The Three Graces of Politics
Faith, Hope and Charity
By James Luchte
Jonathan Jones reminded us recently through “probably a wildly inappropriate pre-feminist art historical reference”, in his article, “Something new is happening in British politics. This image captures it.” (Guardian, 17 April 2015), of the resemblance of the embrace between the party leaders of Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales and Green Party, Leanne Wood, Natalie Bennett and Nicola Sturgeon, respectively and the Three Graces.
The Three Graces are commonly known as faith, hope and charity, but have the tangible meanings of trust, confidence, and love or solidarity,.a symbolism common to many religions and tendencies of thinking.
Indeed, Jonathan’s suggestion is quite apt, and can demonstrate the importance of humanities (crassly cut out of the Coalition’s Tory budget) in the context of political reality. We already know what Burns, Mary and Percy Shelley, Dickens has taught us, and Camus, Joyce, Ginsberg and Dylan Thomas, as contributors to the ethos of a culture which engages in political economic and social questioning from differing perspectives.
This embrace of three progressive leaders, amidst an era of constant crisis, allows us, by coincidence, it would seem, to remember the Three Graces and their significance to the meaning of the New Politics – one of trust, well-being, and social solidarity.
These Graces, or Virtues, in this light, are politically speaking, the characteristics of a healthy society, with some resemblance to Plato’s own tripartite schema in his Republic, and I will consider each of them in turn.
To read the rest of the essay, please visit The Three Graces of Politics: The UK General Electiions
The UK Leaders Debates
The UK Leaders Debates Have Served to Rebalance Political Discourse in the UK and Could Determine the Composition of the Next Government.
As we arrive at the second UK Leaders Debate (Thursday, April 16), there is a recognisable shift in political discourse of the UK. It seems that all the establishment parties are now pandering to the “needs of the people” agenda and are steering away from the “blame the poor” agenda of the far right UKIP.
This seismic shift in UK political discourse was brought about not only by the disintegration of the binary two-party system in the UK, but also by the emergence of viable and credible minority options, such as the Scottish National Party, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales. Their inclusion in the first debate and their obvious success on that night have altered the landscape of the UK irreversibly. I will not burden you with a detailed history, but will try to describe this new landscape.
To read the rest of the essay, please visit Earthquake: The UK Leaders Debate
Published 8 April 2015 in Daily Wales: News for a Sovereign Nation
The Fourth Reich
American Hegemony and the Question of European Democracy
Europe is an invalid who owes her best thanks to her incurability and the eternal transformations of her sufferings; these constant new situations, these equally constant new dangers, pains, and make-shifts, have at last generated an intellectual sensitiveness which is almost equal to genius, and is in any case the mother of all genius.
Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Book 1, Section 24 
In a recent article in Spiegel, “The Fourth Reich: What Some Europeans See When They Look at Germany” , attributed to Spiegel Staff (Nikolaus Blome, Sven Böll, Katrin Kuntz, Dirk Kurbjuweit, Walter Mayr, Mathieu von Rohr, Christoph Scheuermann, Christoph Schult), a stunning admission was repeated, in which Angela Merkel laments, defiantly, ‘I am rather alone in the EU, but I don’t care. I am right.’ The article claims her lament was shared with ‘a small group of advisers during a discussion about the role of the IMF.’ The article continues: ‘Later, she said: “We are in Europe what the Americans are in the world: the unloved leading power.”’
The article offers context for the current situation of Europe, arising at the end of WWII:
After the end of the Third Reich, German dominance on the Continent appeared to have been rendered an impossibility for all time. West Germany and East Germany both were initially tentative states that more or less willingly subordinated themselves to their big brothers, the US and the Soviet Union. They ceded to the dominance of others.
The rehearsal of the historical context of the current situation culminates in the fateful question: ‘Which is why the “German question” has returned. Is the new Germany too big and powerful for the other European countries or is it too small and hesitant?’
To read the rest, please visit The Fourth Reich: American Hegemony and the Question of European Democracy