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

Angela Hobbs: Plato and the England Riots

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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 which will allow for true psychic harmony to be achieved and maintained. As long as rewards and status are given, and can so clearly be seen to be given, to selfishness and greed, we cannot pretend that the riots are nothing to do with us.

What I find most interesting in the article, is that Hobbs does not ignore the items looted but does not treat them as central to the riots. The status items are representative of the status-symbols that are endorsed by the society at all its levels and reflect the imbalance between reason, thumos and apetite. Therefore, the looted items are central as sources of esteem, but their importance ends there. Unfortunately, David Cameron and the coalition government, choose to focus on the items being stolen, creating a very convenient stereotype of the people that engage in the riots, and very consciously ignore all the other levels of analysis.

Go read the whole article

About the author

George Iordanou

I'm mostly interested in politics and philosophy, which makes up for the majority of this blog. As this is an archive of what I have written over the years, it also provides a glimpse into my personal life. I'm currently working in the humanitarian sector. In my past life I was in academia where I completed a Ph.D. in political theory with focus on multicultural citizenship. I'm one of the few people lucky enough to be given the opportunity to actually practice their research interests. Needless to say, whatever I write here is strictly my personal opinion and does not represent anyone else.

You can also find me on twitter @iordanou.

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

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