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View Diary: Peeling Away the Right-Wing Religious Veneer (118 comments)

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  •  Leo Strauss was a political Platonist (0+ / 0-)

    He went by Plato's two manuals for oligarchical tyranny, The Republic and The Laws.

    The greatest principle of all is that nobody, whether male or female, should be without a leader. Nor should the mind of anybody be habituated to letting him (or her) do anything at all on his (or her) own initiative–to his leader he shall direct his eye and follow him faithfully. And even in the smallest matter he should stand under leadership. For example, he should get up, or move, or wash, or take his meals…only if he has been told to do so. In a word, he should teach his soul, by long habit, never to dream of acting independently, and to become utterly incapable of it.
       Plato, Laws 942d (350 BCE)

    It's all right there.

    America—We built that!

    by Mokurai on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:31:37 PM PDT

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    •  Thank you for sharing this with me. (0+ / 0-)

      I have a copy of Plato's The Republic which I refer to once in a while. The difference between my take and Strauss's however is the interpreting of the text. When I read the following for example...

      And even in the smallest matter he should stand under leadership. For example, he should get up, or move, or wash, or take his meals…only if he has been told to do so.
      ...I interpret "the leader" as one's own inner compass, or conscience to be followed, instead of living like an animal with no guidance from such an inner guide. Plato wrote metaphorically, using the govermental systems as outer symbols representing of an inner reality.

      If we are to take "For example, he should get up, or move, or wash, or take his meals…only if he has been told to do so" literally, then we are to think that Plato advocates complete disability (paralysis) which makes no sense. Because even a slave was able to move around (put one foot in front of the other) on his own accordance.

      Strauss may have been a "Platonist," but I doubt if he undersood Plato well.

      "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

      by zenox on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:57:20 AM PDT

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