Thursday, September 02, 2004


Core Values

In the second chapter of Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (1998; rpt. San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2001), Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath list the following core values of the ancient Greeks:
  1. Science, research, and the acquisition of knowledge itself are to remain apart from both political and religious authority.
  2. Military power operates under and is checked by civilian control.
  3. Constitutional and consensual government is a Western idea.
  4. Religion is separate from and subordinate to political authority.
  5. Trusting neither the rich nor the poor, the Greeks of the polis have faith in the average citizen (the spiritual forerunner of our faith in the middle class).
  6. Private property and free economic activity are immune from government coercion and interference.
  7. The notion of dissent and open criticism of government, religion, and the military is inherent among the polis Greeks.

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