Signs of the Times – part 18
Originally posted 17 April, 2012.
Quotes of the Times:
“I believe that Plato’s political programme, far from being morally superior to totalitarianism, is fundamentally identical with it.” Leonard Verduin, The Anatomy of a Hybrid, p. 87.
“We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” Leona Helmsley, billionaire, nicknamed “the Queen of Mean” (New York Times, July 12, 1989).
If we were to consult standard reference works (such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica), on the subject matter of ancient Greek philosophers (such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle), we would be informed that these gentlemen are generally considered to be “the fathers of western civilization.” Since these wise men, have achieved such lofty attainments and are accorded such illustrious reputations, it should be profitable, indeed essential, to understand the basics of their teaching, especially for those living under their direct influence today, i.e. those living under the umbrella of “western civilization.”
Of the three aforementioned philosophers, Plato is the most interesting and the most influential. But this is only because he was the pupil of Socrates. Socrates never wrote anything down. Plato took the “wisdom” of Socrates and put his own spin on it and taught it to others, including Aristotle. All of these gentlemen were born in Athens or were educated in the Greek city state of Athens. Athens at the time was a functioning democracy. But according to our wise philosophers Athens was more dysfunctional than functional. Socrates got so far offside with his fellow Athenians that the rulers of the day condemned him to death. The charge they brought against him was: “corrupting the youth of Athens” – and he was executed by being ordered to drink a cup containing the poison hemlock (not the usual method of execution). We are not told what Socrates was saying or doing that constituted “corruption of the youth” – however it is relatively easy to conclude, that whatever it was, it was considered “poison” by the Athenian authorities. It is also relatively easy to conclude that the “poison” being delivered to the youth of Athens was, in essence, anti-democratic. We know it must have been anti-democratic because Plato wrote down his master’s philosophy and Plato was rabidly anti-democratic.
Plato’s ideal society was made up of the “wise philosophers” at the top – the rude, uneducated masses at the bottom – and the military/security/police, to protect the state, but also, just as importantly, to keep the “lumpen proletariat” (derogatory term coined by Karl Marx to describe un-cooperative workers – i.e. those who did not agree with him) under control and in their place. He went on to elaborate, as to what would make the ideal cohesive and harmonious society. Everyone would have to worship the same gods. No one was to show any individual initiative (follow instructions and orders at all times please). Nothing and no one would be allowed to change anything. And lastly but not least, if anyone exhibited dislike for the aforementioned arrangements, then the state must put the rebellious individual to death. In this modern age, we have words that describe this kind of society: Fascism, Nazism and Communism spring to mind [all forms of totalitarianism – i.e. total control over society].
You may well ask, so what! What has this to do with me? What has this to do with our modern social models based on democracy, republicanism and/or constitutional monarchies [all the political/social models that make up western civilization]. The answer is that, Plato has everything to do with us and our present day situation, predicaments and problems. The first thing we need to note is that the political/social model as advocated by Plato is not what we generally find in “western civilization” today. However, the next point we need to make is that, for hundreds and even thousands of years, the Plato model was the norm for “western civilization.” Socrates and Plato lived, worked and taught in the 4th century BC. From that time onwards Platonism gradually worked its way into the preferred model for political and social organization. Platonism received its greatest trajectory when the Roman Empire became Christian. It was at this time that Platonism and Christianity merged giving birth to the Roman Catholic Church in the religious sphere and the aristocracy in the political sphere – this constituted “western civilization” (founded on platonic ideals) and it existed in this form for over a 1000 years.
This union of church and state, sown together by Platonism, existed until it was challenged by three things: the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the American Revolution. The principles enshrined in the American Constitution, for example, are diametrically opposed to Platonism. The American constitution upholds the virtues of individuality, individual initiative and freedom of conscience and action – these are all anti-platonic principles. Based on these anti-platonic principles the young nation of the United States of America went on to become the most robust, diverse, wealthiest and most attractive nation on earth – and inevitably the strongest. That’s why, in order for Platonism to make a comeback, America has to be destroyed!
American ideals of democracy (supervised by republicanism), the rights of individuals, freedom of conscience and the separation of church and state have, since the American Revolution, spread around the world. But in historical terms this is all relatively new. The American system has only been around for less than 300 years – it is just a baby compared to the platonic system. In order for the American system to work, it requires a well-informed, politically astute and virtuous citizenry – so that the citizenry can make the right choices for the right reasons, in any given situation. The platonic system despises and fears a well-informed, politically astute and virtuous citizenry, and does everything in its power to deny the emergence of such a class of people. The platonic system only requires the citizenry to follow orders and denies them the luxury of thinking for themselves. The best way to achieve this is to debase, debauch and demoralize (take away morals) the people. Therefore, no real Christianity please! False Christianity is acceptable.
It should be obvious to all that there is no room for a middle class in the platonic system. This is because it is precisely this class of people that first, have the means (wealth, in the form of disposable income) and secondly, the leisure time, to develop into a well-informed, politically astute citizenry. Therefore, if the American system is to be destroyed, the destruction has to begin with the middle class.
Platonism has never died. It has made several spectacular comebacks already. Wherever, Communism (Neo-Platonism) established itself, the middle class was eliminated. In Russia, they examined people’s hands – if they were calloused and worn, they lived – if they were soft and smooth, they died. In China, they first killed 70 million, then they terrorised the rest of the middle class into submission through continuous “cultural revolutions.” In Pol Pot’s Cambodia, they led all the urban dwellers (the middle class) out into the country and murdered more than 2 million people in “the killing fields.”
Fascism and Nazism are just another face of the platonic totalitarian system. Here too, the middle class is targeted for elimination. Fascism and Nazism are a union of government and big business, whereby the wealth of the nation gravitates to, and accumulates at the top. All the business of the nation is amalgamated into enormous corporations, and leaves no independent business activity that would sustain a middle class. Thus any existing middle class would be reduced to being mere salaried workers for the corporations (this is what has happened to Japan where virtually everyone is a “salary-man” for a corporation).
The same process is well under way in America (and wherever the American system has been adopted). Platonism is roaring back into life. Everyone knows that they are poorer than they used to be. Everyone knows that the rich are richer than they used to be. This is not accidental, this is being done on purpose – this is Platonism in action. One of the most effective methods of achieving the platonic dream is to shut down industry at home (in the targeted countries) and export it overseas, thereby denying the industry at home, that sustains the middle class. Economic and political theory is invented to persuade all and sundry that this is beneficial to all concerned (this is why a well-informed, politically astute citizenry is so essential). One such delusive theory is the doctrine of “free trade.” It should be recognized for what it is – “destructive trade.” Free trade is used like a weapon of mass destruction – wherever it goes it destroys the middle class of the targeted nations. Unfair taxation regimes are another method used to destroy the middle class: “we don’t pay taxes, only the little people (the middle classes) pay taxes” – the middle class have always borne the greatest tax burden because legal systems are designed to favour corporations and the rich – after all, “the wise philosophers” deserve more, because of their intellectual superiority and the “heavy burdens” they have to bear, ruling over the “lumpen proletariat.”
God bless, Bruce Telfer.
Extra note: Plato believed in the golden age of Atlantis which supposedly existed in the mythological past (but a reality for Plato). Therefore, for Plato, the way forward was to go backwards – back to the perfect ideal of Atlantis. Therefore, for Plato, all change was unnecessary and indeed dangerous if it was not directed backwards. Therefore, the platonic system has a built in anti-progressive bias. This anti-progressive bias is alive and well in various political philosophies and/or political parties today. It serves the platonic goals well in that it stifles initiative and cripples the growth of the middle class.
Additional note: Plato’s Atlantis was ruled by 10 kings – “the wise philosophers.” It might be of interest to those who are students of Bible prophecy, that the woman riding the beast in Revelation 17, is supported in her work by 10 kings. Maybe, in the not so distant future, the resurrection of the platonic goals and ideals, will include the “New Atlantis” coming to a neighbourhood near you.