Quotation by Jacob Bronowski

In general, Machiavellism and Utopianism can be taken to be too sharply opposed; the one realistic and the other idealistic and dreamlike. Yet More's Utopia is an extraordinarily realistic book. It is, indeed, closer in attitude to The Prince than is generally conceded. More, like Machiavelli, was a statesman-writer who clearly perceived political reality and dealt with the actual problems of his time. He was also, like Machiavelli, a humanist who used classical models—in his case, Plato—as a means of going beyond the mirror-of-princes literature. He, too, tried to penetrate the causes of the political evils of his time and to offer concrete and carefully thought-out solutions in place of the conventional sentiments of the time. More's solutions, however, were vastly different from those of Machiavelli. They reflect the fact that he belonged to a different tradition from that of power politics followed by Machiavelli. More's tradition was one which, with its roots deep in Eng lish literature, went back to Chaucer and Langland. It is characterized by two traits: an intimate concern with the suffering of the common people, and a feeling that the state exists for its members.
Jacob Bronowski (1908–1974), British scientist, author, and Bruce Mazlish. The Western Intellectual Tradition From Leonardo to Hegel, ch. 4, Harper (1960).
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