George Iordanou Politics, Philosophy and (not much) Real Life

July 2011

The rhetoric of values

When in Cyprus, one cannot escape the occasional reference to ‘values’. The ‘rhetoric of values’ is often expressed through a legalistic interpretation of political and social affairs in order to give a seemingly undisputed interpretation of reality. When this rhetoric is applied, the analysis is abstracted from reality in order to give an account of it. I’m not saying that I have a problem with abstraction per se. On the contrary, I believe abstraction is a very useful analytical tool for reducing the complexity of situations that seem unsolvable. The problem arises when, like in the case of the ‘rhetoric of values’, the abstraction from reality is utilised in order to distort reality. Unfortunately, this is the case in Cyprus, where the definition of ‘values’ becomes so thick that...

Happiness and Cypriot Politics

I’m struggling to keep up with the day-to-day lunacy that is Cypriot politics. The other day I was sitting at a café downtown, reading a satirical column published in one of the daily newspapers, whilst the author of the column was sitting a few tables away talking to a friend and laughing. My immediate thought was “how can this person be happy, if his job, day in and day out, is to read and comment on things that Cypriot politicians said, done, or failed to act upon”. On the other hand, the rest of us who are not journalists and yet acknowledge our nature as political animals, read, listen and comment on what these people have to say free of charge.

Μάνος Χατζιδάκις: Ο Νεοναζισμός δεν είναι οι Άλλοι

Παραθέτω ένα κείμενο ανησυχητικά επίκαιρο που γράφτηκε από τον μεγάλο Μάνο Χατζιδάκη, και που βρήκα στο ιστολόγιο “ΣΗΜΕΙΩΜΑΤΑΡΙΟ” του Φώτη Βασιλείου. Παραθέτω μερικά αποσπάσματα και μαυρίζω αυτά που θεωρώ πιο σημαντικά.
Ο νεοναζισμός, ο φασισμός, ο ρατσισμός και κάθε αντικοινωνικό και αντιανθρώπινο φαινόμενο συμπεριφοράς δεν προέρχεται από ιδεολογία, δεν περιέχει ιδεολογία, δεν συνθέτει ιδεολογία. Είναι η μεγεθυμένη έκφραση-εκδήλωση του κτήνους που περιέχουμε μέσα μας χωρίς εμπόδιο στην ανάπτυξή του, όταν κοινωνικές ή πολιτικές συγκυρίες συντελούν, βοηθούν, ενισχύουν τη βάρβαρη και αντιανθρώπινη παρουσία του.

Ethnic Nationalism

“The notion that birth is fate – that simply in virtue of being born into a certain ethnic group one acquires the (potentially enforceable) duty to maintain its ancestral culture – is continuous with a kind of ethnic nationalism that is potentially at odds with liberalism.” Brian Barry, Culture and Equality, p. 65.
I disagree with most of Barry’s points, but I do share his worries (end envy his writing style).

George Iordanou Politics, Philosophy and (not much) Real Life

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