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While the Anglo Saxon culture speak a lot of community, Latin culture try to break those systemically... The City heritage!

The juxtaposition which remains puzzling to me is the one you pose between community on the one hand and city on the other.  And you say "If somebody asks me, I vote for the City."

But isn't that giving too much weight to the city, the polis, and if I may go that far, the state (but maybe it is oversimplifying to identify "city" and "state")?

Why does Latin culture's emphasis on the city have to "break" the emphasis on community?

Indeed, aren't the individual, and the partnerships/community (koinonia) among individuals, prior to the city (polis, civitas, imperium), and shouldn't the city be an expression of the values evolved in and by the community, rather than have the values of the community be derived from the externally imposed disposition of the city?

I am afraid when Aristotle wrote:

Hence it is evident that the state [polis] is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal [politikon zôion]. And he who by nature and not by mere accident is without a state [apolis], is either a bad man or above humanity.

he went too far.

Humans are by nature social animals, but while a well organized polis can certainly enrich and enhance our experience as humans living in community with one another, no city, no matter how well designed or organized, can replace community.  Furthermore, humans do need each other and the socializing bonds of community; but we do not need the polis to create healthy, thriving communities, and to be fully human in them.

(You could probably guess by now, but I grew up in the "freedom" and "individualism" loving "Anglo-Saxon" United States, so no surprise where my bias come from!)

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sat Feb 24th, 2007 at 08:55:45 AM EST
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