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Issue VII: Ethics, Athletics, and Nukes
New essays on nuclear war, the Olympics, and making a difference
It’s been an eventful month.
The current invasion of Ukraine by Russia is such a major event that it would have felt strange not to write about it. Sachin Maini considers the risks of nuclear war in a multipolar world, and argues that a unipolar but decentralized world, as existed during the Pax Romana, is the only stable way forward to avoid catastrophic outcomes.
Less urgent but also recent, the Winter Olympics were held in Beijing, inspiring Étienne Fortier-Dubois to write about the Olympic ideal. Sport competitions have meant different things in ancient Greece, pre-WWI Europe, and the 21st century; it might be time to wonder what that ideal should evolve into for the future.
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Issue VII, March 2022: Contents
Thoughts on the renewed risks of catastrophic nuclear war in the context of the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Might a world dominated by a single, federative power, like the Romans in late antiquity, be the only way out of constant existential risk?
An expressive essay in four parts, describing what the Olympic games have meant, mean, and could mean in their different incarnations: in Ancient Greece, in Europe at the time of Pierre de Coubertin, in the current world as of the 2022 Winter Games, and in a possible future timeline.
An essay on why the utilitarian striving to make a difference is not necessarily the best ethical approach, in comparison with the virtue ethics favored by many Greek and Roman philosophers.
A summary and recommendation for the book Republics Ancient and Modern: The Ancien Régime in Classical Greece, by Paul A. Rahe, on the political organization of the ancient Greeks and how utterly different they were from us. Also included are links to other topical and eternal readings.
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