VOICES THREE


Let’s not just blame the mullahs and muftis. Misogyny is way older than any religion. Even people who have never seen the inside of a mosque or the Sufis who want to become one with the universe wouldn’t think twice before treating a woman as something between a pest and a pet goat. (From an op ed piece in the Times.)

 

CONFUCIUS

Contemporary Western emphasis on self-discovery and self-acceptance has led you astray. According to Confucius and other Chinese philosophers, we shouldn’t be looking for our essential self, let alone seeking to embrace it, because there is no true, unified self to begin with. As Confucius understood, human beings are messy, multidimensional creatures, a jumble of conflicting emotions and capabilities living in a messy, ever-changing world. We are who we are by constantly reacting to one another. Looking within is dangerous. Instead of struggling to be authentic, Confucius proposed another approach: “as if” rituals, that is, rituals meant to break us out of our own reality for a moment. These rituals are the very opposite of authenticity—and that’s what makes them work. We break from who we are when we note the unproductive patterns we’ve fallen into and actively work to shift them—“as if” we were different people in that moment.  (From a Saturday essay in the WSJ)

 

GIORGOS GOGOS and KIRIAKOS

“THEY have disappeared. I don’t even know if they have premises here any more.” In his office overlooking the sun-scorched wharves and cranes of Piraeus, Giorgos Gogos, the head of the dockers’ union, is pondering Pasok, the social-democratic party that for decades dominated the politics of this sprawling Greek port. For years its vote here hovered steadily around 45%. Then came the economic crisis. At the insistence of European institutions the Pasok government agreed to privatise the container terminal at Piraeus. Appalled workers abandoned the party en masse for the far-left and -right, slashing the social-democratic vote to 4% in 2015. Traces of this radicalisation are sprayed across the warehouse walls: hammers and sickles; swastikas; “Piraeus Port Authority in workers’ hands!”. “Why would anyone vote for Pasok now?” asks Kiriakos, a former party activist. “They don’t stand for anything.” (From an Economist leader, ROSE THOU ART SICK, the Centre left in sharp decline across Europe.)

DerekBacon's sickrose


 

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