13. Plato: Subject of Objective Idealism
Everything is number.
Knowledge is nothing but Contemplation.
Man is the Measure of All Things.
The "Republic" is a "State of Pigs".
Plato´s elderly brother, Glaucon.
A GENETIC PLATONIC-PYTHAGOREAN STORY: Götterdämmerung!
Every here, every now, in Nyx, out of Nihil, from Topos Ouranios: Fiat lux! Eternal, Original Light shines absolute aletheia, Truth. The Highest Good, the Summum Bonum, the Supreme Intelligence, contemplates its own arete, its divine virtue. The Hen, the One, Eternal Rest, self-reflects about the Idea of the Idea, it ponders about its Pan, about its All, about Eviternal Motion, about Itself.
In the eviternal continuum of the total abstraction of the Parmenidean One, filled with the Idea of Pythagorean Odd-Regular harmonia, the summum bonum wearies itself with the tediousness of Infinite Present, Purpose and Perfection. It is longing for Socratic dialektiké, for the Idea of Heracleitean panta rhei. It yearns for Contradiction, for Relation. But Nothing happens, Not-Being becomes. Still there is not-yet Time for Space, not-yet Space for Time. Everywhere, anyhere shines Infinite, Original, Divine Lux, a Vision of Truth in perpetuum, ad infinituum.
But out of the Blue, out of Nyx, out of Nothing, a deus ex machina -- Prometheus, Lucifer or Ophis -- infiltrates Heaven and Paradise. Heracleitean-Empedoclean Strife brings the Cosmic One, the Hen Kai Pan, to its Cosmic Panta Rhei, flings both of them into Relation, into Motion, into Bezug, into Life.
A fiery radiation of a priori visions, anticipating Neo-Platonic, Plotinian emanations, lights up the patrian Universe in formation, in morphé, the labouring Cosmos in spe; it shines chaotic illusions, is casting material shadows, and is generating moving appearances. Formal-logical, universal, internal Space and Time are being born, Presence gradually forgets its Past, wipes it out, and blindly tends towards a virtual, Happy End, towards the Future.
The Divine Nous, the Highest Good, enters in status nascendi, it contradicts itself, it negates Beelzebub, Baal and Lucifer. A labouring, painful Genesis, a whirlpool of entelechy and teleology is being generated. With „sweat on its brow“, the One, with an inward, intensive Thanatos and Socratic drive, strives, thus, forever, eternally, infinitely, creating and self-creating, producing and reproducing itself.
Being, also Human Being, becomes active, becomes Becoming-Being, Being-Becoming. It works, it produces, it reproduces, it labours, and this is good. Hopefully, positively, optimistically, it tends towards Not-Yet, towards Not-Yet-Being; however, frustratingly, it slips towards oblivion, towards Non-Being, towards Panta Rhei, towards War, eviternally being threatened by Not-Being, by Nothing, by its true Superation, by Transcending Nihil.
Thus, past, present, future, here, there, nowhere, that is, dialektiké enters the Infinite, the Eternal. Virtually, the Idea of the Idea transforms itself into Being-Becoming. Motion and Variety enter the Eternal Good, the Divine Subject. However, within this universal maelstrom, in this cosmic chaos, the idea of panta rhei, Non-Being, also longs for its measure. It is pregnant with anthropos, with sensuousness, cognition, recognition and recollection.
In fact, in its patrix, in ancient Greek slave-owning human being, the summum bonum, hic et nunc, dreams about Epicurean-Hedonistic pleasure, about virtue and vice. Across the Patria, vicefully, in sado-masochistic delirium, it shines towards Neo-Platonism, towards religious Stoicism, towards Marc Aurelius, Seneca and Epitectus; towards the Neo-Platonists, Plotinus, Ammonius Sakkas, Porphyrius, Iamblichus, Proclus, Sallustius and Origenes; towards the Great Fathers of the Church, towards St. Augustine, Nicholas of Cusa, St. Thomas Aquinas, towards Gregory the Great, towards the Papacy, towards the feudalist, absolutist Roman Empire, the Dominican Order, the Inquisition, towards Roman Catholicism.
Hence, in Space and Time, „It“ becomes „I“, generating „We“, Holy Trinities, arché-Triangles; thus, Mortal Non-Being contradicts immortal Being. Three's and Four's contradict the One, but their bell did not toll as yet. The Pythagorean Four, the pre-existing a priori Non-Beings, the four arché elements - earth, fire, air and water - all contradict the universal, most beautiful and perfect forms, figures, essences and ideas. Within the One, dualistic one/two-sidedness and uni/bilaterality are being born; halves of squares and halves of triangles take concrete forms and shapes. Fervently, the Supreme Intelligence, now in status operandi, creates five regular solids out of myriads of divine right-angled triangles. De facto, in this way, the Platonic Divine Intelligence performs his/its first patrian miracle. It becomes Big, Great, Human, becomes an "I", a We, a Class-In-and-For-Itself: thus, He, We, step into the Patria, into what He from now onwards euphemistically would call Liberty, Freedom, "History".
Thus, spatially, temporally, entering "History", contradicting Thales and Pythagoras, the Divine Mathematician surpassed them. With the two divine arché elements of Being, in the final analysis, with the idéa and the lógos, i.e., with the Idea of the Idea, and with the four ancient Greek hylozoistic elements of Non-Being, in reality, he could only create four regular solids, i.e., the atoms of earth (cubes), of fire (tetrahedra), of air (octahedra) and of water (isoahedra). A fifth element he did not have at his disposal; in fact, he did not know any other.
And, even if he did, the dodecathedron which has regular pentagons he could not construct with his arché-triangles. But this was insignificant for divine ascientific creation, after all, he was globalizing, was creating the most perfect and beautiful Being, the Global Cosmos, Globalization, the Parmenidean-Empedoclean Spheric One, an abstract sphairos. He was not concerned about the material fact that by using five combinations, and by creating five regular solids, his Universe would end up not being a globe, but rather would have twelve faces, that is, would be a regular dodecathedron.
Notwithstanding, the Creator, Divine Nous, did not obey scientific reason. For him, everything was possible. He was all-powerful and omniscient; for him, Aristotelian dynamics, potency and potentiality, possibility and reality, latency and tendency, were still not-yet existing phenomena. The Supreme Intelligence was simply the Highest Good, and thus he made everything good and perfect. In an Orwellian fashion, for him, Two and Two made Five. As from now on, He, the Great God, good ideas, great ideas, all make great "history".
However, facing the Periclean Golden Age, in which the labour slogan „money makes the man“ had already penetrated, what was the world, how did it come into being? Before already, this Pythagorean-Platonic Divine Nous had decided to create Chthón, a huge, living, mortal animal, which he endowed with sensuous and rational qualities. Obviously, in the beginning there was the idea, the word, the idea of the world, there was "A". Thus, Chthón, the earth, the world, was not created out of Nyx, out of oudén, out of Nothing, out of Nihil, out of Not-Being.
As a creation of Being, as the Idea of Non-Being, it co-existed with Being; hence, soma sema, where Non-Being was the tomb of Being. Obviously, we could note here that Platonic philosophy was grappling to reduce three possible postulates, Being, Non-Being and Not-Being -- cum grano salis, we would say, Essence, Existence and Transcendence, Cosmos, Einaí and Nothing -- to a single arché, to the one and only idea, to the Idea of the Idea.
Hence, as indicated before, by using the brotherly formula, Two and Two make Five, the Great Idea had created Non-Being, the Cosmic World, Chthón. It was universal, was the one and only world, it went global, it was a globe with a fatherly soul, endowed with reason and intelligence. In this way, according to Platonic mythology and ideology, the Universe, including its immanent Universal Subject, came into existence. Fazit: Phýsis was born with a psyché, ab ovo the mundus had an anima.
Thereafter, the summum bonum, by using his Anaxagorean-Aristotelian active nous, caused the most perfect motion, circular motion. The result was that Chthón began to move, to rotate according to the spatial-temporal formal-logical rhythm of eternal, celestial panta rhei. Pythagorean numbers and proportions harmonized this hen kai pan, the One and All, giving this cosmic animal a worldly aura, the spirit of friendship and virtue. Satisfied with the beauty and perfection of his creation, the divine creator rejoiced in his idealist, teleological, theological, entelechial masterpiece, and decided to take a Parmenidean Eternal Rest, leaving it to ruling class Man to give all these their religious and ideological final magic touches.
AN EPIGENETIC PLATONIC-PHOENICIAN STORY -- PTOLEMAIC GEOCENTRISM
Thus, Chthón was at the centre of the Kosmos; it was the Centre of Centres, was the egocentrism of future geo- and helio-centrism; at the same time, it was the Hen itself. Thus, continuing with Platonic mythological magic, we are being informed that Divine Nous had decided to populate the Earth, to introduce anthropos to aristocratic, plutocratic harmony, to the infinite justice of global, globalized slavocracy. By taking a part of Non-Being, Earth, and mixing it with some Periclean gold, he created pure, perfect, beautiful human forms, according to his own image and likeness.
Carefully, he breathed some divine Anaximenean-Diogenian aer into these corporeal non-beings, and thus inspirited them; inspired them with a pneuma, anima or lógos. In this way, divisible-changeable Non-Being and indivisible-unchangeable Being received their specific chthonic-divine attribute: the contradiction, mortality-immortality. Later, mutatis mutandis the whole Christian, Western Culture and Civilization, producing and reproducing a criminal mental holocaust, progressively would adopt and adapt all these Platonic fairy tales to its labour superstructure, to its philosophy, to monotheism, to idealism, to theology, metaphysical doctrines, religion and ideology.
Furthermore, the human soul itself became an intermediate "essence", -- we would say, an existence - an intrinsic part of the Divine Highest Good. In Plato´s Republic, we learn that Divine Nous had called his first human creatures the Rulers -- the archaic forefathers of all future ruling classes. In fact, he created Man, the Ruler, the one and only human species. All the rest were non-human-beings, for example, all the slaves, and all the wage-slaves across the ages, the "speaking tools" (Aristotle). The Rulers were perfect, beautiful products of his most valuable creative and productive ideas and he rejoiced in this divine labour. With holy aura he blessed every single one of them. They became his chosen people, the few, the elect, the earthly Herrenvolk.
Now, filled with youthful, creative bel esprit, and enjoying his heavenly fun, his celestial pan et circenses, the summum bonum decided to create more and more less sublime "human figures". In his work, in creative production, the Divinity gained eudaimonía and hedoné, his godly phantasía ran wild, his ethos spread like a wild bush fire, he simply knew no limits anymore.
Next, he placed natural silver in the material bodies of his non-human toys, and he ordained them to be Auxiliaries to the Rulers. Finally, as the noble and precious materials were running out, perhaps, by using archaic nano-technology, genetic engineering or cloning, even using ribs, he decided to create farmers, artisans, craftsmen and the like, by mixing earth with inferior iron and bronze, and he called his end-products, the Producers, the Workers.
In spite of the obvious class differences, inspired by his divine arché elements, the idéa and the lógos, he called all his creatures Brothers, and proclaimed himself to be their Big Brother, who in future would be guiding and watching them forever more. As golden rules, he ordered the Producers to toil for the Rulers and Auxiliaries; also, he instructed the Auxiliaries patriotically to defend the interests of their superiors with their very life if necessary, and he reminded the Rulers that „the nature of the divine is to rule and to direct“, is polis affairs, is polity, is policing, is politics, is to exercise supreme power and hegemony over their subjects by all means necessary. All of them must populate the earth and beget children, they should multiply freely within their respective classes, and establish a perfect apartheid State, a politeía, a Homeland, a Heimat.
As mentioned already, before sending them off to Earth, the Highest Good had decided to create tempus (from témnein, to cut off), Time, and also Space. Obviously, this Time-Space-Continuum, this closed, systemic, universal relativity, this Non-Relation, was a material product, it belonged to Non-Being. It follows that Day and Night, Past, Present and Future, the four dimensions, all of them were classified as mortal illusions; according to Plato, they just portray a „moving image of eternity“. In other words, that Time moves according to Pythagorean arithmós, while Eternity itself rests in infinite Parmenidean unity, in harmonia in perpetuum.
As can be verified in Plato's Republic, the Highest Good instructed the Rulers and Guardians always to obey the divine „Ten Commandments“, to honour katharós, especially „race“ purity. Down yonder, in their aristocratic timocracy, in their Politeia, they should pass special Nazi and apartheid laws, Patriotic Acts, that are purified from anánke and tyché, inspired by the lex aeterna, and inspirited by ratio divina vel voluntas Dei. Only as such, golden ruling blood could be kept perfectly pure, cultured and civilized. And, should "Terrorists", "Niggers", Lucifer or the Ophis seduce innocent maidens, and should temptations of the flesh arise, and Rulers, because errare est humanum, should falter, nevertheless, they should be particularly careful.
However, if, under Bacchic-Dionysian influence, they should give in to snaky, aphrodisiac debauchery and concupiscence, originating from the low Producer class, should trespass and transcend the erotic „colour bar“, and beget „mixed“ or „coloured“ children, having foreign elements in their bodies, then, the Rulers should instantaneously banish these class intruders into their respective formal-logical categories, into their appropriate „Bantustans“. Any bastard children found among the Rulers should be banished to the inferior realm of weeping and gnashing of physical productive teeth.
On the other hand, because gold is gold, because A = A, no matter from where it originates, should any member of the inferior pariah class, obeying the laws of Mendel, at any time beget golden Aryan children, they should be elevated to ruling class bliss, to higher royal-philosophic dimensions. Moreover, he promulgated similar laws concerning other apartheid possibilities, for example, of „silver“ Auxiliaries begetting „iron“, „bronze“ or „golden“ children.
Thereafter, the Highest Good said farewell to his subjects, and reminded them of their divine avital origin. He told them that in form and essence, in idea and spirit, he would always be with them. And, through meditation-contemplation, by soul purification, they would eventually return to their divine hýstera, their holy patrix. But, they should declare eternal agon against everything which was connected with Non-Being, with the hylozoistic arché, with hýle and Matter. If they should ever discover any worshippers of Baal or a „Golden Calf“, any „terrorists“, „communists“ and evil "camel drivers", then, they should immediately annihilate them, in the name and by the grace of the Highest Good. If they did not heed to this warning, then, Heracleitean-Marxian pánta rhei would sow chaos, disarray and confusion in the State. Thus, it came to pass that Freedom became Slavery, one Reich followed the next one, Two and Two made Five, and God became Power, became belligerent ta politiká; in the Beginning was the Word, the Idea, and the Idea of the Idea was God, was Good.
And, what is the ta ethiká of these tales? In the Republic, Plato himself reported: „That is the story. Can you suggest any device by which we can get them to believe it?“ (Plato, Politeia) Certainly, we have a suggestion: let us form a contradiction of the Platonic idéa and the Heracleitean lógos, and we have ideología, in other words, we have Infowar, CNN, Newspeak.
Plato - Man of Chthón
According to historical sources, Plato (427 - 347 B.C.) saw his first „vision of truth“ in a honourable, aristocratic, Athenian family. His uncle was Critias, a follower of Socrates, and the leader of the Thirty Tyrants. As part of Socratic historic eironeia, Plato was a philosophic pupil of the ancient Greek hylozoistic relativist, Cratylus. We would remember that it was Cratylus who had warned his teacher, Heracleitus, that he could not step, not even once, into the same flowing river. In all probability, from Cratylus, Plato must have learned about the „absolute relativity“ of knowledge, which makes it humanly impossible to cognosce total objective reality and truth. Later, however, according to the official history of philosophy, Plato became the most devoted pupil of Socrates, and hence entered the realm of internal, subjective aletheía.
In 399 B.C., after the execution of his teacher, Plato left Athens, perhaps out of fear to be the next aristocratic protagonist to take the „democratic“ hemlock. At a mature age, after forty, he undertook three political "theorico-praxical" voyages to Syracuse, in Southern Italy. He attempted to convince the Sicilian tyrants, Dionysus I and II, to accept his timocratic utopian State. Much later, we will elaborate this strange Práxis-Theory of the „idealist“ Plato.
Because Plato remained in constant contact with the Pythagoreans, he was fundamentally influenced by their Bacchic-Orphic ideas, but also by the number harmony doctrine of the Pythagorean School. This can be witnessed especially in his famous dialogue, Timaeus. In this work, a Pythagorean, Timaeus, instead of the usual Socrates, is the central figure. Furthermore, as we illustrated before, this dialogue demonstrates how Pythagorean number and triangle magic had influenced his idealist cosmogony about the Highest Good and the Genesis of the Universe, including the birth of the world and man. In the famous Garden of Academus, which was dedicated to this eminent Athenian hero, around 387 B.C., Plato had established his renowned Academy of pagan objective idealism. It survived for centuries, and was only closed down in 529 A.D., by the Roman Emperor, Justinian.
In spite of his panvitalisic roots, from this idealist haven, Plato launched his philosophic slanders against ancient Greek hylozoism, Sophism and natural science. As far as our scanty reports reach, contrary to Socrates, he made various voyages, and thus came in contact with diverse forms of ancient thought, including mythological ideas of the Egyptian ruling priestly caste and Mideastern philosophic thinking in general, especially of Ionia and Magna Graecia.
All Plato’s works of prose, which are nearly all written in dialogue form, including some false ones, are extant. Excluding works like Timaeus or the Nomoi, in practically all of them, Socrates is the central figure. However, his esoteric writings, which probably portrayed his real, true thoughts, and which were composed for a few selected pupils, who directly philosophized with him, and which were mainly used for educational purposes within the Academy, are lost, and we know very little about their philosophic contents.
This is not strange, for example, what Professor Immanuel Kant taught at the university, using official philosophic text books, and what he really thought, were two completely different realities. Plato wrote about numerous topics, among them were: virtue, beauty, love, friendship, mathematics, education and laws of thought. However, all these themes were subordinated to his main doctrines, to his main philosophic interest, the Highest Good.
In the so-called Socratic period, Plato wrote the following works: Apology, Crito, Euthyphron, Laches, Charmides, Protagoras and Gorgias. Inter alia, in these works, he narrated mainly about Socrates’ defence speech, his time in jail and his obedience to law; furthermore, he expounded his views about piety (Euthyphron); bravery (Laches); and friendship (Charmides). With Protagoras began the exposition of the doctrine of virtue, and his struggle against the Sophists; in Gorgias, he developed the Socratic method of dialektiké.
Thereafter followed a period of transition from the Socratic to the Platonic Plato. But, also these works of the middle period still remained under the fundamental influence of Socratic Platonism. Also, in this epoch of literary production fall Menon (doctrine of anámnesis), Symposium (concerning Eros), Phaedo (concerning athanasía, but also Socrates’ death), Politeía (the Republic, his ideal State) and Phaedro (doctrine of the World of Ideas, but also concerning Eros).
In the mature period, that is, in the „Platonic“ period, his works became more expository, and gradually the Socratic element began to fade away. Among these „mature“ writings, we find Parmenides (the doctrine of ideas), Timaeus (physics and cosmogony), Critias, the Statesman and the Laws.
It is exceedingly difficult to classify and to interpret these late Platonic polemic works. They criticize earlier works, develop new ideas, expound doctrines which are completely contradictory to earlier ones, and, in essence, all of them are flowing over with philosophic aporetic polylemmas. This Platonic intellectual production reminds us of a contemporary counterpart, the totality of the philosophy of Bertrand Russell, a whole, unsystematic, encyclopaedic contradiction, which is also reflected in the curriculum vitae of both great philosophers. Both of them expressed the social contradictions of their epoch in their philosophic works.
But, de mal en pis, it seems as if Plato deliberately had forgotten to include the core of his philosophic thinking in any of his works. To express Platonism in one „gnome“, in a short philosophic principle, is an impossible possibility. Perhaps, when Plato became less Socratic and more Platonic, he had no philosophic ousía, more precise, no idealist substance, anymore. He did not believe his own „Phoenician“ story anymore, and in latency-tendency he was already anticipating Aristotle, especially his materialist „Left“.
Perhaps, the true, real Plato is Socrates, and the true, real Socrates is Plato. In all probability, a man, named Socrates, who had lived in Athens, and who was permanently troubled by his wife, Xantippe, had very little to do with the Platonic Socratic Dialogues. Like the disciples of Jesus Christ, who knew every single word that their master ever spoke, even reporting them a century later, similarly, Plato knew too much about his teacher´s ideas, about Socrates.
However, one thing is crystal-clear, throughout his works, soma sema reigns supreme, that is, the human body remains the grave of the soul. Furthermore, transhistorically, in his works, Big Brother, „America“ and „Superman“ remain as alive as ever. Notwithstanding, of all the „Platonists“ and „Neo-Platonists“, Plato is the least „Platonic“; his rupture with ancient Greek hylozoism was never really complete; cryptic, revolutionary Práxis-Theory lingered on in Platonic objective idealism.
Spirit - Matter; Theory - Práxis
Now, let us investigate Plato’s objective idealism, especially his idealist epistemology, as expounded mainly in Phaedo, Symposium, Menon, Theaitetos and Timaeus. Of course, this is a very difficult venture, because trialogically we are analysing different Platonic „periods“ at the same time, in the same space. As we have noted before, the Highest Good, the Supreme Intelligence, played a central role in Platonic philosophy.
However, it should also be noted that this summum bonum was not identical with Zeus, with the Christian God, or, for that matter, with any other god of the world monotheistic religions. This philosophic, not theological, Highest Good, as we have observed in the introduction to this chapter, had created the Spheric Cosmos, our world, and Man. Furthermore, the Highest Good, the World of Ideas and the individual, human, ruling, philosophic-royal souls (although created) were all eternal, divine, immortal and absolute entities.
We should also recollect that for Plato, mutatis mutandis, matter (to kenón) was Non-Being, and the idéa, spirit, was Being. In this way, he had placed all ancient „pre-Socratic“ hylozoists on their „head“, on their psyché. The naturalist transhistory of his Idea, we can trace from Homer’s Ghost, to Thales’ Psyché, to the living Aer of Anaximenes and Diogenes of Apollonia, to Empedoclean Eros-Agon, to Anaxagorean Nous, to Heracleitean Lógos, to Pythagorean divine Arithmós, to the Leucippean-Democritean „What-Is“, including its special fiery Soul-Atomoi, to Aristotle´s Morphé, to Hegel's Weltgeist.
Philosophically, Plato had converted the Democritean to kenón, Non-Being, into diabolical hýle, and had elevated the infinite number of átomoi into eternal, immortal ideas, forms and souls. Thus, he changed atomistic Being, What-Is, into the World of Ideas. And, what was left, for him were simply to kenón, Non-Being, matter, opinions, shadows, illusions, hallucinations and appearances.
It is apposite to observe that Plato did have a conception of matter, in fact, matter was located immediately at the doorstep of the ideas, in their sublime ascension towards the World of Ideas. In the same way as the human body is the grave of the soul, matter is the grave of the idea. It is in this Non-Being, and from this substratum, from this platform, that the ideas have their glorious resurrection and divine ascension.
Thus, for Plato, philosophically, Society, Theory, Thinking, Thought, Mind, Intellect, Reason, Understanding, Spirit, Soul and God, all these concepts, used across the ages, constituted Real Being, the World of Ideas, the Absolute Forms, Figures and Essences. In reality, Human Existence was split into Human Being and Human Non-Being - into the immortal, immaterial soul, Human Being, and the mortal, corporeal body, Human Non-Being. This reminds us of the so-called "division of labour", of the labour process that was split up into intellectual and physical labour forces, hence producing human beings, masters, and human non-beings, slaves.
Consequently, till today, an inexorable „class struggle“ ensued between these two patrian entities of Being, and, eventually, the pure, golden, divine and immortal ones, the "human beings", won the order of the holy day, and they established a virtuous harmony, a brotherhood, a commonwealth, among themselves. Thus, across the millennia, Platonic Socratic dialektiké became divine, the ideal „class struggle“, in which the „flesh“ remained weak, and the „spirit“ was always „high“, on high. In any case, in idealist philosophy, corporeal, physical labour force, the human body, cannot win this „uneven“ battle, the modern wars, because virtualiter it is only a copy, a mirror reflection, of its true spiritual existence in the World of Ideas. In reality, it, manual labour force, is kept passive, receptive, docile, in relation, rather, in non-relation to the active, ruling class ideas, to ideology, metaphysics and religion.
Sensuous objects or things, chthonic processes, material phenomena and human practice and/or práxis were thus passive, condemned products of the prototypes of divine triangles, of the holy arché. In veritas, the suprasensuous idea was an elemental abstraction, an abstract Democritean atom, a Socratic general horos, which contradicted concretely and truly existing material things and objects. Thus, Platonic magic, nurtured in Bacchic-Orphic, Pythagorean mythology, had transformed the idea into a special essence, into a divine being. The wise discovery of the „Age of the Seven Wise Men“ and of the Oracle of Delphi, Gnothi seautón, was "liberated" from its original praxical craftsmanship, and was now transformed into only Knowing-One’s Inner-Self.
It should not concern empeiría and hylozoistic gnosis and epistéme anymore, should not investigate concrete, earthly reality, should not study ruling class exploitation, domination, discrimination, militarism and alienation. In fact, then already, the fundamental discovery of the Milesians, that is, science, became as diabolical as to kenón, as Matter itself. Throughout the Middle and Dark Ages, in Roman Catholicism, this heinous, capital, cardinal crime reached the zenith of absolute, absolutist human alienation.
Natural investigation of the arché was doomed to philosophic speculation about divine right-angled triangles. In Europe, for centuries, Science, Materialism, was replaced by religious and idealist meditation and contemplation about Pythagorean arithmós and Bacchic-Orphic unio mystica, about pure mathematics, and about Holy Triangles and Trinities. In the last analysis, for ages, till this very day, Non-Sense and Nonsense, via education for barbarism, were elevated to Absolute Truths, to "True" Knowledge, to "True Information".
In the above form, as extreme, Athenian idealism posed itself as the opposite of „colonial“ hylozoism. But Platonism itself was still new, was still filled with its Not-Yet, with its own aura and aurora. Hence, everything was not necessarily idealist „gold“ which glittered in Platonism. Its very opposite, the owl of natural, feminine Minerva, that which it tended to negate, also determined its real Ancient Greek social essence. Referring to Heracleitus, Parmenides and the Sophists, which were the philosophic objectives that Platonism was persuing? As we have noted already, Plato had converted Parmenides’ Being, his arché, his hylozoistic hen kai pan, into a Being-Of-Idea, into a spiritual unomnia.
In this way, materially he contradicted the Heracleitean pánta rhei, but, spiritually, across the Socratic dialektiké, he again affirmed it within the context of his World of Ideas. All this happened, in his endeavour to give the arch-enemies of Socrates, the Sophists, a philosophic technical knockout. In this sense, he tried to give Protagoras a fatal blow of grace. We would recall that the head of the Sophists, Protagoras, had attempted to make chthonic, real man the „measure of all things“, and In this way had negated the Olympic gods and all other ancient divine intelligences.
Very succinctly, Plato had utilized Heracleitean-Empedoclean éros (Love), more precisely, its Socratic dialectical conceptual version (the contradiction of Poros and Penia, Rich and Poor), in order to generate Motion, pánta rhei, to get internal movement and intensive change into closed, divine, universal, systemic Ideal-Being. Eros, originally an external, feminine material force, a Non-Being, as Nyx, even a Not-Being, now miraculously, in the fashion of immaculate conception, suddenly became an idealist, subjective, psychic, inner drive.
In nuce, she/it became the influent movement of the immortal, masculine, ruling human soul in its sojourn towards the Highest Good, but, at the same time, also the very systemic-intrasystemic, internal-intensive, effluent-affluent motion of the summum bonum itself. Thus, Patrian Divine Eros, in its internal-outward drive was carefully sown as homoeomeric, but also as homoiousian entities into the epicentres of the uncountable, individual, ruling class golden souls, or more precisely, as an infinite number of immortal divine souls, thus revealing the intumescent feature of Divine Male Pregnancy , in reality, of Masochistic, Alienating Barrenness.
It follows that theoría, ripped away from práxis, was now spiritual contemplation, a permanent theorein about ideas; and it basically concerned those things which cannot be cognosced by human sense-perception. Later Aristotle would convert this Platonic trend of objectivist, idealist thought into philosophic speculation, into Thinking about Thinking, to be practised by the ruling intelligentzia, in order to enjoy a "good" parasitic life, a life free of concrete, material, physical labour, dedicated to intellectual meditation, to diánoia theoretiké. Here we note the philosophic importance of Platonism in the construction of the future social class oriented superstructure of the coming modes of production.
Thus vita contemplativa was poised against diánoia praktiké: The transhistoric Bezug, the Relation Nature and Society, was perverted, Human Praxis-Theory was prostituted, was split into two eternally dichotomous entities. Society itself, the species Man, was split into gold, silver and bronze, into social classes, and earthly emancipatory práxis became a waste of time - progressively, as the original accumulation of capital flourished, real human living was transformed into ruling, exploiting, dominating, alienating bíos theoretikós.
However, as is mostly the case with idealists, they preach one thing and they do another thing. As we will see later, Plato himself, in his philosophic endeavours, promulgating his own political interests, praxico-theoretically had contradicted this idealist principle of the "good life". It was the Neo-Platonists of the 3rd to the 6th Centuries, among them, Plotinus, Ammonius Sakkas, Porphyrius, Iamblichus, Proclus, Sallustius and Origenes, who had completed the process of separating Matter and Spirit, Práxis and Theory , Nature and Society.
To Kenón: The Substratum of Platonic Práxis-Theory
Now what is matter in Platonism? And what is its relation to human práxis? Let us first surview the scientific basis, the substratum, of Platonic práxis. For Plato, all worldly things, including the human body, were products of a mixture of Being (idea) and Non-Being (to kenón). Here we see very distinctly the difference between Democritus and Plato. In the above formula, formal-logically, matter is formulated negatively; and, although a mixture is not necessarily a contradiction, to kenón is the negative non-element. As we have stated already, matter is the Luciferian stuff, the devilish appearance; it is responsible for the purifying difficulties which the human „appearances“ encounter in their chthonic process of participating in the glory of the ideas.
Consequently, matter is indefinite, indeterminate to kenón. In other words, using Blochian philosophic terminology, for Plato, Non-Being itself was still in universal process, was coming into Being, was Becoming-Being; it was Not-Yet, it was no more Non-Being, was still not yet Being, but already Not-Yet-Being.
According to him, originally, at the creation of all things by the summum bonum, matter was mixed in all things, in all real essences, in a mathematical-geometrical Pythagorean manner. However, originally this Luciferian snakish substance had no essence, and no form. Plato argued, that exactly because matter lacks morphé and ousia, it cannot be perceived, and more important, it cannot be contemplated. Notwithstanding, the supersensitive, dialectical-materialist Sherlock Holmes, Ernst Bloch, did discover „traces“ of Not-Yet-Determined, of Not-Yet-Matter already in the Platonic éros, in the internal Motion and intensive Movement of the summum bonum.
Hence, Bloch suggested „an investigation of tendency and latency within éros", in its process towards Not-Yet-Becoming, towards the Not-Yet-Realized, and he related this process of Being-Becoming and Becoming-Being to the Aristotelian dynamei on. (See: Bloch, Gesamtausgabe, Ergänzungsband, op. cit., p. 408.)
It follows that the material factor in genuine Platonism, that is, in its hylozoistic, Promethean-Luciferean heritage, was not-yet-determined. However, it is noteworthy, that in this philosophy, Historic Eros, Love, in potency-potentiality, was already losing its emancipatory superation; also even its intrasystemic features, namely, agon, (not to be mixed up with "war") strife and práxis. The Heracleitean agon was eliminated from the Anaxagorean nous, and Eros was reduced to a subjective, contemplative inner drive towards Absolute Truth, and not towards Earthly Emancipatory Natural Beauty, Social Truth and Historic Love.
But, Plato did not totally eliminate the Promethean lux from the world; something physically still shines in Platonic objective idealism, even if it is just a transhistoric fata morgana, an anticipatory brilliance. In fact, even in mature „Platonism“, even in Plotinian „Original Light," even in Neo-Platonism, we will still encounter this original, authentic, historical, physical, cosmic „shine“.
Ancient Greek idealism could not afford completely to lose its diabolical, snakish substratum; we would say, its archaic Natural Beauty, its authentic Social Truth, its creative Historic Love. The kálos in earthly things, the beautiful in natural objects, práxis; the „vision of truth“ in changing „appearances“, theoría; the philía, the love of Sophía, emancipation; all concretely still lingered on in real, true Platonism, in Plato´s lost esoteric writings.
In fact, even in Plato´s extant writings, for example, in Timaeus, he very clearly stated that philosophia, that the „vision of truth’’, the shine of aletheia, was a direct concrete product of the Earth, in other words, of Humanity, and not of divine anax andron, not of the holy lord of men. For Plato, philosophy was precisely this mysterious shine, the sunlight of aletheia, the Vision of Truth. This phós in real, true, historic human beings, this lux in the world, this transversal leukós (whiteness, purity) as cosmic veritas, transhistorically shines across the spatial-temporal Ages; We will encounter it again, although somewhat already royal and capitalistically darkened, as the intellectual éros of God, as the Spinozian sapient „crown of philosophy“.
Nonetheless, Plato, fulfilling his social order, had already damaged Society, had reduced the historical process, Social Praxis-Theory, Neither Absolute Nor Relative Truth, to the Socratic horos, to the Particular, to the Abstract, to the Divine. Thus, Truth was no more the Whole, the Real; was no more flowing, ever-flowing, over-flowing, in the service of Labour, it lost all of its historic, emancipatory humanity.
Plato’s Specific Strange Human Práxis-Theory
In spite of having reduced himself to his own shadow, in Greek slavocracy, Plato could not escape real social relations, conflicts and realities. And, because he was a member of a specific social class, and thus had specific class interests, we will gladly "forgive" him for his human errors, by allowing his aristocratic "political práxis" to contradict his philosophic, objective, idealist "political theoría". In reality, this is precisely what Práxis and Theory should be, they should contradict, negate, superate each other.
Related to Plato’s three political missions to Syracuse, Ernst Bloch had made some important praxico-theoretical scientific observations. Very often, a man, a philosopher, in real life behaves completely different from that what we would expect of him. This observation not only applies to „idealists“, but also to „materialists“ and so-called „Marxists“.
Apart from the fact, that it is a scientific error to imagine that a (wo)man’s práxis and theory could coincide permanently in a society torn asunder by class frictions, however, at least, a revolutionary per definitionem should be a person whose práxis and theory continuously and continuatively should attempt to approximate each other scientifically and philosophically. This process of permanent approximation of Práxis and Theory is what really matters, is the material „Pudels Kern“ (Goethe’s Faustus), is the core of the emancipatory poodle. It is the pons asinorum, the fire-test of revolutionary-emancipatory integrity. As we will see within his field of political práxis, within his historical reality, Plato had passed this scientific test with flying colours.
Furthermore, in Práxis-Theory, in Permanent World Revolution, pleasant surprises are always possible, depending on the real, true latency-tendency as expressed in existing material and intellectual conditions, in the potency-potentiality of the epoch in flux. Anything and everything unexpected, which, at one time or another, at least have been aspired to accomplish, have been "hoped" for, when all the necessary conditions are present, can or could be made possible, can become possible, can become possible realities and real possibilities.
This is simply so, because our deepest and most sacred aspirations and expectations are themselves historical products of a concrete, cosmic reality; they themselves need material and intellectual conditions to be realized. Thus, Plato’s concrete political interests were not products of Divine Nous or of the Highest Good, they were created within his own epoch, as a result of concrete social relations.
As related in the official history of philosophy, already the philosophic tutor of Plato, Socrates, behaving like an ancient "terrorist", was concretely „seducing“ the Athenian youth, by teaching them atheist, anti-democratic doctrines. In this sense, as sophós, he resembled the archétype, the ophis, which wisely had allured Adam’s rib, his „second best“, Eve. And, as we know, Socrates died heroically, in the manner how an aristocratic martyr should decease, should transmigrate into the Hereafter.
In accordance with the principle of the Divine Trinity, Plato, the seeming lover of pure contemplation and meditation, embarked on a dangerous political mission, not once, but three times. And this Platonic éros, yearning for earthly práxis surely had nothing to do with „Platonic Love“, which can never be realized, actualized or materialized. The mature Plato travelled to Sicily, entered a fiendish, tyrannical Southern atmosphere, filled with anti-aristocratic obstacles. At first, he attempted to convince Dionysus I of a better „good life“ within a Spartan, republican politeía.
Definitely, Plato had considered the realization of his utopia, his State, a concrete, praxical matter. The retaliation of the tyrant was typically Hellenic: after having been accused of political subversion, of conspiracy, of terrorism and violence, of intentions to overthrow the tyrannis, the usually so very contemplative Plato was found guilty on all counts, and was simply thrown onto the Ancient Greek slave market, as "speaking tool", as concrete merchandise, to be bought and sold.
According to Bloch: „In this unquestionable Práxis-Theory, the so-called Athenian nobleman had risked his life. He did not lose it, but he landed on the slave market.“ (See: Bloch, Gesamtausgabe, Band 12, op, cit., pp. 32 - 36.) With hard, earthly cash, and not with golden virtue, somebody had to purchase Plato’s eleutheria, his political freedom.
At the age of sixty, at a relatively advanced wise age, when others are already considering political retirement, Plato was again on his way to Syracuse, this time, to try his fortuna with the tyrant’s son, Dionysus II. "History" repeated itself, and the result, this time, was that Plato nearly drank the Socratic hemlock; he barely escaped poisoning. Later, at an even more advanced age, with renewed scientific pathos and philosophical ethos, the impertinent, tenacious Plato had honoured Syracuse with yet another praxico-theoretical, revolutionary visit.
Again, he failed to convince the tyrant about the social merits of a timocratic ta politiká. Bloch concluded that we are really lucky that „in textbooks, we could read: Plato scribens, mortuus est.“ Otherwise, Plato would have been a dead wild duck today! Furthermore, Bloch emphasized: „ ... that Plato really wanted to change the world, that he possessed an extraordinary political passion, of these, his journeys certainly bear witness.“ (All free translations are of the author, ibid., pp. 33-34.) In reality, Marx should have been very proud of Plato´s ancient Práxis-Theory!
As already indicated, not even in his bíos theoretiké, also not in his philosophic theoría, Plato was as „idealist“ and „Platonic“ as it may seem at first superficial glance. Plato’s ideas (also his personal ideas) were not completely immaterial or incorporeal. The point of departure of the ideas, on their odyssey towards the Highest Good, is to kenón, is matter, is Not-Yet-Being. At that point, everything was not-yet so „good“; at the divine „take-off“, matter and evil were still mixed with ideas, with the bonus, with the "good". Thus, in Plato’s doctrines about the Good and the Beautiful, we do find ideas for evil, - ideas of vomit, murder, robbery, dishonesty, vice and rape. Plato very well knew the singular, the individual, in spite of all the Socratic conceptual generalities.
What we can derive from the above, is that Contemplation, Meditation, Theory, still had a direct dialectical link (not a dialogical Bezug) to Cosmos, to the Real, to the Concrete, to Práxis. Purely spiritual ideas we will encounter only in Plotinism and Catholicism. Later, Hegel would elevate ideas to the level of the thoughts of God, of the Absolute Idea. However, not to become apodeitic, not to fall in the scientific error of committing qui nimium probat, nihil probat, of not verifying what we are saying with "facts", let us finally analyse Plato’s relation to utopia, namely, his utopian State, the Republic.
Plato and Utopia: The Politeía
Within the context of our praxico-theoretical theme, that what follows now logically cannot be a detailed scientific exposition of Plato’s Republic or his Laws. It is just a concretization of the religious hemlock in Platonism, of his infamous venefic-ideological „Phoenician Story“, which we have satirized at the beginning of this chapter. Thus, we will mainly reveal its reactionary political alchemy. However, before embarking on this venture of political enlightenment, let us make some isagogic remarks about Ancient Greek States and constitutions in general.
Analogous to his objective idealist philosophy, Plato’s reflections on the State have mythological-religious roots. (See: Homer, Iliad, II, 204.) Historically, Plato’s State endeavours are directed against Sophist political theories, and, of course, against Athenian-Periclean democracy. Ironically, it was precisely the arch-enemies of Socratism, the Sophists, who had at first developed systematic political theories about the res publica, about the State.
They had commenced to typologize various State forms and to counterpose historical and natural rights, especially in their relation to ta politiká, and, as such, to the politeía. In this sense, Plato’s politeía, his utopian State, is a negation of political Sophism and Athenian democracy. As illustrated before, during that epoch, various polemical political disputes raged concerning which State is really the prima facie, the best form of government. Thus, let us briefly summarize the essence of some of the typical forms of Ancient Greek rule.
Kingship and tyranny were both species of monarchy. They differed only insofar as the king, the Hellenic anax andron, was supposed to represent „common interests“, and that the tyrant was claimed to govern in his own egoistic „personal interest“. Thus, the royal monarch, like a paternalistic overseer, was ruling „freely“; the latter was despotic, was a slave-master. Obviously, this philosopher-king pursued the „queen of sciences“, he aspired towards Platonic divine arete and fama. The tyrant loved hedonism, he aimed at „Epicurean“ pleasure.
Aristocracy fell into another category: it was the rule of the few, the best. It followed the maxim: many are called but very few are chosen, are elected, more precisely, were selected and ordained. This elite was inspired by arete, but, of greater significance, by axía (merit). Besides, the arete of the few was supposed to be identical with that of the many, hence the aristocrats served „common interests“. The meritocracy at which Plato had aimed his Republic was a perfect, Spartan timocratic aristocracy. Oligarchy, again, differed from the „rule“ of the „best“, only insofar, as the elites ruled in their own „personal interests“, thus the elite had a resemblance to the tyrant. However, oligarchy was essentially the government of the rich, of Poros. Furthermore, an oligarch not necessarily had to be of aristocratic or noble birth. Not even the acquisition of education was a sine qua non, but, all of them could be essential complements.
Thus, oligarchy was considered to be a „perverted“ constitution. However, in the eyes of the Enemies of Periclean liberal democracy, democracy itself was considered to have this „perverted“ affinity. How true, to this very day!! Already in the definition of what or who were or composed the „people“, the demos, a galaxy of political „perversion“ arose. Sometimes it was the „common people“, in other cases, it was „all citizens“, and sometimes even just certain „sections of citizens“.
Of course, foreigners, women and slaves were always excluded. Thus, democracy, the „rule or power of the people“, was essentially the political business of powerful men. However, per definitionem, it was supposed to be the rule of the „demos“ (the majority), which would infer, the kratos of the poor, in their own interest.
Nonetheless, in reality, Penia always had bad fortuna as far as power was concerned. We will see later, Aristotle had various ideal preferences, but he tended towards a moderate „mixed“ democracy, towards the polity. He agreed with Plato that tyranny was the worst form of government, thus, he divided the various forms in hierarchical order. (See: R. G. Mulgan, Aristotle’s Political Theory, op. cit., pp. 60 - 77.)
Digressing for a while, in Aristotelian political theory, the politeía, the polity, which is the general term for constitutions, also meant „the rule of the many“ in the „common interest“; in another context it signified „ a rule of those bearing arms“, or even „ a mixture of democracy and oligarchy“. Due to this sociological and theoretical confusion, a formal typology of all really existing ancient Greek constitutions and of the various political theories concerning them is a real arduous scientific endeavour. Let us now elucidate the main Platonic State forms.
In his Politeia and Nomoi, Plato had considered the major State forms to be: monarchy, aristocracy and democracy. He openly favoured timocracy, a special form of aristocracy, a perfection of Spartan rule. Everything else he considered to be „perverted“ forms of the aristocratic-timocratic State-arché, into which all constitutions must evolve.
Even in this case, concerning his ideal utopian State - which was, in reality, a negative utopia, the opposite of a real, concrete utopia - he applied the Empedoclean principle of circular motion, the most perfect motion, towards a most perfect ideal State. Thus, the politeía, Plato’s Republic, permanently cycled back into its divine, archaic hýstera. Like the soul, the State was on a divine transmigration spree. In the Highest Good, the Republic found its divine virtue.
Essentially, Plato’s Republic was a theoretical abstract-utopian construction. E contrario, Aristotle’s Politeia, his theory of the State, was based in empeiría, was the scientific result of the careful investigation of 158 ancient constitutions. On the other hand, Plato’s State is as pure as his doctrine of ideas, but, because even the idea still has a relation to chthonic Non-Being, to Matter, his negative, abstract utopia also has an important concrete Dorian archétype: the Spartan polis.
Moreover, the Platonic State, for which Plato three times had placed his very life at stake, was praxically directed against all existing democratic constitutions. In his epoch, it was particularly directed against the worst State form, against the grave-digger of aristocracy, against tyranny. He personally hated the tyrannis, and personally went to destroy the Sicilian ones. In this sense he was a politician who had believed sincerely in facta non verba, in words, which necessarily had to be accompanied by concrete deeds.
In our introductory Phoenician-Platonic „science fiction“, we have already hinted at the „racist“ ruling class ideology in the Republic and its relation to Pythagorean Orphism. In Capital, Marx had defined the idealist essence of Plato’s negative abstract-utopian State as „Athenian idealization of priestly ruling castedom“. (See: Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Band I, Dietz Verlag, Ost-Berlin, 1947, S. 385). But, as we will see soon, this reflects only one side of the crypto-Nazi Mark. We would recollect that only the golden-blonde Aryan „race“, the Guardians, the Rulers, the „chosen few“, possessed the divine arete of social dikaiosýne, of Cosmic Justice.
But long before Hitler and Mussolini, already during the „Dark Ages“, the Roman-Catholic absolutist rulers had lavishly adopted these Platonic State principles. After 700 A.D., when the Arabs had invaded Spain, it was relatively easy for them to distinguish the human pedigree of their prisoners: the nobility, which had „pure“ blood, wore golden rings, the soldiers (the guardians) wore silver, and the slaves „copper“, another version of „iron“ and „bronze“. (See: Al Himyari, Geography.)
Not so long ago, during the Olympic Games of Los Angeles, „Big Brother“ demonstrated the „golden“ duality of America, and other minor countries like Venezuela had to rejoice in their „bronze“ sportsmanship.
Now, at the eve of the Third Millennium, in its "New Wars" the American "Fourth Empire" verifies that "Democracy" is "the rule of those bearing arms". In the final analysis, like in the case of the ancient slave-owning aristocracy, only the United States of America have the timocratic power to guard virtuous international politan interests.
Although they all would have turned green in megalomaniac envy, if they should have known the future Bush Jr., nevertheless, Hitler, Goebbels, Göring, Mussolini, Stalin, Verwoerd, Vorster and Botha -- that is, the „Rulers“ of Nazi-Germany, of Real Socialism and of Neo-Fascist Apartheid South Africa -- all of them, knew exactly how to appreciate Plato’s negative utopia; they changed his philosopher kings into omniscient, omnipotent „Führer“, who were ruling brotherly in the „common interest“ of millions of subjects.
In Plato´s aristocratic Republican hierarchy, the armed „Guardians“ with their „silver“ medals follow. Ironically, in a Socratic sense, they are currently the American guardians of „world peace“ and „democracy“. But they are not only safeguarding world „peace“, they are being ordered to generate „world annihilation“. In Latin America, it was these modern Spartan aristocratic warriors, whom the „Iron Lady“ - should be the „Golden Lady“ - had sent to the Malvinas; their American counterparts had invaded Grenada, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, all for the sake of democratic Parmenidean „stability“, of Pythagorean-Platonic harmonia, of „law and order“.
Finally, the bearers of „bronze“ medals, the „Third World“, the „wretched of the earth“, the capitalist producers, the pariahs of philosophic idealist glory follow; they have to slave for and to feed the divine golden human parasites. In Plato’s State, the producers, the craftsmen, artisans, house-wives, slaves (excluded in his Republic), etc. - have to supply the economic necessities for the State to function virtuously and justly, to serve good common interests.
After the Peleponnesian War (431-404 B.C.), not only Athenian democratic hegemony was destroyed, but also aristocratic Sparta was weakened decisively. Analogous to today, the rich and privileged were awaiting a „Big Brother“, the advent of a strong Orwellian military „Ruler“, who would take over the ruins and reins of sonorous Hellas totally torn apart. For the time being, a forerunner of this „strong“ man did materialize: Philip of Macedon (359 - 336 B.C.). Only later, the „real thing“ would see the „vision of truth“: Alexander the Great, whom Aristotle had attempted to „philosophize“, to dynamitize.
However, what is mentioned above, in the golden days of Socrates and Plato, all these events were still Not-Yet Future. But the ancient European ruling classes were already creating the necessary material conditions for their material coming-into-existence. Systematically, they began to dismantle moderate democracy, and, in Platonic terns, more and more, the Athenian State began to split itself into two antagonistic forces: into Poros and Penia. The synthetical, erotic solution, the empirical model, was just next door: in Sparta.
This is why Plato and the power-drunk, wealthy, aristocratic ruling classes began to dream about an ideal Dorian State. And, in the same manner as class frictions intensified, „irreconcilable hatred“ (Plato) was generated; in other words, the class struggle gained momentum. Within this social context of an inexorable battle between Poros and Penia, State éros, the ancient Orwellian totalitarian State power, was progressively yearning for aristocratic Pythagorean harmony, for authoritarian „law and order“. The road towards the Highest Good could have been paved with good Platonic intentions, nevertheless, material reality, which produced this road and also the good intentions, historically, obeyed its own laws.
What Plato could not see, where he lacked a true „vision of truth“, was that his idealist philosophy had contained the racist core, the genocidal seeds of a religious, fascist Not-Yet, of the Spanish Inquisition, of the Third and Fourth Empires, that is, of the very opposite of Social Práxis-Theory: in his favour, we have to state, the latter he never really had in mind. Philosophically, as indicated before, Plato tried to split praxis and theoría, to develop enmity between the two; practically, in his own class interests, in his voyages to convince tyrants, he attempted to reconcile bíos theoretiké and bíos praktiké, thus, it is an ill wind that blows nobody "good", therefore, true, real Emancipatory Historic Práxis-Theory should never totally eliminate revolutionary Platonic ethos and pathos.
As mentioned before, in embryo, Plato’s utopian castes were already existing in aristocratic Sparta: the Gerusia (Rulers), the Warriors (Guardians) and the Helots (Producers). A posteriori, we could say, if Hitler had been successful in establishing his Third Reich, he would have accomplished something very near to Plato’s pure, mature negative-utopian State. Bush Jr. and the current American administration, as witnessed now in Iraq, are on the best road, on the warpath, towards a global holocaust; they could reduce the innate terror and explicit horror of Plato´s Republic to the uncomfortable after-effects of a simple daily nightmare, which the contemporary "producers" experience on a global scale.
One of Plato’s elderly brothers, Glaucon, who was permitted to give his opinion in the Politeia, very aptly called the Republic a „State of Pigs“. In this Platonic crypto-fascist „Animal Farm“, natural beauty, real human pleasure, creativity and arts, were all absent. In any case, literature, poetry and arts, in reality, Periclean democratic artistic glory, for Plato, was just a reflection of the reflection of the idea of kalós, des Schönen - of Non-Being, of Not-Being, of Nothing.
The whole Politeia is the caricature of Eldorado, of a concrete Utopia. It is Non-Utopia, the very opposite of Human Revolution-Emancipation. In spite of being its archétype, Spartan timocratic aristocracy did not correspond to Plato’s idea and ideal of a Republic. The Council of Elders, the Gerusia, as aristocratic gerontocracy - already degenerating into intellectual imbecility, ready to commit a political mentax senilis any moment - certainly did not correspond to Platonic philosopher-kings.
Later, in the Nomoi, Plato himself became pessimistic about his wishful thinking and negative utopian dreams, and he did not consider membership to the Academy or aristocratic philosophic education a sine qua non anymore for his regents. Marc Aurelius was Plato´s best bet, and, even he was just a caricature of a republican philosopher-king.
The hierarchical caste-structure of the Politeía which would even influence Aristotelian cosmology and politics, was not only derived from Plato’s doctrine of Eternal Triangles, but also from his specific doctrine about phýsis, about Nature.
Within the context of the latter, Plato had explained that the human psyché was an emanation of the summum bonum, and that it had three basic divine powers: lógos (reason), a courageous mósthai (drive) and an epithymía (desire). These powers were structured hierarchically in the human corporeal body: Reason was in the Cranium, Courage was in petto, in the Thorax; and, Desire was in the Abdomen. Only as such, the superior Spartan human qualities - wisdom, bravery and obeisance - were reflected in corporeal, human, indeterminate material Non-Being.
It follows logically that the politeía was not based in Natural Right, also, it had no Epicurean free arbitrium; it was founded in natural suum cuique tribue, but not in a Marxian communist sense. This „each, according to its own“ was realiter a Platonic attribute of the Regents, based in and on Non-Labour, on slavocracy, on a Hatred for banausian work, on total Class Exploitation, hence, on Parasitism. Before, we have illustrated how Plato had utilized natural alchemy to characterize the sociological essence of his utopian castes in strict Spartan, hierarchical metal value-order. (For further information, see: Russell, History..., op. cit., pp. 125 - 134; Bloch, Das Prinzip Hoffnung, Gesamtausgabe, Band 5, Kapitel 36, op. cit., pp. 562 - 566.)
The above synoptic elaborations should suffice to illuminate and irradicate the essence of Plato’s „visions of truth“ about the politeía, about the State. They also reflect what Plato basically had considered political theoría to be. Besides, as we have noted, in his Nomoi, but also in his political missions to Syracuse, Plato himself had demonstrated that he did not have absolute uberrima fides in his own negative utopian ideas. It was the Neo-Platonist, Plotinus, who would keep the non-Utopia alive, and who would endeavour, with the help of his friend, the Roman emperor Gallienus, to establish Platonopolis in Campania, near Rome.
We will recall that in the introduction of this chapter, we have stated that Platonic dialectics was a synthesis of Heracleitean pánta rhei, of Parmenidean Static Being, that is, of the hen kai pan, and of the Socratic conceptual movement of dialektiké. However, under Pythagorean philosophic influence, in Timaeus, Plato allowed Parmenidean Eternal-Rest to gain a decisive victory over Heracleitean Being-Becoming. The latter was reduced to the eternal divine relation, to the koinonía between the eternal, divine ideas. (For a more detailed analysis, see: Ernst Bloch, Subjekt-Objekt,..., op. cit., pp. 126 - 131.)
Nevertheless, it is of great significance to emphasize that there existed a fundamental difference between Socratic Platonic objective, idealist dialectics, in spite of its definite Promethean-Heracleitean philosophic borrowings, and „pre-Socratic“ hylozoistic dialectics. The former concerned itself with the ideas, that is, Thinking about Thought, and Thought itself. The latter occupied itself with motion, movement and change within the eternal, infinite, creating and creative arché, that is, it concerned itself with the Principle, with Cosmos, with Matter.
Summing up, it is relevant to highlight that ancient hylozoism and atomism, as the Negation within Greek Philosophy, were dialectically opposed to Socratic Platonic idealism, the Affirmation within Hellenic philosophic thought. Against all ancient idealism, agnosticism, cynicism, scepticism, and existentialism, panpsychic, panvitalistic hylozoism and atomism had emphasized the anima mundi, the dialectical revolutionary-emancipatory factor in Ánthropos himself. True to their class interests, that they highlighted a specific "Man", well, that is another story.
For them, Man was the measure of all things, the root of himself. This philosophic, panpsychic affirmation also negated blind pragmatism, sterile empiricism, lethargic defeatism, empty positivism and individual activism, which all denied abstract-concrete Reality, absolute-relative Truth and true, material Human Reason. The empty, naked contemplation-meditation, genetically contained in Socratism and in Platonism, and which would flower in Plotinism and Neo-Platonism, was not directed towards changing and improving the real world.
In fact, all the great philosophic systems, which had made idealism its very ousía, from Plato to Hegel, had denigrated the Future, the New, the Original, the Other, the Trifference; thus, for billions of beings, existences and transcendences, with economic, political, military and social power, they blocked real Social Práxis and Theory, true Historic Revolution and Emancipation.
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