Sunday, October 19, 2008

Plato: Biggest Scammer in History.

Neil Postman rightly refers to Plato as the world's first systematic fascist. Making mention of that usually raises the ire of those who don't have any idea of Plato's philosophies. Most people seem to highly regard the name "Plato," though they can't really say why. They defend him with no knowledge of what Plato was about. Some, such as that utter fool, I.F. Stone, confuse Plato with Socrates, and not only don't know there is the one and there is the other, but argue that Socrates is Plato. Stupidity knows no bounds, especially among our intelligentsia. Some thinkers, real thinkers, as opposed to the Conformity Hippies who rule the Academy these days as well, real thinkers such as Ernest Gellner, know Plato very well. Gellner, writing after Karl Popper, who wrote on Plato, The Open Society and its Enemies, puts Plato on the table for a nifty dissection, briefly thus:

"The profound paradox of Platonism proper is that it preached a return to, or a fortification of, the closed communally organized society: but it did so by means which themselves illustrated, highlighted, and sprang from that liberation from traditional ritualism and communalism. Plato represented dogmatism pursued by liberal means, an authoritarianism with a rational face." Ernest Gellner, Plough, Sword and Book. London: Collins Harvill: 1998; pp. 84-85.

Taken in, that's what too many of our intellectuals have been are to this day and beyond. We'll see one of them below. And a shameful example of a typical intellectual conformist he is. There is no excuse for an expert in the field to be so wrong on the facts as is the writer below. But if he were merely a fool, and a sloppy one at that, who would care? No, dear reader, it's far worse than that. The writer below is a danger to human freedom and to free people everywhere. We must confront him and those like him, stop them by making known the realities of history and literature from the texts as they are, not as one thinks they must be or should be, or should be thought so by the "average" man.

Kimon Valaskakis, "Media-enhanced 'dumb democracy' is the fastest road to totalitarianism." Globe and Mail; October 13, 2008.

It's shortly after this that I begin to lose my temper. The whole thing is here.


Anonymous said...

I think that while I very highly disagree with the Platonic communal model ( The Republic might be an efficient working model, but it is by no means a correct form of society under government, especially in respects of the individual verses the group ), but I think that Plato does deserve a great deal of respect as a philosopher, and as a theologian.

For instance, his accounts of the trial and death of Socrates are very important pieces of literature and philosophy. While I disagree with Plato's ideal societal model, I still value him as a very important philosopher in an era of great philosophers.

Much the same way as I value Voltaire and his works, despite his belief that the best form of government would be a benevolent, philosophically informed ruler.

But that aside, I very much disagree with those who feel that any reduction of the individual ( that is, the media informed democracy)is a good thing. Democracy has its flaws, but at the end of the day, it is the best model for preserving individuality and liberty, and that is the thing which matters most.

Although I would add a caveat that I do believe that certain movements within a democracy ( like fascist/communist/socialist movements ) should be curtailed, if only because they constitute a danger to the democracy as a whole, and therefore to everybody's liberties and individuality in general. Much the same way as I believe that certain people should be locked away for criminal behavior; for the protection of those around them. ( Not that I'm suggesting that socialists be locked up, please don't take that the wrong way ).

Dag said...

There are two very different, in fact contradictory, Platos. There is the Plato who wrote as the pupil of Socrates; and there is Plato the mature philosopher writing s himself under his own influence. It is the latter we must know as he is and struggle against, the propagandist for Spartanism.

Imagine that there are till Spartanist in our midst these thousands of years later. They abound. Death hippies and Povertarians, all. These are the communalists who would again return Man to his state of farm animal. These are the people who would destroy the world and hope in the doing to restore the communalist Spart of rule by the Gnostic elite of Philosopher Kings, Thugs, and the ruled majority of the starving. Poverty is for them, the good. Rule by the elite is nature. All of these people are Spartans in the worst sense of the definition.

Not Socrates, the moral philosopher as recorded by Plato. He would be Socrates. Look at Plato as Plato. He offers nothing but today's destruction of Humanness and the return of the Golden Ones. Look then at Obama. At Bill Ayers. At the Liberal party hack who wrote the essay above.