The ancient Greek word idiotes means somebody who does not participate in public life. In ancient Greece, private life was confined to the home; the public, democratic life of citizens took place in the polis or city, and in the agora or assembly. The contemporary gated community, which focuses on privatising the experience of home as much as possible, fits well within this classical definition of private. There are literally millions of people living in gated communities: they have become the model of choice in the many societies around the world that are subject to extreme wealth inequalities.
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