Saturday, December 28, 2019

How Tyranny Arises From Democracy

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Plato and Aristotle

BOTH Plato and Aristotle defined how both the death of Liberty and the birth of tyranny come through democracy.

Aristotle said, "Inevitably, masculine republics give way to feminine democracies, and feminine democracies invariably give way to tyranny."

While Plato put it, "And so the probable outcome of too much freedom is only too much slavery in both the individual and the state.

"It is then that tyranny develops out of no other constitution than democracy -- from the height of liberty, comes the fiercest extreme of servitude."

In his "Republics," Plato described the degradation FROM Repubics TO Despotism, FROM noble individual Liberty TO base and vile license.

"When a democratic city, thirsting for liberty, gets bad cupbearers for its leaders and they become intoxicated by drinking too deep of that unmixed wine, and then, if its so-called governors are not extremely mild and gentle with it and don't dispense the liberty unrestrained, it chastises them and accuses them of being accursed oligarchs.

"But these so-called leaders come to revile those who obey their rulers, as willing slaves and useless men, but it commends and honors in public and private rulers who resemble subjects and subjects who are like rulers. Isn't it inevitable that in such a state the spirit of liberty should be transformed into an anarchistic one (license)?

"And this anarchistic temper, must penetrate into private homes and finally enter into the very animals...

"...As this spirit takes hold, so do such other trifles, as the father habitually trying to resemble the child, becoming afraid of his sons, and the son likens himself to the father and feels no awe, nor fear of his parents, so that he may see himself as a free man. And the resident alien feels himself equal to the citizen and the citizen to him, and the foreigner likewise. The teacher in such case fears and fawns upon the pupils, and the pupils pay no heed to the teacher or to their overseers either. And in general the young ape their elders and vie with them in speech and action, while the old, accommodating themselves to the young, are full of pleasantry and graciousness, imitating the young for fear they may be thought disagreeable and authoritative...

"...And the climax of license is attained in such a city when the purchased slaves, male and female, are as free as the owners who paid for them, and I almost forgot to mention the spirit of freedom and equal rights in the relation of men to women and women to men...

"Shall we not, then, my friend asked, in the Aeschylean phrase, say 'whatever rises to our lips'?

"Certainly, I replied and so I will; Without experience of it no one would believe how much freer the very beasts subject to men are in such a city than elsewhere. The dogs literally verify the adage and 'like their mistresses become.' And likewise the horses and asses are wont to hold on their way with the utmost freedom and dignity, bumping into everyone who meets them and who does not step aside. And so all things everywhere are just bursting with the spirit of license.

"Yes, my friend replied, that is my own dream you are telling me, for it often happens to me when I go to the country.

"I answered, And do you note that the sum total of all these items when footed up is that they render the souls of the citizens so sensitive that they chafe at the slightest suggestion of servitude and will not endure it? Aren't we all eventually made aware that they finally pay no heed even to the laws written or unwritten, so that they may perceive to have no master anywhere over them.

"THIS then, is the fine and vigorous root from which tyranny grows, in my opinion.

"So it is the same malady that arises in oligarchies and destroys them, that this more widely diffused and more violent, as a result of this license, that ultimately enslaves democracy.

In truth, any excess is wont to bring about a corresponding reaction to the opposite in the seasons, in plants, in animal bodies, and most especially in political societies."

Our own history seems to prove these ancient Greeks right.

With the birth of America, we've chronicled Liberty born of the tyranny of the Colonialist King George. Within 7 decades a great war was fought within this country, preserving the Union of States that had been rendered apart by the tensions between the industrialized North and Agrarian South, resulting in both the crowning of industrial America and the end of the Agrarian South, rooted in chattel slavery. From then forward, "The business of America was business," and the Gilded Age of the Titans of Industry began. Wealth became paramount and, in the minds of many, Liberty only existed in order to create wealth.

While the first half of the 20th Century saw two World Wars and a Great (worldwide) Depression, making possible the structure for an international framework built upon the foundation of the United Nations. The 2nd half of that Century saw the rise of license, replacing Liberty in America.

The start of the 21st has seen new and unprecedented expansions of government, primarily in response to 'terrorism.' Today, surveillance is ubiquitous, along with increasing intrusions into the personal lives of citizens, increasingly seen as subjects. Would-be despots seek to disarm the people and even control what and how people eat (Mike Bloomberg, among others).

Today, we seem as far away from individual Liberty as we are from individual self sufficiency.

Can Caeserism/tyranny be far behind?

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