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Should Politicians Private Lives Be Public Essay Paper

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Paper type: Essay , Subject: Ancient Greece

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The development of the media and high velocity information exchange brings private lives of public functionaries to public treatment. Transgress moral “ boundaries ” may damage public functionaries ‘ calling, particularly elected 1s, badly. The turning attending to private lives among the population makes the subject more of import for the societal scientific disciplines. On one manus politicians use certain facets of their “ ideal ” private lives in their election runs in order to derive popularity, on the other manus they require the right for privateness in the things that will impact their lives negatively. Interestingly, the degree of public involvement in private life varies in modern democracies. While USA citizens are interested in every facets of public functionaries ( largely elected 1s ) , and seek to happen relationship between functionary ‘s occupation public presentation with his private life, Grecian people seems to be less caring approximately private lives and prefer to concentrate on functionaries occupation public presentation merely. The intent of this paper is to explicate degree of public involvement for private lives of politicians, its grounds, affect on political relations the Greece and the USA relatively. In the first subdivision I will concentrate on the USA instance, in the 2nd on the Greece, in the 3rd subdivision I will give comparing of these two states. The concluding subdivision

Privacy in USA

Public Policy Essay

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In past three decennaries boundary lines between private and public life of public figures in USA became more unseeable ; their private lives are brought to public treatment more frequently. Privacy in general considered as “ freedom from unauthorised invasion: province of being allow entirely and able to maintain certain clairvoyance. personal affairs to oneself. “ ( Merriam-Webster ‘s ) . Freedom from unauthorised invasion may include media, constabulary, and authorities and so on. Although to specify hat is public is non that easy. Harmonizing to Frederick Schauer in public issue “ single penchants is non indulged, including a penchant that information non to be disclosed ” ( Frederick Schauer 2000, 294 ) . In this instance voter ‘s right to whether determination doing public functionary is suited for the occupation, and how his/her policies affect their lives. Having normal childhood, household, and friends seems index of good personality every bit good. Through the history there are several instances demoing that public leaders holding abused childhood, leaders who treated their households in opprobrious ways used similar policies in their occupation. For illustration Hitler ‘s abused childhood caused catastrophe for the universe as Alise Millen said “ Hitler did non invent fascism ; he found it, like so many of his coevalss, prefigured in the totalitarian government of his household ” ( The Natural Child Project ) . Or another dictator, Joseph Stalin, besides had opprobrious childhood, jobs with his household. Stalins married woman “ Nadejda Alilulayeva married woman committed self-destruction in 1982 after he spoke her head about Communist Party purgings and the dearth and was met by a inundation of vulgar maltreatment from Stalin ” ( Nyu York Times, April 14, 1988 ) and another member of his household, his boy Joseph committed self-destruction in 1943. Today household images of politicians play really of import in their calling way and their successful matrimonies brings moral and softer image to them. Possibly its non coincidence that British Prime Minister Gordon Browns workaholic, lonely adult male changed before going premier curate. He is non mentioned as alone adult male but household adult male who loves his household.

In USA state of affairs is non that much different than most of the universe, even politicians private lives are more open than other states. While most of the politicians complain about inadequacy of privateness in their private lives, they use their private lives as a agency of advertizement. Since USA presidential election of 1992 politicians started to publicise their private lives more and more. Public involvement for private life increasing, people prefer more entertaining plans, ‘the American electorate are regarded as fed up with Washington politicians, “ elector want people who are n’t political ” ‘ ( Newman, in Schauer 2003, 301, ) . Candidates ‘ private life dirts seemed really interesting subject for intelligence plans. Possibly Bill Clinton ‘s adulterous relationship with Monica Lewinsky was one of the biggest dirts in USA history which was on headlines of newspapers for old ages. Although Clinton was elected for office for the 2nd clip after the dirt, some of higher ranked functionaries, had to vacate after dirts,

Randall L. Tobias, Deputy Secretary of State, resigned a twenty-four hours after corroborating his use of Washington bodyguard services. Although April 27, 2007 dated imperativeness release of the province section said that he was go forthing for personal grounds.

New York governor Eliot Spitzer who besides accused holding adulterous matter with cocotte resigned from his station after dirt. Before his surrender he ‘made a brief public visual aspect during which he apologized for his behaviour, and described it as a “ private affair. ” ‘ ( New York Times, March 10, 2008 ) .

There might be several grounds for this addition, but likely the most of import two grounds which is lessening of involvement to existent political relations as mentioned above ‘peoples being fed up with Washington politicians ‘ ( Schauer 2003, 301 ) and media which ever tries to run into popular demand. In the last elections in USA campaigner Barack Obama ‘s race, household, faith was discussed and much as his election platform. Today media is considered as one of most net income conveying countries in the universe. In the competitory market companies are working to maximise their net incomes at any monetary value. American media is called as freest and most commercial media in the universe by Heather Savigny ( 2004, 225 ) .

Privacy in Greece

Discussions about privateness and public life are non something new for Greece. In ancient Greece private lives and public were separated from each others, private life was called oikos and public life was called as dimos. In Platos Republic Plato and Socrates discuss privateness issue. After reexamining Grecian newspapers headlines in last 25 old ages one might thing that Greeks might look non to be interested in oikos of politicians after over than 2000 old ages from Socrates times or Hellenics are non interested in political relations at all or holding politicians who has really ideal life without any dirts, so that there are merely two good known publicized high ranked public functionaries ‘ dirts. Both of these dirts have really similar characteristic. In the first instance

Andreas Papandreou, while having infirmary intervention in London, was accompanied by a former air hostess, Ms. Dimitra Liani instead than with his married woman, even friendly imperativeness gave the fact widespread promotion. Subsequently, he was invariably seen with Ms. Liani, most noteworthy on his return to Greece from London, In Autumn 1988 and at the EC Summit in Rhodes in December of that twelvemonth. ( Georgia Chondreleou 2004,5, )

However this instance was non revealed by journalists or person else but Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou himself let rumours to be spread. Grecian premier curates confident action besides indicates that he is non that much concerned about reviews and media force per unit area. Indeed this instance was non discussed in the media that much, so that his wellness and subsequently on corruptness dirts overshadowed this instance.

In the Second instance:

Christos Zachopoulos, the former secretary general of the Grecian Culture Ministry and president of the Central Archaeological Council, jumped off the balcony of his fourth-floor place here [ December 20, 2007 ] after allegations that he was being blackmailed by his former office helper, with whom he had had an matter. Mr. Zachopoulos, 54, survived the autumn. ( New York Times December 20, 2007 )

This dirts besides mentioned as “ The juiciest sex dirt in modern Grecian memory ” ( Times Online January 9, 2008 )

Relatively with the first instance in the 2nd instance General Secretary of the Grecian civilization acquire more attending from the media. Possibly, the thing that forced General Secretary to vacate and try for the self-destruction was non merely related publication of his love matter in the media, but besides his being accused for corruptness.

“ An Athens prosecuting officer [ was ] besides analyzing at least 10 of an estimated 200 instances in which Mr. Zachopoulos, in his capacity as the caput of the Central Archaeological Council, decreed that topographic points could be removed from the list of protected archeological sites. ( New York Times, January 19, 2008 ) .

Having merely two politician private life dirt in Greece besides does n’t intend that Grecian people are non interested in political relations. Politicss is still one of the most celebrated subjects in Grecian Coffee Shops. But it ‘s besides known that population acquire information what media gives.

Although there was freedom of address in media, since the beginning of the 1980s opinion parties ever had impact on TVs, so that most the TVs and large newspapers either belonged to the authorities or survived with the subsidies from the authorities. Even today from clip to clip Grecian authoritiess subsidise media. Possibly it is non happenstance that there is non that much review in media against authorities and high ranked functionaries except the instances which functionaries exposed them or the instances which is already related with some ethical issues.


Even if this two states seems really similar in some points there differences in public attending to their life. However ‘political dirts take topographic point merely in broad democracies because merely there is the separation of public from private domains fundamental to the political system ‘ ( Markovitsa nd Silverstei in Betty a. Dobratz and Whitfield, Stephanie 1992, 168 ) . Possibly the degree of the liberalisation and Greeks being under absolutism was besides one of the factors that affect degree of dirts.

‘Plato ‘s Republic abolishes the foundation of any private life for the defenders who the ideal state-eliminating the household and private belongings in order to make integrity in the province ” . Socrates considers the expostulation that defenders will non be happy if they have to give up pleasances of the private life. Such felicity he replies is “ mindless and infantile ” ; the defenders, after all, will bask a better and more honest life than other citizens. Anyhow, the purpose should be to do whole society good, non to do one subdivision of it happy, he besides argues that even if defenders will hold to give up their private lives, they will still bask a better honest life. ‘ ( Plato ‘s Republic in Thompson 1987, 124 ) .

If we compare USA and Greece with Plato and Socrates doctrine, Plato ‘s theoretical account private and public life is really suited USA attack of privateness so that politicians seems to be all right giving up their privateness in order to ‘enjoy a better honest life ‘ . However Greece politicians still can pull off to maintain their private lives from public.

The chief difference in the instances of two states is that USA population will acquire more However media besides played important function in publicising the instances. Free and commercialised USA media seems is more likely to run into entertain popular demand of population that the media and imperativeness which is subsidized by authorities.


Its obvious that there are still will be a batch of arguments about public and private lives. As much state will acquire liberalized, achieve free media,


  • Frederics Schauer 2000, “ Can Public Figures have private lives? ” Social Philosophy and Policy, 17:299-306
  • Dennis F. Tomphson 1987, Political Etics and Public Office. Cabridge Mass. : Harvard University Press
  • Georgia Chondroleou 2004, “ Public Images and Private Lives: the Grecian Experience ” Parliamentary Affairs Vol. 57 No. 1, 53-66
  • Heather Savigny 2004, “ The Media and the Personal Lifes of Politicians in the Unites States ” , Parliamentary Affairs Vol. 57 No. 1, 223-235
  • Betty A. Dobratz and Whitfield, Stephanie Sep. , 1992, “ Does Scandal Influence Voters ‘ Party Preference? The Case of Greece during the Papandreou Era “ European Sociological Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, 167-180
  • privateness. Dictionary.com. Merriam-Webster ‘s Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster, Inc. hypertext transfer protocol: //dictionary.reference.com/browse/privacy ( accessed: December 11, 2009 ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //dictionary.reference.com/browse/privacy ( accessed: December 05, 2009 )
  • hypertext transfer protocol: //www.naturalchild.org/alice_miller/adolf_hitler.html, last accessed December 10, 2009
  • hypertext transfer protocol: //www.nytimes.com/
  • hypertext transfer protocol: //timesonline.co.uk ( accessed December 10, 2009 )
Should Politicians Private Lives Be Public Essay

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