Monday, June 25, 2007

ex decreto platonico

Från en intervju på Salon med Simon Blackburn, författaren till Plato's Republic:

"-You also say in the book that Plato might have looked down on Bush for a display like the flight suit on the aircraft carrier.

-Very much so, yes.

-Why is that?

-The danger he elaborates especially in Book 4 of "The Republic" and other places is the danger represented by the man of "thumos," or spirit. Now this is a military virtue, the kind of strutting warrior-hero. Plato thinks that the artists of his time elevate that figure. They make a cult of that kind of heroism. But in effect, that's worshipping brutality. It's not worshipping the right kind of human virtue, which is lodged in the philosopher, in the man of wisdom, not the man of brutal ability to cow other people. And when you see George Bush strutting about on the aircraft carrier, you've got exactly somebody who's plugging in to the cult of the brute, the cult of the powerful figure, who gets his own way by sticking his elbows out and kicking other people. And you're not likely to see a democratic politician going and consorting with academics. You're much more likely to see them standing on podiums, watching the troops go by. And Plato's against that. He thinks it's a very, very dangerous aspect of human nature and one that he would suppress in his ideal city. And so I always argue that's not a silly idea. We may be so attached to liberty that we don't follow him in suppressing it, but I think we should certainly follow him in recognizing that it's a dangerous kind of diet to feed people. "

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