I have been working on The Circular Polis for quite a bit now, I guess it is one form of escapism for me.
Perhaps I should explain what this thing exactly is. It is a story. Is it a novella? A novel? Or even a short story? I don’t exactly know, all I know is that I am on the fourth chapter so far.
The Circular Polis is the tale of two members of the Secret Police in a modern dystopian city known as The Republic of the Polis and how they are caught in the middle of a conspiracy that leads to war. What they find out is starkly different to what they think they know.
The society of the Circular Polis is quite loosely based on Plato’s perfect city state with a militaristic twist to it. There are three main classes of citizens in the state. The workers, the guardians and the philosophers. Each class has its internal rankings. The workers can be simple manual workers, craftsmen or managers of entire factories. The guardians can range from police men, to soldiers in the army and members of the R.S.A. (Republic’s Secret Auxiliary) or secret police. The Philosophers are mainly politicians who are entrusted to run the Polis with a fair but heavy hand. Guardians are selected according to ability to train and become philosophers, while workers stay as workers all their lives meaning that there is little social mobility for them.
There is no concept of a nuclear family in the state. People of the same class are selected to breed with each other. The newborn is swiftly taken to the academic sector where they are looked after, reared and then trained depending on who their parents are. The child is at first told the “noble lie”, that is that the Earth has given birth to him and the state as well and that all are family. Only when they mature are they told the truth. The biological parents are to carry on their lives as normal. In the modern era, test tube fertilization which is more remote for the participants is being used more and more often.
The difficulty of imagining a place where there is no such thing as parenthood is way more difficult then cooking up a random creature in one’s mind, and I guess that is part of the challenge. It just sounds so strange and alien, so unlike any other society that I personally heard of before that it may just be impossible to conceptualize consistently, but I guess that is part of the fun of writing a book like this.