Awkward Fame

A note had been sent today, somebody proudly announcing that he had been mentioend in speech of a high ranking politician. And isn’t indeed that we all have a little it of this: like the midge being drawn to the light – there seems to be the strive to be part of the grandesse of power. As much as we stand on the sholders of giants, allowing dwarfs to look far afield, we seem to be glad seeing ourselves contributing as footnotes in the thoughts of others.
So, being recognised by the highest figure in the state is surely enviable – notwithstanding the critique one bring forward to the very same state and representative.
And in my own way I enter the arena for competition: I am moving towards some hectic days ahead (some info here), into the middle of trouble. Solidarity meetings in Athens with striking workers, meetings with trade-unionists and activists, talks in the parliament and also talks about the need to provide sound scientific answers: perception, evaluation, classification, interpretation, conclusion – never forgetting the very basic toolbox of research in daily life. hectic and challenging but good to be able to do something that may also be quoted by presidents etc.,though probably more interpreted there as rioting, agitating and asking for too much of a change.
But in which way ever, we need a really fundamental change – and we need to take up the question of political responsibility. As Aristotle states in his Politics

For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all; since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at birth with arms, meant to be used by intelligence and virtue, which he may use for the worst ends. Wherefore, if he have not virtue, he is the most unholy and the most savage of animals, and the most full of lust and gluttony. But justice is the bond of men in states, for the administration of justice, which is the determination of what is just, is the principle of order in political society.

But what he did not say is that there will not be a philosopher king – we are not living in Kallipolis. In the real world values, theory, analysis has to mean something different – as Marx said already in 1843, in the Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses. Theory is capable of gripping the masses as soon as it demonstrates ad hominem, and it demonstrates ad hominem as soon as it becomes radical.

Thus, at the end the question will be who the giants are and how the footnotes really contribute meaningfully the body text.


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