Edwin Alfred Hervey Alderson.

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Copyright 1 901




From an original painting by Latour, in the possession oj M.
Bordes, at Paris.


Copyright, 1901,




v. IS-


ROUSSEAU Frontispiece

From an original painting by Latour, in the possession of
M. Bordes, at Paris.

LAND 128

Photogravure from an original painting.




The term Utopia, as generally used, refers to those
ideal states which are impossible of realization, both
because they are peopled by ideal human beings
uninfluenced by personal jealousies or individual passions,
and because they are based, with but little regard for
the complexities and varieties of real society, upon what
the writer thinks ought to be, rather than upon the col-
lective experience of mankind. More broadly speaking,
however, the term need not be confined to these (< fan-
tastic pictures of impossible societies, w or (< romantic ac-
counts of fictitious states, B as they have been called, but
may be applied to any social, intellectual, or political
scheme which is impracticable at the time when it is con-
ceived and presented. Thus enlarged, the field may be
made to include schemes as diverse as More's Utopia,
Campanella's City of the Sun, Cabet's Icarie, and Morris's
News from Nowhere; Rousseau's society of the Social
Contract; and modern socialistic and communistic organi-
zations, such as the Co-operative Commonwealth of Law-
rence Gronlund, popularized by Bellamy in Looking
Backward, and Fliircheim's Money Island.

Utopias have generally made their appearance during
periods of great social and political unrest, and it is, there-
fore, no accident that after Plato's Republic, written dur-
ing dark days in the history of Athens, all Utopias should
have fallen in the period from the beginning of the six-
teenth century to the present time. The Middle Ages,
with their fixed institutions, their blind faith, and their
acceptance of authority were not a suitable seed-ground
for the growth of Utopian schemes. Any ideals that
were conceived were of a religious character, based upon
conceptions of the past and hopes of the future : those of



the past combined the pagan notion of a golden age
with the Christian's concept of an age of innocence, giv-
ing rise to the doctrine that man had fallen from a per-
fect life whose simple rules were based on natural law;
those of the future looked forward to the re-establishment
of Christ's kingdom on earth. Such doctrines were char-
acteristic of a period in which there existed no true idea
of human progress.

But in the period following the Middle Ages, when
mediaeval institutions were breaking down and men were
awakening to the fact that governments had become cor-
rupt and tyrannical, and social relations unjust and im-
moral, it was natural that they should find comfort and
satisfaction in casting into romantic or ideal form their
conception of what society ought to be. Excellent ex-
amples of such Utopias are to be found among the works
of sixteenth century writers, who prompted by the new
spirit of inquiry constructed ideal conditions that should
eliminate the evils of their age. The earliest, More's
Utopia (15 1 6), presents the lofty ideals of the Oxford re-
formers, and stands as the greatest literary effort of the
time; Vives, a versatile Catholic humanist, in 1531 erected
in his De Corrupt is Artibus and De Tradendis Discipliniis
an ideal academy, a pedagogical Utopia, founded on the
highest educational, scientific, and moral considerations;*
Doni in / Mundi ee/esti, terrestri, et infer nali (1552-53)
satirized in Utopian form the political and social vices
of Italy; and a little later, in 1605, under the pseudonym,
Mercurius Britannicus, Joseph Hall, made Bishop of Nor-
wich in 1 64 1, published a moral satire, Mundus Alter et
Idem, in tone rather Rabelaisian than ideal.

As the seventeenth century advanced, the spirit of free
inquiry grew bolder, overthrowing the philosophy of Ar-
istotle, and leading men to study the operations of nature
in order to discover the fundamental principles that
underlay the constitution of the universe. Three writers,
in harmony with the spirit of the age, conceived philo-
sophical and intellectual Utopias, in which by means of
the new methods of scientific experimentation the social
and intellectual order was to be remodeled. Campa-

* Handbuch der Padagogik, Vol. VII., p. 425.


nella, a Dominican monk of Calabria, began in 1602 his
Civitas Solis, which he published in 1623; Bacon in the
Novas Atlantis, written before 161 7 and published in
1627, exhibited a state of which the most striking fea-
ture was a college « instituted for the interpreting of
nature and the production of great and marvelous works
for the benefit of man ; » and Comenius, after issuing his
Conatunm Pansophicornm Dilucidatio in 1639, went to
England to form a « Universal College » for physical re-
search on the lines suggested by Bacon in the New
Atlantis* But in the turmoil of the Civil War the
Pansophia of Comenius was lost, and hopes of a Uni-
versal College soon vanished.

During the next hundred years political questions sup-
planted philosophical. Harrington's Oceana dedicated to
Cromwell in 1656, was not a romance, but « the first
sketch in English political science of a written constitu-
tion limiting sovereignty, »f « the only valuable model of
a commonwealth, » as Hume calls it. Hume himself, a
century later (1752), in his Essays, Moral and Political,
Part II., commenting on Plato, More, and Harrington]
presented his « Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth, » and be-
lieved that in his Utopia he had discovered a form of
government to which he himself could not in theory
formulate « any considerable objection. »

In France also, writers were coming forward with
schemes of a perfect government. Vairasse d'Allais, in
La Republique des Sevarambes, a part of his Histoire des
Sevarambes, 1672, pictured a monarchy, with the state
owning land and wealth and the people dwelling in huge
osmasies like Fourier's phalansteres. Fenelon in Book X.
of the Tc'le'maquc, which contains his account of the
kingdom of Salente, described a perfect state under the
authority of a perfect king.

But Utopias advocating monarchy are rare. With the
realization of the evils of the state system of the eight-
eenth century, thought took a new direction. Morelly
in Naufrage des ties flottantes on la Basiliade de P/lpai,
1753, declared that the existing conditions were corrupt,'
•Keatinge: The Great Didactic of Comenius, p. 45.
t Dwight in « Political Science yuarterly,» 1887, p. 17.


attacked the law of property, and tried to demonstrate
the necessity of placing society under the law of nature
and truth, — ideas more fully developed in his Code de la
Nature, 1755. This appeal to the law of nature showed
the prevailing- political concept of the period. The eyes
of the reformers were now turned to the natural princi-
ples of social order and government, and in 1762 Rous-
seau gave to the world, in the Contrat Social his scheme
of the state founded on social compact. Mably went
further than Rousseau, and in his various writings from
1765 to 1784 denounced private property, inheritance and
right of bequest, commerce, credit, the arts and sciences,
libraries, museums, and the like. Finding his ideal
among the Greeks, he viewed the Spartan era as a
golden age, and extolled poverty as the mother of frugality
and the virtues. He preached not only equality and
equal education for all, but a federal state and commu-
nity of goods. If Rousseau inspired Robespierre and St.
Just, it is equally true that Mably and Pechmeja {Te'lephe,
1784) inspired Marat, Babceuf, and Buonarrotti. Although
during the French Revolution men acted rather than
dreamed, yet in the teachings of Marechal, Marat, and
the Girondist Brissot de Warville, and in the speeches
of St. Just and Robespierre, we find embodied Utopian
ideals regarding man and his fundamental rights. The
adoption of the constitution of 1793 was as truly an at-
tempt to found a Utopia as was the forming of the
(< Society of Equals, * through which Babceuf hoped to
hasten a communistic millenium.

The French Revolution so shattered society that
writers of Utopias, who before had had little real ex-
pectation of seeing their theories applied, now worked
to remodel the social and industrial order. The fol-
lowers of St. Simon established an experimental com-
munity in 1826; in 1840 a phalanstcrc of Fourier was set
up at Brook Farm in America; at New Lanark, before
the close of the eighteenth century, Robert Owen had
tried his economic Utopia, and in 1825 was experiment-
ing at New Harmony in Pennsylvania. In 1848 great
national workshops were set up in Paris; and in Algiers
Marshal Bugeaud endeavored to establish a military


colony on a communistic basis. Cabet copied More's
Utop,a in his Voyage en Icarie, and gave it a better
trial at Nauvoo m Illinois in 1849 than had Frank, Man
.tor, and Munzer in Germany in the sixteenth century
Bu after ^Cabet's Icarie, except in a few cases snch as
Lyttons Commg Race, Bellamy's Looking Backward and
Secretan's Man Utopie, which were little more tha'n Ht
erary pastimes, and snch experimental communities as"
the Christian Commonwealth near Columbus, Georgia, and
he Ruskm Colony m the same state, both of which have
faded, the history of Utopias is the history of scientific
sociahsm, and is not to be dealt with here SCIe nt.hc

Of all the Utopias the most famous are the four
selected for presentation in this volume, for not onTv
are hey great creations of the imagination, but they
s and m the first, rank of literary productions; and two
of them, those of More and Rousseau, have surpassed
a others in influence. The work of More is fur her
distinguished by the fact that it was the first of the
modern productions of the kind, and also the first to
bear the familiar title of Utopia. Sir Thomas More

aTd thTne 11 J 4 ' 8 ' ■ ^ ""* beaUae * ^^ent of ,a
and the new learning, and though his later years were
spent in the practice of law, diplomacy, and statecraft
he renamed to the end of his life devoted to learni„:
andrel.gion That he was a keen observer o the so dal
conditions of his time the Utopia proves • for it T
tains not only a picture of an i^,, ' ""

... ' P'cuure ot an ideal communitv but a

severe indictment of the disorders attending the sreat
ocial and economic transformation from an agricultu ra
to an industrial and commercial state through winch
England was passing. New conditions of industr, and
commerce had made impossible the retention of the end
manorial system; villenage was disappearing and he vfl

to ZZ2?Z 0ming i C °™- hM ™ - sLnJe was easing
to be profitable under the old methods; money was tlk
mgthe place of payments fa kfn ^ " » £

of the manorial tenantry was increasing vagabondage and
SUS"^? V n o e rk mP w yed i, ^ ° W LZ ^ £


decay, and were making way for new industrial centers
like Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield.
More important still was the introduction, in many of
the counties, of the inclosure system. Landlords, dis-
covering that farming was more profitable when done on
a large scale, and that sheep raising brought even larger
returns than agriculture, turned arable lands into pasture,
thus depopulating the old villages, setting adrift large
number of villeins to find work wherever they could, and
bringing great distress and misery to the people. Such
were the conditions that inspired More in his Utopia, the
first book of which is a treatise on the evils of the time.

The second book of the Utopia presents as a remedy
for all ills an ideal state in which there are no drones
and of which the key-note is moderation. With the ex-
ception of the very learned, the inhabitants of the new
state are all producers, who devote six hours of each
day to labor and the remaining to social and intellectual
pleasures; who avoid war and all luxuries; and whose
king, chosen by themselves and for life, lives like a
common citizen, governing not in the interest of the few,
but for the happiness of the many. In his treatment of
labor, questions of criminal law, education, public health,
and freedom of speech, More strikes a very modern note ;
but though he showed himself, like the other Oxford re-
formers, a lover of liberty, justice, truth, and toleration,
and though he rose to be Chancellor of England, he made
no effort to apply as a politician the doctrines he had
advanced as a philosopher. Possibly, as Master of the
Court of Requests, or Court of Poor Men's Causes, he
may have dispensed the justice of the Utopia ; but in
other matters, notably that of religion, he did not in
practice rise to the height he had attained in his thought.
He opposed Lutheranism, and while not persecuting the
Protestants, as has been charged, battled with heresy till
his death. In fact, the second book of the Utopia at its
best but reflects the character of a noble man, whose mind
revolted against the injustice and inequalities of his age.

Both Campanella's City of the Sun and Bacon's New
Atlantis, notwithstanding their differences in setting
and treatment, represent an awakened interest in a new



philosophy. Unlike Sir Thomas More, neither Campa-
nula nor Bacon concerned himself much with the economic
or social questions of his time. Campanella was from
boyhood a student of logic and physics. Bacon, led partly
by personal inclination, and partly by the fact that in the
greater prosperity of the age of Elizabeth, social condi-
tions had become less exigent, turned his attention to
politics and philosophy. The crisis reflected in the Uto-
pias of these writers were, therefore, revolutions, not in
society, but in philosophical thought and method. In-
fluenced by Bernhard Telesius (1508-88), the great Ital-
ian opponent of the doctrines of Aristotle, Campanella,
like Bacon saw the need of a fundamental reform of
natural philosophy, and the substitution for analogies and
abstract generalizations of the sounder method of exact
observation. Unwilling to employ principles established
arbitrarily, they based all conclusions on careful and scien-
tific experimentation. Before Campanella was twenty-five
years old he had published a series of works supporting
the contention that men can understand the world only
through the senses. Bacon, born in 156 1, seven years
earlier than Campanella, although from boyhood eager to
accomplish by means of a new philosophy something of
practical benefit for humanity, was slower in publishing
his views. Whereas the City of the Sun, written after
the De Sensu Rerum, PJiilosophia Sensibus Demonstrata,
and De Investigatione Rerum, presents a social and
philosophical scheme worked out in minute detail, the
New Atlantis, written before the publication of the
Novum Organum and the Instauratio Magna, is but
a sketch of the results Bacon would like to have at-
tained, rather than a demonstration of the methods nec-
essary for their attainment. Campanella's work is, so far
as it goes, complete; Bacon's is only a fragment which
probably he never intended to perfect.

Campanella, born in southern Calabria in 1568, became
at a very early age a Dominican monk and was interested
rather in physics than in theology. By attacking the
prevailing Aristotelian philosophy, he soon roused ene-
mies against him, and was imprisoned on the charge of
conspiring to overthrow the Kingdom of Naples and found


a republic. He was seven times tortured during twenty-
seven years of confinement in fifty different prisons, and
was often deprived of the means of study and writing.
After his release in 1626, he withdrew to France; and
in 1639, died in a convent of his order. The Civitas
Solis sen idea reipnblicae pliilosopliicce, written in prison,
is believed to have been the beginning of a large work,
of which the first part was to deal with the laws of
nature, the second with the manners and customs of men,
the third with the organization of the state, the fourth
with the economic bases of society. It was, as Campanella
himself says, the counterpart of Plato's Republic, and on
its scientific side was based on Telesius. It formulated
for the first time a complete socialistic system on a scien-
tific foundation,* and, in France especially, furnished a
model for later ideal communities.

The city with its seven walls, its compact organization,
its carefully divided labors, and rigorous discipline reflect
the monastic experiences of the writer; but the principles,
in accordance with which the state is governed, the
social relation determined, and industry controlled, are
such as to interest men in all ages. Collectively, the
inhabitants labor for the common good; individually, each
seeks the perfecting of his body and soul, the care of
the young children, and the worship of God. Govern-
ment is intrusted to the wisest and ablest, and laws are
made and administered only so far as they promote the
object for which all are laboring. The essences of life
are equality, sacrifice of self for the community, the
banishment of egotism ; and peculiar features are the com-
munity of wives and goods, common meals, state control
of produce, and of children after a certain age, dislike of
commercial exchange, depreciation of money, love of all
for manual labor, and the high regard which all show for
intellectual and artistic pursuits. It is a remarkable fact
that in spite of Campanula's sufferings his work should
not only show no trace of bitterness, but should main-
tain consistently the loftiest ideals.

Less purely Utopian in conception than the City of the
Sun is Bacon's Atlantis, and almost entirely wanting is

* Sigwart, Kleine Schriften, p. 151.


it in the communistic extravagances of Campanula's work.
It contains an expression of the scientific views of Bacon
and his opinion regarding - the duty of the state toward
science. More than this it describes his tastes in conduct
and dress, and is characterized by a spirit of hospitality,
kindliness, and courtesy, which betrays his sympathetic
nature. As has been well said (< there is no single work
of his which has so much of himself in it. 8 Unlike More,
who would limit the population, Bacon, as the institutions
of the Tirsan shows, would have families large; and
unlike other writers of his age, he gives a prominent part
and attractive character to Joabin, a Jew. But the chief
interest of the author centers in Solomon's House, the
College of the Six Days Works, a state institution governed
by an official body, and founded for the purpose of dis-

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