John Charalambakis delivering a presentation

“Unfolding geopolitical and geoeconomic reality as viewed by classical works of literature.”

Salon Discussion | Dr. John Charalambakis | May 9, 2023

“Whether we talk about Herodotus, Thucydides, Montesquieu, or Gibbon, the fundamental element is that history illuminates human conditions. If we take it a step further, we discover that history is not the unpeeling of the past but the breathing in of the living foundations of the present and sometimes of the future too.” – John Charalambakis, PhD, Discussion leader

As we find ourselves in an era of transformation characterized by great power conflict and economic fragmentation, we can only truly begin to understand the swirling dynamics of the present and illuminate the way forward if we first seek the truths from the works of great historians, philosophers, authors, and the like. We hope you will join us in our endeavor to assess the world we find ourselves in today by diving into the Remnant Trust’s collection of classical works to shed light on contemporary conditions.

Informing the discussion were the following six selected classic works from the Remnant Trust Wisdom of the Ages Athenaeum* with brief readings from the works provided.

Classical Works and the Unfolding Geopolitical and Geoeconomic Reality:

The Prince by Machiavelli, 1640 | From Aristotle to Machiavelli: If a good life presupposes a virtuous life, what is the role of the Prince in times of crisis?

The Law of War and Peace by Grotius, 1646 | What do Agamemnon, Xerxes, Napoleon, and Hitler have in common? What is the common parameter in World War I and II?

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, 1869 | What kind of norms did the character Frankenstein try to defy and why? Who are the modern Frankensteins who demonstrate dereliction of duties and run away from their monster creations?

The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, 1550 | Are we headed into a Thucydides Trap in an era marked by great power rivalry?

Two Treatises of Government by John Locke, 1694 | What is the underlying joint factor/force in Defoe’s and John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government and what does that have to do with the elements that foster and nurture power?

Politiques, Or Discovrses of Government by Aristotle, 1st Eng. ed., 1598 | How does the Aristotelian principle of the One, the Few, and the Many fit into today’s paradigm of a rising egotistical tragedy of the commons where institutional corruption robs critical thinking?