Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Cabo Frio

I promised something about this place. The illustration shows the view from Arraial do Cabo, which is about an hour's drive away from here. It is on Cabo Frio ('The Cold Cape'), where once lived a civilization which was, I suppose, co-operative and unselfconsciously communist in operation, and reports of it founded Sir Thomas More's book Utopia. Everyone worked and produced something for the community and, rather than barter, as such, they simply pooled their resources. Slavery was a part of their system but the slaves were convicts (largely captured raiders, since crime was virtually unknown amongst them). Moreover, such was their contempt for wealth that only the slaves could wear gold and this was, largely, forged into the chains that kept them in bondage. The citizens all wore the same kind of simple clothes, from cloth that they wove themselves; and wars, greed, gluttony, avarice, envy, hate, sloth, unsated lust, disease and famine were unlikely and unwelcome insurgents in their midst. They worshipped the elements that made their harvests: off the land and out of the ocean. They strove to live in harmony, exercising moderation, in a land of plenty and spent their leisure time in improving their skills. They respected their elders (who ruled the roost), observed their traditions and looked after the young, the old and the infirm. They had many lessons for the modern world to learn and yet we have become as we are: everything that they would hold in disdain. If you have never read this wonderful book, written by a brilliant and steadfast man, you are missing out. Come and read it here and admire the view, that these remarkable people enjoyed, and wonder at the glory of the world and the potential greatness of mankind.

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