Thursday, 8 November 2007

Ponoka for Plato?

Okay, so I don't really have much to say right now, I just felt like I had to write another post before everyone assumes this blog is dead.

Let's see... what to discuss? Since my life currently revolves around school:

Plato's Republic is a hoot. The guy was crackers. I like his other stuff, but the Republic is just amusing. See what you think.

"Our women Guardians must strip for exercise, then - their excellence will be all the clothes they need."

"We must, if we are to be consistent, and if we're to have a real pedigree herd, mate the best of our men with the best of our women as often as possible, and the inferior men with the inferior women as seldom as possible, and bring up only the offspring of the best. And no one but the Rulers must know what is happening, if we are to avoid dissension in our Guardian herd."

"So we must arrange statutory festivals in which our brides and bridegrooms will be brought together... and we shall have to devise an ingenious system of drawing lots, so that our inferior Guardians can, at each mating festival, blame the lot and not the Rulers."

Adeimantus: But one might almost describe your Guardians as a set of hired mercenaries quartered in the city with nothing to do but perpetual guard-duty.

Socrates (representing Plato): Yes, and what is more, they do it for their keep only, and get no pay over and above it like other men, so that they can't go for a holiday abroad on their own if they want to...

"Then is there any human activity at which men aren't far better in all these respect than women? We need not waste time over exceptions like weaving and various cooking operations, at which women are thought to be experts, and get badly laughed at if a man does them better."

I don't think I've every giggled so much reading philosophy or philosophic commentaries as I did reading this. At least they say Plato likely wasn't being entirely serious in putting all this forth as an actual political suggestion...

"Philosophy: unintelligible answers to insoluble problems." Henry Brooks Adams

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