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  The  Greeks enjoyed each other’s company as a way of politics as well as  friendship. Vernon states “To be a citizen was to take part actively in  the collective life of the city” (p.158). This emphasized the importance  of having close friends, as the wellbeing of the polis depended on the  wellbeing of individuals. This was largely due to the fact that only men  participated in politics and the population was much smaller by  comparison (Vernon 2010 p.158). In modern day America, our politics are  run by our government and institutions. There is less emphasis on the  wellbeing of the individuals and more on the economy, as stated by  Christian Meier. Bringing in personal interests as well as financial  interests into politics shifted the focus of individual wellbeing to  financial gain, thus removing the importance of having friends with good  social standing (Vernon 2010 p.158). The late Roman Republic placed  emphasis on participation in government. Only the ruling classes could  participate, but office terms were short and required many people to be  involved. Because of the high demand of participation, the Romans needed  to have good social standing with each other, thus making friendship a  public matter (Vernon 2010 p.164). The emphasis on making right with  friends was of utmost importance in Roman society. Vernon states that  “to be accused of being a poor friend, and bad at friendship, was to  lose public standing” (p.165). This was demonstrated by Cicero who  accused Mark Anthony of winning people over by inviting them into his  bedroom to gain social standing. Anthony was attempting to take over the  Roman Republic after the death of Julius Caesar, which Cicero publicly  opposed. The back and forth between the two lasted, even after Cicero’s  death, emphasizing the importance of friendships and social standing  (Vernon 2010 p.165-166). This is not the case in our modern western  politics. Being “bad” at friendship no longer has the same social  repercussions. Vernon states that “A friend can become a foe, if they  fail to stand by you” (p.159). In our politics, friends can be easily  disregarded and replaced with others that will better suit the utility  of the agenda with little to no consequences. Expression in this case,  is solely based on utility, and does not allow room for anything deeper  to transpire, for modern politics is centered around financial  self-interest. Medieval Europe planted the seeds of modern binary society. In 1690 John Locke wrote Essay concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government. Locke  explained civil society as one that was between “man and wife.” “The  first society was between man and wife, which gave beginning to that  between parents and children, to which, in time, that between master and  servant came to be added.” Locke used this model for society based on  Adam and Eve” (Vernon 2010 p.177). This model was the beginning of what  we know as the nuclear family, which became the norm for modern western  society.  The shift towards a binary society  made what was once social activities into private affairs. Activities  like bathing, dining and sleeping together used to be a sign of social  connection during the Middle Ages. Alan Bray, in his book The Friend  he “identifies a tipping point for the move from the medieval to the  modern social attitudes towards friendship” (Vernon 2010 p.172). In our  binary culture, those activities became private and done only within  marriage. The focus on this “marital space” reduced the importance of  social friendships. Reference Vernon, M. (2010). The Meaning of Friendship. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. Chapter 7: The Politics of Friendship

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