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Seattle Analytic Philosophy Club Message Board › Is it time for a society governed by Analytical Philosophers?

Is it time for a society governed by Analytical Philosophers?

George
user 74564852
Raleigh, NC
Post #: 107
I apologize if I talked pass you. I don't know why such city-state hasn't been attempted, but it won't hurt if people try it out on a small island or a cruiseship.
George C.
GeorgeCarter
Moscow, RU
Post #: 7
I didn't mean to suggest that Plato was the sole or primary inspiration for the American constitution and the Found Fathers. But here are couple references that suggest Plato had some measurable effect - as a model society was being sought by the Founding Fathers - just as we are looking for a model of Plato's philosopher society.

http://www.personal.p...­

http://americanidea.o...­

I would disagree with you on the notion that Plato was inspired by Athens in his concept of the ideal State. Classical Athens was an extreme form of democracy. It created the murderous mob that killed Socrates - and it waged an underclass war on the wealth of Athens. Plato considered democratic Athens to be only better than tyranny in terms of corruption. Plato contends that democracies were inherently unstable because of the power wielded by the underclass and uneducated, which inevitably leads to class war, bankruptcy. and the rise of corrupt politicians - and from them tyrants.

If a society has been modeled after Plato's ideal society of philosopher rulers, I am afraid we must look elsewhere or more-likely nowhere. One might argue that a theocracy is similar to an ideal society. But theocracies are based on dogma involving the spiritual world and not the physical, scientific world. I interpret Plato's Ideal State as being a scientific, inventive place - which Plato infers in The Republic. As such, the ideal State is based on the dogma of the natural world and not supernatural domain. But otherwise there is a religious austerity and devotion to the search of wisdom and absolute truth - which very much feels theocratic.

Anyway, let me offer a preemptive rejection of the ideal State as being akin to a theocracy. Besides Plato's society is a caste system that allowed all kinds of vices and indulgences for the lesser classes- as to keep them happy. Happiness for the gold class and Guardians presumably is the reward of being wise and seeking knowledge and governing the State.
George
user 74564852
Raleigh, NC
Post #: 108
I didn't say Plato's Socrates was inspired by Athens alone. He must have observed quite a few Hellenic city states, although his might not consciously employed scientific methods.

What do you think about Sparta? Are they close enough to the Ideal State yet? Sparta, to me, is a big bore. Besides, their ruling elites were so desperate to reproduce themselves that they even allowed their wives to sleep with visitors.

The government is just an organization. An organization is formed in order to solved certain problems. So, exactly what problems necessitate the existence of a government?

George C.
GeorgeCarter
Moscow, RU
Post #: 8
Athens was not an inspiration to Plato, but it was no doubt a critical observatory - for him to understand human nature and human institutions. Plato lists five regimes in terms of their level of corruption and their attainment of human perfection. Democracies are listed next to last - just better than tyranny. Does this tell you his view of Athens and democracies.

Plato's view of a perfect society was analogous to Socrates' view of the virtuous, wise person. Plato describes the ideal state as one of production and efficient work. It was everyone's duty to do that what they showed the most talent - as to benefit themselves and the State. He saw the need for a thriving business class - and Plato may have been the first to espouse the benefits of capitalism over socialism. But he wasn't satisfied with perfection, he was also about evolution. Breeding the best, most enlightened Citizens to produce the next generation of even more genetically-perfect Citizens.

Plato viewed corruption as interfering with the placement of the best people into the best positions. In particular, democracies place corrupt politicians and judges into places of power - instead of those who can truly govern well for the benefit of the State and its Citizens. Democracies repress freedom of thought by politicizing science and discourse - it is a biased form of knowledge seeking conforming to political institutions - as evident in our society.

I think Plato modeled his timocracy regime after Sparta - ruled by spirit and conquest and war. Ironically, he seem to resepct the governing model of Sparta more than democratic Athens. But Plato was after all an aristocrat - who loathed both the tyrant and the underclass thug-ocracy. I think the whole notion of a society whose strategy for survival is to wage war and gain resources and profit from wars is somewhat out-dated. These days of nukes and shrinking budgets it's far safer for the governing elite to wage internal class and cultural wars to gain power and money.
George C.
GeorgeCarter
Moscow, RU
Post #: 9
The government is just an organization. An organization is formed in order to solved certain problems. So, exactly what problems necessitate the existence of a government?
Without a government, whose going to pave the roads and put in the infrastructure, water treatment, utilities, water treatment in an organized manner? Who will resolve disagreements and provide public safety? Who will hand out all the free Obama phones? We are all specialists living in our own little intellectual space - disconnected from the big picture - hence we need government. Was this some kind of nebulous philosophical question or curve ball? Are you proposing an alternative idea?

People are inherently greedy. They will always take more than their share. Open democratic societies expect corrupt capitalists and corrupt socialist classes to fight it out in a political tug of war until scarcity brings the whole system down to form tyranny - fascist or communist. Of course, Plato predicted this outcome 2,500 years ago.

As an alternative model, Plato lays out a template of managed classes and caste systems to regulate the underclass and the capitalists. That was his genius. The only problem is: the ruling class has to forgo its vices - which no ruling class has ever relinquished. As long as there is human greed (and stupidity) you need some management of social interactions. And frankly, in the mass confusion of human society
George
user 74564852
Raleigh, NC
Post #: 109
Without a government, whose going to pave the roads and put in the infrastructure, water treatment, utilities, water treatment in an organized manner?
These can be classified under Conservation.

Who will resolve disagreements
These, Justice

and provide public safety?
Security

Beyond, Conservation, Justice and Security, I can't think of anywhere else we need the Government.

Sparta produced the most beautiful women on earth. As of today, their attitudes towards women have not been surpassed by any other nation. Beyond that, Sparta contributed virtually nothing to world civilization.


George
user 74564852
Raleigh, NC
Post #: 110
People are inherently greedy. They will always take more than their share.
It is not unusual for a person of supreme intelligence to also self-assertive. This world needs geniuses to solve hard problems, not dumb saints. Most geniuses are greedy, but without these geniuses, no one can solve the problem. My solution to this problem is to shake them down every six months then put them back to office.
George C.
GeorgeCarter
Moscow, RU
Post #: 10
Plato did not condemn financially rewarding those of the business class and inventors - at least not that I have read. The capitalists would enjoy their vices but not so much as to starve the ideal State and certainly not to the extent of funding their own armies. Because every lesser caste would want to bring down the philosopher caste - if it could. That is the nature of all classes - to wage war until they have won control. Shaking down the capitalists every few months may not be so far from the target. But the compensation for talent must be sufficient to attract them to the State and keep them put. The winners in future-world will be the highest cognitive societies, and that hold true for the Ideal State.

The Guardians are the best offspring of the State - to be trained to govern and protect the State. The Guardians are certainly not dumb saints, and if they become dumb saints then the ideal State will be consumed by the lesser classes.
George
user 74564852
Raleigh, NC
Post #: 111
Plato did not condemn financially rewarding those of the business class and inventors - at least not that I have read. The capitalists would enjoy their vices but not so much as to starve the ideal State and certainly not to the extent of funding their own armies.
Good to know.

Because every lesser caste would want to bring down the philosopher caste - if it could. That is the nature of all classes - to wage war until they have won control.

That I am not sure. A lot of artists want to be left alone so that they can create beauty. People have all kinds of desires. Not all them find outlets in power struggle.

The winners in future-world will be the highest cognitive societies, and that hold true for the Ideal State.
"Thinking is not one of the natural activities of man; it is a product of disease, like a high temperature in illness." --Bertrand Russell.

If IQ is the only criterion, most of these future "winners" would mostly likely to be lunatics, not the athletic type Plato envisioned. I can't imagine anyone can be happy in these circumstances.

The Guardians are the best offspring of the State - to be trained to govern and protect the State.
Here we found our fundamental differences. I think the state is the means; the individuals are the ends. In other words, ask what your country can do for you; not what you can do for your country.

George C.
GeorgeCarter
Moscow, RU
Post #: 11
Because every lesser caste would want to bring down the philosopher caste - if it could. That is the nature of all classes - to wage war until they have won control.

Let me qualify this statement. Plato's goal was to create an overall happy society. As long as everyone was happy then there would be little cause for class warfare. But happiness was not the same for all classes. For the iron classes (the least cognitive) - presumably there vices were the most primitive. The silver - capitalist class - was money and some luxury. The gold class are perhaps equivalent to the scientists and scholars. Each class is conditioned into it's own reality and expectations - as we are conditioned into our reality of consumerism.

If IQ is the only criterion, most of these future "winners" would mostly likely to be freaks, not the athletic type Plato envisioned.
I don't know how much time you spent subsisting in academia (other than as a student), but there are indeed communities of people who live for research and mental exploration. There are communities of monks and devote theologens found across the world. They are already here and waiting for their chance to rule - despite your characterization of them as freaks. Plato's perfect Guardians are trained in the maths and sciences - they are scholars and experts - yes they are also educated in sports and the military. But does that really sound as dismissive as "the athletic type"?

Here we found our fundamental differences. I think the state is the means; the individuals are the ends. In other words, ask what your country can do for you; not what you can do for your country.
The State exists to evolve and perfect. That is the dogma which must be accepted by all Citizens- otherwise there is always the exit door back to Seattle. It is a mutual, beneficial relationship. The Citizens of the ideal State produce and prosper, and the State evolves. The State evolves more so the Citizens can produce and prosper more. Ideally, everyone has a job and the society is carefully managed and reproduced according to talent and intellect.

Its all about the dogma you care to inflict on the population and whether that reality for your civilization is stable and can stand the test of time. Plato says our current open society is destined for the trash heap as soon as the underclass dominates -either through reproduction or scarcity. Scarcity and/or stupidity leads to tyranny.
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