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MonkeyNotes-Utopia by Sir Thomas More
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Of Warfare

Utopians detest war and see no glory in it, but, to avoid becoming weak, both men and women train regularly in the arts of warfare. Utopians go to war in defense of their country; to drive an enemy out of a friend's land or to free a country from tyranny. They also sometimes help a friendly country to avenge a wrong. To go to war they need the approval of the council.

Utopians also fight when their merchants are harassed in foreign land. If a trader only loses his money and is not harmed bodily, Utopians will stop trading with that country and do not go to war. This is because they are so rich in goods and need not worry about a small loss. But if a citizen is killed or hurt in a foreign country, they demand that the culprits be surrendered to them. These men are made into slaves.

Utopians do not see great glory in winning wars through great loss of lives. In fact, they are ashamed of such a victory and think that they have paid too heavy a price. On the other hand, they celebrate a victory won through deceit and cunning A general who wins this way is considered a great hero.

Utopians go to war only after all peaceful negotiations fail. When war is declared, they consider the safety of the citizens more important than national glory. Often they send secret agents into the enemy country. These men carry posters from the Utopian government offering huge amounts of money to kill the enemy king. Smaller rewards are offered for killing less important men. They offer double the reward to bring these men alive. The members of the enemy nation who help the Utopians are treated with great respect and given land and money.

This method is effective because it sows suspicion in the enemy country. The Utopians see nothing shameful in this method of warfare. They point out that thousands of innocent lives on both sides are saved by this method.


If this fails, the Utopians try to split the enemy ranks by encouraging the brother of the king or some other noble of the country to begin a fight for the throne. They abet internal dissension and keep it from dying down. Their main purpose is to save the lives of Utopian citizens. For this they are willing to spend enormous amounts of gold and silver. That is the most important use gold and silver has for them.

If they have to fight, the Utopian employs mercenaries, like the Zapoletes. These are wild people who enjoy fighting. They are loyal to those who pay them and it is easy to buy their loyalty as it goes to the highest bidder. Very often, Zapoletes find themselves fighting against their close relatives in a war that does not concern them at all!

After the mercenaries, the citizens of the country for whose benefit the war is being waged are sent to the battlefield. Other friendly powers are also asked to send contingents. Only lastly are the Utopia sent. But the general is always a Utopian. They also send two other generals in case something happens to the first general.

Volunteers from every town comprise the Utopian army. Foreigners are seldom recruited. No one is forced to fight abroad. Wives are encouraged to go to the front with their husbands to boost morale. Once they do go to war when all the other ploys fail, the Utopians fight bravely to the bitter end. In battle they do not rush headlong into attack but build up the momentum gradually. At the height of the war a group of young volunteers target the enemy general and try either to capture or kill him, or make him run away.

The Utopians do not massacre a fallen enemy. They prefer to capture than to kill. They pay great importance to rearguard action. In both offensive and defensive tactics, they are very cunning. They dig into their positions with great efficiency, building a deep and broach trench around them. Their armor is light but effective. They can even swim in it. Their weapons are very advanced and scientifically made. Everything is geared for easy movement and speed.

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