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MonkeyNotes-Utopia by Sir Thomas More
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They never break an armistice. They do not resort to pillage and rape nor do they hurt unarmed men. A town that surrenders is protected while the defenders of a town that offer resistance are punished, even though the civilians set free. Defeated towns are not looted. The wealth of the conquered country is given back to its citizens. Utopians do not get anything.

The defeated enemy pays for the war. Utopians do everything to avoid fighting on their own land. They send their armies out when they hear an enemy advancing.


Notes

This is a very unusual account of war and turns much of conventional war strategy on its head while also criticizes practices that seem barbaric. Sixteenth century Europe saw a great deal of warfare. Most kings gloried in war and considered it a great sign of loyalty for their plebes to fight for their nation. But the Utopians do not consider this so. They resort to everything from trickery to sowing sedition among the enemy to win wars without bloodshed. They do not consider these subversive activities as cowardly or shameful. Their main purpose is to avoid bloodshed, not just their own, but also of the enemy. This has eminent common sense. This ploy was often practiced in sixteenth century Europe. In fact, Henry VIII and his minister Lord Dacre sowed sedition among the Scottish lords. Ancient warlords also have often advocated this method, but it was lost in the glamorous image that war had assumed in the sixteenth century.

Utopians hate war but they are sensible enough to be prepared for it so that they are not taken unawares. They use their enormous wealth to weaken the enemy. If they have to fight they employ mercenaries so that Utopian lives are not lost. They also avoid fighting on their own land. This leads only to damage and destruction, even if the country wins the war. The Utopians have very good strategies of warfare. Every aspect is looked into with great speculation. They have advanced weaponry. In actual warfare, Utopia exhorts their army and the enemy to be considerate. Mindless slaughter is thus avoided.

This unique attitude towards war is in keeping with the general characteristics of Utopia. They are sane and educated and love their country yet they are as pragmatic and sensible in war as in all other things.

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