US healthcare fears innovation. So did Plato in the 4th century BC

by Rashmee

Posted on September 24, 2020


US healthcare, or the lack thereof, is afflicted by a problem that would have been familiar to Plato in Athens in the fourth century BC. It’s the fear of innovation. Plato was fearful of innovation in any representation of the divine. The American healthcare industry is worried about meaningful change to its model of delivery … Continue reading “US healthcare fears innovation. So did Plato in the 4th century BC”

Read More

The centre-left cleaves to a principle enunciated by Plato

by Rashmee

Posted on July 19, 2020


Following on from what I recently wrote about the centre-left’s fidelity to principle , it’s fair to say it generally cleaves to a principle long ago enunciated by Plato. Plato wrote about aspiring to the ideal state, one that is ruled by the “guardians” with truth and justice. The “guardians”, as Plato’s Socrates says in … Continue reading “The centre-left cleaves to a principle enunciated by Plato”

Read More

Does the centre-left have the ideological flexibility to take power?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 18, 2020


In the days before the coronavirus epidemic struck, there was a growing sense that the centre-left  in the US and UK was no longer ready for change, that it was too broad-minded, as poet Robert Frost once said, to take its own side in an argument. The pandemic is changing things. Ideas normally considered socialist … Continue reading “Does the centre-left have the ideological flexibility to take power?”

Read More

Leadership and the lessons from an empire in decline – in 10th century Baghdad

by Rashmee

Posted on April 14, 2020 / The Focus


The pandemic is the first global crisis in more than 50 years where no country is looking towards the US for leadership. Two things are vital during a global pandemic – a vaccine and leadership. A vaccine isn’t expected at least for a year – so what about leadership? Trump-led America is an empire in … Continue reading “Leadership and the lessons from an empire in decline – in 10th century Baghdad”

Read More

Leadership and the lessons from an empire in decline – in 10th century Baghdad

by Rashmee

Posted on April 9, 2020


This is the first global crisis in more than 50 years where no country is looking towards the US for leadership. If there’s anything that’s needed in a global pandemic it is a vaccine and leadership. A vaccine is not expected at least for a year, but what about leadership? Trump-led America is an empire … Continue reading “Leadership and the lessons from an empire in decline – in 10th century Baghdad”

Read More

Plato used the image of the political leader as a doctor. That is particularly true in a pandemic

by Rashmee

Posted on March 31, 2020


Taiwan’s remarkably effective response to the coronavirus pandemic is thought to be in some measure because it’s lucky enough to have an epidemiologist as vice president. (Click here for my blog from last week.) Technically speaking, the European Union should have the same advantage. After all, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, is a … Continue reading “Plato used the image of the political leader as a doctor. That is particularly true in a pandemic”

Read More

Plato explains the confusion over Brexit in UK courts

by Rashmee

Posted on September 13, 2019 / Quartz


Three different UK courts have issued three different rulings on prime minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament for longer than usual. It’s all very head-spinning even in the age of Brexit. Perhaps only Plato could explain it well. But first, to recap: On Sept. 12, Northern Ireland’s highest court refused to rule on a case that … Continue reading “Plato explains the confusion over Brexit in UK courts”

Read More

Should a class in practical ethics be compulsory for politicians?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 12, 2019


I was reading bioethics professor Peter Singer’s piece on practical ethics when I remembered ‘The Good Place’. Some of you may recall that it was the American comedy series on the afterlife. I watched quite a bit of its first season and was struck by the wit and sharpness with which it addressed enormously serious … Continue reading “Should a class in practical ethics be compulsory for politicians?”

Read More

How Al-Farabi drew on Plato to argue for censorship in Islam

by Rashmee

Posted on November 12, 2018 / Aeon


You might not be familiar with the name Al-Farabi, a 10th-century thinker from Baghdad, but you know his work, or at least its results. Al-Farabi was, by all accounts, a man of steadfast Sufi persuasion and unvaryingly simple tastes. As a labourer in a Damascus vineyard before settling in Baghdad, he favoured a frugal diet … Continue reading “How Al-Farabi drew on Plato to argue for censorship in Islam”

Read More

We’re seeing Plato’s prediction unfold as a 3-act play: democracy, oligarchy, tyranny

by Rashmee

Posted on November 2, 2018


  It’s become a familiar dirge: democracy is in decline and strongmen are on the rise. The second part of that statement is true but what of the first? I don’t think democracy is in decline – yet. If people, in Brazil, vote for something or someone, that’s democracy, a democratic exercise in choice. They … Continue reading “We’re seeing Plato’s prediction unfold as a 3-act play: democracy, oligarchy, tyranny”

Read More

Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK