Although the Core Curriculum was a primary attraction for my wanting to attend Columbia, “Contemporary Civilization” has brought the hardest earned yet most stimulating vectors for my manga/graphic novel inspired flights of fancy.
This piece is inspired heavily by Plato’s Republic. It depicts a futuristic and pessimistic vision of Socrates’ theoretical model city, the “Kallipolis” and its underlying concepts. The sketch shows the futuristic versions of the three classes that Socrates envisions: the producers or “money-lovers”, the auxiliaries, and the guardians. The producers in Kal City are the relatively normal class that are fed propaganda, kept from the dangerous, free-thinking “poets”, and forced to stay within their own professions, hence why some businesses celebrate centuries of service. The guardians and auxiliaries are now virtually inhuman cyborgs as the parts of their souls that they try to focus on (spirit and reason) are the only human parts of them left. The only one who observes the tragic consequences of this city is the rebellious punk or “barbarian”, who is alien to the city’s values and culture and has a Burke-like disdain for untested, social engineering.
About the Scholar: David Heagy
David Heagy is a sophomore at Columbia College (CC ’21) majoring in Data Science. Homeschooled from K-12, he sought admission primarily due to the Core Curriculum. David’s artistic achievements include awards for writing and finger-style guitar, but he is currently developing an anime/manga-style project after being inspired by his Contemporary Civilization class.