The launch of HuffPost Greece is truly, as Arianna herself has stated, the "ultimate homecoming." For if there is any place in the world where the field of inquiry reared its head, seeking knowledge and indeed wisdom, it is Greece.
HuffPost Greece is coming at the right moment, at a time when Greece is striving to turn the corner during this time of economic crisis. For Greeks, it is an opportunity to reflect upon the crisis that brought the Greek economy to its knees. While Greece struggles to find its way out of crushing debt, this is also the moment for Greece to rediscover its true value and wealth as a treasure-house of wisdom, or as Will Durant put it, "the morning star of the western world."
Greece must tap into the intellectual and spiritual resources of its people today, who are the heirs of an undiminished legacy, in order to unleash its creativity and inventiveness. HuffPost Greece is one such way to offer Greece a unique, broad platform for allowing the light of this "morning star" to radiate more brightly throughout the world. Greece has long since seen the days of empire and the Athenian League. But the principles and ideas that arose within her borders are far more vast and global than any empire in the history of humankind. Its vital qualities today, even millennia into is vast intellectual and spiritual lifespan, are available to enrich the lives of all people with the Hellenic cultural legacy and heritage that has endured throughout the centuries.
The values of the πόλις, which are more than any sum of a modern city's parts, are more essential today than ever. HuffPost Greece is a stage where ideas and news appear side by side, presented to the viewer and/or reader for consideration and further inquiry. In this way, it is "political" in the truest sense of the word.
Every field of human endeavor is available -- from the most ephemeral to the eternal. It is a place of dialogue, of discourse, of the dialectic that is best known as the "Socratic Method" (Elenchus). Without such έλεγχος, the human person is trapped in a worldview that might as well be a prison for the mind. Possibilities are limited, horizons are blocked, and the human community is impoverished. With the introduction of the Internet, the opportunities for human concourse evolved exponentially overnight. We all know that not every development on the Web has been conducive or productive for the human spirit. But we can say that HuffPost is one place where the global transference of ideas and information is bringing about the advancement of human values.
The world at large has in many ways and many places drawn too close to the precipice of fundamentalism and prejudice. The lack of simple information locks whole communities in a narrow vision of the world. The most basic human rights of freedom of conscience, thought, and religious faith are threatened by those who would deprive their fellow human beings of their rights, if only for the sake of maintaining a semblance of power. But true liberation does not come from only a society of laws; it comes from minds that are free to think and conceive without constraint and deprivation.
Therefore, HuffPost Greece will be a place from which the ancient wisdom of Greece can shine and be a font of well-being and knowledge. One of the Seven Sages of Greece, Solon said: Γηράσκω δ´ αιεί πολλά διδασκόμενος. The same could be said of Greece and Her ageless civilization. Yes it is old, one of the world's oldest. But it is always "learning many things..." And it can teach all of us much, as we explore anew these venerable well-springs of wisdom and philosophy. The definition of philosophy is the "love of wisdom." Perhaps with time, we can also learn the wisdom of love.
The Rev. Fr. Alexander Karloutsos is Director of Public Affairs for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and Pastor of the Greek Orthodox "Kimisis" Church of the Hamptons in Southampton, New York.