12. The Socratic Revolution
PART I: HISTORICAL CONTEXT
PART II: THE SOPHISTS
PART III: SOCRATES
UNIVERSAL SUBJECT AND PARTICULAR SUBJECTS
Of all the men of his time, he was the
wisest and justest and best.
Crito, I owe a cock to Asclepis; will you
remember to pay the debt?
I know that I know nothing.
PART I: Historical Context of the "Socratic Revolution"
INTRODUCTION: THINKING, WONDERING, PONDERING
Within eviternal Nyx, Chronos is flying at meteoric speed; beyond the speed of fiat lux, he accelerates his fatherly ontic velocity, his paternal spatial-temporal relations. Transhistorically, one and onlies, innocent ones, -- and the not quite so devoid of blame for the Massacre of the Innocents, like Herod, including "unblemished", immaculate Popes Innocent I to Innocent XII, -- the "lonely crowd' of sighing victims of the inexorable forward military march of early capitalism and late imperialism, all of them already savagely exploited and brutally alienated, do not have "time" for anything, for everything, for nothing.
Nowadays, especially the forgotten, forlorn „wretched of the earth“, the physically toiling "mob", the gentusa, the lumpen-, semi- and hemi-proles, the vegetating "dregs" of contemporary society, scientifically and philosophically, do not have time to think, to ponder, to reflect, that is, mentally to reproduce the flowing, ever-flowing, over-flowing processes of profound earthly, patrian contradictions and sublime, trialogical, intra-extra-galactic relations of cosmic-objective, ontic-subjective and historic-transjective realities and spheres. Au pis aller, many of us do not find time, do not bother to wonder about current, global, globalized natural acts, social activities and historical actions: che sará sará!
Thinking, Thought and Theory are left to the sonorous Phoenician-Platonic elite, to the guilded philosophers, to the gilding kings, especially, to the Periclean "golden age" philosopher-kings, to contemporary Big Brother and his Orwellian global entourage of fascist ideology-fabricating think-tanks and CNN globalized news reporters, in fine, to his "anti-terrorist", in-fixing, in-citing, in-formatting in-formers. De facto, as a direct result of the age-old, patrian, mental holocaust, billions hate thinking; they just want to earn their transgenetically engineered daily bread, want to be concretized, to be block-headed, "enbloced", positivist, empiricist, pragmatic; because of the patrian darkness of the fleeting moment, like most of their eminent, erudite, intellectual, academic teachers, they can only see formal-logical, obsolete, ossified "facts", permanently ruminating eternal, universal, intra-systemic, systematically correct "absolute truths".
"Higher" things, higher learning and sublime ideals fall in the realm of the Highest Good, in the dominion of Great Ideas, Great Men and Great Races. After all, ruling homo sapiens alias lupus has achieved the Orwellian Future, has gone beyond 1984, and Big Brother controls the planet, the continents and the seas. International Newspeak, the Voice of America, tells us that Big Brother is watching us, is caring for our chthonic democratic needs. The All-Powerful Free World will plead for us at the final soul transmigration, at the radio-active, electro-magnetic Final Seat of Judgement.
The transhistoric truth, however, is that global „recession“ is depressing everything which is related to our human archaeus, to our anticipatory, emancipatory vis vitalis. To know: Who am I?, I have to think. Cartesian logics: I doubt, I think, therefore I am, I exist. I do not think, therefore I am not, I do not exist. Already the Biblical "Highest Good" had taught us: I will be, Whom I will be! Even Jehovah, Jahwe, the mythological-religious Universal Subject, as conceived by ancient man in spe, was considering his cosmic Becoming-Being, his own universal process of actualization, realization and materialization. Even he had something to think about, to reflect, to conceptualize and to reproduce. However, as we could see everywhere, billions of his "children" refrain from eating the forbidden fruits of the "tree of knowledge", -- "Knowest ye the Truth, and the Truth shall make thee free!" -- they simply prefer to be passive receptacles, receptive pacifists.
As stated in Book One, cogitare and cogitatio, Thinking and Thought, "began" somewhere, beyond Nyx, far beyond Nihil, Nothing, in the infinite, eternal, multi-relational, transversal processes, mensions and spheres. For us, of significance is the "fact" that somewhere, somehere, somethere, somewhen, somethen, somenow, along the transvolutionary process, historic, patrian "Man" began to doubt something, to question the eternal, absolute, universal status quo. And, this was very long "before" Descartes had stated: de omnibus dubitandum - one should doubt everything. Also, it was long before Marx had elevated this to a praxico-theoretical, intra-systemic, revolutionary principle of class struggle, or to a guiding maxim for the doubting, young, beautiful, red-haired, Westphalian "Jenny's" of the 19th century, also, of the globe.
Consequently, by means of scientific doubting, philosophic pondering and emancipatory wondering, we could always "begin", always begin at our real beginning, at the mater, the arché, the hýle of Neither Everything Nor Nothing, provided that we know that it is alpha-omega at the same time, also more, neither alpha nor omega at another "time".
As you all should have noticed, from Bias’ omnia mecum porto mea, to Lucian’s realistic scepticism, we have already covered a long philosophic-materialist intra-patrian trajectory; we have made a magnificent praxico-theoretical voyage into transhistoricity, exto universal future. For the "time being", in the eminent words of Horace, we could also state: carpe diem. We could enjoy the fleeting, living moment, because on the other track of philosophía, on its opposite "side", which is not necessarily its dialogical "negation", that is, on its idealist tendency, which originated in Socrates, we will be forced to trust the least possible road towards true cosmic-ontic human reality. This divine, serpentine "short-cut" is also real, is an intrinsic part of the truth, but it is not the only truth, the absolute truth.
FROM THE MAGNA MATER TO THE ALMA MATER
Let us summarize what we have covered until now. We have investigated phýsis, including its immanent psyché, and we have, touched sporadically various realms of logics, ethics and social science. We thought about "external", objective reality, about Being, Being-Becoming and Becoming-Being, about Cosmos, but now we have to orientate our cognitive processes towards ancient Greek cogitare and cogitatio per se. We would cognosce the human mind, the psyché, anima, pneuma, nous and lógos.
Besides, our philosophic praxico-theoretical sojourn through the idealist, divine wilderness will pass through the contradictory volatile regions of early, patrian society, and we would witness the social attempts to conceptualize, categorize and universalize Thinking and Thought. Furthermore, we will be concerned with homofinal things, with transhistoric, supra-universal beings, in short, with Divine Superlatives. From the utmost, "outer", intra-universal fringes of Patrian Existence, we will be moving towards the infra-internal, innermost, internal core, in nuce, from Cosmos to Ánthropos, and, then again, in reverse, we will travel from the patrian, ruling class, individual human anima backwards, towards the Universal Divine, the summum bonum.
Consequently, our transhistoric Arabian Pheonix will be leaving the Ionian-Ephesian Magna Mater of Materialism and will dive dangerously into the Athenian, Socratic-Platonic Alma Mater of Idealism.
BLAZING THE EMANCIPATORY TRAIL
And, seeing that we will treat matters, or more precisely, ideas, which concern metempsychosis and anamnesis, we might very well begin to stimulate our very own mnemic faculties, by recalling that the ancient Graeco-Roman panpsychologists, panvitalists and hylozoists had introduced fresh and refreshening natural epistemological thinking and thought into historic patrian social consciousness.
And, then already in the Periclean Age, although most of these ancient Greek philosophers were forming part and parcel of a specific, socially perverted, Draconian slave-owning spectre, of a Croesusean, primitive, capital-accumulative labour spectrum, yet, by placing them in transhistoric patrian perspective, we know that in real, true history, that what is still maternal, material, feminine, fertile, natura naturans, natura naturata -- that what is fresh, new, authentic and original, that still has a bewitching aura and a flirting aurora, that still has a youthful, seductive fragrance and tantalizing, frolicking "flagrance" -- as praxico-theoretical, flaming flambeau, could very well still blaze, could still set ablaze the Promethean-Heracleitean flamboyant emancipatory trail.
YOUTHFUL "STURM UND DRANG"
Ancient materialism was original, precisely because it was natural. It was an intellectual product of wise wondering, not once, but seven times. This youthful modus operandi, this scientific bel esprit, this healthy sturm und drang, we also could cultivate and enrich at the age of nine, and, even more so, at the age of ninety-nine, provided that we are still in tact, intact, have not forgotten the youthful philosophy of our philosophic youth.
As seen in a previous chapter, it is an ill wind that blows nobody "good". It was Socrates, the real or the Platonic creatively created one, the seducer of the Athenian youth, who had introduced precise, conceptualized patrian thinking, who had brought the detective, wondering spirit to life. However, he, or Plato, had placed it in the service of ancient, reactionary conservatism and dogmatism. He transformed feminine, mythological sophía and the aphrodisiac éros for sophía, philosophía, into aristocratic ruling class ideology.
Thus, his dialektiké, like that of Hegel, operated only in the realm of the ideas, in the ruling class topos ouranios, and not also in the Historic Archaic. In an emancipatory sense, Socrates, Plato and Hegel denied real, objective-subjective transhistoricity, however, strange enough, not even patrian future will ever deny them.
Socratic dialectics, as we will see later, operated within the politan limits of kratos (power) of the aristos (best). As elitist ideology, as ruling class rationalization, it became ossified in dóxa, in ruling class customs, opinions and habits -- in nuce, in commonplace and common sense. Plato made Socratism potentially the lógos of his idéa. Later, Neo-Platonism and Plotinus would complete this idealist, ideological masterpiece.
DIALECTICS AND THE "COSMIC-ONTIC BLUE"
However, as we have noted until now, the crypto-dialectics of Anaximander and Heracleitus, the real fathers of materialist dialectics, was oriented towards the novum, towards coming "Western Civilization", to a new which has never been, and which will never ever repeat itself again. Dialectics, the patrian, elementary, ontic method within historic Dialogics, is directly related to and interlinked with the Cosmic Blue of the ever-inflecting, ever-inflexing, ever-extending, ever-exforming Horizon of Knowledge, with ex orient lux.
However, although true within its own earthly domain, Dialectics itself, especially the Socratic-Platonic rhetoric brand, has very narrow limits, has definite limitations of cosmic interpenetration, of ontic interpretation and of patrian transition to other excelling historic modes and other unknown spheres; it is simply caught up within the bounds of its own patrian birthmarks, within its own formal-logical, uniprincipled university and universality. Hence, during the so-called Socratic revolution, the New, also dialektiké itself, was still veiled in intellectual obscurity.
THE PATRIAN HISTORIC SETTING OF THE "SOCRATIC REVOLUTION"
For many centuries, even up to the time of Socrates, Zeus was ruling triumphantly from Olympus. He was ordaining divine benevolence and malevolence to his terrestrial subjects. However, since the Fifth Century B. C., in embryo an intellectual process had emerged in Ancient Greece which concentrated its spiritual efforts on explaining the psyché.
We would recall that earlier this explanation was accompanied by crypto-patrian mythological conceptions (Homer and Hesiod), but, gradually, ever since the „Age of Seven Wise Men“, rational scientific ponderation and wondering gained the upper hand. Thinking about the psyché, lógos and nous became more uniform, methodological and scientific (Thales, Heracleitus, Anaxagoras, etc.).
However, the ancient hylozoists were primarily concerned about the arché about phýsis itself; their deliberations about psyché and nous were just a necessary logical preoccupation. This does not imply that the „pre-Socratics“ were intellectually incapable to reflect scientifically and philosophically about „spirit“ or „mind“, or that they had neglected deliberately this aspect of universal reality.
Even thinking about cogitare per se necessitates certain objective- and subjective-real material conditions to become possible, to come into existence. What we do a n d what we think about, depend on the essential, natural level of our historical, material relations, a n d , on the social degree of our essential a n d existential transhistoric possibilities, in short, on our emancipatory praxis a n d theory, our Science a n d Philosophy. Everything is not possible at all "times".
Nonetheless, it is part of Socrates’ (or/and Plato’s) philosophic merit, that he (or they) had developed revolutionary, ruling class, logical, rational reasoning, the dialektiké, and that later, in class society, it was applied to the human mind, in order, either to mess up the mind of the impoverished masses ideologically, to the benefit of the wealthy creme de la creme; or to explain thought processes to the businessmen, to be used practically against "les miserables" (Victor Hugo), and to explain to lords, landlords and warlords the social productive and reproductive forces, relations and processes, to the detriment of the ignorant slaves and wage-slaves. Even "revolutionaries", like Stalin, used it, and ended up with "real socialism" and dictatorship of the party.
Others, like Marx, Engels, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Mao or Che, tried to use it for true revolutionary purposes, but, nowhere the world revolution was in sight, only imperialism and globalization was reigning everywhere: all was in vain, until "now", alas, revolutionary dialectics was of no emancipatory avail. This generally happens when you set a thief (the offspring of Formal Logics) to catch a thief; also when you want to kill the viper with the very venom that it itself had produced across the millennia, with its own "negation" (Non-A), for its very own dialectical synthesis (New A), for its universal, systemic auto-survival, self-defence.
That Socrates and Plato seemingly had utilized a basic idealist epistemology, that they did not attempt to explain the patrian universe out of itself, and have thus arrived at "erroneous" unscientific divine conclusions, do not disqualify their philosophic, scientific merit.
Thus, let us briefly elaborate some of the material, social and historical conditions which were necessary to generate the scientific focusing on the human mind, human behaviour and human social relations. In other words, we have to spotlight the living-flowing material substratum which had produced the Socratic horos (concept), and eventually the Aristotelian kategoría (category, statement, predicament).
This intellectual process of "abstraction", in fact, of relating or non-relating, of moving from the concrete to the abstract, and of moving again from the abstract to the new concrete, more precisely, from act to thought, and vice versa, is imminently-eminently pertinent for patrian, revolutionary practice and ideology, but also for oscillating historic praxis a n d theory.
Hence, what we will elaborate in the following section is the historical patrian process which had enabled the Great, Good Slave-Master Man and his Exploited, Dominated, Discriminated Slaves, -- the patrian master a n d servant relationship -- to produce Athens, to project Athena, to reproduce the „wisest“ man, Socrates, who had conceptualized Minerva’s owl, the symbol of sophía, robbing it of all its feminine "nyx", of its Nihil, of its Nothing, of its nightly unimaginable creativity, and which had made the discovery and development of power-hungry, powerful, intra-systemic, universal dialectics .
Athens -- Mater of Patrian Idealism
Prehistory of "Thinking"
On the globe, inter alia, in Athens, thinking had "begun" since hundreds of millennia; however, as far as our official patrian historical data go, never mind the ancient Asian, African, Oceanic and American "civilizations and cultures", we only have registered "thinking" since about 5000 B.C. Around 3000 B.C., in the rocks of the Acropolis, ancient inhabited caves were discovered which signify "European" human presence in those remote epochs.
Also, we do have scientific data which reveal that, around 2000 B.C., at the foot of the mountain various human settlements were established. Six centuries later, a Mycenaen palace had witnessed the presence of the "Indo-European" foreign invaders. We also know that towards the middle of the 12th Century B.C. the Illyrians had invaded Mycenaen Hellas, and that this „Dorian Invasion“ had practically destroyed the Cretan-Mycenaen culture in the region. The autochthonous Greek peoples fled into the interior of the Peleponnesus, especially towards Attica; others migrated to Asia Minor and the neighbouring islands, which became known as the „first colonization“. This whole emigratory-immigratory historical process eventually led to the fame and glory of Miletus, and the birth of philosophy, that we described earlier.
The Polis Age of European Greek "Civilization"
Around 800 B.C., all over Ancient Greece, also called Hellas later, various poleis (city-states) developed. It follows logically from what has been elaborated above, that their founders had brought with them various ancient native Greek customs and beliefs, cultural remnants of the Minoan-Mycenaen civilization, but also Indo-European political and military influences, Indo-Oriental theosophic ideas and mythological conceptions, Egyptian-North African crypto-materialistic conceptions of external reality, Sumerian-Phoenician conceptions of mathematics and, cosmology, Far-East-Arab commercial relations, etc., etc. It was the Ionian city-states or colonies which first had developed flourishing economies with extensive trade and export-import relations. In other words, the Ionian poleis were the first to gain their autonomy, to launch the seeds of capitalism, of the labour curse of our "millennium".
"The Age of the Seven Wise Men"
It was only around the 5th Century B.C., during the „Age of the Seven Wise Men“, that the poleis on the Greek mainland, especially Athens and Sparta, became autonomous. In Athens, a mighty aristocratic slave-owning class had conquered political power. In other poleis, for example, in Sparta, Cyprus, Macedonia and Epirus, the ancient monarchies continued to flourish for a long period.
However, since 800 B.C., there was a general tendency within the Greek city-states to develop from monarchy to aristocracy, and then towards an interchange of tyranny (even oligarchy) and democracy, including various hybrid forms of all the abovementioned constitutional forms.
Athens had already become a State reality around 1000 B.C., when its rural population began to form a synoikismos - an ancient communal settlement. Although, already from the inception, Athens developed a flourishing olive oil and ceramic industry, it never really expanded into a large city-state. Towards the 7th Century B.C., the Athenian polis had experienced severe constitutional struggles.
The "Terrorist Laws" of Draco: Great Men Making Laws, the State, the Patria
In 621 B.C., Draco, an Athenian aristocrat, had ordered the lawgivers to draw up severe civil laws -- the archaic "anti-terrorist" laws -- in order to arrest the degenerating political situation. In how far Draco himself was preoccupied with the formulation of the famous Draconian Laws cannot be ascertained historically anymore. However, the conflicting situation continued. Already launching the tradition of "Great Men", "Man", making "Great History" Solon, one of the ancient „wise men“, a descendant of the Athenian royal ruling class, was elected as archon, and he attempted to reconcile the conflicting parties.
This became a necessity, because, in spite of the Draconian laws, the political situation had continued to worsen at an accelerated pace. In 594 B.C., Solon developed the first Athenian constitutions which made all Athenian citizens equal before the law, and which abolished all privileges gained by birth. However, he had no intention to eradicate the growing contradictions between rich and poor, master and slave, in order words, his reforms did not change the essential nature of the ancient patrian Greek class struggle. Nonetheless, Solon's constitution outlived its originator; only in 508 B.C., it was abolished by the "democrat", Kleisthenes.
Divided we stand, we grow; United we fall, we decay!
By 560 B.C., Athens changed its form of government, but not its constitution. In that year, the noble Athenian tyrant, Peisistratus, by means of a military coup d'etat, occupied the castle and changed the polis affairs into a tyrannis. Also, this form of government has a very long "history". In "counter-coups", two times the Athenians succeeded to drive him out of the city, but every time he managed to return. It was under the tyranny of Peisistratus that Athens had gained the material and intellectual base for her future economic, political, military and cultural grandeur.
Even in those remote times, at the dawn of capitalism, wars resolved economic crises, and restored the "golden ages". After his death, in 528 B. C.9 the democrat, Kleisthenes assumed power, and he immediately abolished basic aristocratic privileges, especially in relation to State affairs. Because of the constitutional reforms which he introduced, he became known as the "Father of Athenian Democracy, which flourished during the Periclean Age.
As we could see, long, long before Marx and the "communists", "class struggle", that kept the young, growing European patria disunited and alive, was rife in ancient Hellas; it was the umbilical cord of Athenian "democracy", the archaic form of modern North American and European Democracy.
Patrix of the Great Ancient Greek Objective Idealist Philosophers
It was in this historico-social setting that the three famous Greek idealists were born: Socrates (469 - 399 B.C.), Plato (427 - 347 B.C.) and Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.) All three of them had concentrated their philosophic activities in Periclean and Post-Periclean Athens of the 5th and 4th Centuries B.C. However, let us continue with our surview of the patrix of their idealist thinking and thought, but, also with the demonstration of their materialist birth-marks of their specific ancient pagan idealism.
At the peak of its accumulative prosperity, of its robbery, of its acquisition of private property of the means of production and reproduction. Ignoring the "data" of Plato's Republic, and the utopian views of Socrates, let us look at ancient Athenian social reality. In those days, Athens did not have a population much larger than 400,000. The Athenian citizens, including their wives and children, numbered only about 160,000; furthermore, there were some 100,000 resident aliens and about 140,000 slaves. Socially, the Athenians were divided into noblemen and commoners, autochthonous citizens and foreign citizens, rich and poor, freemen and slaves.
However, as explained in a previous chapter already, only those Athenians who were fortunate of having been born of legitimately married citizens could participate in ta politiká - in the public affairs of the polis. In this ancient slave-owning democracy, in general, birth was the real passport to sonorous Hellenic citizenship. Nevertheless, it should be noted that some Greeks were also slaves, a social reality which Aristotle had opposed in his Politeia (Politics).
In spite of the political and philosophic reservations of both Plato and Socrates, during the Periclean Age, Athens had advanced to a flourishing metropolis, and for businessmen, for money and wealth accumulators, certainly it became the most important mercantile, manufacturing and financial centre of Hellas; its archaic metropolitan expansionist influence encompassed regions from the Black Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.
Economically, like all ancient Greek poleis, Athens was an ancient class society, divided into an urban and a rural sector. Outside the walls of the city, the peasants of Attica were mainly occupied with agriculture, stock-breeding, horticulture and viticulture; inside, free and slave artisans produced a variety of commodities, ranging from ceramic pottery to leatherware.
Already since 800 B. C., Athens had flourishing olive oil and ceramic ancient "industries". Piraeus, the lively Athenian sea-port, which had developed a wealthy archaic export-import industry, linked the polis to the rest of the Mediterranean world. In the nearby hills, at Laurion, the rich silver mines were located; 201 000 chattel slaves were toiling there to ensure that the State coffers were filled with the necessary revenue to finance the pomp and glory of the Periclean Age, but also the decoration of the ancient Acropolis, the extravagant Olympic Games and other artistic products of this magnificent superstructure, based on toiling slave labour.
About the real, sweating, suffering, creative "pomp and glory", that carried Periclean Democracy on their aching backs, our patrian manuals of "history" and "history of philosophy" have very little to tell -- also the real, true, perverse material, labour base of Athenian idealist philosophy today still is tantamount to an official, classified, patrian "Academic Secret". Like how politics supposedly should have nothing to do with economics, these armchair excellencies, sitting in their ivory "twin towers", enjoying their "tenure", truly feel that "history" should be divorced from the "history of philosophy", and that both should behave like eternal sado-masochistic sex-tourist "singles".
As we will see later, this exclusive unilaterality, already Plato had ushered in; for him, the real economic productors of Athenian-Periclean splendour and excellence, the slave „animals of burden“ possessed neither political rights, nor a „vision of truth“, nor did they have any „reason“ to acquire a virtuous life; in facto, for them there was absolutely nothing „divine“ to recollect; they were „natural“ slaves; in other words, by virtue of the will of the Highest Good, they were ordained to be slaves.
In any case, the overwhelming majority of them were „barbarian“ or „barbarous“. or even belonged to the age of „barbarism“; the „chosen few“ at least had the privilege to become „freemen“, to gain a Hellenic soul. Concerning the contribution of women to Periclean glory, we have commented much about the hetaira already; about their political life, for the next two millennia, it is not necessary to flog the dead horse, their inexistent anima any more.
THE ATHENIAN STATE -- MAIN EMPLOYER OF SLAVE LABOUR
The main subject matter of the Politeia (of both Platonic and Aristotelian versions) was the Athenian State which was the greatest employer of slave-labour. The latter ranged from toil in the mines and galleys, to work as domestics, teachers, policemen, clerks and bankers. However, in the Periclean Age, at the dawn of capitalism, nearly everything was still possible: once the main banker of Athens was a gifted slave - an absurdity for the contemporary Gnomes of Switzerland or the CEO's of Corporate America.
In Athenian society, the royal, rich, powerful and noble - among them some eminent Greek philosophers - possessed large quantities of slaves. This is one of the reasons why they could afford to scorn labour, could find time, leisure and hedoné, to think, to wonder, to ponder and to philosophize, to be artistic and creative. This is also why many Greek philosophers could make numerous voyages of „discovery“, and, in general, as globe-trotting "tourists", in the words of Aristotle, „to see the world“.
But, in this polis, in this "democratic" State, even small proprietors and artisans owed their social prestige and material wealth to slave-labour, to the fons et origo of Western Civilization, also the patrix of Western Philosophy. As already indicated above, the material base of the Athenian politan economy, and therewith its philosophic-cultural superstructure, was slave labour, complemented with foreign "imperial" conquests of natural and human resources and a virulent import-export industry.
However, the Athenian cosmopolis relied upon foreign imports of food and upon its exports for its ruling class prosperity, and „imperial“ income. It was only as such that Athens could maintain its hegemony as a super power, as the earthly Highest Good. Later aristocratic Sparta will take the military lead, demonstrating the relation between ta politiká and oikonomía, that is, between State Affairs and State Law (nómos) of the House (oikos), that is, the relations between the power and management of the household.
This many of our most brilliant globalized students of economics or CNN economists have not understood till this very day. Quod erat demonstrandum, when Sparta gained military-political power in the region, the glory of Athens very rapidly forever faded into global, patrian, capitalist oblivion. The same happened to Spain and Portugal, and thereafter Britannia was ruling the waves; now, in the Globalized Era", Blair again acts as the European political-military bridge-head of global power-economics of Corporate America.
Evidently, in such multiplex, hierarchical structures, necessarily, social and class contradictions must erupt, must produce material motion, movement and change. The various ancient political and constitutional struggles, which we elucidated before, raised serious problems, pertaining to the ekklesía, that is, to the community, more precisely, to the polis and ta politiká in general. Even after Kleisthenes had abolished Solon’s constitution, and after he had attempted to reach a „gentlemen's agreement“ between the Aristos (the best) and the Demos (the people), the social class struggle between aristocracy and democracy continued with unceasing political fervour.
During that epoch, it was the democratic slave-owning ruling class which was the revolutionary historical subject, although the slave revolts were already anticipating the future peasant revolts, and the coming bourgeois capitalist democratic revolution. Nonetheless, at the eve of Periclean glory, severe irreconcilable class tension raged between the aristocrats and democrats within the Athenian ruling classes themselves, but also, across Hellas, the social conflict between Poros (the rich) and Penia (the poor) deepened.
Concerning the latter, Socrates would transform the son of Aphrodite (alias Minerva, Athena or Venus), Eros, into the "unity-and-contradiction" of class struggle, into the son of both Poros and Penia. However, he still maintained that the contradiction between Poor and Rich would produce Love, but not Freedom. Of course, in the last analysis, the struggle to achieve ancient human love formed the two sides of the same social coin. Besides, as we have seen previously, the contradiction between Love and War, between Love and Hate, is an old Heracleitean-Empedoclean materialist, hylozoistic conception.
In spite of the glorious image which is sometimes portrayed of the „Golden Age“ of Hellas, certainly, in liberal-democratic, in ancient Periclean "Victorianism", wealthy landlords and royal noblemen, with Phoenician-Platonic souls of gold, had robbed and bamboozled impoverished small farmers and peasants, who only had iron and bronze in petto; similarly, pastoralists, agriculturists and ship owners -- the forefathers of Krupp, Rhodes, Oppenheimer, etc. - but also Sophists á la Professor Gorgias, who had his gorgeous, personal golden statue in Delphi, had hustled and justled women, hetairaí, artisans, mechanica, sailors and slaves.
De mal en pis, Athenian economic power was concentrated in alien hands -- nota bene, this was not the case with the Milesian economy --, which signified that non-citizens had owned its material base, in the form of moneylending or usury capital. These virulent, volatile contradictions generated internal social explosions which culminated in the Peleponnesian Wax, the Persian imperialist invasions, Macedonian hegemony, and, finally, in Roman conquest.
In addition to these, from the inside, Heracleitean pánta rhei - Hellenic Becoming-Being - exploded the Athenian polis, changed it into a metropolis, a cosmopolis, and eventually into an „imperialist“ centre, whose influence had extended from the Atlantic Ocean, across the Black Sea to the Indus River. Towards this immense material social process of Panhellenization, ancient Athenian idealism had cast a blind „vision of truth“, and, like an ostrich, Socrates hid his nous in the internal meditative-contemplative Platonic quicksand, lost in recollections and memories of a golden summum bonum a priori. dreaming about a spiritual aristocratic status quo ante.
PART II: The Sophists
Athena and Sophia: From Mythology to Ancient Greek Reality
As is well known, the tutelary goddess of Athens (or Athenai) was Athena (or Athene). As explained, she herself was a historical mythological-cosmogonic intellectual product, which was intimately linked with the genesis and epígénesis of of the polis Athens and Hellas, but also with their historico-social environment. Originally, she had no „pure“, „divine“ or „Aryan“ features. Her nickname, glaukopis, - that is, eyes of an owl, but not Indo-European, Germanic or blue ones -suggests that she was of Cretan origins; hence, she dates back. to the Cretan-Mycenaen culture. A study of ancient Cretan mythology will reveal that the „Mistress of the Animals“ was a divine huntress, who was later associated with Artemis, who again is another form or name of Athena.
At any event, Athena was related to the Earth, to agriculture and hunting; her owly, avine and avizeful features are reminiscences, but not in a Socratic-Platonic sense of ancient animal, bird and snake cults. According to religious-idealist versions, she was born as a virgin from the head of her father, from the divine Platonic nous of Zeus. However, scientific investigations could very easily reveal that she descended from various ancient myths, including that of the Cretan snake-goddess.
SNAKE MYTHOLOGY: TOWARDS SOCRATIC WISDOM
Historic Heritage of Sophia, of Athena, in Socratic-Platonic Objective Idealism
When her image was discovered in the ruins of the Parthenon, her guardian, the ophis (snake), was still adorning her wise countenance. The snake, including the one on the cross, again is related to the "negation" in Paradise, where it usefully told Athena's counterpart, Eve, the veritable truth, which had resulted in labour, by the „sweat of the brow“, in other words, in the beginning of patrian history. Furthermore, the snake is related to Lucifer and Prometheus, to the Light-Bringer, and, even to Jesus Christ.
Until today, we meet it as a symbol of human and social health, when we step into some drug-stores or pharmacies. It was the snake which had given original Ánthropos, Eve, a healthy „vision of truth“. Andy the archaic relation between Eve and Lucifer, between Athena alias Minerva alias Aphrodite, and the carrier of sophía, the snake, was very seductive and aphrodisiac, was poisonous and healing. And, a devil, which was telling the truth, was worth listening to. (Also see: Ernst Bloch, Gesamtausgabe, Band 14, op. cit., pp. 116 - 120.)
And, even worse, how did Lucifer succeed to enter divine paradise, or even heaven, only to be thrown out later, accompanied by "(Wo)man"? Even Plato had noticed some of these fundamental contradictions, when he doubted the omnipotence of the „Highest Good“, who cannot lie; at least, the „Highest Evil“ can tell the truth and lie at the same time. Later idealist dialectics will teach us that a „lie“ is the absolute truth, and that „truth“ is an absolute lie. (Also see: Platón, La Republica o el Estado, Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, S. A., undecima edición, 1973, pp. 89 - 90.)
Perhaps, it is significant to demonstrate the snakish history of Athena’s guardian. In the 3rd Century A.D., a Gnostic-Christian religious sect again concentrated on this Cretan-Athenian mythology of the ophis and its religious members became known as the Ophits. They resurrected the ancient mythology, according to which, Heracles had been victorious over Hydra, and Apollo had destroyed Python and erected Delphi on its hole; also about how Typhon had been subdued by divine action. For them, the ophis became the power of Moses, the miraculous essence of his rod. The lógos of Eve, sophía, accompanied Moses throughout the wilderness. (see: Ernst Bloch, op. cit., Band 14, pp. 231 - 237.)
All these, the Ophits related to Jesus Christ as Son of Man, to Lucifer, as the Bringer of Light, to wisdom and salvation on the cross. Hence, to such elevated historical levels, the mythological heritage of Athena was penetrating; from the bowels of Chthón, from the darkness of human nous, to Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness.
As such, Athena was an intellectual-material product which reflected a specific degree of patrian-historic consciousness; in other names, in other forms, with other attributes, with other appearances, forever changing, Athena, her snake and her owl, can be traced in numerous ancient cultures and civilizations, continuously and continuatively paving the arduous road towards sophía and philosophía. No wonder that the emergent patria hate her very existence, abhorred Mother Nature, condemned her Snake, as Lucifer, to everlasting, material, materialist Hell Fire.
She reflects the rebirth of historic praxis a n d theory, ever since the Neolithic Revolution, since the division of labour, since alienating labour, the introduction of private property, the emergence of social classes and the class struggle. Her material coming-into-being and passing-away can be detected in Gaia-Luna, she was shining in Ishtar, Cybele, Astarte, Isis and Demeter. Even the adorable Virgin Mary, standing on the sickle of the New Moon -- and later Donna Summers, on her LP, aphrodisiacally sitting on the sickle of the New Moon, singing seasonal melodies -- was her historical personification and divinization. Less divine, Sophía and Eve historically continued as Helen, Cleopatra, Isolde, Carmen and Juliet.
And, in the tradition of the Periclean hetairaí, world literature had made us intimately acquainted with their aphrodisiac qualities, their alluring sexual grace, with their production and reproduction of „wise men“. But, progressively, the natural, maternal and feminine were downgraded by patriarchal, patrian society to the seductive, snakish and bitchy, to femme fatale, to femme diabolique. Yet, already in ancient Greek mythology, we could witness the erotic, exotic, creative, fertile Cytherean traits of the Magna Mater, the beloved daughter of Zeus, who was chthonically-praxically oriented; later, as the embodiment of various natural, even slave-owning social productive forces -- she was the guardian of effective agon; the inventress of shipbuilding and fleets; the agricultural patroness of the Athenian olive oil industry, the promoter of fertility and handicrafts --, she was degraded, was used and abused for future, patrian, economic ends.
Athena -- Socrates' Wisest Counterpart
Above all, Athena was portrayed as the symbol of wisdom, the divine counterpart of the chthonic Socrates. During the quarrel between Zeus and Poseidon -- related to bestowing the best of gifts on the polis Athenai -- Poseidon had presented the polis with a horse, but the wise Athena, already anticipating the coming cosmopolitanism and foreign trade, advised her father to offer his Athenian subjects the benevolent gift of an olive tree.
Obviously, Athena won the day, and since 800 B.C. the olive industry flourished in Attica. Later, Aristotle, one of the intellectual giants of Antiquity, in his Politeia, would relate how his „wise“ predecessor, Thales, inspired by Minerva’s owl, and aided by philosophic-scientific knowledge, had bought up most of the olive presses at a time when he could predict the next good harvest; and, later, after the materialization of this wise „vision of truth“, as the father of Milesian crypto-capitalism, he charged monopoly rates for their usage.
In this way, he proved that hylozoists could participate in the accumulation of private property, money and and wealth, if they wish so, but, he emphasized that philosophers have much more serious human matters to attend to, to wonder about, and, moreover, to do. After all, Athena was also the Nike, the goddess of victory, the Pythagorean Number Seven, the symbol of wise triumph.
Using and abusing her wise, female powers, when the Romans triumphed over the Greeks, they called Athena the Minerva, and when the Roman Catholics triumphed over Graeco-Roman materialism, they called Minerva the Virgin Mary; a concrete manifestation of this victory can be sighted until today in Rome; the Church of S. Maria sopra Minerva is constructed on top of an earlier Athenaeum, an ancient holy shrine of Minerva alias Athena; this was in the same tradition, how Apollo had built his patrian Delphi on top of the nest of Athena's Python. However, in emancipatory latency-tendency, the terrestrial-sapient, praxico-theoretical tradition of Athena alias Minerva has transhistorized itself already; eventually, another galactic-spherical emancipatory council -- in the same "spirit" of changing Diana of Ephesus into the Roman Catholic Virgin Mary, -- could very well transchange the very Virgin Mary into the femme sapiens, into the historic-lovely Magellana, into "Miss Cloudy Transpherical".
Athena, Sophia and the Sophos
It takes two to tango, in this case, it was Sophía (Athena) and Socrates. There can be no love, no éros, when not at least two exist -- even "better" when the two excel each other --, that is, either Poros a n d Penia, or Wisdom a n d the Love for Wisdom. Consequently, no epistéme or gnosis exists without philosophía, and no sophía without philosophía, and vice versa.
Furthermore, as Shakespeare already taught us, even ignorance or madness has bliss or a method, but a blissful madness, like current megalomaniac global fascism, without any method without any idea or theory, which is totally non-related to transversal reality, is not even worthy of ignorance and insanity. Thus, every method has a logic, has an epistemology -- a theory of knowledge.
The Socratic method, although it was dialectical and formal-logical at the same time, nonetheless, it had a patrian practical-ideological objective, idealist epistemological base; it was well founded in ancient sophía and philosophía, and therewith in Athenian politan life. If modern „scientific“ methods and empiricist, pragmatic, positivist methodology are denying their epistemological relation, then they only demonstrate to what level contemporary patrian academic insanity and ignorance had degenerated into ahistoric nothingness, void even of Socratic-Platonic wisdom.
Hence, even in the fatherland, in the global fascist homeland, "Infinite Justice" (Ideology) without Dialectics is impotent, and Dialectics without sophía and philosophía is purblind. What the trigger-happy war-mongers of the current American "New Wars" ought to know, is the following: just like the mythological Argus, -- the divine vigilant watcher, aided by the Heracleitean-Empedoclean Ares, the patron of victory in political struggle, -- the militant Sophía was ruling wisely from the philosophic-scientific Areopagus of Political Praxis a n d Theory.
We should recall that Athena was ordaining Sophía from the Oracle of Delphi, which had the inscription gnothi seauton (Know Thyself!), and which was firmly based on Python's nest. It was this Oracle, not the politicians or citizens of Athens, which had declared Socrates to be the „wisest man“ on Earth.
However, there is a very clear distinction between a walking and talking encyclopaedic, computerized, cloned zombie and a wise, intelligent (wo)man. In other words, without belittling them philosophically, there is a fundamental differentia specifica between a sophistes (one who produces wisdom, like the Sophists, Gorgias or Protagoras) and a sophós, a creator of wisdom, a wise man (like Socrates). A teacher, a lecturer, a professor of philosophy, a sophistes, are specific educational realities, however, a philosopher, a philosophos, is a person of another social genre.
Moreover, although wisdom and philosophy have the same social area-contents, they are not identical, on the contrary, in universal reality, they form dialectically a unity and contradiction of opposites: Certainly, Aphrodite, Heracleitean Love, Platonic eros, Spinoza’s „crown of philosophy“ and Socratic-Platonic philosophia are not identical conceptions, and they do not reflect the same earthly or "divine" realities.
According to Ernst Bloch, „sophos, in its original meaning, connotes nothing more than an excellent artisan.“ (Gesamtausgabe, Band 10, op. cit., p. 358. My Translation.) Thus, sophia is not linked to idleness or laziness, but to the banausikos - to the handicraftsman, to grasping things intelligently with the hands, to ancient praxis-theory. The objective, subjective, transjective Love to do this, falls in another dominion of human emancipatory endeavour.
Sophism versus Socratism
It was the Sophists, headed by Protagoras, the common friend of Socrates and Pericles, who had begun to spread sophia across Hellas, who had generated the ideological cosmopolitanization of Ancient Greece. Obviously, by doing this, they came into conflict with the concentrated politan endeavours of Socrates. As „teachers of wisdom“, where the teacher is not necessarily a „wise man“, they began to operate in the various fields of official paideia, that is, to spread ancient, slave-owning, ruling class ideas; but, of course, some of them also propagated hylozoistic, materialist ideas.
Socrates -- From Sophos to Philosophos
Notwithstanding, the majority of Sophists was of noble aristocratic birth, which also implies that they had a healthy pecuniary orientation. Socrates, however, was of poor parentage, and before he converted himself into a philosophos, he was a sophos, a handicraftsman, by profession. It was Sophists, like Protagoras, or Gorgias, the originator of "nihilism", who had revealed Socrates' ruling class ideology, Socrates launched a violent attack against this „sacrilege“, not in the old hylozoistic spirit, but precisely from the opposite angle, from an idealist perspective.
However, imbued with sophia, Socrates correctly noticed that many Sophists indeed had changed the loving adoration of Athena into a fanatic worship of Pluto and Mammon. In this scientific, philosophic sense, for the sake of historic truth, it should also be under-lined, that the father of dialektiké, and, in a metonymical sense, the father of idealism, ab ovo usque ad mala had criticized primitive, capitalist megalomania. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels later would continue this praxico-theoretical Socratic tradition.
This is the „wise idealism“ which Lenin had contrasted with "vulgar materialism" of the Stalinist and „de-Stalinization“ era. It was this type of corruptio optimi pessima (the corruption of the best is the worst corruption) which had preoccupied the Socratic Plato or the Platonic Socrates, especially in the fields of morality and ethics.
Within this context, Socrates had declared total agon against the non-Sophos, the sophistes, the Sophist, the money-earner, the seller of episteme, gnosis and sophia to Hellenic youth. However, provided that one sells a true product, even such a "negative" practice could eventually bear true praxical fruits. Hence, as we will notice later, even "unwise, viceful" idealist, ideological social practices could give birth to their opposites, to "virtuous praxis-theory", could generate a love for Atomism, Epicureanism and Lucretianism.
We know that the Athenian, liberal, moderate democracy, the political backbone of Periclean cosmopolitanism and „imperialism“, certainly, did not approve of Socratic dialectical (aristocratic) propaganda. Not only radical Sophists, like Protagoras who had made man the measure of all things, but also conservative aristocrats, like Socrates and Plato, and polis-admirers, like Aristotle, were dragged before the „Trials of Athens“, organized by the "democratic" Periclean rulers, and charged with "anti-terrorist" asebeia (blasphemy of the gods) -- a pseudonym for anti-democratic propaganda and practices.
Not only progressive artisans, but also hylozoists, like Anaxagoras, who had introduced Athens to philosophia, and progressive, educated women, like the hetaira, Phryne, became victims of such inquisitorial Athenian trials. Hence, in spite of all the general idealist metempsychotic, mnemic mysteries which surrounded the "heroic" death of Socrates, in the last analysis, he was tried as a political opponent of the ruling democratic regime. Consciously, Socrates, together with his eminent aristocratic friends -- among them, Xenophon, Alcibiades and Critias -- , had attempted to „de-estabilize“ Periclean metropolitanism, and to establish the aristocratic status quo ante or an ideal Platonic politeia. Obviously, in that Victorian „Golden Age“, matrian sophia was too radical for Athenian patrian "democracy", and philosophia had just been introduced into Athenian "high society", and it did not conceptualize or categorize itself as yet.
Towards the Conceptualization of Sophia and Philosophia
Having introduced the alma mater , should really be the alma pater, of ancient Socratic-Platonic objective idealism, and having related her/him to the wise Magna Mater, to Athena, obviously, the Heracleitean bella, the "father" of all things, certainly would intervene. The synthesis of this agon was the Socratic horos (concept), but its scope was limited to meditation-contemplation, to „visions of truth“ of the summum bonum.
But how are all these related to our central topic, to the contradiction between universal and particular subjects? We would recall that up to Democritus (and continuing with Epicurus, Lucretius, and later Lucian), the ancient hylozoists and naturalists had taken a Universal Subject, a lógos or nous, within phýsis itself for granted. This was a matter beyond question, and they had related individual human souls to this Cosmic Subject. However, how the human psyché functions, how the human (social) intellect or mind operates within concrete material Being-Becoming and Becoming-Being, they did not elaborate in a differentiated manner.
In other words, they did not illustrate or reflect upon the active relation of human nous to the social logos, to the universal anima mundi. They did not analyse the method of motion, the dialectical process of cogitare and cogitatio themselves; in fact, this, within the historical context of Multi-Logics, is a scientific, philosophic quintexistential conditio sine qua non to comprehend and to analyse praxis a n d theory itself.
Nevertheless, as we have stated already, for anything to materialize, to step into cosmic, earthly reality, including thought processes, or thinking about thinking itself, the subjective- and objective-real material conditions must be existent for its coming-into-existence. It is the dynamic potencies and potentialities within these processual conditions which make anything possible within a closed, universal system.
In this case, the existence of ancient materialism had made its opposite, ancient idealism, possible. At the same time, precisely the existence of Athenian idealism had made the conceptualization and categorization of Aristotelian idealism-materialism possible, could produce the Aristotelian objective-formal dynamei on and the Epicurean materialist-subjective arbitrium liberum.
Surely, it seems to be an unfortunate, sphingid, historical aporia that the Opposite of Materialism had to commence to analyse and cognosce the human mind and intellect, to investigate the processes of thought, and to develop ideas, concepts and categories, but, speaking in patrian, systemic, dialectical terms, Socratic-Platonic "aristocratic" idealism was philosophically more suitable to accomplish this historical task. And, as we know, concerning the application of dialektiké to thought processes, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle did accomplish a magnificent philosophic task. This was their true philosophic merit independent of what their idealist, religious and neo-Platonic successors had done with this grandiose intellectual achievement.
What made things worse was, that after idealism, assisted by „pre-Socratic“ hylozoism, had elevated philosophy to higher intellectual degrees, qualitatively, the historico-social conditions in Hellas changed themselves, and therewith also the concrete, quantitative realities; in this transitional, transhistoric epoch, Macedonia and Rome invaded Hellas and a possible dialectical synthesis of ancient idealism and materialism -- which Aristotle had introduced already, and which Theophrastus and Straton still attempted to keep alive -- was "nipped in the bud".
This could have given the Aristotelian „Left“ the upper hand, could have generated more revolutionary, patrian, scientific, philosophic contradictions, and could have avoided the Roman Catholic Inquisitorial "Dark Ages". Instead ancient Greek objective idealism became subjectivized, spiritualized, divined, Neo-Platonized, Christianized, Catholicized and Dominicanized, and thus it became converted into an effective ideological tool against revolutionary, even bourgeois mechanical materialism, which for many centuries had done serious harm to human freedom of thought and action.
On the other hand, like Moses, Greek materialism was forced to take a sojourn into the "wilderness", across Africa and Arabia; in this way, at least, it could at escaped the „Dark Ages“ and the Roman Inquisition. After the Renaissance, when materialism was confronted with absolutism and obscurantism, as revolutionary bourgeois mechanical materialism, it already operated with precise, philosophic concepts, categories and universals. Across Feuerbach, Marx and Engels, as systemic "negation", patrian materialist dialectics were introduced into the modern capitalist superstructure.
PART III: Socrates
SOCRATES -- A REAL EARTHLY MAN OR A PHILOSOPHIC CREATION OF PLATO?
Socrates -- like Homer, Jesus Christ, or William Shakespeare -- is historically one of the most enigmatic, sphingid characters. Surprisingly, either we know exceedingly much about his real, tellurian existence or we know very little, which is tantamount to knowing practically nothing about his real historic praxis-theory. At least, we have a creative solatium.
Like, in the case of God, the devils, the angels and demons, whatever they personify or impersonate are true concrete historical creations of human consciousness and action. They are as real as social being and social consciousness, as labour, as the fatherland itself. The above also applies to all our other self-projections, ranging from Zeus to Jehovah, from Athena to the Virgin Mary, from the ancient Iraqi "Garden of Eden" to the postmodern American „Great Society“. Hence, whether real or virtual, let us continue to elucidate the aqueous-etherial Ariel of divine dialektiké.
In concrete material terms, we know more about the historical Socrates than the real Jesus Christ. In all probability, Jesus’ arché or mater might very well have been the mythological Athena alias Minerva alias her Python on the Holy Cross, alias The Immaculate Virgin Mary. Except the Messianic principle, which we encounter in the Old Testament about an anointed, coming saviour of the Jews, and his association with Jesus Christ by the Christians, as expounded in the New Testament, including the censured epistles, for example, of Marcion, the brilliant minds of Alpha A. D. were unable to register the divine essence of the Son of Man, and certainly not his terrestrial holy being. On the other hand, cum grano salis, certain historic „facts“ about Socrates’ life seem to be scientifically well-established. Our main sources of the Socratic soul migration during the 5th Century
B.C are the ancient Greek idealist philosopher, Plato, and the ancient Greek military man, Xenophon. Both of them claimed of having been pupils of Socrates: but, in contradistinction to Plato, Xenophon had serious philosophic demerits. Furthermore, Aristophanes, the ancient Greek comic dramatist, had caricatured Socrates in The Clouds. In addition, we have the commentaries of some post-Socratic critics, exempli gratia, Aristotle, a pupil and critic of Plato. On this shaky historical basis, we will now continue elaborating the "Socratic Revolution".
Alas! Personally, like Thales, Socrates seems never ever to have published a single line, contradicting the wise life philosophy to write or study at least a line de die in diem. But, for sure, in other times and places, other behaviour patterns, and writing, in any case, contradicted the Socratic cosmovision. Beyond doubt, according to the reports of Plato in his "Dialogues", he was acquainted with the philosophic views of his time, and, compared to Plasto's encyclopaedic writings, evolving dialektiké certainly would presuppose some careful study and writing -- unless Plato himself was the real culprit, was the Socrates whom we know. . As a result of the historic obscurity about the real life of Socrates, many philosophic controversies ensued, especially in relation to his real thoughts and his true intellectual production.
The crux of the matter is that Xenophon could not comprehend the wisdom of Socrates, and that Plato knew his philosophy verbatim et litteratim, namely, although Socrates wrote nothing, Plato knew him too well. In the case of Jesus Christ, we encounter a similar Platonic ingenuity, where apostles write about his life, quoting him expressis verbis, as if they were still sitting at his feet - in one case, a disciple wrote his epistola at least a century later under Stoic-religious influence.
At any event, we should not forget that we are occupied with „revelations“ and „beliefs“, with miracles, which have nothing in common with sophia, gnosis and episteme. Notwithstanding, we are principally concerned about the philosophic Socrates, independent of the fact that he may have been a Socratic Plato or a Platonic Socrates. After all, Mickey Mouse and Dagobert Duck are social realities with which we have to deal daily, irrespective of the fact that they never have lived on Earth; they are very much alive in modern, capitalist, bourgeois ideology. Above all, related to praxis-theory, in spite of all his early concrete merits as a sophos, later, as philosophos, Socrates did not consider that human action bear any real relevance to terrestrial social emancipation; in the final analysis, not even in his beloved polis, Athens.
In all existential philosophic aspects, with regard to Socratic idealism, Plato and Xenophon are in disagreement. And, in the few cases, where they agree, we cannot discern anymore where eclectic plagiarism begins and where historic truth and scientific data end. In any case, such polemics lead to nothing, because the philosophic problem does not circle around „who’s who?“, is not based in the mension of different interpretations of the world, but in the fact whether Socratism had made a contribution to changing and improving the world praxically a n d theoretically. .
Socrates: "Historic" Data
Anyhow, let us look at the well-established historic data concerning the life of Socrates. He supposedly was born in 469 B.C. His father, Sophroniscus, was a sculptor, and his mother, Phainarete, was a midwife. Hence, Socrates was conceived in a family of moderate wealth. In this sophós environment, naturally he became an artisan, and later married Xanthippe. His wife became a philosophic problem, to the level that she was eternalized in idiomatic expressions. As Xantippe, Zantippe or even Zentippe, she became identical with all the female shrews and scolds of the world and of history. (See: Xenophon, Symposium, 2, 10.)
At the time when Socrates had married, he was already a philosopher, and had left the domain of banausian working for his living. Probably, as in the case of Marx, Xantippe had no alternative but to complain about her husband’s adverse chthonic poverty; after all, under adverse economic conditions, she had to feed three sons, especially in a society which had discriminated women until the depth of their very Socratic nous. In all probability, this female degradation of Xantippe was a typical Cynic defamation and invention.
We do not know who precisely was the teacher of Socrates, but already as craftsman he was interested in paideia and philosophy. During the Peleponnesian War, he participated in three battles, and in the one at Poteidaia, he saved the life of Alcibiades, who became his great aristocratic friend. However, apart from this participation in civil wars, like Kant, who in all his life never left Königsberg, Socrates travelled very little, he seldom left his home polis.
At a mature age, Socrates taught dialektiké and philosophy to the Athenian youth. For his pedagogic undertakings he received no remuneration, and he spent most of his time in disputation and rhetorics on the streets and market squares - no wonder Xantippe got deeply disturbed. In 399 B.C., he was arrested, brought to trial, accused of asebeia, condemned to death, and executed. More than the above - a part of which is scientific speculation -we do not know for certain.
The "Socratic Revolution"
To a certain extent the social-educative activities of Socrates had a resemblance with the pedagogic efforts of the broad spectrum of Sophists, however, as the philosophic legend goes, with the fine difference that Socrates never taught for gold. Both philosophic trends had focussed their philosophic endeavours on an analysis of human ousia (nature, essence) and ta ethika (conduct, ethics).
Thus, in ancient Greek philosophy an intellectual movement was generated which began to move away from direct investigation of the phýsis (nature in a most general sense), namely, of the external, objective reality, and which was developing towards a study of man, of his inner self, of his psyché and nous, and his relations to other human beings, that is, his social relations.
Both schools of thought made Thinking and Thought, cogitare and cogitatio, the main subject matter of philosophia. Of course, in a meditative-contemplative sense, Socrates (and more so Plato) related human Denken (Thinking) and Gedanken (Thoughts) to ethics and morality.
However, Socrates, to a large extent, still a hylozoistic Pythagorean-Anaxagorean philosophic creation of Sophia, and still inspired by the crypto-atomistic thinking and reasoning substance, nous, tried to explain human and social behaviour in a naturalist manner; he still attempted to apply rational thought to human and social ethics; in this way, in transition, he brought about the "Socratic Revolution".
Contrary to the later Stoic-religious-movements, Socrates did not leave human behaviour and practice to the mercy of priests and mystery cults, in other words to divine Olympic Gods, or even to „democratic“ poets and lawgivers. In this sense, he even had Epicurean-Lucretian, Lucian-Voltairean anti-religious features; of course, this is not strange, in facto, Socrates and Plato were "heathens"; in modern terms, seen from a Christian arrogant standpoint, they were "atheists", "non-believers", because the only thing in which a "civilized" person officially could "believe" was in the Credo; e contrario, the Academy was a place of pagan worship, of contemplation-meditation.
Hence, in this sense, Socrates differed from Protagoras, the hylozoist father of Sophism, and from the ancient "nihilist", Gorgias; but, in the last analysis, he is the reputed father of idealism, which had driven a large section of humanity into the abyss of metaphysical, pessimistic, apocalyptic disaster, into a mental holocaust. We cannot ascertain with philosophic accuracy, whether the above was essentially a Platonic contradiction -- Plato himself was an active praxico-theoretical contradiction, as we will see later -- or whether it was the intra-systemic Socratic "negation" in Platonic idealism, which was striving towards philosophic naturalism, and which was highlighted again by Aristotle, and more so by Theophrastus and Straton.
However, within the context of the. ancient class struggles, this revolutionary element in Socratism was relative: neither Socrates nor Plato, at heart, ever were democrats, and they definitely scorned the poor; they never had the class interests of the exploited masses -- of the "producers", house-wives and slaves -- in mind, in spite of all the sweet talk about the Highest Good. Plato was mostly concerned with his „guardians“ in his "negative" communist Utopia, who later found their historic examples in the Jesuits of old Paraguay or the Ecclesiastics in the States of the Church. All his „culture“ and „communism“ were devoted to make aristocratic men into „gentlemen“; this also included the production of „philosophic“ and „warlike“ hetaeran women, of the archaic "Margaret Thatcher's".
FROM HYDOR TO ARETE
Refreshing our Philosophic Memory, our Emancipatory Anamnesis
In order to understand this idealist contradiction better, that is, to comprehend its internal negation of materialism, let us summarize in brevi the main philosophic achievements of ancient Greek hylozoism from Thales to Democritus, including their Not-Yet in Epicureanism and Lucretianism, as elaborated in previous chapters.
As mentioned before, philosophia had its genesis in the Ionian city-states of the 6th Century B.C. Essentially, it was aimed at demythologizing the world, to explain the pan, the kosmos, logically out-of-itself, hence to systematize and develop human knowledge and praxis. Because the Gods were external, they dwelled on Olympus, the scientific-philosophic focus was towards the Above, the Outside, towards the surrounding Universe.
However, although the ancient naturalists were concerned about the Macrocosmos, about the Maximum, they already began to reflect on microcosmic, infinitesimal dimensions of the arché, for example, about the spermata, chremata or atomos. Moreover, already Thales was preoccupied with the strange spirit, the psyché, in the lodestone.
In general terms, we can say that the ancient panpsychic, panvitalistic hylozoists had treated Plan, his soul, and Society, as intrinsic parts of total, rational, external, objective reality. Universal Being had an intrinsic immanent-transcendent Universal Subject. The Kosmos is alive and material; and alive is motion, is Becoming-Being and Being-Becoming, that is, what hylozoism is all about. Human Being, including Human Subject - individual, social and historical - was not something ex-territorial or even limitrophe; in fact, there was nothing golden, divine or immortal about it; this subject was subjected to all the principles, motions, movements, transformations, forces and powers of the arché itself - of hydor, aer, pyr, chthón, apeiron, etc.
In accordance with the general materialist perspective, of their naturalist philosophy, all the „pre-Socratic“ philosophers -- how did they know that they were living before Socrates, and why not „pre-Democratic“ or even „pre-Democritean“ philosophers? --, as their few preserved fragments could witness very accurately, did comment on human behaviour, ethics and morality, but this certainly was not their central philosophic motif or motivation. In fact, we could even detect „primitive“ reflections on Thinking and Thought, on doxa, paradoxa and eidola, on sense-perception and true knowledge.
To crown this all, to explain Being and Existence dialectically, as had been the case of Anaximander, or even Thales, this logically presupposes the utilization of dialectical thinking and thought. And, as we have noted, in this respect, Anaximander and Heracleitus were ancient „Left“ Hegelians. But, in uni-lateral teaching of the "history of philosophy", materialists and "speaking tools" just don't think, just cannot think at all.
We can safely say that from its Milesian genesis to its Heracleitean epigenesis, ancient materialism had gained fundamental, ontic dialectical insights into "external" universal processes, into the physis, into human nature itself. As we know, from the Eleatics to the Pythagoreans, naturalism was filled with paradoxes, aporias, dilemmas, trilemmas and even polylemmas.
Dialektiké was even used against dialectics by Zeno of Elea, before Socrates had made it a principle of human thinking. All these philosophic polemics had necessitated precise, scientific thinking and thought processes.
Thus, summa summarum, contrary to official interpretations, it was the hylozoistic pre-Socratics“ that had initiated the intellectual process towards Thinking-About-Thinking-Itself, and, in fact, had made some valuable contributions towards its self-realization. They made essential and existential contributions towards logics and physics, and were already extending their philosophic endeavours towards the realm of Man vis-a-vis the Cosmos and Society, and thus began to enrich the fields of social sciences and ethics.
In the same tradition, Epicureanism even advanced to a world philosophy, and survived for many centuries, parallel to Stoicism, Platonism and Aristotelianism. And this world philosophy, Epicureanism, as compared to Platonism and Aristotelianism, just receives step-child presentation in the sonorous academic circles of the alma mater.
Arete and Agathós, Virtue and the Good
Consequentially, what is the „Socratic Revolution“ all about? Quintexistentially, it was a mental revolution, which concentrated itself on human nous, on thinking and thought themselves, on intellectual processes, and their idealist relations to human society, to ethics and ruling class morality in general. Hence, taking into account what has been elaborated before, it was a philosophic movement towards "internal reality", but not in the sense of the Aristotelian dynamei on, not to discover real human potency and social dynamics. E contrario, it was a step "backwards" towards Cretan-Thracian, Dionysian-Bacchic, Pythagorean-Platonic metempsychosis and anamnesis. But, at the same time, it was two steps "forward" towards the Socratic horos (concept) and dialektiké, the sine qua non for the Aristotelian kategoria (category, universal, predicament).
Nonetheless, it was also a movement away from naturalist ananke and tyche, from Necessity and Chance, towards teleology, theology and entelechy, towards Divine Purpose, Design and Will of the Highest Good, of a Supreme Intelligence, which "negated" Epicurean human liberium arbitrium, that is, freedom of choice, free will, revolutionary praxis-theory.
This „revolution“ is the fons et origo of a socio-philosophic tendency which would suffocate, frustrate, prostrate and genuflect general intelligence of the human species, its worth and aspirations. In human practice, it definitely decelerate the historic achievement of billions to walk in upright gait. In its Neo-Platonic-Plotinian, Roman Catholic version, it rationalized burning living human bodies on the stake, human slavery, colonial plunder and conquest, inhumane, absolutist bestiality and merciless exploitation -- in its "reformed" aftermath, nowadays, it justifies even genocidal, global, fascist, American "New Wars".
But, everything began very harmless, it originated with virtue and the good, with arete and agathos. And, in the same way, as we cannot blame Marx, that the „Marxist-Leninists“ had vulgarized and putrefied historical dialectical materialism and had converted it into an „ideology“ of a ruling bureaucratic elite of a „new type“, we cannot excruciate Socrates for having ushered in a necessary intellectual revolution, for having blazed the trail for a „wise idealism“ (Lenin).
With philosophic sincerity, imbued with sophia, without doubt, Socrates certainly was concerned about the virtues of polity men, with his „divine“ and „sacred“ qualities. Irrespective of our opinion about ancient aristocracy, Socratism was a patrian, political act, it was concretely directed against Periclean liberal democracy. For this political practice, Socrates had to pay the highest price, it ended with Socrates’ personal soul transmigration, with his execution by ancient ruling class violence. Well, that's convincing patrian. aristocratic praxis and theory!
All the idealist flowerings and formal-logical, religious eloquence of his final speech cannot cover this veritable patrian, historic fact. In this praxico-theoretical consequence was lying Socrates’ philosophic merit, whether we agree with his doctrines or not. In fact, as we will see later, this was a Socratic-Platonic praxico-theoretical, political trait, a direct consequence of a wise idealism. True to his ideas, to his idealist theory, Plato even landed on the slave market. As we were emphasizing, ancient idealism was still Socratic and Platonic, not yet Neo-Platonic and Plotinian, and thus, it was still „sophic“, aurorean and original - just born from hylozoism. It still had natural, naturalistic birthmarks, it was still good, virtuous, beautiful and true.
Nevertheless, in contradistinction to his hylozoistic predecessors, Socrates was turning away from naturalism, he paid very little attention to physical dawn, dusk or twilight. His „vision“ was focused on the Internal, on inner ousia and arete. He was not searching for the arché but for the summum bonum. Nonetheless, at least within the context of his polis, he considered virtue to be natural, concrete and practical. For him, all that which served public, practical life was the essential and general.
Let us now embark on his ethical doctrine. As introduction, it is significant to mention that certain Cynic elements, and even Stoic undertones, can be traced in Socratic morality. As stated before, his practical arete did not pass beyond the walls of the Athenian polis, especially not into the realm of the poor, the women and the slaves.
In fact, Mother Nature, that is, the flowers and the birds outside on the meadows, the peasants and agriculturists who lived outside the Periclean haut monde, all was not telling him anything. At least, Heracleitus and Lucretius had taught us to learn from Mother Nature, to listen to her. Socrates did not even gaze into the Cosmic Blue, because, for him, external reality is a useless, senseless preoccupation and occupation. His naturalness was internal, subjective naturalness, not in the sense of natura naturata or even natura naturans.
If he had valued anything about Nature, then it was her Pythagorean-Periclean harmonia; and, concerning Polis Man, his eudaimonia, his personal, individual hedone, his private property of happiness, all these formed the alpha and omega of his essence and being. This virtuous eudaimonia corresponded to that which the Greeks mythologically had associated with tyche, with good luck, and which the Romans later had called fortuna.
Hence, for the sake of beatitudo, a righteous, virtuous life must be the goal of every polis human being. Of course, the Socratic hedone should not be confounded with the Epicurean concept of human pleasure. Its real essence was expounded very clearly in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Politics. (See: R. G. Mulgan, Aristotle’s Political Theory, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1977, pp. 3 - 37.)
Now, what guided this Socratic happiness or divine pleasure? Socrates himself had claimed that he possessed an inner voice, a Mini-God, a daimónion, a personal Oracle of Delphi, which guided his practical, virtuous, happy life. Later the Roman Catholics would call this good demon a special, personal guardian-angel. Because Xenophon and Plato disagreed in their reports, we do not know the specific functions of this Socratic daemonium.
According to Plato, it generated sophia (Plato, Apol., 31 Cf.); Xenophon had converted it into a warning sirene. (Xenophon, Memorab., T4, 15; IV, 3, 13.) However, according to Socrates, every human being has such an inner, omniscient, omnisapient voice, a natural, instinctive voice. Obviously, this demon was still related to Thales’ psyché in the lodestone, because it was not equivalent to the „divine“ in us. This is what we meant when we mentioned earlier the birthmarks of hylozoistic naturalism in Socratism.
When Socrates self-sacrificed himself, this demon very wisely remained silent; it told him nothing about his future soul transmigration and about „divine“ things to come. It refrained to comment on agathos or about a bonus in the Hereafter, in fact, it had no knowledge about the Highest Good, the summum bonum. This archaios, aura vitalis or hegemonikon in, within Socrates, which refused to die wholly, preferred to say nothing about the Heracleitean lógos or Anaxagorean nous, of which it is historically an intrinsic existential part.
Virtue and Knowledge, Gnothi seauton -- Know Thyself!
According to Socrates, arete is true human being; our only problem was to recognize and to comprehend it, in the sense of recollection. And, in this respect, he resurrected another ancient Greek mythological element, which dated from the epoch of the „Seven Wise Men“: the inscription in the Oracle of Delphi, the maxim of Python, the famous „gnome“ of Cheilon: Gnothi seautón - Know Thyself!
However, the sophos, Socrates, had converted naturalism into subjective craftsmanship, into concept-building; across the millennia, transhistorically, his new philosophic watchwords became: meditation, contemplation, transcendental meditation, prayer, transmigration of souls, Bacchic-Dionysian unio mystica, Athenian in vino veritas, eventually, the Roman Catholic paternoster, and, finally, in our era, patrian bourgeois-democratic unity, union, unification, patriotic "homeland" globalization, universalization.
Thus we could notice that Socratism had had real, healthy, philosophic roots which were firmly grounded in the „Age of the Seven Wise Men“, in Milesian naturalism, in philosophic artisanship, but, it already had the significant alienating connection with human labour. On the other hand, it had a Cynic, Stoic and even Kantian latency-tendency. This Socrates, who had this artisan and sophos heritage, still had praxical attributes, but the Platonic Socrates, even more so, the Plotinian Socrates, eventually lost everything, even his very physical psyché.
However, it was also true that Socrates emphasized that it was the Highest Good which had provided man with all his means of production, with a daemonium and with an immortal soul. It is this Supreme Intelligence which took care of Greek politan homo sapiens, endowed him with virtus. It follows logically that within the Socratic moral doctrine, gnosis and episteme (knowledge) became the ousia (essence) of ta ethika, of human ethics. Virtue was Knowledge, and Knowledge was the Highest Good.
And, how did Greek patrian anthropos achieve virtue, knowledge, the Highest Good? By means of dialektiké, by practising rhetorics, by mental dialectical reasoning, ontic acrobatics, by conceptual aerobics. Via elentike, Man could approximate virtue, the beautiful, the truthful and the good. Evidently this idealist dialectics, this mental unilateral contemplation-meditation, was alien to Heracleitean materialist dialectics, to fiery Luciferean-Promethean Praxis-Theory.
Socratic Rhetorics -- Dialectics
Firstly, it should be noted that Socratic dialectics is not identical with Hegelian or Marxian dialectics. Essentially, Socratic dialektiké (a method, of logical reasoning, rhetorics) was an idealist dialectics of concepts - a logic of the lógos, of ennoia, of thought processes. In this sense, Empedoclean circular motion, circulation, was evident in Socratic dialectics; it was all mechanics, all quantitative change, but not qualitative surpassing.
And, as we know, it was based in the Idea of the Idea, in the Highest Good. With a boredom of bliss, glory and holiness, the human soul, like Hegel's World Spirit later, „dialectically“ remembered, recollected and transmigrated across the aeons, all the time purifying itself from chthonic scales and material shells, from hylozoistic, Ionian, Luciferian-Mephistophelian, Promethean-Heracleitean Hell Fire; furthermore, precisely stated in a Bacchic-Pythagorean sense, this human soul eventually circulated back into its fons et origo, soared back into the Highest Good. Nothing new happened to it; just like the eternal, systemic, universal dialectical "circles of circles", "syntheses of syntheses", "A's of A's", it was divine before, and it ended up being divine. Nothing really happened to it, it was and ever will be: eternal, internal, infinite, circular, cyclic squaredom, boredom, simply Labour, Alienation.
But, let us look at the "positive", "optimistic" and "hopeful" aspects of Socratic dialectics, at its revolutionary ousia. After all, according to Lenin, a wise idealism, that is, an idealism inspired by feminine, fertile, maternal, material sophia, was far nearer to patrian historical dialectical materialism than any stupid, vulgar mechanical materialism, void of wisdom. And, we should not forget that Socrates was the „wisest“ man of all times. What concerned Socrates was to gain true knowledge about the eternal agathos, not only in the Highest Good, but also in Polis Man himself.
This objective, and not subjective, was the main telos, the principle aim, of Socratic elentike (counter-argument or refutatio) and dialektiké (the art of logical reasoning). Hence, what interests us specifically is the Socratic method, and how it explained the processes of thought, of "abstraction", and its instruments of intellectual creativity, of mental production, reproduction and approximation, that is, its tools: words, language, ideas, conceptions, definitions, and later, its Aristotelian categories and universals.
The Socratic Method
Thus, we are interested in the Socratic method, not to accumulate extra intellectual profits, to gain more „facts“ and encyclopaedic knowledge, but because of its scientific, philosophic, praxico-theoretical implications, for its analytic value in approximating human essence a n d existence. This method, as illuminated before, was aurorean and original, and although it was focused away from the arché, it was nevertheless archaic in a materialist, naturalist sense.
The real new is always anticipatory and emancipatory, it tends towards transhistoricity, towards "transphericality". More than two millennia later, the dialectical materialists, Marx and Engels, would give divine arete and agathos, and especially the Socratic dialektiké, a real scientific, terrestrial class basis, will place them concretely within the dominion of perpetual class struggle and patrian human liberation.
All knowledge, for Socrates (or the Socratic Plato), was a recollection, the "re-Conquista" of the Highest Good, of Heaven and Paradise. It was a recovery, a rediscovery, of the eternal morphé (form). This morphé, which was the existential in human being, had to be extracted from its corporeal, essential, human hýle, from its appearance form. Plato also called this morphé the idea. The agathos, the good, was the Idea of the Idea. Later Aristotle would define this morphé (form) with more philosophic precision.
Socratic Liberty: Striving towards the Idea of the Idea!
The "Orwellian Big Rat"
Now, how could polis human beings, human ideas, strive towards the Idea of the Idea? How could we get a „vision of truth“, how could we cognosce aletheia? Very simple, by denying everything which was human in our cosmic being, by becoming dependent „parts“ of the Highest Good, but not becoming the Supreme Intelligence itself. Here we smell an Apartheid rat, a coming Orwellian Big Rat! How we could accomplish this unio mystica, Socratic logics showed us. Let us now elaborate the elements of dialektiké.
The four elements of dialektiké
The four elements of Socratic logics are:
epagoge (induction); and,
horismos (definition, limitation or conceptualization).
As eisagoge, to remain within Socratic terminology, it is important for us to note that maieutike (which is really, the method) concerned the formal side of this logic, and that horismos (which is the conceptualization) concerns the contents, that is, that what this logic contains. Consequently, the method was related to form, and the definition (horismos) to contents.
And, when we talk about relations, within our own philosophy, within patrian, earthly, limited analyses of production and reproduction, we also utilize these Socratic elements and contradictions, where appropriate, we imply, apply internal dialectics within our Intra- AND Extra-Multi-Logics, currently, specifically in our Trialogics. The trifference is that we not only have "concepts", "categories" or "universals", but triagories: for example:
Percepts a n d Concepts AND Transcepts, in short, Transcepts. Percepts are Unigories, Concepts exist as Unigories a n d Diagories, Transcepts excel as Unigories a n d Diagories AND Triagories.
Even for Socrates, there was a dialectical relation between method and form, between a concept and its content. Concrete, written Words or Language themselves were not concepts, they were mere tools of thought, of the very Socratic concept, of dialectical conceptualization. Now, let us look more closer at some of these logical elements.
Socratic irony was a method of questioning, a means to cause intellectual fire, commotion, insecurity, doubt, confusion. It attacked the basis of patrian, common, eternal and absolute truths; it challenged doxa, paradoxa, opinions of the eminent, walking, talking encyclopaedia, which contained all the „facts“. It revealed the limits of politan knowledge and ancient patrian sciences and it highlighted endemic human ignorance.
Furthermore, Socrates demonstrated that once we have perceived the horizon of our ignorance, we have already surpassed it. „I know that I know nothing“ is no more ignorance, it is the first step towards historic, emancipatory science a n d philosophy. Thus, with his irony, Socrates highlighted the imprecision of the ideas and concepts which his discussing partners were using, and which they believed to have been eternal, absolute truths; surely, they are generally nothing else than elements of ruling class ideology, of newspeak, of double-think, of "information".
And, as we know, in contradistinction to philosophy, patrian ideology of all brands and versions always attempt to falsify historic consciousness. Consciousness is conscious per definitionem, it could only be falsified, be perverted, that is, it can be transformed into ideology, but then it is consciousness no more; hence, neither "correct" nor "false'"; „false consciousness“ (Engels), like black snow, like a devilish angel, a lumpen-proletarian bourgeois, a "undemocratic American" themselves are all simply forbidden, ontic, logical fruits, are just only formally possible states of thought, that could only flourish in contemporary, academic virtual reality.
Hence, „false consciousness“ is not ideology per se; ipso facto, the two exclude each other. In a true Socratic dialectical sense, the opposite of knowledge and consciousness was mental slavery and ignorance, and there was nothing „false“ about all these concepts, because they formed a dialectical unity and contradiction of opposites.
From Socratic to Catholic Ethics
But, let us regress to the Socratic logical elements. The ideas of Socrates’ discussing partners, consequently, did not reflect the ousia of reality - in Hegelian terms. we would say the „contradictions“ of reality, of the anima mundi and the Absolute Idea. Thus, they were only using incommensurate fragments of knowledge, were expressing vague, opaque ideas about reality. (See: Plato, Theat., 195B, also: Phaedros, 234, Eff.) Thus, having reached the stage of their general ignorance, that is, knowing that they knew nothing, the next methodological step was to move towards new, original, precise ideas.
This was how Socrates thought and taught. It was maieutike, the Socratic method, which assisted himself and his discussing partners in the ontic labour pain, in the painful intellectual renaissance, in the "Socratic Revolution". It generated mental germination, philosophic fertility, female intuition, other Can-Be’s and Could-Be’s; it demolished the obsolete, traditional, cultural, class directives of Do's and Don't Do's, of Think's and Don't Think's. In this way, very slowly, the slave-owning, socialized patrian man could commence to comprehend the general, the katholou, the katholikos, the communis, could later advance to feudalist, absolutist Roman Catholicism. (Plato, Theat., i49 Bff.)
Only in this sense, modern Communists and Catholics can have a common logical base, can we speak about the patrian theology of revolution, and the paternal revolution of theology. Only as such, could „I know that I know nothing“, could we surpass praxico-theoretically gnothi seautón, and eventually to „We know ourselves“.
Cognition of the katholikos was identical with recognition of true ta ethika, and, as Marx and Lenin had pointed out, a true revolutionary morality does exist. In „Our Morals and Theirs“, the permanent revolutionary, Trotsky had illustrated what is true proletarian morality in our globalized epoch of social revolutionary transition and transformation. Obviously, Socratic ethics had very little to do with all this, but it contained some faint elements of a future potent-potential dialectical transvolutionary creativity.
Placing his craftsmanship in the service of philosophy, Socrates proceeded through analysis and comparison of human acts and social activities to the process of scientific induction. By means of induction, as explained above, he searched for the katholou, the common factor, the general, in specific virtuous actions. Relevant is that Socrates’ point of departure was the concrete, was from real social actions and activities, in nuce, from human labour, from that what the polis citizen abhorred.
However, what concerned him most was to elucidate such human qualities like courage, virtue, glory, nobility and wisdom -- all, except the last one, are typical fascist vices. In this way, he could demonstrate the essence of a good life; in the far future, also the existence of the liberal "good capitalism" of Adam Smith, could he identify a priori future "neo-liberal', corporate ethics.
But, contrary to materialist thinking, by means of inductio, he systematically began to introduce his listeners to idealist „visions of truth“. By means of horismos, that is, by definition and limitation, which really means, by applying the first principle of formal logics, identity, "A" always is "A", he began to explain their "essence aggregate", the individual ideas, in order to make their true essence recognizable. In this way, by taking the phenomenon out of its „natural“, physical process, by isolating it, by cutting all its relations, by placing it in non-relation, he categorized it, and thus arrived at the communis, at the general, at the horos (concept). In the final analysis, this is exactly what Labour, what Alienation, is all about: cutting, destroying, perverting all relations between Nature and Society.
DIALEKTIKE AND ATHANASIA
The formal-logical „good“ and „bad“, „true“ and „false“, Socrates also applied to knowledge. We would recollect that even Democritus spoke about „bastard“ and „true“ knowledge. All of them made a contribution to scientific identification and philosophic differentiation, but, alas, also to reactionary metaphysical, universal, formal logics. Socrates postulated two types of knowledge; ordinary, popular opinions, doxa, and, true knowledge, virtuous knowledge.
In other words, he differentiated between „common sense“, „facts“, practical sagacity and popular opinions ("false" knowledge) and divine revelations, religious beliefs and virtuous creeds ("true" knowledge). It is precisely this „true knowledge“ which would be transformed into religious dogmas and ideology later. In fact, it will form the basis for Aristotle to develop his theologia.
As we have noted above, Socrates’ point of departure was from the concrete, but very carefully he circumvented it by passing over to „popular opinion“, which was generally „ruling class opinion“, and thus he deviated from scientific, empirical, cosmic reality. Consequently, his dialektiké entered the domain of patrian ruling class ideology, of "human understanding", of irrational thought. However, instead of verifying Truth praxically, by means of mental dialektiké, he strove to acquire true, virtuous, rational, divine knowledge in the Platonic topos ouranios, in the "upper" intelligible world.
In Phaedo, Plato demonstrated the ontic process of this Socratic rational thought, how the necessary, the permanent and the universal, were cut off from their direct opposites. But Socratic dialektiké, in spite of all these abstract contradictions, had a higher aristocratic telos: to demonstrate the veracity of the doctrines about the soul, and especially its athanasia (immortality).
Divine Socratic Apartheid
Obviously, true knowledge presupposed a Universal Subject, a Supreme Intelligence, a Highest Good. Furthermore, it necessitated minor intelligent beings, which reflected inborn ignorance. But, of greater significance was the fact that it necessitated eternal, immortal beings. The system had to be internalized, eternalized, Labour, Man, had to live for ever. Socratic philosophy needed a Universal Subject and minor human subjects. For this reason, for this divine purpose, Socratic-Platonic idealism had to resurrect the Homerian ghost in man, Thales’ psyché in the lodestone, the living Anaximenean-Diogenean aer and even Heracleitus’ lógos.
All these had to be commingled in an Empedoclean-Anaxagorean laboratory and converted into an idealist nous. Then, the Thracian-Bacchic, Pythagorean metempsychosis and anamnesis were added to this divine concoction, to this metaphysical sancocho, to this divine potpourri, which then very intelligently was set into eternal motion. And, fiat lux, there we had our Western, Civilized God! Obviously, all these had nothing to do with the Heracleitean-Promethean fiery panta rhei and universal ekpyrosis-apokatastasis, or even with Zeno’s Stoic cosmic conflagration.
The essence of ancient Socratic idealism is that it had converted the „pre-Socratic“ arché, the material principle, things and objects, into a crude, imperfect, impure phainómenon, into divine, idealist, sacred appearance. All scientific knowledge about things and phenomena was reduced to mere opinions, was changed into illusions, phantasmagoria and chimaera; material things and concrete human desires became diabolical, and human ideals were converted into evil, lustful pleasure. Later Neo-Platonism, impersonated by Plotinus, will change Matter itself into the Devil incarnate. The only reality was the Highest Good and the human souls which strove towards Virtue, True Knowledge. And, in any case, like Hegel's World Spirit, this soul odyssey was a senseless adventure of the summum bonum itself.
Thus, it is very obvious that Socrates (and Plato) had reversed the whole hylozoistic philosophy and its material process, by changing the Object into the Subject, and vice versa, and thus the great fathers of patrian idealism had bedevilled the relation between these two systemic universals. De facto, it was the beginning to split World Reality into Matter and Spirit, Humanity into Master and Servant, to ostracize all relations between the two, and to excommunicate Matter from Reality.
Ever since, progressively, across the millennia, the Luciferian angel, Satan, also his atheist, pagan, alien followers, -- who still were to be discovered, conquered, slaughtered, converted and christianized -- the billions of pauperized, toiling, physically labouring masses, were systematically expelled from Heavenly Patrian Reality, from the coming Orwellian Corporate Homeland.
Anaxagoras’ Nous became Divine Nous, and his homoiomeries were transformed into immaterial, individual human souls. In this way, the Heracleitean pánta rhei, Being-Becoming and Becoming-Being, was converted into the mnemic, metempsychotic, subjective, rational and spiritual process of the eternal, immortal human souls, in Sisyphus Mode, desperately striving towards the Highest Good, into the divine Parmenidean hen kai pan itself.
Theory was cut off from praxis, physical human labour was reduced to nothing, and history itself was "negated", plundered, violated. To explain this divine, spiritual process, Socrates had developed his dialektiké, but, analogous to Marx and Hegel, for patrian matters, there is no reason whatsoever why we should not place it in our „head“, and to rescue its hylozoistic rational core, to place it directly in the service of scientific, philosophic, emancipatory praxis-theory, in Cosmos-Einai.
NOUS AND AGATHOS
It follows logically from the above, that the „idea“ of the Good, of agathos, was inborn in the soul. This soul, Man received at birth, but it was not necessarily his soul, it was a consequence of necessary metempsychosis. At death, the human soul again left the useless, corporeal body; it could be purified or putrefied, depending not on the human being itself, but rather on divine fortuna.
In the first case, it was again absorbed into divine bliss, losing its earthly identity; in the latter, it would take another earthly or universal odyssey via a plant, a fox, a snake or King Croesus, and eventually, after aeons of purification, of transmigration, would reach the Superlative, and would receive its bonus, its final, general. divine immortality in the upper, intelligible world.
However, all these novelties had earthly repercussions. The problem arose, what would happen to the „wise“ philosophers on Earth, and how can we identify them? What about Socrates, the sophos and philosophos, the „wisest“ man on Earth, as ordained by the Oracle of Delphi? And what about the philosopher-kings, who have to rule Plato’s Politeia?
Only the soul, which has completely purified itself, has completely dematerialized itself, has become genuinely idealistic, filled with absolute truth and knowledge, could receive the honourable one-way-ticket directly to the Kingdom of Heaven, to the realm of the summum bonum. Only a man with such a soul is a philosopher. Now we know who Socrates really was, why he had a divine relation to Jesus Christ.
Passive Recollection and Active Memory
Surely, what was explained above, was the idea of agathos in Man which carried the mneme, the recollection, of all previous existence forms of his immortal soul. Both Plato and Aristotle differentiated this psychic attribute of the human nous, by dividing it into passive mneme (recollection) and active anamnesis (memory). Hence, Aristotle wrote about a passive nous (understanding, intellect) and about an active nous (reason). (See: Aristotle, De an., III, 4, 429a, 23; De gen. anim., II, 3, 736 b, 27.)
The basic difference between mneme and anamnesis was that the former carried „alien“ information, and that the latter directly transmitted actually experienced past „personal“ knowledge. In reality, artificially, the Anaxagorean hylozoistic nous was split back into its Empedoclean origin, into an idealistic passive Eros (Love) and active Agon (Hate or Strife), and, of course, modified to serve divine will and purpose. Now, all human knowledge, „true knowledge“ became recognition of eternal ideas and forms of the Highest Good. Scientific Knowledge and Philosophic Emancipation now had nothing to do with either the recognition of ananke or of tyche. Naturalists were now human beings whose souls are „turned towards the twilight of becoming and perishing“, who only entertain „opinions“ and thus „go blinking about“, void of intelligence. (See: Plato, Politeia.)
We can conclude by stating, that although the „Good“ and the „Purists", who marched towards the Gate of New Jerusalem, were exactly counted, and among them there was not a single woman -- or a slave; notwithstanding his non-Hebrew and non-Jewish past, Socrates, after drinking the hemlock had experienced his final soul transmigration, he now rests in peace at the feet of the Highest Good.
However, before this final divine voyage, the Socratic soul, his real being, and Plato’s nous had a philosophic round-table conference. During the course of the polemics and polylemmas, Plato’s active anamnesis had recorded word for word all the earthly ideas, talks and disputations of Socrates. Thereafter, the historical, physical, corporeal part of Socrates - that is, all the human, devilish, material and materialistic qualities in him - disintegrated to such an extent that we barely know anything about him anymore.
The poor cock, which Crito had to sacrifice to Asclepis in 399 B.C., an anticipatory „vision of truth“ of Bruno’s burning on the stake, 2000 years later, had to believe in all this. Perhaps, it was at the same time the transhistoric, surpassing Gaullist „Cock“ about which Marx spoke some centuries later, and which, after the bourgeois, democratic, capitalist French Revolution, would usher in the world proletarian revolution, the beginning of historic eleutheria and aletheia of Historic Freedom and Truth.
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