Today the United Kingdom (UK) officially initiated their exit from the European Union (EU). After many months of anticipation, British prime minister Theresa May will now engage in a historical gamble: safely getting the UK out of the EU. She says the UK will leave the EU but that it wants to remain in Europe. It will take at least two years before we can see how this has worked out. I cannot stop to think: all this trouble… was it really necessary?
The invocation of Plato in any article about Donald Trump might seem misplaced to most readers. How does one of the most brilliant philosophers of all times relate to an unqualified, opportunistic US presidential candidate? What can Plato possibly say about the current mess of American politics? Are we really so desperate that we have to fall back on philosophy? However odd, part of the public debate has turned to the ancient Greek philosopher in order to explain the unanticipated popularity of Trump – and with it the rise of populism in Europe and the US. Democracy may eventually lead to tyranny, as Plato argues, but it is even more interesting to see how he would prevent this process in the first place.