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”

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Everyone’s writing about philosophy. Especially the pundits

by Rashmee

Posted on September 23, 2020


On September 8, Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle wrote a piece on the lessons offered by two ancient philosophers during the pandemic. That was the Stoics – Lucius Annaeus Seneca Epictetus. The article reprised an August 27 offering in the Wall Street Journal headlined “Philosophy for a time of crisis”. That was, as the … Continue reading “Everyone’s writing about philosophy. Especially the pundits”

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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”

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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?”

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Socrates would’ve marvelled at Trump: Here’s an ‘honest’ politician who lives & succeeds

by Rashmee

Posted on July 6, 2019


N.B.: After publication, I had to qualify the word “honest” in the headline because it seemed many people truly believed I was praising Mr Trump’s shining honesty!  Socrates would have looked askance at Donald Trump. Finally, an honest politician, and that too, a successful honest politician? Is that possible? Socrates would have been doubtful. Apocryphal … Continue reading “Socrates would’ve marvelled at Trump: Here’s an ‘honest’ politician who lives & succeeds”

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President Trump seems almost to wear the mythical Ring of Gyges, and yet…

by Rashmee

Posted on August 26, 2018


For those who despair at sight and sound of unfit people in high office, it’s worth remembering that ideas of justice and virtue are basic to human beings. Without justice and virtue, we would all, long ago, have eaten each other. Back in the 4th century BC, Plato was pointing out the reason for acting … Continue reading “President Trump seems almost to wear the mythical Ring of Gyges, and yet…”

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It’s not democracy Vs epistocracy: The elected should seek expert advice

by Rashmee

Posted on May 11, 2018


  One of the most famous images in philosophy concerns something we recently discussed: rule by those who know. (Click here to read the re-done blog on the subject). The image is Plato’s similie of the captain of a ship and it comes in Book 6 of the ‘Republic’. Socrates, the main protagonist, paints a … Continue reading “It’s not democracy Vs epistocracy: The elected should seek expert advice”

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This is a re-done blog on democracy. Everyone said the other one was impenetrable

by Rashmee

Posted on May 10, 2018


I heard it from a few readers – that blog was impenetrable, they said. So I re-read it (click here if you want to suffer as they did), and was forced to admit I did a poor job of explaining what I was saying. Let me try again. The issue is important enough to be … Continue reading “This is a re-done blog on democracy. Everyone said the other one was impenetrable”

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Why are we comparing the virtues of democracy Vs epistocracy?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 9, 2018


  David Runciman, a politics professor at Cambridge, recently defended democracy by warning against rule by the experts, the epistocrats. (His book, ‘How Democracy Ends’, is published Thursday, May 10). Let’s not replace politicians with experts, Professor Runciman argued. That way lies an eternity of unchangeable, possibly bad ideas. “The randomness of democracy – which … Continue reading “Why are we comparing the virtues of democracy Vs epistocracy?”

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Fake news? Socrates gives it the finger. Lessons for the mainstream media

by Rashmee

Posted on February 21, 2017


A piece in The Guardian the other day made a key point about the angst over so-called “fake news”. (The first step, I’d suggest, is to stop calling a lie “fake news”.) Anyway, John Naughton wrote in The Guardian that “the mainstream media can fight back against the poisoning of our public sphere by giving … Continue reading “Fake news? Socrates gives it the finger. Lessons for the mainstream media”

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