There’s something in me that revolts against injustice and wrong. Like the genes that transmit our genetic inheritance, there are intellectual forces – call them Metis assets from the Greek goddess of intelligence Metis — that define us as human beings no less than the biological markers of skin color, height, etc.
I received my Metis inheritance from my parents and Greek culture in both Greece and the United States. I cannot say how this transmission took place. But I can say immersing oneself in Greek thought, as I did for decades, helps to see the world with the eyes of justice, the beautiful and the good.
That is the reason I did not become a “team player” at the US Environmental Protection Agency, a prospect of higher salary and advancement. I saw the wrong embedded in the laws, regulations, and the sleazy behavior of industry lobbyists and senior EPA officials.
Billionaires undermine society and democracy
Behind this unseemly politics was money, lots of money in the billions. In my college teaching, during the first class meeting, I would ask my students a simple question. How many of you like or dislike billionaires? Are they citizens like you or their tremendous wealth makes them different, perhaps, a threat to our democracy?
My students were equally divided. About 50 percent had no trouble with billionaires. The rest expressed uneasiness with people with so much power. After all, they said, we live in a democracy, don’t we?