Thursday, April 29, 2010

Alright, FLG Might Have To Simply Start Ignoring The Posts

But Rufus is going on about Socrates and Plato again. Now, FLG has read pretty much everything Plato ever wrote. And much of it more than once. So he gets a bit testy when people start reading it, drawing incorrect conclusions, and then applying it to current politics.

FLG knows his theory about Plato's Republic being entirely an allegory for the just ordering of the soul and nothing to do with an actual polis is in the minority, but this just seems flatout contradictory:
A few points here. First, politics is no laughing matter to Socrates: an orator who leads us to false knowledge isn’t just screwing with us; he’s fostering disproportionate desires in us that are damaging to our soul. Ultimately, all true knowledge leads towards the highest knowledge of good and evil. Therefore, a good Leader actually makes us better people by cultivating in us the quality of self-control that allows us to choose good, and thus saves our souls. Not even the most gung ho Obama or Palin supporter would claim something like that!

Secondly, Socrates is not a believer in democracy. The good Leader is an Expert- who has the ability to rule over us as he sees fit, without our consent. The mass of people, according to Socrates, will generally support an Orator, actually a Panderer, who satisfies their desires. Indeed, a pandering Orator seems akin to a Tyrant here, and the suggestion is that democracy leads naturally to tyranny. Instead, Socrates wants something like a spiritual elite to lead us with an eye to our well-being, whether we like it or not.

Lemmegetdisstraight. A good Leader cultivates self-control, but rules over us as he sees fit without our consent? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU FUCKING TALKING ABOUT?!

Also, I'm sure Rufus' post is somehow contradictory to a point regarding the individual versus self I made about the Republic years ago, but I'm too apoplectic right now to think it through.

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