"But there is a part of me that thinks I’m seeing a new kind of human community come into being that I don’t want to face and that I don’t have a name for. A city where murder, violence, kidnapping, torture, robbery and extortion are the economy. This is a new kind of city."
New!? Leave it to a leftard not to know. Good lord. It is the nature of all cities till the rise of Modernity, the thanatocracy.
Cities are not traditionally places of freedom and independence for the average individual. They are areas of central political organisation and military encampments. To a lesser extent they are centres of trade, commerce, and finance. Cities are distribution hubs. Marx writes of cities as parasitical because they take in food and other goods from the surrounding agricultural areas and seem to give back little, which is a "physical fallacy." It lingers. Cities are distribution points for gathering in and sending out, i.e. they are marketplaces. But that is all secondary at best: cities are centres of political power, places where men of power gather to make decisions regarding the rule of the land. In a world of strength as moral, of "might makes right," cities are the central power of what we call the fasces. A fasces is a symbol from Roman times of a military power, e.g. and axe, wrapped round with reeds, the symbol being of a central power around which the masses are bound. It is appropriate for all authoritarian communalist organisation, particularly pre-Modern cities.
Cities in the pre-Modern world are not free, free in the sense of free trade, unless they have a royal charter. They are areas open to plunder and destruction by superior forces, not necessarily outsiders. The tax-man cometh. He cometh with a sword. A city is a place of power and indiscriminate violence against the lower orders, those who have no property rights, which is to say, those who are not citizens in a very narrow sense. Pre-Modern cities are places where the majority are prey to any passing privileged and entitled being. You have, they take. You resist, they kill you. Life, nasty, brutish, and short. That's the way it was, and that is the way it is in most places, though today's Mexican Ciudad Juarez is an extreme example in the world. It's not much different from the usual state of early times. Today's drug-dealing police force is little different from Ottoman Janissaries, as one example among numerous. Those who don't et this are those who think all cultures are equal and adaptive, i.e. culturally relative. Anti-Americans and antiModernists don't have a clue. This is what the world used to be everywhere. It takes a leftist to miss it and to blame revolutionary America for the usual state of things.
Jeremy Gantz, "Inside the World’s Deadliest City," In These Times. 30 August 2010.
Beyond the violence, what surprised you most about [Ciudad] Juárez, [Mexico] during your time there?
Charles Bowden: That it keeps functioning. This is a city that’s had 25 percent of housing abandoned. Had at least 40 percent of its businesses slam their doors shut. That has lost at least 100,000 jobs. That has had an explosion of violence, and there are still about one million people that get out of bed every morning and try to go about a normal life. I have said the city is dying, because by any logical standards it is. But there is a part of me that thinks I’m seeing a new kind of human community come into being that I don’t want to face and that I don’t have a name for. A city where murder, violence, kidnapping, torture, robbery and extortion are the economy. This is a new kind of city.
People who sentimentalise the past as a golden age of happy peasants living close to nature in a state of bliss with families and friends are maniacs or fools or fascists. Without Modernity, all of the world will revert to a state like Ciudad Juarez, and it will be just like the world has always been: a death camp surrounded by the dying.