Greek Ideals and Modern Life

By R. W. Livingstone | Go to book overview

IV
HUMANISM IN POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

HAVING seen the meaning of Greek humanism as a theory and ideal for the individual life, we may pass to note the attitude which it involves to two prominent activities of the modern world -- politics and our economic system. In both it places Man firmly in the centre of the stage. It holds that political problems are human problems, and that the state exists in order that its members may lead the good life for man. At bottom no doubt this is our creed. But at an election no one would suppose so. It disappears behind the phrases which the aspiration or need of the moment inscribes on the banners of political parties. Few candidates for Parliament or Congress, if asked what was the aim of British or American policy, would reply 'the good life'. In the past century they would have answered according to their political complexion, Progress, Reform, Liberty, Democracy, Efficiency, Empire: to-day it might be Trade Revival, or Peace, or Socialism. Of course these secondary ideals have their place in practical politics and focus attention on the pathway of the moment. Yet how steadying and salutary for electors and candidates to be recalled to a sense of their true destination! The reader of Plato and

-92-

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Greek Ideals and Modern Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • I - Introduction 1
  • II- The Growing Influence Of Hellenism 11
  • II - Greek Humanism 42
  • IV - Humanism in Politics And Economics 92
  • V - The Twentieth Century and The Age of Plato; an Analogy 116
  • VI - Christianity and Hellenism 144
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