Plato - The Laws 797 translated by T J Saunders
If you control the way children play, and the same children always play the same games under the same rules and in the same conditions, and get pleasure from the same toys, you’ll find that the conventions of adult life too are left without alteration….Change, we shall find, except in something evil, is extremely dangerous.
1. Once upon a time, of the great men in a Great State, farmers cultivated the land; scientists advanced the science; engineers developed the technology; workmen manufactured clothes, shoes, gramophones, automobiles; wise law makers gave the laws of justice; judges upheld and enforced these laws; erudite teachers taught the young of good virtues and ethics; noble Senators devoted their lives working for the betterment of the State and her people; generals of valor commanded a powerful but lean army in the defence of her peace. Men loved their wives, wives adored their husbands; they took good care of their children, looked after their elders. Honours, integrity, skills of workmanship were venerated; they were the basic rules and conditions of a Great State, under which men played their games. Men Of such a Great State, produced, an economy of immense wealth.
2, Then, a few sophists came along, started peddling the following propositions for change: Let’s transform this manufacturing economy into a Service and Consumption-Based New Economy; let’s outsource those old industries to other poor States; let’s liberate our workmen from their daily toils; let’s train them to be dot com entrepreneurs, shop assistants; let’s turn all our schools into profitable corporations; let’s make sure our professors are selling more diplomas to renew their tenure contracts. Let’s confine our elders in nursing homes. In such a vibrant New Economy, let’s raise the debt ceiling to the sky; let’s create more exciting high paying jobs: face-bookers, war game players, musical punks, edgy day traders, mortgage originators, charming private equity sharks, creative bean counters, frequent flying nomads, KPI assessors, lethal divorce attorneys, 24/7 news drumming hosts, newspaper hacking editors, mini-god artists, 18 years old professors, super-star con politicians. Let’s raise the salary of our CEOs to a trillion; let’s privatise all our public roads, let’s charge men tolls for breathing air; let’s elect the handsomest actor to be our Acting President; let’s outsource our entire government over to the most economically efficient corporation.
Aristotle – The Politics book 1 chapter 2 translated by J A Sinclair
As man is the best of all animals when he has reached his full development, so he is worst of all when divorced from law and morals…… Hence man without goodness is the most savage, the most unrighteous, and the worst in regard to sexual licence and gluttony.
1. When some people call the life of Aristotle uneventful, they likely suggest, Aristotle, very much followed the tradition of Plato: A self-fulfilling intellectual life in learning and teaching, while always abstaining himself from any worldly affairs.
2. Three things about Aristotle are still very noteworthy: First, Aristotle was not an Athenian but a Macedonian; his father, Nicomachus, was the court physician to the King of Macedon. Secondly, it was said that Aristotle was a disciple at Plato’s Academy for 20 years, though we have not yet found any literary correspondence between Plato and Aristotle.Thirdly, after leaving Plato’s Academy, he tutored the young prince Alexander for 6 years. This brief tutorship did not turn the young prince into a philosopher king; instead, the young pupil became Alexander, The Great Warrior.
3. In 335 B.C., Aristotle returned to Athens, built his school Lyceum. Lyceum was a great success and flourished for some twelve or thirteen years under Aristotle, the greatest teacher who ever lived. After the sudden death of Alexander The Great in far-off Babylon in 323 B. C., the anti-Macedonian sentiment in Athens was on the rise again. Aristotle, sensing ‘ The Athenians should sin a second time against philosophy (the first time was against Socrates)’, left Athens and retired to Chalcis. He died there at the age of 63.
4. Most works of Aristotle we now possess, are the works of his late years, which were most likely compiled and edited from his lecture notes at Lyceum by his devoted disciples. To study these works, could be a life changing experience; though your perseverance is needed to accomplish a task of such an intellectual nature. Before reading Aristotle, it will be very helpful to remember what Mr J A K Thomas ( The English scholar who translated The Ethics) advised: ‘Let him not think that he is reading a book but that he is listening to a man speaking. He will find that it makes a great difference, especially when he remembers who this speaker is’.
A Book To Recommend
Cicero and the Roman Republic by F. R Cowell