Original Sin

by Maria on February 3, 2016

The Just City story is triggered by an attempted rape. The god Apollo chases and tries to ‘mate with’, as he puts it, a nymph called Daphne. Nymph-chasing is one of his favourite hobbies. Daphne flees and prays to Artemis who turns her into a tree. Apollo cannot understand why Daphne would do this rather than be mated with by a god. As Apollo later points out, “Father’s big on rape”, swooping down on girls and carrying them off. Apollo likes the seduction and the chase; they’re on a continuum for him, and not binary states with consent as the switch that turns the light of passion on or off.

He goes to his sister, Athene, who explains the idea of consent. What Apollo terms ‘equal significance’ – of the volition of gods and mortals, and implicitly of men and women – is so novel and strange to him, that he decides to become mortal to try to understand. He joins Athene’s Just City as one of its founding children.

Plato’s thought experiment in the Republic becomes a real-life experiment on the conditions needed to live an excellent life. Hundreds of children are dropped on an island out of time and raised as the philosophers who will perfect the Just City when they grow up. Meanwhile, they are educated and subtly manipulated by a group of committed Platonists plucked from throughout human history. [click to continue…]

EU to criminalize those who rescue drowning refugees?

by Chris Bertram on February 3, 2016

There is disturbing news via Statewatch that the [EU is drawing up plans to criminalize](http://www.statewatch.org/news/2016/jan/eu-med-crisis-criminalising-civil-society.htm) the many independent volunteers who have been working in Greece to assist refugees making their way from Turkish to Greek territory. The plans involve a deliberate conflation of “people smuggling” and “trafficking” and a requirement that all volunteers be registered and placed under the control and direction of state organizations at designated hotspots. Those who stay outside of these structures and go to the beaches where people are actually arriving and assist them by, for example, towing their boats, will be prosecuted. In fact, this is already happening [in the case of some Spanish lifeguards on the Greek island of Lesvos](https://libcom.org/forums/news/lesvos-chios-volunteers-helping-refugees-arrested-police-frontex-involvement-interna). There is [a petition](https://www.change.org/p/council-of-the-european-union-scrap-plans-to-criminalise-refugee-rescue-operations?recruiter=28957283&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=des-lg-share_petition-no_msg&fb_ref=Default), which I’ve signed, though internet petitions are not a particularly effective means of resistance.