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Ederico
Wednesday, July 16th, 2003, 11:30 PM
Can someone point out the basics of Plato's Philosophy?

http://www.schouppe.net/wpl/wijsbegeerte/teksten/plato/plato_standbeeld.jpg

Stríbog
Thursday, July 17th, 2003, 12:09 AM
This world is an imperfect reflection of an ideal world above us.
The world we see is akin to men in a cave seeing only shadows cast on the wall of the cave from outside.
Man is a naturally social animal; it is our bond together to form society.
I'm leaving out a lot, so here is a link:
http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Biographies/Philosophy/Plato.htm

Ederico
Thursday, July 17th, 2003, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by Stríbog
http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Biographies/Philosophy/Plato.htm

The link fails to give further information, moreover it has a Liberal Democratic stance to it, and therefore is Anti-Plato. Something more descriptive would be more appropriate. Thanks anyways.

Siegfried
Thursday, July 17th, 2003, 01:18 PM
The link fails to give further information, moreover it has a Liberal Democratic stance to it, and therefore is Anti-Plato.

Plato was indeed far from a Liberal Democrat. In his Republic, he suggests some form of meritocratic government, with philosopher-aristocrats at the top of the social pyramid.


This world is an imperfect reflection of an ideal world above us.

Yes, and this Ideal world is composed of several 'Ideas' or 'Forms' (I believe he uses the Greek word 'eidos'), corresponding to entities we can observe in our own world. There is, for example, an 'eidos' for horse; all the races and types of horses are derived from this single 'eidos'.
There is also a certain hierarchy among the Ideas, and it's interesting to note that the highest Idea is that of 'Good', not that of 'Truth'.
Moreover, people who behave badly, do so because they have not come in touch with the eidos 'Good' (in other words: everyone can be learned to behave good; evil is done out of ignorance). This is a very important aspect of his philosophy, and one that would make a come-back during the Enlightenment. A man becomes 'good' as soon as he starts living rationally, and is liberated from his ignorance.

Ederico
Thursday, July 17th, 2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by Siegfried Aurelius
A man becomes 'good' as soon as he starts living rationally, and is liberated from his ignorance.

Personally I do not know whether to agree or not with such a statement, it is most probably not absolutely true. In fact when rationality is couple with a clearly-defined goal it made lead to evil deeds. As in "The end justifies the means" from Machiavelli.

Moody
Tuesday, March 30th, 2004, 05:55 PM
This naive moral view of Plato/Socrates is still assumed by many today, despite Nietzsche's revaluation of such morality.

How many moralising liberals say that nationalists or racial thinkers are 'evil' out of 'ignorance'? Again and again leftists and liberals accuse WNs of being 'ignorant'.

This must be a residue of that Platonic morality, which says that 'evil=ignorance', and which found its way into Christianity.

Christianity largely survives in the West as a moral residue.

Prussian
Wednesday, October 20th, 2004, 12:12 PM
Works by Plato




http://forums.skadi.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=23670&stc=1






http://classics.mit.edu/Browse/browse-Plato.html

Prussian
Wednesday, October 20th, 2004, 12:15 PM
Science & Human Values


By Prof. Fred L. Wilson


Rocehster Insitute of technology


Plato's Life


If Thales was the first of all the great Greek philosophers, Plato must remain the best known of all the Greeks. The original name of this Athenian aristocrat was Aristocles, but in his school days he received the nickname Platon (meaning "broad" ) because of his broad shoulders. (He is not the only great man to be known universally by a nickname. The Roman orator Cicero is another. )

Plato was born in Athens, about 427 B.C., and died there about 347 B.C. In early life Plato saw war service and had political ambitions. However, he was never really sympathetic to the Athenian democracy and he could not join wholeheartedly in its government. He was a devoted follower of Socrates, whose disciple he became in 409 B.C., and the execution of that philosopher by the democrats in 399 B.C. was a crushing blow. He left Athens, believing that until "kings were philosophers or philosophers were kin gs" things would never go well with the world. (He traced his descent from the early kings of Athens and perhaps he had himself in mind.)

For several years he visited the Greek cities of Africa and Italy, absorbing Pythagorean notions (http://www.rit.edu/~flwstv/presocratic.html#pythagoras), and then in 387 B.C. he returned to Athens. (En route, he is supposed to have been captured by pirates and held for ransom.) There, the second half of his long life, he devoted himself to philosophy. In the western suburbs he founded a school that might be termed the first university. Because it was on the grounds that had once belonged to a legendary Greek called A cademus, it came to be called the Academy, and this term has been d for schools ever since.

Plato remained at the Academy for the rest of his life, except for two brief periods in the 360s. At that time he visited Syracuse, the chief city of Greek Sicily, to serve as tutor for the new king, Dionysius II. Here was his chance to make a king a philosopher. It turned out very badly. The king insisted on behaving like a king and of course made the Athenian democrats look good by comparison. Plato managed only with difficulty to return safely to Athens. His end was peaceful and happy, for he is suppos ed to have died in his sleep at the age of eighty after having attended the wedding feast of one of his students.

Plato's works, perhaps the most consistently popular and influential philosophic writings ever published, consist of a series of dialogues in which the discussions between Socrates and others are presented with infinite charm. Most of our knowledge of Socrates is from these dialogues, and which views are Socrates' and which are Plato's is anybody's guess. (Plato cautiously never introduced himself into any of the dialogues.)

Like Socrates, Plato was chiefly interested in moral philosophy and despised natural philosophy (that is, science) as an inferior and unworthy sort of knowledge. There is a famous story (probably apocryphal and told also of Euclid of a student asking Plato the application of the knowledge he was being taught. Plato at once ordered a slave to give the student a small coin that he might not think he had gained knowledge for nothing, then had him dismissed from school. To Plato, knowledge had no practical use, it existed for the abstract good of the soul.

Plato was fond of mathematics because of its idealized abstractions and its separation from the merely material. Nowadays, of course, the purest mathematics manages to be applied, sooner or later, to practical matters of science. In Plato's day this was not so, and the mathematician could well consider himself as dealing only with the loftiest form of pure thought and as having nothing to do with the gross and imperfect everyday world. And so above the doorway to the Academy was written, "Let no one ignorant of mathematics enter here."

Plato did, however, believe that mathematics in its ideal form could still be applied to the heavens. The heavenly bodies, he believed, exhibited perfect geometric form. This he expresses most clearly in a dialogue called Timaeus in which he presents his scheme of the universe. He describes the five (and only five) possible regular solids -- that is, those with equivalent faces and with all lines and angles, formed by those faces, equal. These are the four-sided tetrahedron, the six-sided hexahed ron (or cube), the eight-sided octahedron, the twelve-sided dodecahedron, and the twenty-sided icosahedron. Four of the five regular solids, according to Plato, represented the four elements, while the dodecahedron represented the universe as a whole. These solids were first discovered by the Pythagoreans (http://www.rit.edu/~flwstv/presocratic.html#pythagoreas), but the fame of this dialogue has led to their being called the Platonic solids ever since.

Plato decided also that since the heavens were perfect, the various heavenly bodies would have to move in exact circles (the perfect curve) along with the crystalline spheres (the perfect solid) that held them in place. The spheres were another Pythagorean notion, and the Pythagorean preoccupation with sound also shows itself in Philolaus belief that the spheres of the various planets made celestial music as they turned -- a belief that persisted even in the time of Kepler (http://www.rit.edu/~flwstv/bruno.html#kepler) two thou sand years later. We still use the phrase "the music of the spheres" to epitomize heavenly sounds or the stark beauty of outer space.

This insistence that the heavens must reflect the perfection of abstract mathematics in its simplest form held absolute sway over astronomical thought until Kepler's time, even though compromises with reality had to be made constantly, beginning shortly after Plato's death with Eudoxus and Callippus.

In the dialogue Timaeus, by the way, Plato invented a moralistic tale about a thoroughly fictitious land he called Atlantis. If there is a Valhalla for philosophers, Plato must be sitting there in endless chagrin, thinking of how many foolish thousands, in all the centuries since his time, down to the very present day -- thousands who have never read his dialogue or absorbed a sentence of his serious teachings -- nevertheless believed with all their hearts in the reality of Atlantis. (To be s ure, recent evidence of an Aegean island that exploded volcanically in 1400 B.C. may have given rise to legends that inspired Plato's fiction.)

Plato's influence extended long past his own life and, indeed, never died. The Academy remained a going institution until A.D. 529, when the Eastern Roman Emperor, Justinian, ordered it closed. It was the last stronghold of paganism in a Christian world.

Plato's philosophy, even after that date, maintained a strong influence on the thinking of the Christian Church throughout the early Middle Ages. It was not until the thirteenth century that the views of Aristotle (http://www.rit.edu/~flwstv/aristotle.html) gained dominance.

Organic View of Nature

A fundamental but until then philosophically little-cultivated aspect of the Greek way of looking at nature came to the fore and asserted itself as the leading principle of the study of nature. What this new trend wanted to achieve above all was to secure an organic place for the personal, intuitive experience of man both in the understanding of himself and of the physical world. The most detailed formulation of this new approach to nature is Aristotle's physics and cosmology, but its most telling documen t is Plato's account in the Phaedo of Socrates' search for a science satisfying the needs and aspirations of man.1

It was a search for perspectives wide enough to support a stand that from the viewpoint of a consistent mechanistic philosophy had to appear the senseless acceptance of one's own death sentence. Clearly, the mechanistic philosophy of nature and man, as advocated by the Ionian philosophers, had no explanation and motivation for an attitude that preferred to abide by value judgments that were but noble illusions to an all-inclusive mechanistic interpretation of things, persons, and events.

Socrates was eager to point this out to his friends who begged him to avoid the inevitable course of a blatantly unjust sentence. The arguments of his friends, as Socrates noted, invariably fell back on the mechanistic explanation of generation and decay, and this appeared to him wholly inadequate even to cope with the most elementary organic processes. That explanations of that type were fascinating, he readily admitted. He could in fact refer to his experience as a youth on reading a book by Anaxagoras (http://www.rit.edu/~flwstv/presocratic.html#anaxagoras)2 that offered explanations about such sundry items as generation and decay on the earth, motion of celestial bodies, and production of mental processes in the brain. Yet, on some reflection Socrates had to realize that these explanations left indeed much to be explained. Actually he found them confusing when applied to the elementary question of what is the cause of a man's growth.

It was no accident that Socrates' grappling with the gravest physical and spiritual issues of human life had ramifications that touched on the physical situation represented by the behavior of an organism. It was precisely in problems of this sort that atomism, Pythagoreanism, and the Ionian natural philosophy proved manifestly inadequate. Furthermore, it was because of the mishandling of such questions by some far-fetched generalizations of a "materialistic" physics that the understanding of man's own in ner world came to be drastically debilitated.

The apparent brilliance of Ionian physics was not only fascinating but also blinding, as Socrates recalled his own experience, and could leave its admirers in a state of total confusion to what was really known. In ultimate analysis it made a shambles of the basic question of human inquiry: how to connect man's own intuitive, immediate judgments and reflections to the processes unfolding in the outside world. With regard to man's behavior, strivings, and findings there were the instinctively applied categ ories of purposeful and involuntary, good and bad, fitting and unfitting. Could these qualifications be absent in the phenomena of nature, to paraphrase Socrates' agonizing questions, if nature was to be understood or to be truly connected with man in an organic whole? After all the Ionians themselves, as Socrates recalled, seemed at times to hint that nature worked like a man planning to achieve carefully what was best. Anaxagoras, Socrates noted, even spoke of an all-pervading mind as the arranger and c ause of all things.

But Anaxagoras' "mind" was not the source of the type of understanding Socrates looked for. While Socrates wanted to know why it was best for the earth to remain at rest in the center of the world, the Ionians, Anaximander to be specific, referred rather to the indifference of an object to move at all when equally distant from the extremes in all directions. Similarly deficient in Socrates' eyes were the other explanations offered by the Ionians for the stability of the earth. To hear that the earth had a flat bottom and was thereby securely supported by the underlying air conveyed only keen disappointment to him. He felt the same as he surveyed the views of the Ionians the nature and motion of the heavenly bodies. As to the sun and the planets, Anaximander identified them as small circular openings in a huge rim filled with fire, whereas Anaxagoras reduced the sun to a flaming stone. Both, however, were equally unconcerned why it was better for the planets and stars to move and turn in the way they di d.

The ultimate motivation of such a stratagem could not escape Socrates. He saw that the account of the physikoi of the stability and motion of the earth and heaven was but a covert replacement of old values with a new deity. For, as Socrates noted, the all-inclusive mechanism was offered as a new Atlas. Its worshippers, the physikoi, charged Socrates, "give no thought to the good which must embrace and hold together all things."3 In this they were at least consistent, as no goodness, or purpose could be predicated about the Atlas of the Ionian physicalism. Little wonder that Anaxagoras' all-pervading "mind" came to appear to Socrates as a mere travesty of the true mind, and the reasons it represented but a camouflage of the real causes.

Socrates with good reason called attention to the fact that voices, hearing, and breath were as little a complete explanation of human conversation as was the actual position of his bones and muscles the ultimate reason of his refusal to escape from prison. The upshot of such considerations was, as can be readily guessed, a search for causes in a sense diametrically opposite to the approach taken by the Ionians or by the atomists. To continue in their footsteps, warned Socrates, was to expose one's mental eyes to total and irreparable blindness. Such at least was the uppermost consideration that made him chart the course of his own intellectual orientation on which, unfortunately, hardly a stopover was left for the study of mechanical causes. Extreme and deplorable as this choice was, in the context of the times it appeared inevitable. More important, many generations after him conformed faithfully to the mental attitude expressed so graphically in the Phaedo:

After this, then, since I had given up investigating realities, I decided that I must be careful not to suffer the misfortune which happens to people who look at the sun and watch it during an eclipse. For some of them ruin their eyes unless they look at its image in water or something of the sort. I thought of that danger, and I was afraid my soul would be blinded if I looked at things with my eyes and tried to grasp them with any of my senses. So I thought I must have recourse to conception s and examine in them the truth of realities.4


This lofty program was carried on by a genius no less persuasive than Plato. In his works one comes across time and again the basic charge against the Ionians that their approach to nature separated man from nature, and nature from the realm of the good and beautiful. There one finds formulated explicitly the paramount issue, as felt by Socrates' disciples, namely, the role to be assigned to the phenomenon of life in explaining nature. What Plato found particularly repulsive in the Ionian's system was t hat the whole gamut of the manifestation of the living, vegetative, animal, and psychical was taken by them as the chance product of "absolutely inanimate existences,"5 such as fire and water, earth and air. To this Plato resolutely opposes the primacy of life, which embraces matter and mind alike, and defends the method of explaining the whole and parts of the universe in terms of an organism.

Plato's principal work touching on scientific questions, the Timaeus, bluntly states that this world "in very truth a living creature with soul and reason."6 To this viewpoint Plato accords an unconditional primacy even in matters of detail. Thus when he discusses the working of the human eye, he deplores the fact that "the great mass of mankind regard [the geometrical and mechanical aspects of the question] as the sole causes of all things." Against this he opposes the classification o f causes into two groups: the accessory or mechanical causes that are "incapable of any plan or intelligence for any purpose," and those that "work with intelligence to produce what is good and desirable."7 The reaffirmation of the Socratic or organismic approach in science could hardly be more unequivocal.

Such an emphasis on the concept of organism as the basic framework in which the cosmos is to be explained derived only in part from factors like the emergence in the fifth century of the Hippocratic medical theory and practice. The principal factor was a deeper and more universal one. It was rooted in the Greek nature as such and was given unchallenged prominence when cultural developments forced the Greek mind to reflect on the consequences of a mechanistic explanation of the inanimate and animate world including man both as an individual and as a member of society. The "Greekness" of the organismic approach can be seen in the fact that they first applied the term [i]cosmos to a patently living thing - a well-ordered society - and only afterward to the orderliness of the physical world.8 Rooted deeply in their personal, cultural inclinations, this organismic approach to reality, once it became the conscious possession of the Greeks, had never been seriously questioned or abandoned by them. Sing le views of the Ionians and atomists continued, of course, to play seminal roles in Greek science. What is more, once the cultural crisis evidenced by the activity of the Sophists was over, even the poets began to take more kindly to the physikoi, who for a while were the principal targets of plays concerned with the source of various cultural evils. At any rate, the Ionians ceased to be called in literary circles, as Plato remarks, "she dogs uttering vain howlings and talking other nonsense of the same sort."9 This was, however, merely a concession that could easily be meted out by those who won the cultural battle. For as Plato could confidently state in the same context, the authority of the mechanical views had been checked, or to paraphrase his words, the case was reversed in favor of the organismic viewpoint.

saxonblood
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009, 08:02 PM
I think if you can try and read and reflect upon 'The Republic'. It has certainly been one of the most influential books on my thought that I have read so far :D.

rainman
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009, 08:20 PM
I agree that ignorance is equal to evil. Yet some people themselves are inherently flawed or inferior. You can't "teach" somebody with a mental or psychological defect to just start acting successfully/rationally. That is like the idea that if we just drill enough education into a dumb mind that suddenly it will become bright. That seems to be the liberal/communist/christian philosophy today. That all human beings are interchangeable cogs endowed with the same basic abilities and that inheritance, individual/group variation and so forth do not play a role. Exept for Jews of course who are the chosen ones who must keep their bloodlines pure and are endowed with special characteristics.

I think the Greek philosophers wrote that under the assumption of the Pagan ideals of the time. They believed in good breeding first of all. Secondly they believed in molding yourself to perfection through physical exercise, education, and culturalization. You need to start out with a good vessel and then maintain that vessel and form it into the best citizen possible (perfection may not be possible but we have the pursuit of perfection- the constant struggle). In light of this ignorance is evil. Though we can say also sickness is evil. A person who was physically deformed was often thought of morally corrupt as well (and probably mentally corrupt). Mind/body/spirit were one. Thus the Greek statues of perfect physical form also represented the ideal moral and mental state at once. They are all part of the trinity (there are several trinities).

Does all of this sound familiar? It is basically revived in National Socialist philosophy. You basically have natural pagan/european philosophy, tradition and religion and then this oppositional force from Jewish philosophy which goes by many historical forms- Christianity/Judaism/Communism/Liberalism etc. Why in modern times so many Aryans seem to believe and propell these philosophies is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps we have just decayed so much as a people. Also obviously mass media like telivision and public education (taking education away from the parents and folk and giving it to the state) has contributed strongly.

edit: interesting quote I just picked out of the republic:

"Probably, I replied, that would be the better way; and when I hear you say this, I am myself reminded that we are not all alike; there are diversities of natures among us which are adapted to different occupations. " -plato

exit
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009, 01:56 PM
I I think the Greek philosophers wrote that under the assumption of the Pagan ideals of the time.

Were they idealists? No, Plato/Socrates didn't write down his own philosophy, but that which came from the Gods; this he says himself and is the same thing that Christ said in John 7:17, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”



Does all of this sound familiar? It is basically revived in National Socialist philosophy.

I wish people would end this fantasy with nazism; it has nothing in common with tradition, nor did they have any understanding of the symbols they used. NS grew out of occultism/spiritism which is tied in with evolutionism/darwinism/socialism. NS was a cult of personality which made a god out of Hitler and a law out of his opinions.

rainman
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009, 06:55 PM
Actually all of it is from ancient sources. In ancient Rome and in Egypt the ruler was made into a god basically. Quite literally, even in Roman times. The Nazi salute itself comes from Rome. The standard eagle also comes from Rome. Yes Darwinism was a strong influence and they crafted their own philosophy to some extent but every element of their movement can be found either in 18th/19th century folkish movements or in ancient Aryan customs/philosophy/beliefs. They knew what the symbols meant. Why wouldn't they? The leaders were educated people, not crazed morons like modern media portrays them as.

One example is say physical education. The first nation in the modern world to incorporate this into regular school programs was Nazi Germany. In the U.S. it was actually Arnold Scwharzenegger who played a big role in getting gym programs to be standard curriculum in America, which actually Arnold's dad was an SS man (though Arnold is not a nazi). Was this concept of physical education being part of regular schooling some new concept that the Nazis dreamed up? No it can be found all the way back to the original Greek concept.

I haven't read the entire Republic but it involves a conversation between Plato and his friend (who is arguing the counter points). It actually says in the Republic to consider the idea that perhaps the gods are not real or don't intervene in human affairs. I don't know where it says anything about the philosophy coming from mount olympis or anything.

Ragnar Lodbrok
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009, 10:33 PM
That one quote says it all, I know that I'm adding Plato's "The Republic" to my book collection.

Horagalles
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009, 11:58 PM
Plato had an organic view on society. And he basically subdivided society into three estates: thinkers, enforcers and economic classes. People have certain propensities that will make them suitable for those estates and classes. Certainly not egalitarian.
I agree that ignorance is equal to evil. Yet some people themselves are inherently flawed or inferior. You can't "teach" somebody with a mental or psychological defect to just start acting successfully/rationally.
Actually that was something people could deduct from their experience with nature and society.


That is like the idea that if we just drill enough education into a dumb mind that suddenly it will become bright. That seems to be the liberal/communist/christian philosophy today. That all human beings are interchangeable cogs endowed with the same basic abilities and that inheritance, individual/group variation and so forth do not play a role. Exept for Jews of course who are the chosen ones who must keep their bloodlines pure and are endowed with special characteristics.
And that sums up the egalitarian philosophy dominant during the last dacades.


I think the Greek philosophers wrote that under the assumption of the Pagan ideals of the time. They believed in good breeding first of all. Secondly they believed in molding yourself to perfection through physical exercise, education, and culturalization. You need to start out with a good vessel and then maintain that vessel and form it into the best citizen possible (perfection may not be possible but we have the pursuit of perfection- the constant struggle). In light of this ignorance is evil.
Biologism applied to society rounding it of to perfection.


Though we can say also sickness is evil. A person who was physically deformed was often thought of morally corrupt as well (and probably mentally corrupt). Mind/body/spirit were one. Thus the Greek statues of perfect physical form also represented the ideal moral and mental state at once. They are all part of the trinity (there are several trinities).
The three estates, you actually find this with other Aryan people as well. Think of the Rigsthula.


Does all of this sound familiar? It is basically revived in National Socialist philosophy. You basically have natural pagan/european philosophy, tradition and religion and then this oppositional force from Jewish philosophy which goes by many historical forms-
Actually I pointed this out on another WN forum:
Plato was a racialist (http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=193581).


Christianity/Judaism/Communism/Liberalism etc. Why in modern times so many Aryans seem to believe and propell these philosophies is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps we have just decayed so much as a people. Also obviously mass media like telivision and public education (taking education away from the parents and folk and giving it to the state) has contributed strongly.
These are good points, but it also does confirm Plato. The intellectual classes have been sensitized with Holocaust education and this poisons the whole body.


edit: interesting quote I just picked out of the republic:
"Probably, I replied, that would be the better way; and when I hear you say this, I am myself reminded that we are not all alike; there are diversities of natures among us which are adapted to different occupations. " -plato
Check the quotes in the link I provided as well.

Stygian Cellarius
Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 12:14 AM
Were they idealists? No, Plato/Socrates didn't write down his own philosophy, but that which came from the Gods; this he says himself and is the same thing that Christ said in John 7:17, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”

Plato did say that in the symposium, but he certainly did not put a lot of emphasis on being a "mouthpiece" of the Gods. Nor did he commit to making sure the audience knew his words were not his and from a divine source, or else he would have said it more often. Seems it wasn't much of a concern of his. Constant omission of the disclaimer in his other works, allowing the audience to take his words as his own, puts him in the category he's criticizing. Hmmm, perhaps that's why he used the medium of Socrates? To divide himself from the glory?

However, he was an initiate in an ancient mystery cult and it seems a significant portion of his philosophy was derived from knowledge he learned therein. That knowledge would have been considered of divine source. Although, he was not suppose to leak that information to non-initiates. I'd bet he got in BIG trouble for doing that.


I wish people would end this fantasy with nazism; it has nothing in common with tradition, nor did they have any understanding of the symbols they used.

What do you mean it has nothing in common with tradition? Do you know what tradition is? That is not meant to be condescending, I don't expect anyone to understand what tradition truly is.

And what makes you think they knew nothing of the symbols they used? Certainly they did! The only reason I can see someone saying that is due to the "advances" made in runology, but modern runology is no more credible than the interpretations of the late 19th/early 20th century. Interpretations of the likes of Guido Von Liste, Karl Maria Wiligut, etc. There is a lot more information about runes today, but almost all of that information is just an interpretation/construct of some modern pseudo-mystic. Where is the credibility in that, to make modern knowledge more legitimate? If this is why you believe the Nazi's knew nothing of the symbols they used, tell me from what legitimate source modern scholars/mystics are gaining this "true" knowledge of the runes?


NS grew out of occultism/spiritism which is tied in with evolutionism/darwinism/socialism. NS was a cult of personality which made a god out of Hitler and a law out of his opinions.

Looks like you've been watching too many History channel documentaries.

:)

exit
Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 02:04 PM
They knew what the symbols meant. Why wouldn't they? The leaders were educated people, not crazed morons like modern media portrays them as.


They were bourgeois, which is not a qualification for the sacerdotal art. As for modern compulsory education, this is so opposed to sacred knowledge and sacred art which guilds and apprenticeships had protected and transferred in the so-called "dark ages". The modern "academies" are only sick parodies of the ancient schools, so adding physical education to them doesn't really matter one bit.


Plato did say that in the symposium, but he certainly did not put a lot of emphasis on being a "mouthpiece" of the Gods. Nor did he commit to making sure the audience knew his words were not his and from a divine source, or else he would have said it more often.

But he did say it more often, that is, if you understand what he's saying... In fact, much of his work dealt with defining the pure intellect. See for example this post http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=101469 In Phaedo, if I recall correctly, he says the philosopher is the "interpreter of the gods".


What do you mean it has nothing in common with tradition? Do you know what tradition is?

Explain to me how you think anyone can accept industrialist socialism as traditional?

Let me also quote Evola:


In respect to National Socialist theosophy [Gotteserkenntnis], i.e. to its supposed mystical and metaphysical dimension, one must realize the unique juxtaposition in this movement and in the Third Reich of mythical, Enlightenment, and even scientific aspects. In Hitler, one can find many symptoms of a typically "modern" world-view that was fundamentally profane, naturalistic, and materialistic; while on the other hand he believed in Providence, whose tool he believed himself to be, especially in regard to the destiny of the German nation. (For example, he saw a sign of Providence in his survival of the assassination attempt in his East-Prussian headquarters.) Alfred Rosenberg, the ideologist of the movement, proclaimed the myth of Blood, in which he spoke of the "mystery" of Nordic blood and attributed to it a sacramental value; yet he simultaneously attacked all the rites and sacraments of Catholicism as delusions, just like a man of the Enlightenment. He railed against the "Dark men of our time," while attributing to Aryan man the merit of having created modern science. National Socialism's concern with runes, the ancient Nordic-Germanic letter-signs, must be regarded as purely symbolic, rather like the Fascist use of certain Roman symbols, and without any esoteric significance. The program of National Socialism to create a higher man has something of "biological mysticism" about it, but this again was a scientific project. At best, it might have been a question of the "superman" in Nietzsche's sense, but never of a higher man in the initiatic sense.

Ashera
Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 02:22 PM
I think that Socrates and Plato were something like a philosophical emergency brake, a direct answer to the then improvable theses of the "nature philosophers" (not to mix up with "naturalism").

But, maybe, that at today*s state of scientific art a human society based on "state philosophy" becomes obsolete.

Ashera

Stygian Cellarius
Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 11:47 PM
But he did say it more often, that is, if you understand what he's saying... In fact, much of his work dealt with defining the pure intellect. See for example this post http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=101469 In Phaedo, if I recall correctly, he says the philosopher is the "interpreter of the gods".

I'll have to check that out. I don't remember, but I believe you. I just have to make sure he's not speaking metaphorically.


Explain to me how you think anyone can accept industrialist socialism as traditional?

National Socialism in itself is independent from Industrialism. Industrialism was only a component of NS because it was born within the context of the Industrial Age. It was merely a tool. Any successful Nation at that time would have had to adopt industrialism, especially in a hostile environment with hostile competitors.

Culture is mans tool to circumvent environmental pressures. A tool for survival, to adapt to the environment without having to physically adapt as other biological organisms do. Tradition is nothing more than the body of positive cultural selection. The best, most successful cultural elements selected and woven into the fabric of society to be repeated and fine-tuned via mores and folkways. It also isolates man from negative cultural elements via taboos.
National Socialism was an attempt to do just that. It attempted to select the cultural elements most essential and advantageous for survival and remove negative cultural elements. It was an attempt to do exactly what tradition is suppose to do, but usually falls short. In a sense, NS is tradition on steriods.



At best, it might have been a question of the "superman" in Nietzsche's sense, but never of a higher man in the initiatic sense.

By its very nature, general NS "theosophy" could never be "in the initiatic sense". It was applied to large groups of people, which naturally is composed of common man. No one could ever expect arcane principles to be applied to your average Joe. Esoteric principles are reserved for the few in any population, an invitation I'm sure Evola did not get and consequently, would know nothing of.

exit
Friday, May 15th, 2009, 01:46 PM
National Socialism in itself is independent from Industrialism. Industrialism was only a component of NS because it was born within the context of the Industrial Age. It was merely a tool. Any successful Nation at that time would have had to adopt industrialism, especially in a hostile environment with hostile competitors.

NS didn't just adopt it, NS ran it and increased it. NS was obsessed with science and industry. Neither does socialism, whether bourgeois or proletarian, have any traditional component.


Tradition is nothing more than the body of positive cultural selection.

That definition is so vague as to include anything as traditional. There is a profane culture which has nothing whatsoever to do with the sacred tradition.


By its very nature, general NS "theosophy" could never be "in the initiatic sense". It was applied to large groups of people, which naturally is composed of common man. No one could ever expect arcane principles to be applied to your average Joe. Esoteric principles are reserved for the few in any population, an invitation I'm sure Evola did not get and consequently, would know nothing of

Why do you insult people when you yourself have no understanding of the subject? Evola was there - were you? Either there is an initiatic/sacred component to what you termed culture which includes all art/craft/vocation or there is not. Tradition is not for an elite, but for the participation of all. To say that Evola doesn't get esoteric principles is quite simply absurd, and is not an reasonable argument against his charges that there was nothing spiritual in nazism other than Hitler's mediumism/personality cult and "motivating-energy-ideas".

Stygian Cellarius
Saturday, May 16th, 2009, 12:55 AM
NS didn't just adopt it, NS ran it and increased it. NS was obsessed with science and industry.

And what if it did? So by that logic that would mean that industrialism is an innate component of both liberalism and conservatism just because they have existed within the context of American industrialism.


Neither does socialism, whether bourgeois or proletarian, have any traditional component.

Any social system will have its tradition and their tradition will increase with time. You must just think tradition is just dressing in traditional attire, having feast on certain days, sacred rites, etc. That is what most people think it is and they also think that's all culture is as well. To them, they wouldn't be able to explain the difference. They might sorta understand they are not the same thing, but they couldn't define each. Their definitions would just be examples and both sets of examples, would be identical. Your culture/tradition comments make sense if I assume you're understanding of each is in that category.


That definition is so vague as to include anything as traditional.

Tradition encompasses a very large quantity of behaviors and ideas, but it is exclusive to particular ones. A behavior or idea either is, or is not a member of tradition. If encompassing a large number of things makes it vague, then so be it. Then that's what it is. That is its function, period.

At least you had an opportunity to know what tradition is. Although, you did not take it.


There is a profane culture which has nothing whatsoever to do with the sacred tradition.

That's true.


Why do you insult people when you yourself have no understanding of the subject?

Where did I insult anyone? I was not insulting Evola. I have a certain admiration for him. Certainly he knows more than I, but I do not just swallow every word someone says just because they are an authority. I automatically assume that every person in the world's understanding of a subject is flawed some-where. And the probability of those flaws increases with greater quantity of information. This subject has a great quantity of information. Also, as I said just recently in this forum. Each authority in a subject has an opponent of equal authority. That in itself means even authorities have the same probability of being wrong (with conclusions, not facts/details) as anyone else.

And btw, I wasn't saying he was wrong. I was just pointing out that his statement was superfluous. He was talking about general NS theosophy and saying it was not initiatic. I was saying, yes of course because........

And I was suggesting that their was an initiatic sub-culture within the meta-culture of NS that was he was omitting. Information that might not have been available until recent times or limited to exclusive circles during his time.

And how would you know what I know of the subject? What I do and do not understand?


Evola was there - were you?

So this is your logic, if I did not exist at a certain time then I cannot have any knowledge of things that happened at that time, but if someone did exist at that time, but in a different location than the area of interest, then he, by default, knows what happened in that other location?

Lets assume that a select few under the banner of NS, had a sacred mystery cult. Do you really think Evola would definitely be invited? And if he wasn't, how would he know of its existence? I'm sure there were secret cults that even Blavatsky was ignorant of. That doesn't make her ignorant of esoteric principles.


Either there is an initiatic/sacred component to what you termed culture which includes all art/craft/vocation or there is not.

Under the encompassing meta-culture there can be both sacred and non-sacred groups and elements.


Tradition is not for an elite, but for the participation of all.

There is no such thing as esoteric tradition? So those rites repeated over and over again for generations do not qualify as tradition? There is tradition for the populous, there is familial tradition, there is arcane tradition and many other subsequent traditions. There is not just one general tradition for each nation and it ends there. There are many sub-traditions located within sub-cultures. Mystery cults can be classified as a sub-culture. And each culture has its traditions.


To say that Evola doesn't get esoteric principles is quite simply absurd, and is not an reasonable argument against his charges that there was nothing spiritual in nazism other than Hitler's mediumism/personality cult and "motivating-energy-ideas".

I never said he did not understand esoteric principles. If you thought that I was suggesting that then you misunderstood. Perhaps my comments were a bit open to interpretation.

Okay, you can have the last word. I see little value in continuing this conversation.

Take care

Horagalles
Saturday, May 16th, 2009, 01:46 AM
...
Any social system will have its tradition and their tradition will increase with time. You must just think tradition is just dressing in traditional attire, having feast on certain days, sacred rites, etc. That is what most people think it is and they also think that's all culture is as well. To them, they wouldn't be able to explain the difference. They might sorta understand they are not the same thing, but they couldn't define each. Their definitions would just be examples and both sets of examples, would be identical. Your culture/tradition comments make sense if I assume you're understanding of each is in that category....Tradition is about "passing something on", plain and simple. Some people limit this to cloth and customs. But it goes far deeper.

So to say that the NSDAP wasn't traditional is actually a meaningless and ridiculous statement. But waren't we used to that concerning statements about the "NAZIS" - its almost a tradition;).

We should also come back to what Platos ideas are about. If necessary start another threadon on "Were the National Socialists traditional?" - Well I would say they tried to combine modernity with elements from ancient roots.

Stygian Cellarius
Saturday, May 16th, 2009, 02:05 AM
Tradition is about "passing something on", plain and simple. Some people limit this to cloth and customs. But it goes far deeper.

Absolutely, to pass on the most lucrative cultural elements. So group progeny didn't have figure everything out on their own. Many ppl have come before, it makes sense to share what they've learned. It would be foolish for every generation to start at square one. In a sense, tradition is the sum of cultural wisdom.


So to say that the NSDAP wasn't traditional is actually a meaningless and ridiculous statement. But waren't we used to that concerning statements about the "NAZIS" - its almost a tradition;).

true.


We should also come back to what Platos ideas are about. If necessary start another threadon on "Were the National Socialists traditional?" - Well I would say they tried to combine modernity with elements from ancient roots.

That sounds accurate to me.

And yes, I agree about returning to Plato. I've had a very hard time trying to stick to the topic in almost every conversation I've had so far. It is always in the forefront of my thought to avoid tangents, but difficult to achieve. (as I just did again)

exit
Saturday, May 16th, 2009, 02:02 PM
There seems to be a gross misunderstanding by people on this thread as to what tradition really is, in the original sense and the Platonic sense, i.e., in the only sense it should be used, which is a sacred tradition (i.e., spiritual principles) which permeates everything in the "culture" and not merely something that gets passed on or is part of the profane. Similarly, esoterism/initiatory does not mean that it is hidden from people of lesser castes or reserved only for an elite but is rather the core meaning which is symbolized by exoteric forms. If an artisan had no understanding of esoterism it would be impossible for him to construct a sacred art, whether this be architecture, music, clothing or whatever. We can simplify this by saying that the sacred is opposed to profane i.e., non-sacred culture, and therefore tradition is not the "sum of cultural wisdom" because there is no traditional component in profane/modern culture.

Einsiedler
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009, 04:12 PM
Take a look at this:

http://bp1.blogger.com/_vxYMywwmudI/R6st85w1s0I/AAAAAAAAAO4/gmdw97YwRTU/s320/Platon.JPG

He was a man that got mightily annoyed by the smart talk of the philosophers of his time. You can see it in his face and you can see it in his writings.

It is inappropriate to reduce Plato to "The Republic" in which he states a number of views about the right way to govern that he would later retract.

For instance: He retracts his view on the dissolution of families as part of a eugenic program. He retracts his overly negative statements about democracy as the second worst form of government, right after tyranny, later he considers it at "sea level". But... people stick to the shocker, no matter whether they come from the left or the right.

Things that I consider extremely important about Plato:

1. When it comes to his own popularity he is totally cynical: He included the myth of Atlantis for one reason and one reason alone, namely that an idiot would never burn a treasure map.

2. He and Aristotle stand for the two existing forms of intellectual traditions: Aristotle for the approach to convince idiots that wise men might be useful for them (and following in his food steps is the total of today's academia) and Plato for the approach to speak in such a way that only those you care about will understand you (and following in his food steps... well... the rest of our intelligenzia). I have the quote "Germanisches Wissen verbreitet sich raunend." in my ear (somebody said that about runes, but who?)... well, that matches Plato's idea about it pretty well, with the notable exception that Plato does not try to make himself more important by acting as if he would tell you secrets.

3. Being the cultural pessimist that he is his most important motive is to preserve certain insights into the human condition for much later generations.

Well, that's no summary of what he wanted his readers to know, but a summary in plain form would be so totally against his will that I won't provide it.

jagdmesser
Thursday, September 27th, 2018, 11:28 AM
Plato Greek (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/nationality/greek_quotations.html) Philosopher (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/type/type_philosopher.html) Born: 427 BC Died: 347 BC


Plato held that philosophy is not simply an effective instrument for aquiring knowledge, but a supremely valuable way of life that, so to speak, opens up the eye of ones soul to truth.


Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses. Plato.


There shall be compulsory education, as the saying is, of all and sundry, as far this is possible; and the pupils shall be regarded as belonging to the state rather than to their parents. Plato (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Plato), The Laws.


Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato109439.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato109439.html)


"And God proclaims as a first principle to the rulers, and above all else, that there is nothing which they should so anxiously guard, or of which they are to be such good guardians, as of the purity of the race. They should observe what elements mingle in their offspring." -- Plato, Politeia.


A state arises, as I conceive, out of the needs of mankind; no one is self-sufficing, but all of us have many wants. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato397963.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato397963.html).


Our object in the construction of the state is the greatest happiness of the whole, and not that of any one class. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato398275.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato398275.html).


As the builders say, the larger stones do not lie well without the lesser. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato398163.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato398163.html).


The excessive increase of anything causes a reaction in the opposite direction. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato159588.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato159588.html).


Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato159589.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato159589.html).


He who steals a little steals with the same wish as he who steals much, but with less power. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato397347.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato397347.html).


Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato101178.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato101178.html).


The greatest wealth is to live content with little. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato110191.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato110191.html).


If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato383526.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato383526.html).


No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato397319.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato397319.html).


To love rightly is to love what is orderly and beautiful in an educated and disciplined way. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato125920.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato125920.html).


Entire ignorance is not so terrible or extreme an evil, and is far from being the greatest of all; too much cleverness and too much learning, accompanied with ill bringing-up, are far more fatal. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato401880.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato401880.html).


The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato384971.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato384971.html).


At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. Plato.

(http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/plato.html)
Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato159574.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato159574.html).


Only the dead have seen the end of war. –Plato.


"You can easily forgive a child that is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." Plato. ("Light" in this context is "Knowledge".)


No trace of slavery ought to mix with the studies of the freeborn man. No study, pursued under compulsion, remains rooted in the memory. Plato.


This City is what it is, because our citizens are what they are. Plato.


One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. –Plato.


Democracy... is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder; and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato135639.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato135639.html).


Democracy passes into despotism. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato125892.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato125892.html).


Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato398062.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato398062.html).


This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato136425.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato136425.html).


The measure of a man is what he does with power. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato377565.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato377565.html).


There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato159580.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato159580.html).


Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato137333.html)Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato137333.html).


He who is not a good servant will not be a good master. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato403215.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato403215.html).


When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato136424.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato136424.html).


Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato161536.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato161536.html).


One man cannot practice many arts with success. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato398061.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato398061.html).


All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato166175.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato166175.html).


No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato141544.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato141544.html).


I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato159592.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato159592.html).


No one ever teaches well who wants to teach, or governs well who wants to govern. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato385084.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato385084.html).


For good nurture and education implant good constitutions. (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato402978.html) Plato (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato402978.html).


Jefferson while reading Plato decleared that “a democracy can be preserved only by frequent returns to fundamentals.” They are there in The Republic.


It is always a few who cause a war. The Republic fight on to the pains of the innocent force the guilty to do justice and stop. –Plato.


Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior. –Plato.


The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. –Plato.


"The only good is knowledge and the only evil ignorance." –Plato.


The unjust man must be an expert in being unjust, in seeing what is possible and what is’nt, in doing the one and letting the other go. So our unjust man will get away with everything. If he does’nt he is a bad worker. For the injustice is to seem just without being so. The man who is best at being unjust will have the greatest name for justice. Give him the power, if his ill doings come to light, to talk people round or to use force, if force is needed, and to use the help of his friends and his money to make everything seem different. –Plato.


Till philosophers become kings, or those now named kings and rulers give themselves to philosophy truly and rightly and these two things - political power and philosophic thought - come together and the commoner minds which at present seek only one or the other are kept out by force, states will have no rest from their troubles. The true philosopher are those who are in love with seeing what is true. The philosopher is always in love with knowledge of the unchanging. And he will desire all that is knowledge and hate all that is false. –Plato.


The best philosophers are of no use to the masses of men, but the cause is not in the best minds themselves, but in those who will not make use of them. –Plato.


And those who have been of this little company and have tasted how sweet and saving a thing philosophy is, have come to see well enough, how far out of their minds the mass of men are, and that there is nobody who does anything straight or right in the present governments, or any supporter of justice at whose side they may fight and be saved. A philosopher is like a man coming among violent beasts unwilling to take part in their ill-doings, and unable by himself to make head against them. So for all these reasons the philosopher keeps quiet and minds his own business, like a man taking cover under a wall when clouds of ice and dust are driving by on the wind. Seeing others without any law or order in them, he is happy enough if he may keep himself free from injustice and ill-doings in this life and then gladly go away with a good hope, calm and peaceful when the end comes. –Plato.


What seems clear to me is that in the field of deep knowledge the last thing to be seen, is the idea of the good. When that is seen, our decision has to be that it is truly the cause, for all things, of all that is beautiful and right. In the world that is to be seen, it gives birth to light and to the lord of light, but in the field of thought it is itself the master cause of reason and all that is true; and anyone who is to act wisely in private or public must have seen this. –Plato.


So our state will be ruled by minds which are awake, and not as now by men in a dream fighting with one another over shadows and for the power and office which in their eyes are the great good. Truly that state is best and most quietly ruled where the rulers have least desire to be such, and the state with the opposite sort of rulers is the worst. There is no other sort of man who looks down on political office than a philosopher. –Plato.


For are not money and virtue like the two scales of a balance: as one goes up the other goes down. –Plato.


No one will ever become good, if, from his earliest days, he has’nt been playing among and giving his attention to good and beautiful things. –Plato.


S. but the representative himself stands up now, guiding the wheels of the state, a completed and finished tyrant. At the start of his tyranny he has a smile and a kind word for everyone, and puts aside with a laugh any idea of his being a tyrant. He promises all sort of things in public and private, cancels debts and distributes lands to the people and to his supporters, and seems to be kind and gentle to all. The next thing is to work up one war after another, so that the people may be in need of a leader. This will make the citizens so poor through war taxes that they have to give their whole time to the days work, and this will make any plotting against him less profitable. And if he thinks anyone is harbouring a free spirit, he’ll put them in the place of danger and be rid of them so. For all these reasons has’nt a tyrant to be forever causing war? And if some of those who helped him to power don’t like the way things are going and are brave enough to speak up he’ll have to put them quietly out of the way. He has to take sharp note of who is brave, who high minded, who wise, and who rich. And in such a happy condition is he that, whatever his desires may be, he is forced to work against all these till they are all cleared out of the state. A fine purge. The very opposite of the doctors purges. He clears away what is bad and keeps what is good, but the tyrant gets rid ofbthe good and keeps only the bad. As he is more and more hated by the citzens, he need a greater and greater bodyguard. –Plato.


There are three sorts of men – the philosopher or lover of wisdom, the lover of honour, and the lover of profit. Which of them are right? –Plato.


And how can marriages be made most beneficial? - that is a question which I put to you, because I see in your house dogs for hunting, and of the nobler sort of birds not a few. Now, I beseech you, do tell me, have you ever attended to their pairing and breeding?
In what particulars?
Why, in the first place, although they are all of a good sort, are not some better than others?
True.
And do you breed from them all indifferently, or do you take care to breed from the best only?
From the best.
And do you take the oldest or the youngest, or only those of ripe age?
I choose only those of ripe age.
And if care was not taken in the breeding, your dogs and birds would greatly deteriorate?
Certainly.
And the same of horses and animals in general?
Undoubtedly.
Good heavens! My dear friend, I said, what consummate skill will our rulers need if the same principle holds of the human species!
Certainly, the same principle holds; but why does this involve any particular skill? -- Plato, Republic, Book V (http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.6.v.html)


No guardian spirit will cast lots for you, but you shall chose your own destiny. Let him to whom the first lot falls chose first a life to which he will be bound of neccisty. -- Plato, Republic (http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.6.v.html)


However the nature of the elements that determine a given birth is as complex as the nature of the elements that constitutes a human being, who is the sum of various legacies. -- Plato, Phaedrus (the Phaedrus, written by Plato, is a dialogue between Plato's protagonist, Socrates, and Phaedrus, an interlocutor in several dialogues. The Phaedrus was presumably composed around 370 BC, about the same time as Plato's Republic and Symposi...)