Author Topic: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?  (Read 3508 times)

Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2018, 11:18:21 PM »
My aren't you ambitious.  I have been re-reading The Republic and some others, these past couple years.  Don't forget Xenophon's version ... his Apology and his Symposium.  They have a contrast to the versions by Plato.

I am forgetting Xenophon's version.  I'm interested in the common theme of Plato's Socrates.

If I'm going to branch out, I might as well include Aristophanes' version.
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Offline Baruch

Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2018, 03:14:37 AM »
I am forgetting Xenophon's version.  I'm interested in the common theme of Plato's Socrates.

If I'm going to branch out, I might as well include Aristophanes' version.

You are the one true voice of reason here.  You must keep away most of the time, for sanity's sake.

There is a whole debate, on the early Plato vs the later Plato.  Plato's agenda was quite different from that of Socrates.

I would enjoy you posting on this, in the philosophy section, if you are so inclined.

The Euthyphro is congenial to atheists in a way that the Phaedo is not.

Just getting done with a revision/review on ancient Greek (language).

To what extent do you see, the common Greek culture of that time, as being important framing?  Aka diachronic.  Or do you take the modern synchronic view (and thus assume Plato's forms are real).
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 03:19:53 AM by Baruch »
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Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2018, 01:51:13 PM »
There's a lot of questions in there that, even though I've read through them before, I'm not ready to answer.  I will give this much.  Plato's Socrates was a metaphysical essentialist.  I'm an epistemological essentialist.  I do not agree that Plato's forms are real.
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Offline Baruch

Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2018, 09:01:14 PM »
There's a lot of questions in there that, even though I've read through them before, I'm not ready to answer.  I will give this much.  Plato's Socrates was a metaphysical essentialist.  I'm an epistemological essentialist.  I do not agree that Plato's forms are real.

I understand what you said.  As far as Socrates goes, it all depends on what Mystery Cult he may be belonged too, Orphic or Eleusis or nothing.  Plato learned his metaphysics from Archytus, who learned it from Pythagoras.  Socrates' elenchus however resembles Parmenides (and a named dialog of that name) ... but Parmenides himself was something of a hierophant in the style of Pythagoras.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2018, 05:38:04 AM »
My aren't you ambitious.  I have been re-reading The Republic and some others, these past couple years.  Don't forget Xenophon's version ... his Apology and his Symposium.  They have a contrast to the versions by Plato.

Right.  And let's not forget...

"Socrates, who himself was apparently gifted with precognitive perception, attributed his abilities to the aid of a personal daemon, which then meant demigod and not (evil) demon. In the Theagetes, Plato makes Socrates say:

By favour of the Gods, I have, since my childhood, been attended by a semi-divine being whose voice from time to time dissuades me from some undertaking, but never directs me what I am to do. You know Charmides the son of Glaucon. One day he told me that he intended to compete at the Nemean games. I tried to turn Charmides from his design, telling him, "While you were speaking, I heard the divine voice. Go not to Nemea." He would not listen. Well, you know he has fallen."

Yeah, that sure seems rational...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2020, 10:01:47 PM »
So ... I said I was looking for a common theme in Plato's Socratic writings.  I think I have found it.

"Why do you think you can think?"
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Offline Baruch

Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2020, 10:39:30 PM »
So ... I said I was looking for a common theme in Plato's Socratic writings.  I think I have found it.

"Why do you think you can think?"

Isn't one of the themes of the dialogs, about how people think they know when they don't?  One can have confirmation bias in a crowd of one.
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Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2020, 11:13:53 PM »
I'm not talking epistemology.  I think Socrates encouraged questioning so that he could convince people they don't actually know anything and should just leave the thinking to the philosopher kings.

"Why do you think you can think?  You can't think.  Let me demonstrate.  Don't you feel silly thinking you know anything?"
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Offline Baruch

Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2020, 12:01:51 AM »
I'm not talking epistemology.  I think Socrates encouraged questioning so that he could convince people they don't actually know anything and should just leave the thinking to the philosopher kings.

"Why do you think you can think?  You can't think.  Let me demonstrate.  Don't you feel silly thinking you know anything?"

Plato thought this (The Republic).  To what extent is The Republic reflective of actual Socrates?  I don't know.  But if it was his ideas, they were right to execute him.  Plato got off easy.
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Offline drunkenshoe

Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2020, 08:22:42 AM »
You guys should check the doxographic texts on this specific literature, if you haven't done it. I believe you will enjoy it more intensely. Infact, another dimension about this universe will open. It's amazing fun.

There are doxographic enycylopedias with sections on these philosophers. I understand the interest on Socrates which I share, but I'd reccomend to go back around a hundred years and read on Parmenides to start. Esp. if you want to dive in Plato.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 09:07:02 AM by drunkenshoe »
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Offline Baruch

Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2020, 09:04:59 AM »
You guys should check the doxographic texts on this specific literature, if you haven't done it. I believe you will enjoy it more intensely. Infact, another dimension about this universe will open. It's amazing fun.

There are doxographic enycylopedias with sections on these philosophers. I understand the interest on Socrates which I share, but I'd reccomend to go back around a hundred years and read on Parmenides to start. Esp. if you want to dive in Plato.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/doxography-ancient/

A product of the German academic/classicism of the 19th century.  Didn't that drive Nietzsche mad? ;-)

I like The Hemlock Cup and Helen of Troy by Bettany Hughes.  Have you read those?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 09:08:22 AM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
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Offline Baruch

Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2020, 12:16:54 PM »
Some great quotes ...

"The classic critical theory from the Frankfurt School. The goal of critical theory is to separate people from their heritage, culture, language, religion, and family ties so that they are more susceptible to embracing international Marxism." ... great summary by another poster ...

"We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us." - Vladimir Lenin

"Truth is the most precious thing. That's why we should ration it" - Vladimir Lenin

"Why should freedom of speech and freedom of press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticized? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons. Ideas are much more fatal things than guns. Why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government?" - Vladimir Lenin

"Antifa is the world’s most ‘fascist Orwellian organisation’" ... Germany in the 20s and 30s ... an international terrorist organization.  Global warming protestors are aligned with AntiFa.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 12:37:04 PM by Baruch »
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Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2020, 05:12:01 PM »
I think this quote from the Republic sheds some light on Socrates' (or at least Plato's) view on a communitarian regime.

Quote
Shall we try to find a common basis by asking of ourselves what
ought to be the chief aim of the legislator in making laws and in the
organization of a State, —what is the greatest good, and what is
the greatest evil, and then consider whether our previous
description has the stamp of the good or of the evil? ...
Can there be any greater evil than discord and distraction and
plurality where unity ought to reign? or any greater good than the
bond of unity? ...
And there is unity where there is community of pleasures and
pains —where all the citizens are glad or grieved on the same
occasions of joy and sorrow? ...
Yes; and where there is no common but only private feeling a State
is disorganized —when you have one half of the world triumphing
and the other plunged in grief at the same events happening to the
city or the citizens? ...
Such differences commonly originate in a disagreement about the
use of the terms ‘mine’ and ‘not mine,’ ‘his’ and ‘not his.’ ...
And is not that the best-ordered State in which the greatest number
of persons apply the terms ‘mine’ and ‘not mine’ in the same way
to the same thing?
Or that again which most nearly approaches to the condition of the
individual —as in the body, when but a finger of one of us is hurt,
the whole frame, drawn towards the soul as a center and forming
one kingdom under the ruling power therein, feels the hurt and
sympathizes all together with the part affected, and we say that the
man has a pain in his finger; and the same expression is used about
any other part of the body, which has a sensation of pain at
suffering or of pleasure at the alleviation of suffering.


http://pinkmonkey.com/dl/library1/republic.pdf
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 06:03:59 PM by Vulcan »

Offline Baruch

Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2020, 06:51:38 PM »
A shorter summary (I was reading The Republic in 2018) ...

Everyone should stick to what they are good at.  Sculptors and potter decorators are not politicians.  Politicians are good at politics, nobody else is.  And politicians shouldn't interfere with other skill sets.  So democracy is a big no-no.  If you are lucky enough to have competent politicians, then the Public needs to shut up and get back to sculpting and pottery decorating.  That is the first rule.  The second rule is how do we obtain competent politicians?  The Guardians.  A lot like Thomas Jefferson proposed for why scholarships should be made available to the University of Virginia ... talent will rise, but you don't know from where.  You identify it early, and direct it into where the talent can best serve.  If your natural talent is politics, then you need to be assisted and directed to take a course of training that will maximize that talent.

The people Socrates is speaking against, Thrasymachus et al ... believe in democracy (rule by incompetents) or in tyranny (rule by violence).  From Socrates' perspective, democracy was a cheap trick by Cleisthenes (508 BCE) to extend the effective franchise so that his opponents, a narrow land owning and mercantile oligarchy, could be overcome (because they created internecine conflict internal to Athens).  Having done this, the People needed to be persuaded to do the right thing by oratory (Peitho is the goddess of persuasion) ... at least in the common mind, this is a religious act.  Pericles was the early master of this (later Isocrates and Demosthenes).  The events of Socrates' life told him that tyranny was wrong (Peisistratus was the most notable Athenian tyrant) and that democracy was wrong (Cleon was the most notable demagogue).  A tyrant, in Greek, is not as negative as it is in English.  It simply means rule by one man, not a committee of oligarchs or an assembly of free men. Peisistratus was responsible for the epic poetry contest in Athens, the resulted in the "received text" of the Illiad and Odyssey.  Unfortunately, this two sons, Hippias and Hipparchus wanted to succeed him, and didn't have his talent and chaos resulted.  Hipparchus was assassinated over a gay love triangle.  Hippias turned paranoid and repressive.  The Athenian oligarchs called in King Cleomenes I of Sparta, to force the end of his regime, and Hippias went into exile.

It was shortly after that, that Cleisthenes used the mob to end the resumed chaos of the oligarchs that Peisistratus had ended.  Hippias went on to the Persian court of King Darius I, and was instrumental in getting the Persian fleet/army to land at Marathon, in a bid to restore him to power, to end the hostile Athenian/Spartan policy of undermining the Persian Empire in Asia Minor, including the looting and burning of Sardes.  Sardes was a source of wealth, the capital of the Lydian Kingdom, which was conquered by King Cyrus in this same period.  Lydia and neighboring Greek sea coast colonies (Ionia and Aeolia) were the originators of coinage.

Basically the whole democratic period from 508-399 BCE was a disaster for Athens and for humanity (as seen millennia later by us).  Except for a brief period of leadership by Themistocles and later by Pericles, the average politician got the assembly (at the Pnyx) to do one folly after another.  The worst being Alcibiades (who was prominent after Cleon, who died in combat at Amphipolis of his own stupidity) ... who led the Athenians to the disastrous idea of invading Sicily and taking Syracuse.  Folly continued right down to the day that Athens, which had to import its food, was starved out by Spartan blockade (who by this time had their own navy, courtesy of the Persians).  Alcibiades was one of Socrates' younger lovers and the treason of Alcibiades is what got Socrates executed "guild by association".

There were a few decades of Athens as a lesser version, in the decades after Socrates was executed, under Isocrates and Demosthenes.  But by this time King Phillip of Macedon and his son Alexander, brought back monarchy in a big way, and not even Sparta ever recovered from that.  Athens was a dependency from then on until the modern era.

I am a long time fan of the classics (Greece and Rome).  I will never drink the last drop from that bottomless well.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 06:59:40 PM by Baruch »
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Re: Socrates, One of the Earliest "Cultural Marxists"?
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2020, 07:24:06 PM »
You should read Nietzshe's criticism of Platonism in Twilight of the idols, if you haven't already.

Quote
In my own case this disrespectful thought, that the great sages are
declining types, first occurred to me precisely in regard to an instance
where learned and unlearned prejudice most strongly opposes it: I recognized Socrates and Plato as symptoms of decay, as instruments of the
Greek dissolution, as pseudo-Greek, as anti-Greek (Birth of Tragedy,
1872). That consensus sapientium—this I grasped better and better—dem-
-onstrates least of all that they were right about what they agreed on.
Instead, it demonstrates that they themselves, these wisest ones, were
somehow in physiological agreement, so that they took the same negative
stance toward life—and had to take it.
Judgments, value judgments about life, for or against, can in the final
analysis never be true; they have value only as symptoms, they can be considered only as symptoms—in themselves, such judgments are stupidities. One absolutely must reach out and try to grasp this astounding
finesse, that the value of life cannot be assessed. Not by the living, since they
are parties to the dispute; in fact, they are the objects of contention, and
not the judges—and not by the dead, for another reason.—Thus, when
philosophers see a problem in the value of life, this even amounts to an
objection to them, a question mark attached to their wisdom, an unwisdom.—What? And all these great sages—are we saying they weren’t only
décadents, but they weren’t even wise to begin with?—But here I come
back to the problem of Socrates.


http://www.faculty.umb.edu/gary_zabel/Phil_100/Nietzsche_files/Friedrich-Nietzsche-Twilight-of-the-Idols-or-How-to-Philosophize-With-the-Hammer-Translated-by-Richard-Polt.pdf
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 07:45:03 PM by Vulcan »