Instead of surrendering to my id and fantasizing all day about secretly knocking a woman up without the feds discovering so they don’t ruin her life I’m choosing to challenge myself to get a better grasp of what I take to be the most perplexing of all ancient artifacts
Writers like Aristophanes, Thucydides, that’s taking the easy way out, in light of this dialogue. You need a superhuman ability to focus to follow the argument in this.
There’s a Benardetean study on this, and I can’t possibly imagine how it’s going to pull this off
Those readers who emphasize the dramatic and political character of Plato’s dialogues and Socratic philosophy usually shy away from the Parmenides, which consequently remains almost entirely under the sway of the Anglo-American tradition and what we might call its ontological and epistemological focus.
Let’s just start with the basics here. This is the only dialogue where Socrates is a young man. He speaks with Parmenides who is 40 or so years his elder. One of the main focuses is the critique of the theory of Ideas. Most people are more familiar with the Republic where it is discussed that the leaders of the Just City should be educated in the theory of Ideas. In contrast this is Socrates himself being educated. Some emerge from the Parmenides not believing in the theory of Ideas anymore.
Do you like how I “framed” this post initially? You’re not going to be on this frequency if you’re an animal. It would be painful for you to realize how many professors experience the “n-bomb” of sorts, and never say it. That’s just the reality, that most people are mindless gears. Our regime seems to deliberately produce these failed human beings. Lack of reflection is systematically encouraged. So what are you going to do? I say at least try not to be one of those ones.
One of the most important themes of the Republic is that after enough contemplation of the Ideas one will eventually develop a science, a political science, and that “Idea-logy” is what would run the city. The Parmenides is an intensive exercise in that contemplation.
The sheer chasm between Athens and Jerusalem is manifest in this dialogue perhaps more than anywhere else among Greek writings. In presenting Socrates as a young man, Plato allows us to relax about his authoritativeness. You’re invited to see the theory of Ideas as naive and in need of some work. To say the least, I don’t know of anything like that in the sacred texts of monotheism. Like I said yesterday though, our culture suffers from an excess of “wisdom” such that it isn’t even wisdom anymore, and they’d probably be better off with the authority of monotheism. What the non-rabble should know however is that if you make a “Muhammad” out of Plato or neech then you missed the point. So to speak, their intention is to clone you as not-a-clone. Oedipal patricide is so rife in our time this attitude is fatal and should be swept under the rug honestly. People are better off being clones, and NOT clones of the corrupt state. The state has hijacked people’s sheeplike nature against their best interests. You’ll be sitting next to me in church one day, mark my words!
Have I gotten you to reflect here at all or are you the one chillin on the steps here looking at a breakfast menu?
I look forward to having a fried ham and cheese sandwich later myself. That however can wait for now.
One of my favorite “conspiracy theories” (which I doubt is a conspiracy theory) is that Plato mostly collected dust on the shelf throughout history while Aristotle was seen as The Philosopher not for any “virtuous” reason, ironically. It was rather because Plato had something like a Parmenides and that causes too much thinking. Imagine if there was a gospel where Jesus is young and is being questioned–convincingly–by a wise elder about his most fundamental beliefs. To say Plato was “clever” in making this dialogue would be a severe understatement. He goes back in time- this is chronologically the first dialogue of them all, Socrates is nineteen years old, a “green shoot” as it were. Imagining Moses portrayed that way is so laughable, they could never have dealt with that suspension of belief. And this is why no religion was made out of Platonism, because it’s only for the few. Shahak has given us the suspicion that the Talmud itself was a consciously-crafted “noble lie” in the direct tradition of Plato. If you want to know the approximate equivalent of that in Plato himself, that is the Timaeus. That is the sustained “Myth” in his corpus. And it’s probably no coincidence that when Plato WAS studied throughout the centuries of Christendom it was the Timaeus that was the most popular of his dialogues. If you want to get real suspicious, the form itself Aristotle wrote in, the treatise, has a “mythical” quality to it. Aristotle is the Authority, there’s no character in a dialogue with Socrates there. At the same time, it’s easy to see Socrates’ interlocutors as mere foils, and Socrates himself as the Authority, so there’s a subtly mythical side to Plato as well.
Notice the political dimension of these things I say. What will mentioning the “mythical” side of the state-religion get you? Ah right, hemlock. This is not a Platonic political order we’re living in. Moses is the Authority, you don’t have a dialogue with Moses. Especially a Moses who is a green shoot. Unless you’re a goat that teleports to the side of a cliff somehow. “I’m of an ancient race, how dare you portray me as a whippersnapper!” Yeah and you never dialectically developed since those ancient times due to an over-emphasis on never questioning Authority. If you’re a Jerusalemite reading this you are in a way having an Athenian dialogue at the moment – is that a fun time for you?
I always have this feeling that I’m talking to a friend here, and then always realize people really just want me dead. This is a strange delusion of mine. I think my “sarcasm” or whatever you want to call it won’t piss them off too much and they’ll be amused, and then I always realize people just want me dead.
“You made it dawn on me that I’m a lowly animal, time to do what a lowly animal does and be angry instead of growing.”
I see through everyone. Now why would I want to secretly knock up someone like that? Maybe because I think they’ll finally be more disciplined after that happens. Then again, you’re just asking for a divorce if you bother with someone like that. Jerusalemite women… please keep them away, incapable of independent thought and will contaminate me with that.
We’re still contemplating the theory of Ideas here. The ideal friend, the ideal woman, do they exist? If they did they’d be “Athenians”. That those are so rare is proof that our “philosopher-kings” do not have the knowledge of a true political science. I like to imagine these shams eating a muffin or something for breakfast- as they chew, they’re not reading something like the Parmenides, it’s more like Wall Street Journal. Well if you’re here then you probably made an honest effort to contemplate the real meaning of political science and thus care about the Good of society. DO you care about that? Or do you tend to take the easy way out? If an opinion you proudly proclaim happens to be in line with what the uneducated mob believes then I’d have to guess you did take the easy way out. Understanding you and your excuses is very much a political science at this rate.