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Mountain of Paradise

Reflections on the Emergence of Greater California as a World Civilization


Josef Chytry

Mountain of Paradise challenges conventional taxonomies of world civilizations by introducing a new and formidable candidate: the civilization of Greater California presently incubating as the evolution of California into a veritable «nation-state» or «world commonwealth» according to contemporary commentators and scholars. Through a series of reflective essays it clarifies the momentous implications of this claim by a thorough account of the genealogical origins of «California», permutation into its speculative moment of self-identity thanks to prolonged creative interchange with European thought and philosophy, advancement to status of a socio-economic powerhouse by the 1950s and 1960s, invention of distinctly Californian variants of political economy by the 1970s and 1980s, and present domination over regions formerly classified as «Greater California». In its range and originality Mountain of Paradise constitutes a robust contribution to current political, social, economic and global thematics.


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Chapter 2. Bordering the Civilization of Greater California: An Inquiry into Genealogy, Treaty-Making and Influence


45 Chapter 2 Bordering the Civilization of Greater California: An Inquiry into Genealogy, Treaty-Making and Influence1 “When they first saw him, a goal they had all harbored would suddenly germinate.” Garci Rodríquez de Montalvo, Sergas de Esplandián2 At the beginning of all great civilizations there is Naming: baptism. With naming comes genealogy. Then follow the sighting – and the siting – of that which was named. All this collectively sculpts the history of borderings, which must be nec- essarily both literarily articulative and pragmatically grounded. Because these two aspects to the act of bordering are perduring, there is never a final moment of settled borders. Which is not to claim that there are no borders. Only that they are malleable – and potentially revolutionary. The “creation” of “California” is of this order of invention. Not invention out of nowhere, but invention out of the richest stratum of Western classical thought and genealogizing, one that traces back to the epic-tragic fall of ancient Troy and the ensuing ventures by its noble citizenry to ground new Troys throughout the world. One such achievement was the ancient Veneto; another, and far more prodi- gious, was the foundation of ancient Rome – along with all subsequent Latin (and “Latino”) civilizations. From this Roman fount followed a host of lesser Troys in western Europe, all more or less wedded to the primacy of the Trojan pedigree of Aeneas, son of the goddess Aphrodite and the Trojan prince Anchises. Around the eighth-ninth centuries C. E. there is plain...

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