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09 January 2021


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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.

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