Wild at Heart

This was the order of human things: first the forests, after that the huts, thence the villages, next the cities and finally the academies.

Giambattista Vico (1668-1774), The New Science, Sec. 239

 

 

But if the peoples are rotting in this last civil illness … then providence for their extreme ill has its extreme remedy at hand. For such peoples, like so many beasts, have fallen into the custom of each man thinking only of his own private interests and have reached the extreme of delicacy, or better of pride, in which like wild animals they bristle and lash out at the slightest displeasure. Thus in the midst of their greatest festivities, though physically thronging together, they live like wild beasts in a deep solitude of spirit and will, scarcely any two being able to agree since each follows his own pleasure or caprice. By reason of all this, providence decrees that, through obstinate factions and desperate civil wars, they shall turn their cities into forests and the forests into dens and lairs of men.

Vico, The New Science, Sec. 1106

 

 

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