Tag Archives: A C Grayling

Democracy and its Crisis

9 May
A. C. Grayling at Swindon festival of Literature

A. C. Grayling at Swindon Festival of Literature

A. C. Grayling took a packed and attentive audience right back to Plato when explaining about democracy.

The country was originally controlled by the aristocracy, where the King had absolute power given to him by divine right. Giving power to an ill informed public would result in anarchy and mob rule.

When Charles I was beheaded in 1649, a great change began in the idea of where authority lies and its source. The Levellers wanted the poorest in England to have as much right to a voice as the richest, with each individual (man) able to play a part in having a good enough government.

Over the next 200 years, thinkers such as John Locke and John Mills considered how to ensure a good enough government. i.e. vote someone competent to work on your behalf, listen to the facts and work in the best interests of the country..

However as more people got the vote, political parties emerged with their own agenda. MPs now had to obey the Whip, rebel and the party withdraws support for further re-election and the MPs career would be over. The tight control of the parties results in the institution being manipulated.

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Strange bedfellows II – AC Grayling and Rory Bremner at Swindon Festival of Literature

14 May

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A couple of nights ago we had our first comedy / thinky mash-up with Helen Lederer and Peter Tatchell. And last night, we enjoyed an equally unlikely billing – a double-header with philosopher A.C. Grayling and impressionist Rory Bremner. Continue reading

Can our life be defined through our friends? So asks AC Grayling at Marlborough Literature Festival

28 Sep
AC Grayling at Marlborough Literature Festival

AC Grayling at Marlborough Literature Festival

“Having friends is a sign of a life worthwhile,” said celebrity philosopher Anthony Grayling, whose latest deep musings are on friendship.

Anthony took us through a journey – the scenic way – from the obligatory Ancient Greeks past Saint Augustine, via sixteenth century French philosopher Montaigne and finishing somewhere around Facebook.

As you’d expect, those Ancient Greeks took friendship very seriously, often sharing homes and joining bodies. “A friend is another self,” said philosopher Aristotle. They felt a duty both of loyalty and to keep their chums on the right track or, as Oscar Wilde said much more recently: “A friend is someone who stabs you from the front.” Continue reading