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Obama and the ‘Noble Lie’
NRO ^ | 29 june 09 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 06/29/2009 7:21:46 AM PDT by rellimpank

For much of the Bush administration, the media splashed stories of neoconservative conspiracies and cabals. Exposés about mostly Jewish liberals-turned-conservatives charged that they were adherents of the philosopher Leo Strauss and embraced the Platonic notion of the “noble lie.”

In his Republic, Plato outlined an elaborate, ranked utopia, a good city (“Kallipolis”) run by a sort of benign natural selection. The philosopher-kings sat atop hierarchies in which occupations were assigned for the citizenry. To justify arbitrary selections, the rulers would make up “noble lies” about divine edicts, making clear that the occupations chosen for lesser folk were god-given.

Once the inferiors understood that there were divine sanctions behind their lot in life, they would feel happier. And society at large would benefit by each worker’s having the proper aptitude for his occupation. The larger point Plato was making was simply that sometimes an all-knowing elite must hedge on the truth to convince the ignorant public what is good for it.

(Excerpt) Read more at article.nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 111th; agenda; animalfarm; bho44; demlies; elitists; ivorytower; liberalelites; lyingliar; nationofsheep; obamamessiah; plato; second100days; sheeple; thebiglie; vdh; victordavishanson

1 posted on 06/29/2009 7:21:46 AM PDT by rellimpank
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To: Tolik

-ping-


2 posted on 06/29/2009 7:22:44 AM PDT by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: rellimpank

Obama is just a plain ole’ liar!


3 posted on 06/29/2009 7:24:45 AM PDT by A. Morgan (The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted. Lawrence)
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To: rellimpank

There is nothing noble about the obamessiah’s lies.


4 posted on 06/29/2009 7:25:43 AM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16)
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To: rellimpank
This is an important article by Dr. Hanson, who succeeds in explaining a great deal about Barack Obama's character and motivation. In an nutshell:"Barack Obama believes he is a philosopher-king, whose exalted ends more than justify his mendacious means."

I would urge you all to read the full article at NRO. And thanks for posting it.

5 posted on 06/29/2009 7:41:28 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.)
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To: rellimpank
This is an important article by Dr. Hanson, who succeeds in explaining a great deal about Barack Obama's character and motivation. In an nutshell:"Barack Obama believes he is a philosopher-king, whose exalted ends more than justify his mendacious means."

I would urge you all to read the full article at NRO. And thanks for posting it.

6 posted on 06/29/2009 7:42:22 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.)
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To: rellimpank; neverdem; Lando Lincoln; SJackson; dennisw; kellynla; monkeyshine; Alouette; ...
Victor Davis Hanson:

... So why does President Obama so often get history wrong, so often call for utopian schemes he would hardly adopt for himself, and so often distort by misinformation and incomplete disclosure?

Partly the culprit is administrative inexperience, partly historical ignorance. But mostly the disconnect comes because Barack Obama believes he is a philosopher-king, whose exalted ends more than justify his mendacious means.

In other words, Obama is our first truly postmodern president. And the Guardians who form his elite circle — in the very manner that they once falsely accused neo-cons of doing — deliberately, but “nobly,” distort the truth on behalf of us all.



    Victor Davis Hanson Ping ! 

       Let me know if you want in or out.

Links:    FR Index of his articles:  http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=victordavishanson
                His website: http://victorhanson.com/
                NRO archive: http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson-archive.asp
                Pajamasmedia:
   http://victordavishanson.pajamasmedia.com/

7 posted on 06/29/2009 7:44:58 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: rellimpank

Blah, blah, blah. Obama is setting up a fraudulent census, funding the left with our money, foisting huge spending on us that will make our children chattel property of government taxation, and these guys talk as if though the finer points of political philosophy matter. This is brute force politics and we have a very narrow window to save our freedoms. It will require all out effort by each of us, and apparently without a leader in politics or the press. Yes, neo-cons helped screw up the Republican party and the country. What do we do now? That’s the question no one is answering.


8 posted on 06/29/2009 8:01:50 AM PDT by Woebama (Paying for my neighbor's mortgage and Wall Street's bonuses sure is hard.)
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To: rellimpank

Blah, blah, blah. Obama is setting up a fraudulent census, funding the left with our money, foisting huge spending on us that will make our children chattel property of government taxation, and these guys talk as if though the finer points of political philosophy matter. This is brute force politics and we have a very narrow window to save our freedoms. It will require all out effort by each of us, and apparently without a leader in politics or the press. Yes, neo-cons helped screw up the Republican party and the country. What do we do now? That’s the question no one is answering.


9 posted on 06/29/2009 8:02:49 AM PDT by Woebama (Paying for my neighbor's mortgage and Wall Street's bonuses sure is hard.)
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To: rellimpank

Blah, blah, blah. Obama is setting up a fraudulent census, funding the left with our money, foisting huge spending on us that will make our children chattel property of government taxation, and these guys talk as if though the finer points of political philosophy matter. This is brute force politics and we have a very narrow window to save our freedoms. It will require all out effort by each of us, and apparently without a leader in politics or the press. Yes, neo-cons helped screw up the Republican party and the country. What do we do now? That’s the question no one is answering.


10 posted on 06/29/2009 8:03:03 AM PDT by Woebama (Paying for my neighbor's mortgage and Wall Street's bonuses sure is hard.)
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To: rellimpank

Blah, blah, blah. Obama is gaming the system with fraudulent census taking, fraudulent vote registration and counting, funding the left with our tax dollars, putting us in chattel slavery to government taxation to pay for his spending binge. We have a very narrow window to take the country back, against the odds, and we have no leader in the press or in politics to direct that effort. That’s the elephant in the room and the niceties of Plato’s Republic is a waste of time as far as I’m concerned. The neo-cons played a role in screwing up the country. So has everyone else, including sit-on-our-hands and close-our-wallets conservatives yammering at each other here. What will we do without a leader and without a plan?


11 posted on 06/29/2009 8:07:46 AM PDT by Woebama (Paying for my neighbor's mortgage and Wall Street's bonuses sure is hard.)
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To: WayneS

And THAT’S the truth!


12 posted on 06/29/2009 8:25:05 AM PDT by rock_lobsta (Atypical Crustacean)
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To: WayneS

And THAT’S the truth!


13 posted on 06/29/2009 8:25:26 AM PDT by rock_lobsta (Atypical Crustacean)
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To: A. Morgan

> Obama is just a plain ole’ liar!

whereas AlGore is a Nobel Liar.


14 posted on 06/29/2009 8:50:37 AM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
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To: A. Morgan

> Obama is just a plain ole’ liar!

whereas AlGore is a Nobel Liar.


15 posted on 06/29/2009 8:54:08 AM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
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To: rellimpank

There’s no such thing as a “noble lie” in government, the end result is a lie, meant to deceive for personal/power gain.


16 posted on 06/29/2009 8:59:46 AM PDT by brushcop (SFC Sallie, CPL Long, LTHarris, SSG Brown, PVT Simmons KIA OIF lll&V, they died for you, honor them)
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To: rellimpank

Good job.


17 posted on 06/29/2009 9:10:07 AM PDT by marron
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To: rellimpank

Just a couple of minor problems with that theory:
1. Zero is not all-knowing (even though he thinks he is)
2. The public is not ALL ignorant (even though waaaay too many are)

The lies are just lies. Nothing noble there.


18 posted on 06/29/2009 9:24:45 AM PDT by RepublitarianRoger2
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To: rellimpank

Obama's intellectual side is still a mystery. We have been talking about Obama's crypto-Straussian Platonist alter ego since his esoteric comments about people being "bitter" and "clinging to religion" in the campaign. Although that seemed inspired by Richard Hofstadter, the liberal professor at Columbia University. And he could have picked it up from the George Soros Open Society Institute seminars, relying heavily on the Soros reading of Karl Popper and Kant. There seems to be a tension between his "inner Plato" and "inner Alinsky" in all of this.

Since the One is a Renaissance man, this should get interesting and you never know where it will lead next with Obama's Neo-Platonism. Maybe dramatic readings of The Book of the Courtier, Machiavelli, Dante, Erasmus, da Vinci, Pico della Mirandola, Ficino, Bessarion, Nicholas Cusanus, and Petrarch at the White House. As inspired by Ibn Rushd, Al-Ghazali, Hassan-i-Sabah , Omar Khayyám , and The Arabian Nights, of course.

It would be cheaper for everyone to send him back to Harvard for four years to study with Harvey Mansfield to sort this all out in his mind.


19 posted on 06/29/2009 9:50:30 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: rellimpank

WOW—a MUST READ in its entirety!


20 posted on 06/29/2009 9:54:44 AM PDT by Ooh-Ah
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To: rellimpank
He is certain that the average Joe cannot quite figure out what is going on, and would never suspect that a charismatic, postracial Guardian would ever deceive the people

Well, fellow citizens: is he right ? Are we that stupid ?

21 posted on 06/29/2009 10:58:56 AM PDT by Red Boots
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To: WayneS

Liars seek to distort reality. Some believe that reality emanates from their lies. None are capable of understanding the Will of God.


22 posted on 06/29/2009 11:09:47 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (0 is the son of soulless slavers, not the son of soulful slaves.)
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To: rellimpank

Great. VDH at the top of his form.


23 posted on 06/29/2009 11:16:46 AM PDT by corvus
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To: rellimpank

Great. VDH at the top of his form.


24 posted on 06/29/2009 11:17:39 AM PDT by corvus
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To: rellimpank

Great. VDH at the top of his form.


25 posted on 06/29/2009 11:18:40 AM PDT by corvus
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To: Amos the Prophet
"Liars seek to distort reality."
22 posted on Monday, June 29, 2009 2:09:47 PM by Amos the Prophet

But does he know that they are lies?
Since he doesn't write most of his speeches, it seems like he has encountered some of these ideas for the first time when he reads them (i.e., he may not know they are not true). Which is scarier?

26 posted on 06/29/2009 12:10:04 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: rellimpank

Really isn’t that descriptive of liberalism in general?


27 posted on 06/29/2009 12:17:40 PM PDT by BJClinton (One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: BJClinton

"Really isn’t that descriptive of liberalism in general?
27 posted on Monday, June 29, 2009 3:17:40 PM by BJClinton

You raise an interesting point. Maybe Andrew Sullivan could address that when he takes up the subject of Obama's Straussian neoplatonist esotericism. He would be familiar with the idea of lying to achieve a political goal from the Alinskyite stuff, Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Still, it would be interesting to hear the One's reading of Thoughts on Machiavelli and how that squares with whatever he studied at Columbia and Harvard.

This must be that suave and urbane "sophistication" the Vichy Republicans saw in Obama but which they found lacking in Palin sufficiently to switch sides.

There would be a way to resolve this, of course, by getting Obama to debate Harvey Mansfield and Pat Boone on the subject of the role of religion in civil society and politics. Then he would have to tip his hand on this one.

28 posted on 06/29/2009 1:11:26 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity

I don’t know how you can put Strauss and Obama together? There have been books written about the neoconservatives and Strauss (Strauss’ students in the two Bush Administrations) but why would they be interested in Obama? Yes, Obama lies, is charming, impious and reckless like the Alcibiades. There will the desecration of both public statutes and public trust. Tradition will be foisted out the window all for the pursuit of narcissistic personal glory. Demagoguery and democracy, Periclean Athenian style.

Now which Straussian thinks, like Socrates, he can tame this wild erotic child? Harvey Mansfield, Werner J. Dannhauser, Cliff Orwin, Harry V. Jaffa?


29 posted on 06/29/2009 3:47:12 PM PDT by Blind Eye Jones
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To: Blind Eye Jones

It was kind of a joke that started during the campaign when Obama was being hailed as a genius by some liberals and then with the Greek temple columns silliness at his convention speech. Whether he was speaking esoterically or just horsing around in his Cairo speech when he attributed the Italian Renaissance and the Scottish Enlightenment to Averroës, Sinbad, and Omar Khayyám , who knows...Anyone's guess. It's possible he read something like that at Columbia or Harvard, but he seems closer to Marcuse, C. Wright Mills, and the Fabians. And postmodernist rather than Plato, most likely

Good that someone was paying attention. Of course, there could be some similarity between his ideas and those of a Philosopher-King dictatorship, as outlined in various readings of The Republic.

γνῶθι σεαυτόν

30 posted on 06/29/2009 4:20:14 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: rellimpank

Socialists confuse good intentions with good outcomes.


31 posted on 06/29/2009 11:15:22 PM PDT by plenipotentiary (Free the Oil, Topple the Saudis. Confiscate Putins money. Disconnect Siberia.)
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
Yes, the Allan Bloom translation! When Obama starts expelling the poets will be the first real sign of trouble — forget nationalization of private property. And both Bloom and Obama from Chicago — what more needs to be said!
32 posted on 06/30/2009 4:46:30 AM PDT by Blind Eye Jones
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity

You actually may have a strong point with the Obama dictatorship. Bloom refers to radical equality of the sexes, intrusion of the community (government) into the family, etc., as characteristic of the Republic. But this is also what is happening today in America. The leftist concern for social justice, like the Republic’s concern for justice, share a lot in common. The difference is that the poets won’t be excluded — Hollywood is the biggest voice for this change. Whether the Obama blueprint is written into the stars (the Platonic forms) or coming from Das Kapital it’s still the same Utopic, modernist attempt to build perfection on earth... and the consequences will be disastrous.


33 posted on 06/30/2009 9:02:34 AM PDT by Blind Eye Jones
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To: Blind Eye Jones; redgolum; Rockingham; Don Corleone; Emerson Car; Aquinasfan; philetus; ishmac; ...

Good call. Maybe the One attended their meetings at the University of Chicago? On a Soros or Bill Ayers scholarship, of course.

I would tend to doubt Obama believes in the Great Chain of Being. The positivism, postmodernism, and Critical Legal Studies he was presented with at Columbia and Harvard wouldn't allow that. There might be other ways to interpret Obama's ideology and with different schools of political philosophy. There were a couple threads a while back relating Obama to Joachim of Fiore and someone suggested The New Science of Politics there as one possibility. Maybe someone remembers that discussion, with the One positioning himself at the head of another "Third Age" of the spirit. Molnar's Utopia: The Perennial Heresy was also mentioned. When Obama made the elitist comments about people in small towns being "bitter" and "clinging to religion" it seemed like there might be more to what he was thinking there which could have come from Hofstadter's The Paranoid Style. Maybe he imprinted with that at Columbia?

This part was pretty good: "Niccolo Machiavelli and Italian rollercoasters of the 16th Century through the lens of radical Marxist theory and Critical Theory to deconstruct the foundations of hegemonic Modernism"

I think they are having a similar Lacanian seminar at Yale. But isn't liberalism of the 1960s American and Obama variety just another form of "hegemonic Modernism" (according to such theorists)?

34 posted on 06/30/2009 9:13:29 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
But isn't liberalism of the 1960s American and Obama variety just another form of "hegemonic Modernism" (according to such theorists)?

No doubt. There is little to suggest otherwise. The battle of the books has been decisively won by the moderns. Egalitarianism has prevailed: for example, there is no distinction between Michael Jackson dying at 50 from pill addiction and Glenn Gould dying at 50 from pill addiction. Michael will get more press but he ended no better off for his life in pop music than Gould for his life in classical music. The highs and lows balance out in death. None can escape it (though some post moderns believe that through language – Language is the House of Being, according to Heidegger – they can lock the door on death, lock it out of reality or their mental constructs, redefine it away, conquer it somehow with discourse, if discourse is all there is.) Modernism with its powerful science is also trying to conquer death. With no high or low cultures to guide us we look to the health of the body. Another tragic example is Allan Bloom, who believed in a high musical culture and thought that rock music was decadent: it corrupted the youth that should have been corrupted by some Socratic teacher figure, like himself. And like Socrates in the Republic, whose real antagonist was Homer, Bloom had to wage a battle for the hearts and souls of his students and listeners. He had to singlehandly wrestle Michael Jackson and Mick Jagger to the ground, thus championing the traditional benefits esteemed by liberal education and classical music. He was the street fighter, par excellence, for high culture. Ironically, IMHO, Bloom died from overdosing on Opera. Saul Bellow’s book "Ravelstein" exposed his addiction. Death from Opera? Yes, Bloom was taking the equivalent of a bucket of Opera pills daily and the adverse side effects were inflamed passions and irrationally. In this case you can’t pump the stomach. With love’s passion dominating his soul, induced by the erotic strains in Opera played at a high volume at all hours of the day, Bloom failed to take common sense precautions... and died of AIDS. So, in effect, high or low cultures don’t mean that much in the end. The real problem is death.

Now Bloom once met Michael Jackson in Paris. Jackson also worked a bit with Paul McCartney who, at the time of being a Beatle in 1964, was hated by Glenn Gould for "bad voice leading." Modernism is like a vicious circle, like the Ouroboros chewing on its own tail, falling back on itself, forming a Zero and an Obama; whereas the Ancients preferred the Chain of Being to form a hierarchy, a heavenly triangle that aspired upwards. Plato’s Republic is also a triangle shape and is suppose to mirror the soul. But Modernism can’t acknowledge a soul, only the body... and death.

35 posted on 07/02/2009 1:31:57 PM PDT by Blind Eye Jones
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To: Blind Eye Jones

The One "taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004." Any chance he met Ravelstein? He would seem to be closer to the Frankfurt School. Apparently he likes pop music. "Love Train" at the convention and inaugural galas.

Apparently, lying and the Noble lie are covered in The Open Society and Its Enemies which inspired Obama benefactor and handler George Soros, although the agenda seems far from "open" in that sense. He seems to say things to please and then just gets caught in the contradictions.

36 posted on 07/02/2009 3:18:41 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: Blind Eye Jones
See this yet: Obama's 'noble truth' is a Lie.

Note the Bloom translation of The Republic cited.

37 posted on 07/27/2009 8:18:13 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity

Thanks for the link!


38 posted on 07/27/2009 9:15:38 PM PDT by Blind Eye Jones
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