Issue II: Golden Ages, Discipline, and Violence
Four new amazing essays about the ancient world and the future
This is Issue II of The Classical Futurist, the monthly magazine that focuses on future studies from the lens of classical antiquity.
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Without really planning to, Sachin Maini and Étienne Fortier-Dubois wrote complementary pieces about the two major rival cities of classical Greece: Athens and Sparta. Both were great in their own way — and it seems fitting to contrast them as we wonder what shape our future should take. What can we learn from the harsh pursuit of excellence of Sparta, or from the cultural and intellectual flourishing of Athens?
Meanwhile, Caleb Ontiveros identifies one way in which our present and future have greatly improved on antiquity: the virtualization of violence in entertainment. We top off this issue with three short pieces on works from or about antiquity that inspire each of us.
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Issue II, October 2021: Contents
Are we currently in a golden age? Can we actually tell? In this essay, Étienne Fortier-Dubois examines the details of the 5th century BC Golden Age of Athens, from politics to culture to economics. Maybe this can help us attune our senses to what it means to live in a prosperous and transformative period, and ensure that our future fits this description.
Sparta wasn't just a warrior society; it was a society defined by the pursuit of discipline and self-mastery. Sachin Maini argues that, in the current era of superabundant resources and information, the pursuit of excellence is a more promising path than the hedonistic culture we find ourselves in.
So much of our world has gone virtual — from relationships, finance, and work. This trend is often seen in a pessimistic light. The virtual is incomplete and inauthentic. But what if virtualism is a tool for peace? In stark contrast to the physical bloodshed in antiquity, violence in modern entertainment is imaginary and unrealistic. Caleb Ontiveros defends the positive side of moving into digital unreality in this essay.
Caleb Ontiveros, Étienne Fortier-Dubois, and Sachin Maini each pick a single inspirational work from or about antiquity. No spoilers, but one chose a diary, someone else chose a cartoon, and another chose The Apology.
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