Dr Angela Hobbs wrote a very interesting post, titled Plato and the England Riots, where she analyses how the Platonic threefold source of harmony of the psyche, is linked to the England Riots. The last paragraph ends as follows: ..if we want to diminish looting and the abuse of our banks and taxes, we have to pay far less attention, and accord far less status, to the supposed ‘goods’ that such activities seek (I suspect it is unlikely that anyone stole a copy of the Republic). Our current predicament is not just a case of the unnecessary appetites run amok; it is a case of the unguided thumos run amok as well. Our society needs to scrutinize itself without flinching from some unpalatable truths, and then seek to renew itself, including its educational institutions, in ways...
I am a bit shocked about the way Cypriots of my age conceptualise and analyse the riots in the UK. I was a recipient of quite a few remarks against what they described as people who live on benefits and who are driven by consumerism rather than by a genuine anger against the conservative policies. Not only they dismiss the people on the streets as thieves who seized the chance to steal things, they also challenge the whole idea of the welfare state. The latter point is the most worrying.
Nicosia is a beauty now that most people are away on holidays. During the drive from my place to the city centre, I came across less than five cars. Lovely. What I like the most, is that all those fashion-victims who endorse the status symbols of the class above them and who have recently taken over Nicosia, are away at places where frappe costs more than €5-6. Those left behind, go to coffee shops and chat with friends, read books or the Sunday paper, and generally mind their own business. They are not loud and they are not in a hurry. Exactly how life’s supposed to be.
Today, Ombudswoman Eliza Savvidou suggested to the Ministry of Education that the habit of inviting a Greek-Orthdox clergyman to high-schools for confession should be abandoned since it is, firstly, against the religious freedoms of children and of their parents, and secondly, in contrast with the policy of religious neutrality that the state promotes (or ought to do so anyway). The Ministry, responding to a parent who complained, has supported voluntary confession under the permission of the headmaster. Thankfully, Savvidou made it clear that the invitation of clergymen in school premises, puts pressure upon children to engage in the practice of confession and is therefore a source of exclusion and discrimination.