Issue I: Why Antiquity Is The Way Forward

A launch, and four amazing essays about the ancient world and the future

Today we’re releasing Issue I of The Classical Futurist, a high-quality monthly online magazine by Sachin Maini, Caleb Ontiveros, and Étienne Fortier-Dubois.

The Classical Futurist envisions the future with inspiration from classical antiquity. Every month, we’ll release at least three new essays on topics ranging from philosophy and culture to technology and aesthetics.

Why this topic? We believe that antiquity matters for the future, because many cultural innovations are revivals, and reimagining the present and future requires interacting with those who came before. In our introduction essay, we explain our thinking and the underlying ideas for this project.

The Classical Futurist is published on its own website. We will use Substack as a table of contents and newsletter. By subscribing, you will receive one email per month, like the post you’re reading right now, describing the contents of the current issue and linking to each essay.

Issue I, September 2021: Contents

See the full magazine

On Classical Futurism

In this introductory essay, Sachin Maini makes the case that studying classical antiquity — the height of Greek and Roman civilization — is a great and essential way to improve our future. Despite the name, “classical futurism” isn’t a contradiction. It’s a necessity.

Let's Build Cities of Marble, Not Metal

This essay on architecture by Étienne Fortier-Dubois reviews past instances of classical revivalism and wonders why classical styles are so absent from contemporary construction. It argues that our visions of the future should move away from cold metal and reuse the best examples from the past instead.

The Atemporal Cosmopolis

Caleb Ontiveros compares the philosophy of Stoicism with the contemporary concept of longtermism. The Stoics were early to the idea of universalism — that all humans, regardless of where or who they are, are a part of a cosmic city. But what about future generations?

On Forgotten Glories

This essay from Sachin identifies three ways we could draw from Ancient Rome to build a better future. Among the virtues of their civilization, the Romans had a sense of grandeur, a distinctive and globalizing identity, and a fighting spirit, all things that we may want to remember in order to re-invigorate our own civilization.

We are very energized by this launch. We believe that playing around with antiquity and the future is a fertile ground for new ideas, and we look forward writing and publishing many more essays in the coming months and years. If you’d like to follow along, please don’t hesitate to subscribe.