Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Lost and Found in Translation

 A brief note, and hopefully a good one (N.B.):
The title The Republic comes from Cicero's (50 b.c.) translation of Plato's (357 b.c.) Politeía from the Greek into the Latin; he gave his work the title res publica, Latin for "things of the people." The Latin edition stood for Western scholars until Taylor put out an English translation in early 1800s, notably titled The Republic (and a lesser known translation was put out by Stens in the mid-1700s, also titled The Republic), and we in the academic West have mushed forth with the title since.

So it's not the translation of the work that is distracting me per se, but the notion going back to the city as a body, self governed and focused in its own ends, the original (500 b.c.) structure [no need to put "state" at the end, since that would be obvious to contemporaries]. 

In all my research and analysis over the years, I continually find that distance is problematic, moreso even than swelling population itself. One simply cannot govern justly those who are far away; this leads to a lot of my sociopolitical assessments about Town Hall governance from the mid90s, in which I theorized that a sense of remoteness of government leads to violent rebellion through terrorism and that the United States was then overdue for internal terrorism from any one of the many groups of people who felt voiceless, unheard and unseen by a remote and disinterested ruling body. The United States, I argued, has never really considered home-grown terrorism a credible possibility, despite carrying forth the legacy empirical structures that seemed to Foster and possibly demand such action by the disgruntled.

It bears pointing out that I wrote this a couple months before the Oklahoma City bombing. 
And now here I am, back where I started, and thank you, @DarK_RaideR because honestly my enthusiasm had begun to wear thin. This was just the right observation-question to turn the lens a bit.
I don't have my 1995 essay anymore (it was literally typed), but there are a gajillion points that, looking back, serve as guideposts for the way ahead. The philosophy of rebellion has always been here, and now it's this glimmering thread in the twilight.
Who wants to hang out in the Philosopher's Salon and dig around in the notion of rebellion, governance, and power?