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Founder's Quotes - Liberty into Slavery (From Plato's REPUBLIC)
massachusetts institute of technology ^ | 04/29/2008 | Plato

Posted on 04/29/2008 10:31:09 PM PDT by Loud Mime

Preface: As I am rereading Plato's "Republic" I marvel at how the knowledge we need is sitting on our bookshelves. I've provided this segment for your reading, so you may read what our Founding Fathers read.

And above all, I said, and as the result of all, see how sensitive the citizens become; they chafe impatiently at the least touch of authority and at length, as you know, they cease to care even for the laws, written or unwritten; they will have no one over them.

Yes, he said, I know it too well.

Such, my friend, I said, is the fair and glorious beginning out of which springs tyranny.

Glorious indeed, he said. But what is the next step? The ruin of oligarchy is the ruin of democracy; the same disease magnified and intensified by liberty overmasters democracy --the truth being that the excessive increase of anything often causes a reaction in the opposite direction; and this is the case not only in the seasons and in vegetable and animal life, but above all in forms of government.

True.

The excess of liberty, whether in States or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery.

Yes, the natural order. And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme form of liberty?

As we might expect.

That, however, was not, as I believe, your question-you rather desired to know what is that disorder which is generated alike in oligarchy and democracy, and is the ruin of both?

Just so, he replied.

Well, I said, I meant to refer to the class of idle spendthrifts, of whom the more courageous are the-leaders and the more timid the followers, the same whom we were comparing to drones, some stingless, and others having stings.

A very just comparison. These two classes are the plagues of every city in which they are generated, being what phlegm and bile are to the body. And the good physician and lawgiver of the State ought, like the wise bee-master, to keep them at a distance and prevent, if possible, their ever coming in; and if they have anyhow found a way in, then he should have them and their cells cut out as speedily as possible.


TOPICS: Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: plato; quotes
Yes, the natural order. And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme form of liberty?

food for thought....

1 posted on 04/29/2008 10:31:09 PM PDT by Loud Mime
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To: Vision; definitelynotaliberal; Mother Mary; FoxInSocks; 300magnum; NonValueAdded; sauropod; ...

Pre-Founder’s Quote PING


2 posted on 04/29/2008 10:32:34 PM PDT by Loud Mime (Obama and Hillary: Not one bit of constitutional reference in their debates)
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To: Loud Mime

Plato was both good and bad. He was good at spotting the problems with various forms of government including democracy; but his proposed solution was to make the state even more oppressive and put philosophers in charge of it.


3 posted on 04/29/2008 10:39:51 PM PDT by BitBucket
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To: Loud Mime

As a member of the 60s generation, which (IMHO) has brought about the greatest upheaval in our modern society, we are well on our way, in fact are already in the claws of slavery. We are slaves to selfishness and laziness. We know to do right, but we don’t have the will to do it, or to fight against the grain to stand up for righteousness and being our brother’s keeper. We’d rather let government do it and sit back and enjoy the ride, complaining all the way. I hope that we freepers have the guts to do the right thing and take on the challenges to change society back to the Judeo-Christian standards that made our country great.


4 posted on 04/29/2008 11:30:25 PM PDT by Shery (in APO Land)
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To: BitBucket

I have problems with Plato’s solutions. His observations were keen....but I like Aristotle better.

I’m still studying these two men.


5 posted on 04/30/2008 12:02:09 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Obama and Hillary: Not one bit of constitutional reference in their debates)
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To: Loud Mime

Classical studies are invaluable to understanding Man and government. That is why it has been so largely stricken from the government-run education system. That is also why Attic Greek history was referred to by the writers of the Federalist Papers as an example of why national unity must be accomplished through the US Constitution.


6 posted on 04/30/2008 12:03:16 AM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (If Hillary is elected, her legacy will be telling the American people: Better put some ice on that.)
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To: Shery

When a society relies on government more than itself we must change society, not government.

If I could change anything it would be our education system. It is destroying our nation.


7 posted on 04/30/2008 12:03:43 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Obama and Hillary: Not one bit of constitutional reference in their debates)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

I picked up a copy of “The Story of Philosophy” by Will Durant...from a junk dealer at a local flea market. The book was printed in 1927, I believe. (I love old books)

That book has been a pleasure to read.

At a local Starbucks one college student saw it sitting on my table and commented that he had just finished studying it. He had never seen an older copy. Darn....there’s still hope.

When I die somebody is going to get one heck of a library. ;^)


8 posted on 04/30/2008 12:14:00 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Obama and Hillary: Not one bit of constitutional reference in their debates)
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To: Loud Mime
By "democracy" does he mean democracy or a republic? I never studied the classics, but did learn that democracy was just mob rule. A republic, OTOH, had laws, that were enacted because they were universally thought good before they were needed. Then they had to be obeyed, even when they were not convenient. A democracy, OTOH, could vote in whatever was expedient at the time and was ill conceived.

In such a condition, we could vote away our rights, such as the 2nd Amendment, because a school shooting seemed like it was just too terrible to not have a response to it. When the law was enacted, it was for self protection because it is a God given right to protect yourself and family. It's a shame to give up something that is universally important, for a transient reason. If we get 51% to oppose a right, you loose it. If the majority wanted to, we could vote slavery back into existence with 51%. A republic wouldn't allow a change unless the current law was obviously unfair.

The reason America is getting worse by the day, is we think we are a democracy and can vote each year, 2 years, or 4 years to change what we just changed a while ago. Being a nation of laws means the laws are passed for everyone and are universal to human nature. Why change something that is proven good for everyone, just because it's inconvenient at the time? By allowing transient laws, we open ourselves up to the whims of the day and eventually we will give up everything for peace and order.( dictator)

9 posted on 04/30/2008 1:33:02 AM PDT by chuckles
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To: Loud Mime
I have that book (along with about 3000 other old books). It's pretty good. Bear in mind that Durant was a bit of a “Progressive.” It stamps his work.

Another book you may enjoy is the Student's History of Philosophy, by Arthur Kenyon Rogers. I'm sure you could find a copy through abebooks.com.

I studied to be a K-12 English teacher, went through the entire program, got my degree and certificate, but never taught professionally. But, as a result, I find myself reading many old high school and college text books on American literature, rhetoric and composition, history, and philosophy. The books used before FDR are undoubtedly (IMO) far better than those used after FDR. I attribute this to two factors. 1. The influence of John Dewey, whose social construct (to borrow the Left’s Marxist terminology) of education, which believed that Man could be perfected through education and socially engineered to become virtuous through state-run schools (still lauded, though roundly trounced by the Germans, who were the most educated people on the planet when they undertook their two attempts to conquer Europe), and 2. FDR's braintrust, which glorified academe and began the idol-worship of university degrees. This had a trickle-down effect into education, where PhDs were forced to invent new approaches to education and to implement them in government-run schools. I, myself, was a victim of the “Open Classroom” experiment that lasted for a few years. I'm still trying to fill the educational gaps from my government-run education.

10 posted on 04/30/2008 2:50:24 AM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (If Hillary is elected, her legacy will be telling the American people: Better put some ice on that.)
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To: Loud Mime
I like Aristotle better

Four quotes of Aristotle I understand and agree with.

Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.

The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.

11 posted on 04/30/2008 5:38:06 AM PDT by MosesKnows (Love many, Trust few, and always paddle your own canoe)
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To: Loud Mime

Democracy is the most dangerous of all forms of government, because there is nothing to restrain the mob. The mob has no conscience.


12 posted on 04/30/2008 7:12:05 AM PDT by zeugma (Mark Steyn For Global Dictator!)
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To: Loud Mime
Yes, the natural order. And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme form of liberty?

A fact the Founders knew all too well, yet a trap they fell into anyway.

(sigh)

Thus died the Republic.

13 posted on 04/30/2008 7:32:20 AM PDT by MamaTexan (**A 'Person' created by Nature is a sovereign / A 'person' as created by law is a subject**)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe
Have you read Fredric Bastiat's "The Law?" Fascinating reading.

Carolyn

14 posted on 04/30/2008 7:40:35 AM PDT by CDHart ("It's too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the b@#$%^&s."--Claire Wolfe)
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To: Loud Mime

I hope he enjoys and appreciates it.


15 posted on 04/30/2008 8:13:37 AM PDT by definitelynotaliberal
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To: chuckles

My understanding is that Plato’s Republic is not a form of government as we know it. His ‘republic’ was more of a nation or a nation’s government.

I’m careful with my philosophical judgments. I’m no expert, just a student.


16 posted on 04/30/2008 11:28:10 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Obama and Hillary: Not one bit of constitutional reference in their debates)
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To: MamaTexan

I do not believe the founders fell into the trap; Franklin warned the citizens against their own shortfalls and Jefferson knew the need for constant revolutions.

The founder’s design lacked two important elements: term limits and English as our official language, which Noah Webster trumpeted from the Constitution’s ratification.

The design was good. Our nation’s drift from virtue has been the killer.


17 posted on 04/30/2008 11:42:22 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Obama and Hillary: Not one bit of constitutional reference in their debates; it's all gimmie gimmie)
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To: chuckles
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;

From the Declaration of Independence...

18 posted on 04/30/2008 11:52:21 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Obama and Hillary: Not one bit of constitutional reference in their debates; it's all gimmie gimmie)
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To: Loud Mime
One of the blessings of America was the founders understanding of human nature. What is true once, is still true because we are still the same creature. If we base our laws on moral principles, we shouldn't have to adjust them very often, if ever. We should be allowed to believe whatever religion we want, because governments have been failing to control what we believe forever. Freedom of speech is a given because opinion will find it's own way to the surface no matter what the circumstance. Being armed is a right because no one should be expected to die without resistance, no matter who the oppressor( foreign or domestic).

These are universal truths that would work no matter what the country or time frame. If we allow "tweaking" of these universal principals, we end up losing them forever.

The ignorance of these constant truths is what depresses me daily. To look at a Democrat is like looking at a moron that keeps sticking bobby pins in electric sockets. Lets raise taxes so we can have more money. Lets lose a war so we can lose the next one, when attacked. Lets kill babies to save women. Lets legalize dope so we can all be morons without fear. Lets be friends with N. Korea and see if they will like us more. Lets stop drilling for oil so we can be energy independent. The list is mind boggling.

19 posted on 04/30/2008 1:03:24 PM PDT by chuckles
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To: chuckles
To look at a Democrat is like looking at a moron that keeps sticking bobby pins in electric sockets...

I visualize democrats as people who get others to stick bobby pins in electric sockets.

We differ, but not by much.

20 posted on 04/30/2008 4:51:14 PM PDT by Loud Mime (Obama and Hillary: Not one bit of constitutional reference in their debates; it's all gimmie gimmie)
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To: Loud Mime
...."people who get others to stick bobby pins in electric sockets."....

Yeah but when I get shocked, I don't keep doing it. They do. But you are right, we don't differ much.

When we get Obama for prez, if a nuke takes out NYC and the economy crashes, and the military is wiped out, at least we finally voted in a black president. What's more important? I just dread learning Farsi.

21 posted on 04/30/2008 9:51:45 PM PDT by chuckles
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To: Loud Mime
"If I could change anything it would be our education system. It is destroying our nation."

Do you have a proposal? Or a thought?

22 posted on 04/30/2008 10:53:42 PM PDT by YHAOS
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To: YHAOS

a. Get the feds out of education. The local districts take over the schools.
b. The purpose of schools is to educate, not baby sit. Students not meeting the grade requirements will repeat the class.
c. High School courses stay HS courses. Algebra 1 is a HS course. If you miss it in HS, take a night HS course. No College credits for HS courses. (HS must mean something!)
d. Stop grading schools. Start grading the students.
e. The teacher has the power to run their class the way they want...within law.
f. Civics are taught in every year of HS, including government classes.
g. Foreign Language requirement for college degree.
h. Troublemakers have no class (in two respects)

I believe you get the drift...


23 posted on 04/30/2008 11:37:09 PM PDT by Loud Mime (Obama and Hillary: Not one bit of constitutional reference in their debates; it's all gimmie gimmie)
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To: Loud Mime

BTTT


24 posted on 05/01/2008 1:18:47 AM PDT by JDoutrider (No 2nd Amendment... Know Tyranny)
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To: Loud Mime

I could not agree more! If anything has to change in this country, it is the ‘education system’. That lousy 9% the Feds spend on ‘local education’ has caused more damage that anything imaginable. Just look at all the requirements and mandatory rules they have set up. I would like one state to start the ball rolling and tell the Feds to stick their money up where the sun don’t shine. I am sure some of the states could do it with no great loss in what they already provide for their own education system. Sure,it will take some adjusting, and I don’t mean in free breakfasts and lunches. We need to test teachers for competency. If we can pre-test students to see if they can do college work, then we sure as Hell can put together a general education test, and a test for the specialty the teacher claims. If they don’t have a grasp of the material they are supposed to pass on to students, what the heck are they doing there? Our colleges have let the graduates down, and the teachers let the kids down daily. If a child cannot learn to read and comprehend, learn basic math, and for God’s sake, know the King’s English to a reasonable degree, how can they progress, let alone be prepared for a job in the real world? Science and technology are still specializations, and those so inclined can pursue these paths, once they learn the basics. If we don’t spend the time to educate our children about this young country they will be lost and will never comprehend how we fit in this world. We have so much going for us and it is not to be taken for granted. This gravitation toward the government doing everything for everyone is pulling us down faster than we can resist it, and without individuals that can think for themselves, what are our prospects?


25 posted on 05/01/2008 9:25:50 AM PDT by plainspeaker (DO WE STILL HAVE TIME TO TURN THIS AROUND?)
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To: plainspeaker

The feds are enforcing a system, not the education of the students.

Meanwhile, a high school diploma means little. I wish for a HS diploma to mean that the person worked for their education and had to study and learn....not that they put up with low-level classes for four years.

Maybe we should have two types of HS diplomas:
a. scholar
b. laborer - non heuristic

LOL!! Imagine what that would do!

===This gravitation toward the government doing everything for everyone is pulling us down faster than we can resist it, and without individuals that can think for themselves, what are our prospects?===

Good point! The only advantage it gives is to those who understand why underachieving puts you in a life of serfdom.


26 posted on 05/01/2008 10:16:05 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Obama and Hillary: Not one bit of constitutional reference in their debates; it's all gimmie gimmie)
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To: Loud Mime
I believe you get the drift...

I believe I do.

I note with interest that you favor getting the Feds out of education. I trust you mean completely out of education, including research grants not related to specific legitimate government business such as the military. If we must have government control of education, then I suppose it is best to have it be local government so that the errors and the damage are locally confined. And, where runaway school boards are determined to go against the wishes of the school’s patrons, their misbehavior is more easily reigned in.

But, I must wonder at the idea that it is acceptable to put in the hands of government the control of institutions responsible for the dissemination of knowledge and the imparting of ideas (particularly the most important ideas forming the bulwark of Western Civilization). Personally, I don’t trust government to be able to discover the truth beyond the very narrow scope of its legitimate functions (and then only if its officials and legislators are changed frequently), and, in the unlikely event should government somehow discover the truth, that it would truthfully inform us.

27 posted on 05/02/2008 1:21:25 PM PDT by YHAOS
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To: CDHart

Not yet. It’s on my list though, as it does look interesting.


28 posted on 05/04/2008 6:34:19 PM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (If Hillary is elected, her legacy will be telling the American people: Better put some ice on that.)
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