Friday, November 09, 2012

Politics and the Polis

The word "politics" comes from the Greek word polis, which referred to the Greek City-State.

POLIS: The Empire of Man vs. the City of God

Man was originally placed in a Garden, and the original "American Dream" -- as well as the paradigm of human happiness in the Bible -- is a world where everyone dwells securely under his own "Vine and Fig Tree."

Vine and Fig Tree: "The American Dream"

It was the first murderer who became the first "urban planner."

Thesis 15: Cain’s City: The Autonomy of the State

And yet the goal of human history is described in the Bible as "The City of God."

Thesis 93: The City of God

Is an escape from the city into rural living an escape from social responsibility? Historically, Christians have been willing to remain in areas which were decimated by plague in order to minister to the sick, while others fled the cities to save themselves, thereby fleeing Christian civilization into a pagan barbarism
Then, when the great plagues swept Rome and all the doctors fled, the Christians stayed and took care of the sick. They did what we're called to do as Christians. As a result, even though they often died in the process of taking care of the sick, people wanted to become Christians because it was a better life than pagans and they saw something they wanted.
Interview with Chuck Colson
Is it true that the City allows human beings to better develop the "division of labor?"

Capitalism, Predestination, and The Invisible Hand

Isn't our goal to move from poverty to dominion and wealth?

Dominion, Wealth, and Postmillennianalism

The Ancient City did not even have the ideal of freedom, just as Americans have lost the original "American Dream" and the understanding that the Biblical word for "salvation" means "being set into a large, open space":

The Ancient City: I'm Dreaming of a Large Christmas

How would cities develop under freedom in the absence of the institutionalized violence of the State?

Some possible answers might be found in a recent book by Harvard economist Edward L. Glaeser:

The Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier

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