Modern classicism is the term for the philosophical movement that has come to dominate political and cultural discourse in the latter half of the 20th century as well as the 21st, particularly in Europe and Asia. It is defined in broad terms as simply a philosophy of adapting the ancient customs and practices to the new realities of the modern world, out of a belief that the ancient way of life and thinking was much more logical and simpler than philosophies that came after it. It had its beginnings much earlier than that, with the rise of Decius Capitolinus to the Roman throne in 1542, who marked much of his reign enforcing tolerance- leading to a revival- of the Jovianists after centuries of harsh treatment at the hands of the Christian rulers. Some say the movement began much earlier than that, with Julius Nepos in 485, since it was Nepos who reversed a century of Roman policy by reversing the ban on paganism within the Western Roman Empire, although the Jovianists and their culture remained a minority until Capitolinus. Nevertheless, it did not receive a formal description until Guardino gave it one in 1666, when he argued that the revival of Roman fortunes came as a result of Capitolinus' policies.
The movement was slow to catch on, as European philosophers became more enamoured with republicanism (which is in itself an ancient philosophy) and nationalism in the 17th through the first half of the 20th century. Still, the movement proved durable in Rome and its framework allowed for it not just to adapt to the alternate philosophies but to adopt them as well, and Rome's ability to not just survive but continue its dominance after the upheavals of World War II inspired others to follow its lead in their lands.
Because its application varies from culture to culture, there are very few specific similarities between countries that have embraced the movement. Nevertheless, a few "generalized" tenets are seen to exist among the practitioners of the movement:
- Logic. Modern classicists put a premium on the ability of its people to think rationally and argue with reason, putting extensive value on critical and analytical thinking. Whatever a society or a person decides must come backed up with an airtight rationale.
- Fairness. Leaders are expected to deal with its citizenry with fairness, with no one arbitrarily given preferential treatment.
- Simplicity. Processes are expected to be streamlined, with societies stressing efficiency and productivity over bureaucracy and procrastination.
- Communalism. Although hierarchies exist in many modern classicist societies, the citizens of a society are expected to assist each other and operate "for the greater good", whereas people in positions of authority are expected to use their positions to provide leadership and guidance to its charges. Thus, selfishness and greed are especially frowned upon in modern classicism, and citizens are expected to see each other- regardless of their wealth, health, age, gender, position of power or other forms of "status"- as complete equals, with laws drafted to reflect this tenet.
Other ideals, such as religiousness, varies across the societies, with some societies being officially secular but containing vibrant religious communities (Rome), others being completely religious (Israel, Assyria) and others being completely secular (Thebes).