In 1516, England was ruled by an authoritarian narcissist who was redistributing the wealth of England to himself and a handful of his obscenely wealthy friends. Thomas More responded by writing the philosophical tract Utopia. He made up a place that was no place—literally, the word “utopia” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “not a place”—and narrated the tale through a man whose last name means “nonsense.” The tract dared to imagine a world better than the one More lived in.
Exactly five hundred years later, the United States has a president-elect who is an authoritarian narcissist with plans to redistribute American wealth to himself and a handful of his obscenely wealthy friends. Perhaps it’s time to once again look at this story of No Place told by a man called Nonsense and imagine a better world for ourselves.