maanantai 6. kesäkuuta 2011

Something about Plato and his The Republic

I've been reading Plato's The Republic for the university's entrance examination (I'm not going to make it, but I'm going to try anyway.) and there are several things that really disturb me in this utopia he presents. They push my buttons so much I'm not even sure whether it can be considered an utopia or not. Of course I realize the fact that me and Plato have a good two and a half thousand years between us, and mankind has developed new sorts of media, control and destruction, but still I think the very essence of mankind has remained nearly untouched through the millennias. Plato was the developer of the ideas, the divine abstracts of perfection, which can not be seen or touched, or even in exist, but still everything living and existing draws from the ideas of things and beings. For every guitar is an imitation of the perfect guitar, that does not actually exist anywhere, but in the world of ideas, which is full of perfection. He believed in dualism in man's soul, there are forces of good and evil that are in constant battle with eachother. This is where we choose different paths, for I believe there is no good or evil, there are just last minute decisions, consequences, chaotic ignorance and knowledge, and the subjective history writing that defines whether the individuals did the "right=good" decisions or not. Our history is written in blood, and it's just endless victory march on our yard, whether we won the oppressor, or the opposing anarchism or other radical ideas, we are always winners.

So when Plato says that in his perfect state there'd be no arts that oppose what is good for the state, no sad songs or poems of unfortunate fates, people should be raised to understand that they need to do the hard work to let the small elite rulers rule and save their time for all the fun things, it's some tough shit to swallow. He encourages cencorship, manipulation of the people, the suppression and closing all things "evil" outside his state. I understand that things are different now. Back then people had the freedom of speech (although you might get killed if you we're not quiet) and Plato was mainly meaning the pop culture of his time, dishonoring the gods and giving them some humane characteristics, so he was ready to give something up to raise the kids to believe in happy-happy-sunshineland he was creating. After all this was all done in the name of finding justice in one's soul, and he was trying to make his state as "good" as possible. Still I believe the ones at the very bottom would not stay happy too long. Someone would ask questions and get envious, start desiring some higher authority in this society, and fuck some serious shit up. That is the essence of human nature. To ask questions, to make notions, to strive for his place in the sun. That is why the western world is based on capitalism and money. The few on the top were the ones at the bottom and now they rule and they don't want to let go of their precious money.

I say fuck it. You don't need money. Try. You may lose your apartment, your friends, your precious "stuff" you have in those cardboardboxes that are still in your attic from your last move. You may lose everything in the beginning. But you'll eventually gain something better. You know who you are. You'll probably face some of those "low class" people you've always avoided, you'll get left out from the society. You'll see how the solidarity works around here. I promise to be your friend. Come and knock on my door, I'll fix you some coffee and we'll have some long conversations about what you have seen, what you have learned, how did that all make you feel. But I'm straying again.

Of course Plato had many good points too. He was right to restrict the right to own personal stuff from the soldiers and the rulers, to prevent the corruption from blooming in his state. Here in Finland we have followed this ridiculous act of establishing the government for over a month now, and I'm not surprised our capitalist winners, who always become blue-collar party when it's time for election, can't come up with good solutions. So surprise, surprise, now they are rebuilding the same government we had the last four years. So nothing has changed, it'll be the same set of same lies. It is a farce, for nearly all the parties have already declared to be in the opposition at some point, but instantly when they see they have a chance of being in the government, their jackets suddenly have brand new colors. Nothing new, I know. Still so fucking funny! If they had no right to own anything, they'd truly show how much they'd love their country. And this is something we could really absorb from Plato. We should.

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