Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A Disordered Mind Creates A Disordered Society

An interesting article about Plato's critique of democracy as it applies to the present day situation in the USA:

By “democracy” what Plato has in mind is a libertarian and egalitarian society in which “every individual is free to do as he likes.” Bourgeois restraints on appetite disappear, so that desires are checked only by competing desires rather than by reason, spirit, or even the oligarch’s middle-class stolidity....

Democracy on Plato’s account is characterized by the “diversity of its characters” and “treats all men as equal, whether they are equal or not.” In particular, it treats all ways of life as equal, no matter how puerile, irrational, or immoral.
The young “throw off all inhibitions” and celebrate “insolence, license, extravagance, and shamelessness...” 

Sounds rather familiar, doesn't it?

In general, the young set themselves against their elders, while elders fear being thought “disagreeable or strict” and are reduced to pathetically “aping the young and mixing with them on terms of easy fellowship.” The teacher “fears and panders to his pupils” but the pupils despise him anyway. Democratic man insists on “complete equality and liberty in the relations between the sexes,” and on drawing “no distinction between alien and citizen and foreigner.” Plato tells us that license is extended even to domestic animals, who freely roam the streets of the democratic city.

The man must have looked into a crystal ball, lol! I mean how could he otherwise have predicted the phenomenon of "dog's moms???"

...egalitarian societies...are dominated not by reason, not by spirit, not even by the more governable appetites of the oligarch, but by the lower and unruly appetites for sex, food, drink, and sensual pleasure in general, which are most prone to blinding reason. The very idea of a natural order of things that determines that some desires are disordered and forbidden by reason becomes hateful to democratic man.

S8x, drugs and rock-n-roll anyone?

Plato warns that art and music characterized by “ugliness of form and bad rhythm and disharmony,” and a popular culture that glorifies “bad character, ill-discipline, meanness, or ugliness,” do “cumulative psychological damage,” corrupting moral sensibilities and capacity for rational argument.

 Wow, he did predict it, too, together with the modern movies and TV shows!

The culture of a healthy society must accordingly celebrate reason, beauty, goodness, and restraint.

I had to take philosophy classes at the Uni and yet never learned all this. Now I wonder why?

Read the whole article over here.

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