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


Not very British #BritishValues: how Cameron silences minorities

In his article on Mail on Sunday, the British Prime Minister explains that values such as freedom, tolerance, social responsibility and the rule of law are virtues distinctively British that should be taught in schools. Cameron is factually, conceptually, historically and empirically wrong. These values he describes — tolerance, freedom, social responsibility, the rule of law — are desirable and worth upholding, but they are not ‘British’. They are global values that feature at the core documents of the biggest intergovernmental organisations like the Charter of the United Nations and the Lisbon Treaty. At best, they could be described as ‘Western Values’; an equally misguided conclusion since it assumes that non-Western countries endorse slavery, which is the opposite of freedom. Cameron...

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...

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


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