How words from the Greek language can help us lead with empathy and kindness. – By Alexandros Mallias – 11.02.2021
From Athens to Washington D.C.: Oikos, Polis, Ecumene
How words from the Greek language can help us lead with empathy and kindness.
By Alexandros P. Mallias, Former Ambassador of Greece to the USA (2005-2009)
Ivan Mateev/ Shutterstock
Allow the ekfrassis of efharisties to the neo archons of the American Politeia for their panegyric January 20th logos before the American demos and the ecumenic agora. A plethora of sophia and empathy and above all of psyche(soul) gathered in your ideas and skepsis.
1.Asymetry, antagonism , anomaly
Three words of Greek origin emerge from the autopsy of today’s ataxia. They characterize the symptoms of asthenia (weakness) and astaticism of the ecumenic economic, climatic, political and hygeia system.
The ‘’Pentarchy’’ , the ‘’5’’ Permanent Members of the New York Pan-Ethnic Organization’s Security Council , the supposed to be stylobates of the ecumenic eftaxia system , face basic problems and polemics. Antagonism prevent them to carry out their mandate as entrusted by the San Francisco Charter. Τhe inherent chronic Pentarchy’s antagonistic politics and the catachresis ( abuse) of the veto power as well as the anachronistic synthesis of the UNSC are synonymous to the inefficiency of the ecumenic syllogic system.
2. Tragedy and polemos
Not far from Greece , polemos and tragedy prevailed. The absence of anthropocentric policies and the recourse to the epiphonyms for polemos (war) and to ethnic catharsis are practices based upon the teleology of so-called state sympheron ( interest). Medical chirurgery (chirurgy) depend on anesthesia and asepsis .Yet, the architects of the ecumenic political taxis ( ataxia rather ) generally opt for apophasis and energies provoking epidemic rather than asepsis.
The “polis” and ‘cosmos” ataxia system , have so far failed to save the dignity of anthropos , often his zoe and politismos(culture).Polemics and antagonisms are not about axiocracy. They are an antithesis to ethics, harmony and ethos .They are about ethnic and religious fanaticism ,autocratic oligarchy and about expanding the spheres and the scope of economic, edaphic and political control.
It is oxymoron that in the aftermath of over deka chronos of political, geostrategic and economic catastrophies,the protagonists of this anomaly still prefer to see the dendron( tree). The dramatic human exodus caused by wrong political apophasis is a symphora inflicted to the anthropos (mankind). History’s lessons are not learned. Apathy and pathos, empathy and antipathy,thesis and antithesis as well as Hybris and Nemesis are still very much present . The pandect of our polis and ecumene anthropocentric basic rights- those we call ecumenic – is applied in an evasive and elliptic manner.
3. History, Geography, Ethnicity
America and Europe are also painfully affected in an asymmetric manner by the metastasis of political pathos, demagogy and crises .
The triptyhon ‘’ history, geography, ethnicity ‘ are generally used to epitomize the typology of certain symptoms and problems. They also have a negative metaphor when it comes to the Middle East and the Balkans .Yet,they match the taxonomy of so many problems and crises in our micro-cosmos.
The next kinesis must drive us from the analysis and the history related aphorisms to a new set of axiomatic priorities .We must put the neo-generation , at the center of our priorities and policies .
4. Strategy, Synergy, Symphony
My preferred set of Greek words. We need political will and apophasis to move from the good prothesis static state of play to a nicephore dynamic stratagem. This should be our central policy. A holistic strategy cannot but be cemented to an enhanced economic and political synergies program.
Empathy should become the catalyst and the dynamic mechanism who will move the pylon of our synergies faster, safer and in harmony with the need of change. Restoring the politics and economics of “metron’’, with ‘’anthropos’’ at the epicenter, is not just another option. It is the prologue and not the epilogue or the epimetron of the demos and agora polities. It is a catalytic political parameter.
This strategy demands for more , closer and better coordinated policies. To this end, we expect politics and politicians at OIKOS,POLIS and ECUMENE to put “politis” ( the citizen) at the centre of politics. Politis is the basis and the scope of any organized Politeia .By its own syntagma and nomos .Politics are becoming synonymous to idiocy if meant to simply serve the interests of micro-politicians. Politis as the gravity centre of politics and economics asks for emphasis to ‘’metron’’.It is now the chronos for the antistrophe of the chorus of priorities. Strategy asks for synergies. Synergies imply that the synchronized action of two or more have a greater total effect than the sum of their individual effects.
5. Mega policies rather than Meta aphorisms
‘’Meta’’ instead of ‘’post’’ is the Greek lexis we often use while analyzing recent economic and political episodes and crises affecting polis and ecumene . For many academics the lexis ‘’meta ’’ is the algorithm to explain modern mysteries. Yet, it is a basic element of any analysis.
What is mostly needed is energy and praxis.The ecumenic as well as the polis practices and policies need to think and act in “mega’ terms if we want to prevent neo mega-tragedies. The dramatic pandemic and the climatic catastrophe are poly-dramatic paradigms.
Harmony will not automatically or mechanically replace ecumenic anarchy and chaos .They are not physical phaenomena to be fixed by “mother Physis”.Our praxis is at the origin of our problems.
If symmetry and harmony are not restored at oikos and polis ,the search of a neo–ecumenic systemic taxis will remain an exercise infutility. The global “olon ’’ ( the whole) is the prosthesis and synthesis of the individual atoms. The same thesis stands the other way around.If the “olon” degenerates the atoms are dispersed in ataxy.Restoring symmetry ,geometry and harmony as themelion of the ecumenic taxis will be the mega proklisis (challenge) of the meta pandemic epoch. This is a great time for ergon and praxis.
I am eugnomon (grateful) for granting me the pronomion ( priviledge) to address to you these scepsis.