Monday, May 22, 2017
The City Is The Enemy...
As was seen in previous post on the subject, country-people, 'Arcadians', are Pagans, as that word denotes a territory (and a people) limited by defined, marked, points. Whereas The Polis is ever-growing and ever redefining its borders and itself. The Polis is universal.
Arcadians are rooted, defined and fixed in particular quantity and quality and space; ethnic, tribal, clannish.
The world of the Arcadian does not extend beyond the country of their particular, specific, people. Their rivers, forests, lakes and mountains are all solid boundaries of their existence, physically, philosophically and spiritually. Which is why they can never be truly Polis, cosmopolitan or civilized.
For example, among the back-country settlers of Appalachia the word ‘foreigner’ was/is applied to any and all (persons and things) who were not immediately proximate to themselves. A stranger may be of the same race and ethnicity, speak the same language and worship the same god, yet be suspiciously labeled a foreigner because he is from outside of the borders of a particular local people.
Within The Polis, all are strangers and yet all are of the Polis. All are ‘us’.
The consequence of this contrast in the conception of borders and boundaries is substantial, and leads to conflict.
That the Arcadian does not see a planet, continent or state as such, but rather (and only) a world consisting solely of his people and his world, means that when The Polis and Arcadia meet, they conceptualize one another via wholly different, and incompatible, paradigms.
The battle lines can thus be seen as follows: a man from Arcadia may be able to become part of The Polis, but a man from The Polis can never become part of Arcadia.
At first glance this may seem to give the advantage to The Polis, but upon further consideration it is, at least, a draw.
The threat to Arcadia (inclusion) is countered by the impenetrable barrier (exclusion) of The Polis.
The Polis must then adopt an unending offensive tactic, while Arcadia is always on the defense.
The irony of this being, these battle positions, born of the intrinsic qualities of each side, merely reinforces each sides intrinsic qualities.