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Plato
300 BC | Plato

Posted on 01/18/2009 3:47:58 PM PST by Woebama

"The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears above ground he is a protector.

"At first in the early days of his power he is full of smiles and he salutes everyone whom he meets. He to be called a tyrant, who is making promises in public and also in private! Liberating debtors and distributing land to the people and his followers and wanting to be so kind and good to everyone!

"But when he has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.

"Has he not also another object, which is that they may be impoverished by payment of taxes, and thus compelled to devote themselves to their daily wants and therefore less likely to conspire against him?"


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: plato

1 posted on 01/18/2009 3:47:59 PM PST by Woebama
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To: Woebama

aaaaaarrrrrggghh!


2 posted on 01/18/2009 3:52:44 PM PST by bboop (obama, little o, not a Real God)
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To: bboop

Seemed a fitting time for the reminder.


3 posted on 01/18/2009 3:55:37 PM PST by Woebama
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To: Woebama

Can you id the source? Is it the Republic?


4 posted on 01/18/2009 4:15:20 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Woebama

GREAT QUOTES.


5 posted on 01/18/2009 4:17:17 PM PST by Quix (LEADRs SAY FRM 1900 2 presnt: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: Woebama

Bump


6 posted on 01/18/2009 4:18:52 PM PST by Larry Lucido (I was predestined to be an Arminian but am considering choosing Calvinism.)
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To: Woebama

And there is nothing new under the sun.


7 posted on 01/18/2009 4:19:26 PM PST by Seven plus One
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To: Mad Dawg
Republic, probably translated by William Sidis. http://www.sidis.net/continuitynews6.htm Sidis was a quirky child prodigy that sort of dropped out in the 1930’s, was a Harvard Professor or some such in his teens. I'd find a more common source if I was going to publish it with name attached.

By the by, I was reading Genesis this morning, the story of Joseph in Egypt. For the 7 good years he stored the grain of Egypt, then the 7 bad years came. At first the Egyptians paid for the grain with their money. When they were out of money they paid with their livestock. Then they were forced to pay with their land. After that they were slaves. Do you remember what that enslavement was? They remained on the land and paid 20% of their harvest to the Pharaoh. What a wonderful world it would be if we only paid that 20% now.

8 posted on 01/18/2009 4:22:54 PM PST by Woebama
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To: Mad Dawg

Here’s a better source: http://books.google.com/books?id=Cg_QX4yoOSQC&pg=PA274&lpg=PA274&dq=The+people+have+always+some+champion+whom+they+set+over+them+and+nurse+into+greatness.+This+and+no+other+is+the+root+from+which+a+tyrant+springs%3B+when+he+first+appears+above+ground+he+is+a+protector.&source=web&ots=MzYIAixISv&sig=DHP-T0kW_zphXN_ME3-J4J_R59o&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA275,M1


9 posted on 01/18/2009 4:28:38 PM PST by Woebama
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To: Woebama

Sigh. Wonder how many people read Plato these days.


10 posted on 01/18/2009 4:39:16 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (revolution is in the air.)
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To: Woebama

Le plus ça change, le plus c’est la même chose


11 posted on 01/18/2009 4:50:47 PM PST by Marylander (Same old same old.)
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To: Woebama
Heh heh Hheh, (the Joseph comment).

Thanks for the answer. I'll look it up in my el standardo Jowett translation.

12 posted on 01/18/2009 4:52:27 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

It would help if they at least had heard of Plato’s account of how democracy devolves into Tyranny. Or if they understood that a good government simply cannot be without involved, intelligent, edumicated, and virtuous (or at least trying to be virtuous) people.


13 posted on 01/18/2009 5:08:25 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mad Dawg

edumicated, especially.


14 posted on 01/18/2009 5:34:15 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (revolution is in the air.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

You can teach Plato. Against love there is no law.


15 posted on 01/18/2009 5:38:32 PM PST by cornelis
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To: the invisib1e hand

We are reading The Republic in my homeschool co-op for the next few weeks.


16 posted on 01/18/2009 5:39:01 PM PST by aberaussie
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To: aberaussie

GOOD for Y’ALL! That’s ECXELLENT ! I admire the courage involved. It’s not so all fired easy.


17 posted on 01/18/2009 5:46:30 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: aberaussie
We are reading The Republic in my homeschool co-op for the next few weeks.

Plato and his "philosopher kings" are the philosophical underpinnings for a lot of totalitarian governments. Read Peikoff's The Ominous Parallels.

ML/NJ

18 posted on 01/18/2009 5:49:54 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: Woebama

Yes, it is all too appropriate.


19 posted on 01/18/2009 6:10:44 PM PST by bboop (obama, little o, not a Real God)
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To: aberaussie
Students begin with the early Socratic dialogues, especially the Apology.
20 posted on 01/18/2009 6:26:35 PM PST by cornelis
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To: ml/nj

Well, yes it is...that is why we are studying it...The co-op class that I teach is Ancient Literature from a Biblical worldview. Lots of discussion and comparison. I usually teach history or government classes, so this part of the class will be particularly fun for me because we will be able to compare Plato’s writing with current rhetoric.


21 posted on 01/18/2009 7:57:31 PM PST by aberaussie
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To: ml/nj
It's been a long time since anyone around here mentioned Piekoff's work.

L

22 posted on 01/18/2009 8:00:59 PM PST by Lurker ("America is at that awkward stage. " Claire Wolfe, call your office.)
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To: Mad Dawg

It will be difficult, but hopefully we all will learn a lot, or at least a few things! ;-)


23 posted on 01/18/2009 8:07:41 PM PST by aberaussie
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To: the invisib1e hand
Sigh. Wonder how many people read Plato anything these days.
24 posted on 01/19/2009 1:49:31 AM PST by Freedom_Is_Not_Free
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To: aberaussie
The co-op class that I teach is Ancient Literature from a Biblical worldview.

This just isn't fair! When will your kids read more modern literature like Heather Has Two Mommies?

ML/NJ

25 posted on 01/19/2009 4:53:01 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: Woebama

My wants are few

Conspire, conspire, conspire, conspire

I truly love a good conspiracy


26 posted on 01/19/2009 5:00:23 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . The original point of America was not to be Europe)
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To: ml/nj

I don’t believe Peikoff understood a single word Plato wrote. And I’ve read his book. Ayn Rand had the same problem.


27 posted on 01/19/2009 11:22:46 AM PST by betty boop
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To: betty boop
Nah. You're right Rand and Peikoff were/are both idiots. And we should be grateful to those philosopher kings.

ML/NJ

28 posted on 01/19/2009 11:38:02 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj
The lesson I learned from the ancients is that there are kinds. Kinds of everything. And the lesson I learned from Socrates is that there are good kinds and bad kinds. A very simple lesson, but very helpful.
29 posted on 01/20/2009 6:01:44 AM PST by cornelis
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To: cornelis

What determines good and bad is determined by one’s definition of Justice.

Good thread!


30 posted on 01/20/2009 7:14:50 AM PST by Loud Mime (Article IV, Section 4, as dead as the rest of the Constitution.)
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To: cornelis
There are no good philosopher kings in the sense that Plato wrote about. These are people who have divined unto themselves a certain greatness and think that they should direct the lives of the less endowed others. Buckley had it right when he said (I'm paraphrasing now.) that he would rather be ruled by the first 100 people listed in the Manhattan phonebook than by the members of Congress.

As for good big governments, I wonder what your example could possibly be.

ML/NJ

31 posted on 01/20/2009 7:37:54 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: Loud Mime
True, in part. I would put it this way: our understanding of what is good and bad involves our understanding of justice and the world that is part of. In fact, it may depend more on what is included or excluded from that world than on the best definition being used.
32 posted on 01/20/2009 10:12:35 AM PST by cornelis
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To: ml/nj
I wonder what your example could possibly be.

Philosophy begins with wonder.

33 posted on 01/20/2009 5:11:36 PM PST by cornelis
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To: cornelis
Instead of saying something silly, why do you not answer the question I put to you?

ML/NJ

34 posted on 01/20/2009 5:14:59 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

Because I considered you question silly—or at least uneducated.

If you study Western Civilization and take away the big governments, there won’t be much left.


35 posted on 01/20/2009 5:26:25 PM PST by cornelis
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To: cornelis
If you study Western Civilization and take away the big governments, there won’t be much left.

I think you are confusing governments which administer a few aspects of the lives of many people, with governments which administer many aspects of the lives of even a few people. Cuba has a bigger government than the United States even though its government employs far fewer people than does ours. Our own government is much bigger now than it was 50 years ago, even when adjusting for the growth in our population during that time. Is this really a difficult concept? I'll mostly ignore your remark about education for the time being, but if anything is silly it would probably be suggesting that someone discussing Plato's Republic is uneducated.

ML/NJ

36 posted on 01/21/2009 4:54:15 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj
It's OK to change the terms (credit cards, Republicans, or administering aspects of lives). The lesson I learned from Plato still applies. We can easily add to the list started post #29.


37 posted on 01/21/2009 7:50:49 AM PST by cornelis
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To: cornelis
There are good governments which administer many aspects of the lives of even a few people

And a couple of examples are?

ML/NJ

38 posted on 01/21/2009 9:54:17 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: Woebama
The more things change, the more things stay the same.

History repeating...
and repeating...
and repeating...
and repeating...
and repeating...

39 posted on 01/21/2009 9:59:24 AM PST by Dead Corpse (What would a free man do?)
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To: ml/nj

The Vatican, if you like. Otherwise, the United States.


40 posted on 01/21/2009 2:44:27 PM PST by cornelis
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To: cornelis
The Vatican

LOL !

I mean, I respect The Church, but that's a joke, right?


the United States

Alas, the United States was. You should read The Gathering Storm and maybe also The Camp of the Ssints.

ML/NJ

41 posted on 01/21/2009 3:45:22 PM PST by ml/nj
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