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.