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War
refers to conflict between countries or groups of people due to a disagreement
of some kind. Thomas More within his novel Utopia describes war ‘as an activity
fit only for beasts, yet practiced more by man than by any other creature’
which thusly implies that war is a human activity now. The meaning of war
within ‘Utopia’ clearly links to other works by many authors as war itself is a
controversial topic to talk about. Novels such as ‘Leviathan’ by Thomas Hobbes,
‘Second Treaties of Government’ by John Locke all have a similar theme of war,
even though it may only slightly be mentioned, it is still apparent throughout
too. With Thomas More previously using war as a topic to talk about within a
dystopian novel, it makes readers more aware of what his message of war in
particular is. With relation to the passage power is the most important form of
a prize, so with war we can clearly see there is an inevitable outcome.

 

War
itself has now come to be a human related activity, it never was a thing that
humans would partake in. With relation to the passage, it is clear to see that
beasts were the ones to go to war, not humans. Beasts in particular were the
most likely to go to war of all species due to the fact that they were capable
of doing so. This is because they did not care about getting hurt as power was
the only outcome, if they lost the war, they were thusly considered as weak. The
fact that humans are the ones that are most likely to despise war, it is ironic
how they are the ones to actually take part in it the most out of any other
creature. Due to the fact that that winning a battle brings glory, it could be
argued that More was also pointing out that humans want this the most. Man, in
particular only want one thing and that is in fact power, it makes individuals
seem like they are the worthiest and the most respected as they are the highest
amongst everyone. By taking part in war and thusly winning does in fact shows
power and therefore shows that they can prove that they are worthy of the
power. Due to the fact that war is now a human activity, this clearly prepares
them for uncertain things as it somewhat gives them a set of survival skills.
Individuals must know to practice for an activity like war as wars can be
sudden and can involve everyone. The theme of war throughout ‘Utopia’ clearly
links to the fact that Thomas More himself wrote the novel during a time
leading towards conflict. This thusly implies a message that Thomas More is
trying to get across to readers and get them to perceive it and make them
listen more. That is to say that war is neither good or bad as the end outcome
is in fact the most important as the goal is power. Many people of this time
period did think that power was obviously the main aspect that made an
individual worthy and well-respected. This links to many other authors like
More and many authors dissimilar to More as war itself is in fact a very
controversial topic that has a variety of different opinions yet somewhat
relate to one another.

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Utopians
themselves do not like war as they believe that partaking in an activity that
could kill another is bad and would rather resolve conflict in other ways. For
instance, the Utopians would use intelligent tactics like propaganda to deter
the opposing side and thusly win the war. If these other resolutions to solving
conflict do not work then fighting in war is the last resort but will avoid any
harm to the other side at all costs. This emphasises the importance conflict
has but also how it does not need to be resolved through war and More himself
clearly states that it is not inevitable and does not have to be. However, war
itself does come across as an important theme in many other author’s pieces of
work, for example with Thomas Hobbes and his novel ‘Leviathan’. Within this
novel, Hobbes links war to the state of nature and clearly implying that the
state of nature is in fact that men are free and independent beings. This
thusly links to war as men are the free ones that have to fend for themselves
and to do so, they must go to war. For example, Hobbes states the phrase ‘war
of all against all’ as an inevitable outcome of the state of nature as again,
men must go to war to survive. This therefore portrays that war is just a
natural activity that man must partake in as a way to live which additionally
implies that everyone is always at war with each other as everyone needs to
survive in Hobbes’ view. This clearly links to Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’ as the
passage from the novel does in fact state that war is now an activity in which
humans do take part in as a way to survive.

 

However,
John Locke would argue that the state of nature is completely different to how
Thomas Hobbes argues the state of nature as. For instance, in his novel ‘Second
Treaties of Government’ he states that men are also free and independent but
must also be equal. John Locke himself does in fact argue that in order for one
to understand power, as the passage previously mentions, we must consider this
state of nature. Clear evidence of this is in the novel he states, ‘To
understand political power right and derive it from its original, we must
consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is a state of perfect
freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons,
as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking
leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.’ This quotation clearly
implies that there should be a freedom of man and that they must be independent
in order to live an equal life. In order to do so, one must live by these
aspects and thusly be restrained from violating these terms and thusly causing
any harm towards others. However, that is to say that equality and liberty is
the highest aspect to obtain in Locke’s view, war should only be an outcome if
need be in order to defend themselves and their property. This clearly links to
Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’ as the Utopians themselves did in fact dislike war and
would only come to war as an outcome if there was no other way. 

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