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Public Office And Private Lives Sociable Policy Essay

The development of the marketing and high speed information exchange brings private lives of general population officials to open public discourse. Transgress moral "limitations" may harm public officials' career, especially elected ones, severely. The growing attention to private lives among the populace makes this issue more important for the sociable sciences. Similarly politicians use certain areas of their "ideal" private lives in their election campaigns in order to gain reputation, on the other hand they require the befitting privacy in the things that will have an effect on their lives adversely. Interestingly, the amount of public fascination with private life varies in modern democracies. While USA citizens are interested in every aspects of public representatives (mainly elected ones), and look for relationship between official's job performance along with his private life, Greek people seems to be less nurturing about private lives and favor to focus on representatives job performance only. The purpose of this paper is to clarify level of public interest for private lives of politicians, its reasons, have an impact on on politics the Greece and the USA comparatively. Inside the first section I will focus on the united states case, in the second on the Greece, in the third section I'll give comparison of these two countries. The ultimate section

Privacy in USA

In past three years edges between private and open public life of public numbers in USA became more unseen; their private lives are taken to public discussion more often. Privacy generally considered as "independence from unauthorized intrusion: point out of being let alone and able to keep certain esp. personal things to oneself. "( Merriam-Webster's). Independence from unauthorized intrusion can include media, law enforcement, and government and so on. Although to determine hat is general population is not that easy. According to Frederick Schauer in public areas issue "individual preferences is not indulged, including a inclination that information never to be disclosed"(Frederick Schauer 2000, 294 ). In cases like this elector's to whether decision making general population official is ideal for the job, and exactly how his/her policies affect their lives. Having normal childhood, family, and friends seems signal of good personality as well. Through the history there are several cases showing that open public market leaders having abused years as a child, leaders who treated their own families in abusive ways used likewise procedures in their job. For example Hitler's abused years as a child caused disaster for the world as Alise Millen said "Hitler didn't invent fascism; he found it, like so many of his contemporaries, prefigured in the totalitarian routine of his family" (The Natural Child Project). Or another dictator, Joseph Stalin, also acquired abusive childhood, issues with his family. Stalins wife "Nadejda Alilulayeva better half dedicated suicide in 1982 after he spoke her mind about Communist Get together purges and the famine and was satisfied by a flood of vulgar abuse from Stalin" (Nyu York Times, Apr 14, 1988) and another person in his family, his kid Joseph devoted suicide in 1943. Today family images of politicians play very important in their profession course and their successful relationships brings moral and softer image to them. Perhaps its not coincidence that Uk Perfect Minister Gordon Browns workaholic, depressed man modified before becoming perfect minister. He's not described as lonesome man but family man who is in love with his family.

In USA situation isn't that much unique of most of the world, even politicians private lives are more open than other countries. While the majority of the politicians complain about insufficiency of personal privacy in their private lives, they use their private lives as a means of ad. Since USA presidential election of 1992 politicians started to publicize their private lives more and more. General population interest for private life increasing, people like more enjoyable programs, 'the American electorate are thought to be sick and tired of Washington politicians, "voter want people who aren't political"' ( Newman, in Schauer 2003, 301, ). Prospects' private life scandals seemed very interesting topic for news programs. Perhaps Charge Clinton's extramarital relationship with Monica Lewinsky was one of the primary scandals in USA record which was on headlines of papers for years. Although Clinton was elected for office for the next time following the scandal, a few of higher ranked officials, had to resign after scandals,

Randall L. Tobias, Deputy Secretary of Point out, resigned a day after confirming his use of Washington escort services. Although April 27, 2007 dated news release of the state dept. said that he was leaving for personal reasons.

New York governor Eliot Spitzer who also accused having extramarital affair with prostitute resigned from his post after scandal. Before his resignation he 'made a brief public appearance during which he apologized for his patterns, and described it as a "private subject. "' (NY Times, March 10, 2008).

There might be several reasons for this increase, but probably the main two reasons which is decrease of interest to real politics as stated above 'individuals being fed up with Washington politicians' (Schauer 2003, 301) and press which always attempts to meet popular demand. In the last elections in USA applicant Barack Obama's race, family, religion was discussed and far as his election platform. Today media is considered as one of most profit getting areas in the world. In the competitive market companies will work to maximize their income at any price. American multimedia is named as freest and most commercial media in the world by Heather Savigny (2004, 225).

Privacy in Greece

Discussions about privacy and open public life are not something new for Greece. In traditional Greece private lives and consumer were segregated from each others, private life was called oikos and open public life was called as dimos. In Platos Republic Plato and Socrates discuss personal privacy issue. After critiquing Greek newspaper publishers headlines in previous 25 years one might thing that Greeks might seem to be never to be thinking about oikos of politicians after over than 2000 years from Socrates times or Greeks are not thinking about politics at all or having politicians who has very ideal life without any scandals, so that there are only two popular publicized high placed public officers' scandals. Both of these scandals have very similar feature. In the first case

Andreas Papandreou, while getting hospital treatment in London, was along with a previous air hostess, Ms. Dimitra Liani alternatively than along with his wife, even friendly press provided the fact widespread promotion. Later, he was constantly seen with Ms. Liani, most notable on his return to Greece from London, In Fall 1988 and at the EC Summit in Rhodes in December of that yr. (Georgia Chondreleou 2004, 5, )

However this circumstance was not disclosed by journalists or another person but Leading Minister Andreas Papandreou himself let gossips to be multiply. Greek leading ministers confident action also implies that he is not that much worried about critiques and press pressure. Indeed this case was not discussed in the marketing that much, so that his health and later on corruption scandals overshadowed this circumstance.

In the next case:

Christos Zachopoulos, the former secretary basic of the Greek Culture Ministry and chairman of the Central Archaeological Council, jumped from the balcony of his fourth-floor home here [December 20, 2007]after allegations that he was being blackmailed by his previous office helper, with whom he previously had an affair. Mr. Zachopoulos, 54, survived the land. (New York Times Dec 20, 2007)

This scandals also talked about as "The juiciest sex scandal in modern Greek memory" (Times Online January 9, 2008)

Comparatively with the first case in the second case General Secretary of the Greek culture get more attention from the advertising. Perhaps, the thing that forced Basic Secretary to resign and try out for the suicide had not been only related publication of his romance in the multimedia, but also his being accused for problem.

"An Athens prosecutor [was] also examining at least 10 of an estimated 200 cases in which Mr. Zachopoulos, in his capacity as the head of the Central Archaeological Council, decreed that places could be taken off the list of protected archaeological sites. (NY Times, January 19, 2008).

Having only two politician private life scandal in Greece also doesn't means that Greek people are not interested in politics. Politics is still one of the very most famous issues in Greek Espresso Shops. But it is also known that population get information what mass media gives.

Although there is freedom of speech in media, since the start of the 1980s ruling people always had effect on TVs, so that a lot of the Tv sets and big magazines either belonged to the federal government or survived with the subsidies from the federal government. Even today every once in awhile Greek government authorities subsidize multimedia. Perhaps it isn't coincidence that there is not that much critique in media against government and high ranked officers except the cases which officials exposed them or the instances which has already been related to some ethical issues.


Even if this two countries seems virtually identical in some details there differences in public places attention to their life. However 'political scandals happen only in liberal democracies because only there is the separation of general public from private spheres fundamental to the politics system' (Markovitsa nd Silverstei in Betty a. Dobratz and Whitfield, Stephanie 1992, 168). Possibly the degree of the liberalization and Greeks being under dictatorship was also one of the factors that have an effect on degree of scandals.

'Plato's Republic abolishes the building blocks of any private life for the guardians who the perfect state-eliminating the family and private property to be able to set-up unity in their state". Socrates considers the objection that guardians will never be happy if they have to stop pleasures of the private life. Such contentment he replies is "senseless and childish"; the guardians, after all, will enjoy an improved plus more honorable life than other citizens. Anyhow, desire to should be to make whole culture good, not to make one portion of it happy, he also argues that even if guardians must quit their private lives, they will still enjoy a much better honorable life. '(Plato's Republic in Thompson 1987, 124).

If we compare USA and Greece with Plato and Socrates philosophy, Plato's model private and general population life is very suitable USA procedure of level of privacy so that politicians seems to be ok quitting their privacy in order to 'enjoy an improved honorable life'. However Greece politicians still can manage to keep their private lives from general population.

The main difference in the circumstances of two countries is that USA population are certain to get more However press also played out significant role in publicizing the circumstances. Free and commercialized USA multimedia seems is much more likely to meet entertain popular demand of human population that the mass media and press which is subsidized by federal government.


Its obvious that there are still will be a lot of debates about public and private lives. The maximum amount of country will get liberalized, achieve free marketing,


  • Frederics Schauer 2000, "Can General population Results have private lives?" Friendly Philosophy and Insurance policy, 17:299-306
  • Dennis F. Tomphson 1987, Political Etics and Community Office. Cabridge Mass. : Harvard College or university Press
  • Georgia Chondroleou 2004, "Open public Images and Private Lives: the Greek Experience" Parliamentary Affairs Vol. 57 No. 1, 53-66
  • Heather Savigny 2004, "The Press and the non-public Lives of Politicians in the U. S", Parliamentary Affairs Vol. 57 No. 1, 223-235
  • Betty A. Dobratz and Whitfield, Stephanie Sep. , 1992, "Does Scandal Influence Voters' Party Inclination? The Case of Greece during the Papandreou Age " Western Sociological Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, 167-180
  • privacy. Dictionary. com. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Regulation. Merriam-Webster, Inc. http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/privacy (utilized: December 11, 2009). http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/privacy (utilized: December 05, 2009)
  • http://www. naturalchild. org/alice_miller/adolf_hitler. html, previous accessed Dec 10, 2009
  • http://www. nytimes. com/
  • http://timesonline. co. uk (reached December 10, 2009)

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