Book Notes The Discussion about Public Service Notes from Utopia

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Utopia The Discussion about Public Service

More attempts to justify his view that Raphael should engage in public service by saying that although Raphael cannot change the system overnight, through compromise and patience, he may be able to change it for the better. Although perfection may never be achieved, at least the system will be less evil than before. Raphael disputes this and says that the advice he would give is as radically different to the established system as is Plato's plan for the Commonwealth. Furthermore, he says that the effect of his giving advice that is refuted will only make other advisers more secure in their own advice. In the end, his advice would be ignored, and the bad company would either ruin him by influencing him to agree with them, or should he stay in his own opinion, he would be found as much to blame for the country's evils as anybody else.

Raphael then states his opinion that:

"As long as there is property, and while money is the standard of all things, I cannot think that a nation can be governed either justly or happily; not justly, because the best things will fall to the share of the worst men; nor happily, because all things will be divided among a few (and even these are not in all respects happy), the rest being left to the absolutely miserable." Public Service, pg. 24

Topic Tracking: Money 5
Topic Tracking: Happiness 2

He says that by restricting wealth in government, evils may be decreased. He then begins to speak of Utopia, where there are so few laws, and yet so much equality; where virtue is rewarded, and every man has everything he wants.

Topic Tracking: Values 1

More cannot imagine that a nation in the new world is governed better than ancient nations, and suspects that in such a nation there would be no motivation for achievement and great losses in periods of shortages. Raphael responds that More's views are expected of somebody who has never visited Utopia, and that he only wishes that Giles and More could have been with him when he was there, and observed what he observed. Had this been the case, he is sure that they would agree with his point of view.

More is now extremely curious to hear more about Utopia, and asks Raphael to describe everything about it to them. Raphael agrees, but first they enter More's house and dine.

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