own agenda. Despite this, the law, even when corrupted is necessary to ensure that the society does not experience anarchy. This premise justified the misuse of the law by the monarchy during the era. The service to the king phenomena dictated that individuals should respect the interpretation of the king despite the consequences and perversion due to the corruption of the leaders. Religion was also used to repress and increase the gulf between the different social classes (More, Robinson and Sacks 63). According to utopia, their perspective on religion was that it should be pure from the corruption of humanity. This means that religion should be employed promote the value of life in the society without discrimination. This meant that the religious system of the time should be revolutionized to ensure that it is just for the society. The utopian approach also dictated that violence should not be used to compel individuals to adopt religious beliefs. This was based on the situation, which characterized the era of the works whereby there was religious persecution in the society exemplified by the Spanish inquisition. Religion was a crucial aspect in the conceiving of the utopian society since it redefined the role of religion in society. This aspect correlates with the obligation of individuals in order to serve the monarchy since religion was integral in the leadership structures and policies of the era.
The sentiments of Mann concerning the concept of utopia in the society are instrumental in exploring the value of service in the society through the scope of the sixteenth century. The premise proposed in this approach is that the society should reform its structures to ensure that there is equality in the society. This means that service in the society should be redefined to ensure that its benefits are not confined to the aristocrats and the monarchy. With these considerations, the society would be remedied of its ill hence lead to the creation of a perfect society. The context of the works challenges the societal systems, which were synonymous with the sixteenth century. The approach dictated that the society should shift from serving the monarchy to serving the community.
Mann, Nicolas. “The Origins of Humanism.” Trans. Array The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism. Jill Kraye. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. 1. Print.
More, Thomas, Ralph Robinson, and David H. Sacks. Utopia. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1999. Print.
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