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Of their Trades, and Manner of Life Notes from Utopia

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Utopia Of their Trades, and Manner of Life

The entire population understands and partakes in agricultural work. As children, they are introduced to it at school, and in the world around them. However, besides agriculture, every person has expertise in a certain trade, be it carpentry or manufacture of flax. Every person on the island wears the same clothes, which are suited for both, winter and summer, climates. The fashion never alters, and the only difference between the clothes is in order to distinguish men from women, and the married from the unmarried. Each family makes its own clothes, and specializes in a certain trade. Whereas women generally deal with wool and flax, the family's 'specialization' is passed down from father to son. However, should the son be inclined towards a different trade, he is adopted into a 'family' that specializes in that trade. Likewise, anybody who has learned a trade and wishes to specialize in another may change 'families' and then follow that which he likes best, unless society is in need of one more than the other.

The job of the Archphilarchs is to oversee the people and make sure that nobody is idle and not working hard. However, the workday is only six hours. The rest of the time is divided into time spent eating, sleeping, and private time. Yet the private time may not be spent in idleness, and must be used in 'proper exercise'. Most Utopians spend this time reading and attending public lectures. Gambling is not allowed.

The six-hour workday is sufficient to provide the Utopians with all they need because everybody works. This is significant when comparing Utopia to other nations, as in other nations, women generally do not work, and neither do priests or rich men and their families. When much of the population is idle, those people that do work need to work much harder in order to support those that don't. Furthermore, less work is needed in Utopia, where everything is shared, making maintenance and repairs in everyone's best interest. Also, they are practical people and wear leather to work, so that their clothes will last many years.

Lastly, the workday is shortened when possible; that is, when it is not necessary for the public. This is because the magistrates believe that nobody should work unnecessarily. Also, because happiness lies in the improvement of the mind, reading time should be provided whenever possible.

Topic Tracking: Happiness 3

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