Saturday, 17 February 2007

The Modern City

Read this description of the city:

“So long as it [the city] enjoys material prosperity… or…the security of peace why should we worry? What concerns us is that we should get richer all the time, to have enough for extravagant spending every day…. It is allright if the poor serve the rich…if the people applaud those who supply them with pleasures rather than those who offer salutary advice…if no one imposes disagreeable duties or forbids perverted delights…if rulers are not interested in the morality but the docility of their subjects…It is a good thing to have imposing houses luxoriously furnished… Anyone who disapproves of this kind of happiness should rank as a public enemy....We should reckon the true gods to be those who see that people get this happiness and then preserve it for them.”

Augustine wrote this over 1600 years ago about Rome (p. 71 City of God), but it might as well have been London.