The Island of Utopia
Freedom – the most misunderstood word in the English language

If there was a poll to decide what is the most misunderstood word in the English language I think freedom might be high in the voting stakes. When there are millions of people how can we all live together without rules. Rules must be limits on freedom. Some types of speech and actions are very violent in nature but the extent of the limits of free speech is very controversial.

No Free Love in Utopia

The word Utopia came into the English language after the publication of the book Utopia by Sir Thomas More in 1516. It has come to mean a perfect place but the rules might shock you and certainly it is not paradise for all. In fact for some it will be heaven, while for others it will be hell. When it comes to premarital sex, the punishment will be a lifetime of celibacy (no sex) thereafter. And for those committing adultery you would become slaves – a total loss of freedom and many would say inhumane.

Marital Cage

Marriage to many in modern times is viewed as a curtailment of freedom yet in Utopia that will be the only legitimate way to have sex. Agreeing to be faithful is a discipline and a curtailment of unbridled freedom.

Slaving Away

We always lament about the haves and the have nots, and the divide between the rich and the poor. Everyone would agree that slaves have no freedom, no future and usually no hope. They have the lowest quality of life and some would say to be a slave is not worth living. In Utopia there would be slaves so clearly it is not paradise for all and some will be living in hell even though this is supposed to be a perfect land. Clearly for some only.

Candidates for Slavery

What are the modern statistics for adultery? While statistics may not be totally accurate – many people think adultery is rife and certain classes of people such as celebrities seem to do it more than others. Other sources of slaves are criminals and foreigners.

Compulsion, Force, Violence and Fighting

This means that there will still be crime in Utopia and victims of crime. It also means that foreigners will be captured so that means some form of force and violence too. Even in a Utopian world, crime, violence, fighting and war can’t be totally eliminated.

Carrot or the Cane!

Periodically those slaves will be released for good behavior, so we still have to control humans with reward systems.

Free Health Care

While this sounds like a great idea and advanced for its time, it does mean disease and illness are impossible to eradicate. The pain of living is a fact of life in Utopia.

Prevention is Better than Cure

Wouldn't a true Utopia be life without disease, pain and illness? Today we talk about lifestyle diseases because we don’t want to stop the excesses of our lifestyle – of wine, women, men and overindulging in drink and food. We could have much better health if we exercised more self-control. In fact, in modern times when it comes to health we could come closer to a Utopian health standard if we followed wholesome practices.

Let’s Get Rid of the Lawyers!

Although Sir Thomas More is one of the best legal brains the world has known, he felt there was no place for lawyers in Utopia. Before you shout hooray, remember the legal framework is one of the pillars of society. Rules encapsulate the values of a society. And rules have to be enforced – that means dealing with those who break the rules. Whatever we call them, we need people who know the law, and can administer the law. In most countries, judges are drawn from the ranks of lawyers – what would the quality of judges be like if they had not spent time practicing law?

The Devil is in the Detail

When you look at the countries around the world – both current and past man has failed miserably when it comes to creating a Utopia. Pie in the sky is an idiom to mean something that is utterly impractical, totally unworkable and a total fantasy. Utopia is pie in the sky –at least at this point in time.

Author's Bio: 

I am an English specialist with I CAN READ. I have worked for major British institutions – British Council, British High Commission, British Railways Board and Linguaphone. I am a London-trained lawyer and have been the public affairs officer at the British High Commission, Singapore, as well as an editor in an international book publishing house and a national magazine. I am also co-author of two law books: English Legal System and Company Law, published by Blackstone, Oxford University Press. I am an Ambassador of Peace (Universal Peace Federation and Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace). Email about I CAN READ. For more on English, blessings, and personal and business success: