« How to make rocket fuel on Mars | Main | Theognis on The State Sailing to Disaster »

09 January 2021


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Thank you, Mr. Willett.

Ah, self-justifying elites convinced of their rectitude seem to be a constant in our Western cultures. But whenever they don't inquire of the people over whom they lord it as to whether their vision squares with the hopes and aspirations of that people?

Well, to use the metaphor crafted by another historical people, those elites risk losing the Mandate of Heaven.

Elites are to serve, not themselves, but their peoples, regardless of how very clever they think themselves to be. And when they fail in that most basic duty, there goes that Mandate of Heaven...


How could this be the same back then .... this is fake news, right. A gussied up translation just to fit modern times? (Thanks for these extraordinary pieces)

Reminds me of the Three Riddles in Puccini's opera Turandot - off with your head young man if you do not answer every one at my command. La speranza - hope - was one of them, along with blood and ...ta da ....Turandot herself.

Then in the last act we finally get to hear.... Nessun dorma, Trump's new swan song - tomorrow vincero, vincero, vincero ...... I will win, I will win, I will win .. at dawn tomorrow.

BTW: Now how do you say "change" in Latin? As in hope and changey.

English Outsider

"Then to the leaders of a city, if to anyone, it’s appropriate to lie concerning enemies or citizens for the benefit of the state,"

This deplorable says blow that for a lark. That takes the nine most terrifying words in the English anguage and supercharges them. "I'm from the government and I'm here to lie to you" could be tailor made for Obama and his ilk, Pelosi and hers following hard on his heels with "And you'd better believe the lies or we'll unperson you".

And Google et al ensuring the lie is all we hear. And Karl Rove in the background with "We have ways of making today's lie come true. Shut up and study it."

Thus a straight reading of that passage. But apparently Plato didn't really mean it like that. Or he was just illustrating the impracticability of any perfect form of governance. Or ...

Give us a steer then, Professor Willet. How do you read this at first sight unattractive passage?

Steven Willett

I'd like to recommend that English Outsider read the following two articles. The first is a simple explanation of how the Kallipolis works under the philosopher king. The second is a detailed analysis of lying and the philosophical king.

1. https://www.profolus.com/topics/plato-the-philosopher-kings-of-kallipolis/

2. https://www.academia.edu/37179588/Administrative_Lies_and_Philosopher_Kings

The best course is to read the Republic.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad