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Welcome to Lachlan Cranswick's Personal Homepage in Melbourne, Australia

Extracts from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Originally written from 1938 to 1943. Published in book form 1945)

(Under Construction - click here for Vol 2 of "The Open Society and Its Enemies")

(Referring to Vol. 2) "Bertrand Russell described this study, with its companion volume on Plato, as ' a work of first-class importance which ought to be widely read for its masterly criticism of the enemies of democracy, ancient and modern. His (Popper's) attack on Plato, while unorthodox, is in my opinion thoroughly justified. His analysis of Hegel is deadly. Marx is dissected with equal acumen, and given his due share of responsibility for modern misfortunes. The book is a vigorous and profound defence of democracy, timely, very interesting, and very well written."
"The general guiding principle for public policy put forward in The Open Society is: 'Minimize avoidable suffering'." Followed by: "Maximize the freedom of individuals to live as they wish" - quoted in "Philosophy and the Real World : An Introduction to Karl Popper" by Bryan Magee, ISBN: 0875484360 (Chapter 6)

"The vital question is not 'Who should rule?' but 'How can we minimize misrule?" - quoted in "Philosophy and the Real World : An Introduction to Karl Popper" by Bryan Magee, ISBN: 0875484360 (Chapter 6)

"In spite of such arguments I believe that Plato's political programme, far from being morally superior to totalitarianism, is fundamentally identical with it."
"Why did Plato claim, in the Republic, that justice meant inequality if in general usage, it meant equality? To me the only likely reply seems to be that he wanted to make propaganda for his totalitarian state by persuading the people that it was the 'just' state."
"What a monument of human smallness is this idea of the philosopher king. What a contrast between it and the simplicity of humaneness of Socrates, who warned the statesmen against the danger of being dazzled by his own power, excellence, and wisdom, and who tried to teach him what matters most - that we are all frail human beings. What a decline from this world of irony and reason and truthfulness down to Plato's kingdom of the sage whose magical powers raise him high above ordinary men; although not quite high enough to forgo the use of lies, or to neglect the sorry trade of every shaman - the selling of spells, of breeding spells, in exchange for power over his fellow-men."
Lachlan's Homepage is at http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au

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[Galbraith: The Great Crash: 1929] | [Galbraith: Culture of Contentment] | [Galbraith: Money]
[Popper: Open Society and its Enemies vol 1] | [Popper: Open Society and its Enemies vol 2]
[Maggee: on the Philosphy of Karl Popper] | [Popper: Poverty of Historicism]
[Beard: An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States]

For a concise background summary of "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume" by Karl Popper refer to Extracts from "Philosophy and the Real World : An Introduction to Karl Popper" by Bryan Magee Published by Open Court Pub Co, July 1985, ISBN: 0875484360

Top notch warts and All Obituary of Karl Popper: THE BRITISH ACADEMY: Obituary of Karl Raimund Popper: 1902 - 1994: by John Watkins: London School of Economics: (Published (December 1997) in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 94, pp. 645 to 684): http://www.britac.ac.uk/pubs/src/popper/

Biography and assessment of Karl Popper (at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy): http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/popper/


samizdat: [Russ., lit., self published.] a system by which manuscripts denied official publication in the Soviet Union are circulated clandestinely in typescript or in mimeograph form, or are smuggled out for publication.

verisimilitude: [L. verisimilitudo, from verisimilis; see verisimilar]

  1. the appearance of being true or real
  2. something that has the mere apearance of being true or real

Routledge On... Karl Popper ("In 1945 Routledge and Kegan Paul published the first book by an unknown author, Karl Popper. Originally entitled A Social Philosophy for Everyman, it had been turned down by a considerable number of publishers when Herbert Read, then a director of Routledge, determined to take it on. It came out under the title, The Open Society and Its Enemies"): http://www.routledge.com/popper/

Karl Popper links

Web and literature references on the Toxicology and effects of Hemlock on humans and animals (For those curious about effects of Hemlock vs the reported accounts of deaths of Socrates (by Plato!) and Seneca; and pondering whether the reported toxicology is consistent.)

Extracts from "Egypt, Greece and Rome Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean" by Charles Freeman (Pub. 1999)

First Starting Quote

Page: v

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"It will be seen . . . that the Erewhonians are a
meed and long-suffering people, easily led
by the nose, and quick to offer up common
sense at the shrine of logic, when a philosopher
arises among them who carries them away . . .
by convincing them that their existing institutions
are not based on the strictest principles of morality"

Samuel Butler.

Second Starting Quote

Page: vi

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"In my course I have known and, according to my measure,
have co-operated with great men; and I have never yet seen
any plan which has not been mended by the observations of those
who were much inferior in understanding to the person who
took the lead in the business."

Edmund Burke.

Preface

Preface to the First Edition: Page: vii

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we much break with the habit of deference to great men. Great men may make great mistakes; and as the book tries to show, some of the greatest leaders of the past supported the perennial attack on freedom and reason. Their influence, too rarely challenged, continues to mislead those on whose defence civilization depends, and to divide them. The responsibility of this tragic and possibly fatal division becomes ours if we hesitate to be outspoken in our criticism of what admittedly is a part of our intellectual heritage. By reluctance to criticize some of it, we may help to destroy it all.

The book is a critical introduction to the philosophy of politics and of history, and an examination of some of the principles of social reconstruction. Its aim and hte line of approach are indicated in the Introduction. Even where it looks back into the past, its problems are the problems of our own time; and I have tried hard to state them as simply as I could, in the hope of clarifying matters which concern us all.

Although this book presupposes nothing but open-mindedness in hte reader, its object is not so much to popularize the questions treated as to solve them. In an attempt, however, to serve both these purposes, I have confined all matter of more specialized interest to Notes which have been collected at the and of the book.

1943"

Preface

Preface to the Second Edition: Page: viii to ix

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Althought much of what is contained in this book took shape at an earlier date, the final decision to write it was made in March 1938, on the day I received news of the invasion of Austria. The writing extended into 1943; and the fact that most of the book was written during the grave years when the outcome of the war was uncertain may help to explain why some of its criticism strikes me to-day as more emotional and harsher in tone that I could wish. But it was not the time to mince words - or at least, this was what I then felt. Neither the war not any other contemporary event was explicitly mentioned in the book; but it was an attempt to understand those events and their background, and some of the issues which were likely to arise after the war was won. The expectation that Marxism would become a major problem was the reason for treating it at some length.

Seen in the darkness of the present world situation, the criticism of Marxism which it attempts is liable to stand out as the main point of the book. This view is notwholly wrong and perhaps unavoidable, although the aims of the book are much wider. Marxism is only an episode - one of hte many mistakes we have made in the perennial and dangerous struggle for building a better and freer world.

Not unexpectedly, I have been blamed by some for being too severe in my treatment of Marx, while others contrasted my leniency towards him with the violence of my attack upon Plato. But I still feel the need for looking at Plato with highly critical eyes, just because the general adoration of the 'divine philospher' has a real foundation in his overwhelming intellectual achievement. Marx, on the other hand, has too often been attacked on personal and moral grounds, so that here the need is, rather, for a severe rational criticism of his theories combined with a sympathetic understanding of their astonishing moral and intellectual appeal. Rightly or wrongly, I felt that my criticism was devastating, and that I could therefore afford to search for Marx's real contributions, and to give his motives the benefit of the doubt. In any case, it is obvious that we must try to apreciate the strength of an opponent if we wish to fight successfully. (I have added in 1965 a new note on this subject as Addendum I to my second volume.)

No book can ever be finished. While working on it we learn just enough to find it ammature the moment we turn away from it. As to my criticism of Plato and Marx, this inevitable experience was not more disturbing than usual. But most of my positive suggestions and, above all, the strong feeling of optimism which pervades the whole book struck me more and more as naive, as the years after the war went by. My own voice began o sound to me as if it came from the distant past - like the voice of one of the hopeful social reformers of the eighteenth or even the seventeenth century.

But my mood of depression has passed, largely as the result of a visit to the United States; and I am now glad that, in revising the book, I confined myself to the addition of new material and to the correction of mistakes of matter and style, and that I resisted the temptation to subdue its tenor. For in spite of the present world situation I feel as hopeful as I ever did.

I see now more clearly than ever before that even our greatest troubles spring from something that is as admirable and sound as it is dangerous - from our impatience to better the lot of our fellows. For these troubles are the by-products of what is perhaps the greatest of all moral and spritual revolutions of history, a movement which began three centuries ago. It is the longing of uncounted unknown men to free themselves and their minds from the tutelage of authority and prejudice. It is their attempt to build up an open society which rejects the absolute authority to preserve, to develop, and to establish traditions, old or new, that measure up to their standards of freedom, of humaneness, and of rational criticism. It is their unwillingnes to sit back and leave the entire responsibility for ruling the world to human or superhuman authority,and their readiness to share the burden of responsibility for avoidable suffering, and to work for its avoidance. This revolution has created powers of appalling destructiveness; but they may yet be conquered."

Vol . I. The Spell of Plato.

Introductory Quotes: Page: 7

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

For the Open Society (about 430 B.C.):
"Although only a few may originate a policy,
we are all able to judge it."

Pericles of Athens.

Against the Open Society (about 80 years later):
"The greatest principle of all is that nobody,
whether male or female, should be without
a leader. Nor should the mind of anybody
be habituated to letting him do anything at
all of his own initiative; neither out of
zeal, nor even playfully. But in war and in
the midst of peace - to his leader he shall
direct his eye and follow him faithfully. And
even in the smallest matter he should stand
under leadership. For example, he should
get up, or move, or wash, or take his meals
. . only if he has been told to do so, by long
habit, never to dream of acting independently,
and to become utterly incapable of it."

Plato of Athens.

Chapter 1: Historicism and the Myth of Destiny

Historicism: Page: 7 to 8

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"It is widely believed that a truely scientific or phiolosophical attitude towards politics, and a deeper understanding of social life in general, must be based upon a contemplation and interpretation of human history. While the ordinary man takes the setting of his life and the importance of his personal experiences and petty struggles for granted, it is said that the social scientist or philosopher has to survey things from a higher plane. he see the individual as a pawn, as a somewhat insignificant instrument in the general development of mankind. And he finds that the really important actors on the Stage of History are either the Great Nation and their Great Leaders, or perhaps the Great Classes, or the Great Ideas. However this may be, he will try to understand the meaning of the play which is performed on the Historical Stage; he will try to understand the laws of historical development. If he succeeds in this, he will, of course, be able to predict future developments. He might then put politics upon a solid basis, and give us practical advice by telling us which political actions are likely to succeed or likely to fail.

This is a brief description of an attitude which I call historicism. It is an old idea, or rather, a loosely connected set of ideas which have become, unfortunately, so much a part of our spiritual atmosphere that they are usually taken for granted, and hardly ever questioned.

I have tried elsewhere to show that the historicist approach to the social sciences gives poor results. I have also tried to outline a method which, I believe, would yield better results.

But if historicism is a faulty method that produces worthless results, then it may be useful to see how it originated, and how is succeeded in entrenching itself so successfully."

[TEXT DELETED]

Chapter 2: Heraclitus

Heraclitus and Historicism: Page: 11

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"It is not until Heraclitus that we find in Greece theories which could be compared in their historicist character with the doctrine of the chosen people. In Homer's theistic or rather polytheisitic interpretation, history is the product of divine will. But the Homeric gods do not lay down general laws for its development. What Homer tries to stress and to explain is not the unity of history, but rather than lack of unity. The author of the play on the Stage of History is not one God; a whole variety of gods dabble in it. What the Homeric interpretation whares with the Jewish is a certain vague feeling of destiny, and the idea of powers behind the scenes. But ultimate destiny, according to Homer, is not disclosed; unlike its Jewish counterpart, it remains mysterious."

Chapter 2: Heraclitus

Heraclitus, Change and the Democratic Social Revolution in Ancient Greece: Page: 12 to 13

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Heraclitus' discovery influenced the development of Greek philosophy for a long time. The philosophies of Parmenides, Democritus, Platon, and Aristotle can all be appropriately described as attempts to solve the problems of that changing world which Heraclitus has discovered. The greatness of this discovery can hardly be overrated. It has been described as a terrifying one, and its effect has been compared with that of 'an earthquake, in which everything . . seems to sway'. And I do not doubt that this discovery was impressed upon Heraclitus by terrifying personal experiences suffered as a result of the social and political disturbances of his day. Heraclitus, the first philosopher to deal not only with 'nature' but even more with ethico-political problems, lived in an age of social revolution. It was in his time that the Greek tribal aristocracies were beginning to yield to the new force of democracy.

In order to understand the effect of this revolution, we must remember the stability and rigidity of social life in a tribal aristocracy. Social life is determined by social and religious taboos; everybody has his assigned place within the whole of the social structure; everyone feels that his place is the proper, the 'natural' place, assigned to him by the forces which rule the world; everyone 'knows his place'.

According to tradition, Heraclitus' own place was that of heir to the royal family of the priest kings of Ephesus, but he resigned his claims in favour of his brother. In spite of his proud refusal to take part in the political life of his city, he supported the cause of the aristocrats who tried in vain to stem the rising tide of the new revolutionary forces. These experiences in the social or political field are reflected in the remaining fragments of his work. 'The Ephesians ought to hang themselves man by man, all the adults, and leave the city to be ruled by infants . . .', is one of his outburts, occasioned by the people's decision to banish Hermodorus, one of Heraclitus' aristocratic friends. His interpretation of the people's motives is most interesting, for it shows that the stock-in-trade of anti-democratic argument has not changed much since the earliest days of democracy. 'They said : nobody shall be the best among us; and if someone is outstanding, then let him be so elsewhere, and among others.' This hostility towards democracy breaks through everywhere in the fragments : ' . . the mob fill their bellies like the beasts . . They take the bards and popular beliefs as their guides, unaware that many are bad and that only the few are good . . . In Priene lived Bias, sone of Teutames, whose word counts more than that of other man. (He said : 'Most men are wicked.') . . . The mob does not care, not even about the things they stumble upon; not can they grasp a lesson - though they think they do.' In the same vien he says : 'The law can demand, too, that the will on One Man must be obeyed.' Another expression of Heraclitus' conservative and anti-democratic outlook is, incidentally, quite acceptable to democrats in its wording, though probably not its intention: 'A people ought to fight for the laws of the city as if they were its walls.'

But Heraclitus' fight for the ancient laws of his city was in vein, and the transitoriness of all things impressed itself strongly upon him. His theory of change gives expression to this feeling : 'Everything is in flux', he said; and 'You cannot step twice into the same river.' Disillusioned, he argued against the belief that the existing social order would remain for ever : 'We must not act like children reared with narrow outlook "As it has been handed down to us".'"

Chapter 2: Heraclitus

Heraclitus and War: Page: 16

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"For he declares that strife or war is the dynamic as well as the creative principle of all change, and especially of all differences between men. And being a typical historicist, he accepts the judgement of history as a moral one; for he holds that he outcome of war is always just : 'War is the father and the king of all things. It proves some to be gods and others to be mere men, turning these into slaves and the former into masters . . . One must know that war is universal, and that justice - the lawsuit - is strife, and that all things develop through strife and by necessity.'

But if justice is strife or war; if 'the goddesses of Fate' are at the same time 'the handmaids of Justice'; if history, or more precisely, if success, i.e. success in war, is the criterion of merit, then the standard of merit must itself be 'in flux'. Herclitus meets this problem by his relativism, and by his doctrine of the identity of opposites."

Chapter 2: Heraclitus

Heraclitus and Fate, Fame and Great Men: Page: 17

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"But the relativism of values (it might even be described as an ethical relativism) expressed in the last fragment does not prevent Heraclitus from developing upon the background of his theory of the justice of war and the verdict of history a tribalist and romantic ethic of Fame, Fate, and the superiority of the Great Man, all strangely similar to some very modern ideas: 'Who falls fighting will be glorified by gods and by men . . . The greater the fall the more glorious the fate . . . The best seek one thing above all others: eternal fame . . . One man is worth more than ten thousand, if he is Great.'

It is surprising to find in these early fragments, dating from about 500 B.C., so much that is characterisitic of modern historicist and anti-democratic tendencies. But apart from the fact that Heraclitus was a thinker of unsurpassed power and originality, and that, in consequence, many of his ideas have (though the medium of Plato) become part of the main body of philosophic tradition, the similarity of doctrine can perhaps be explained, to some extent, by the similarity of social conditions in the relevant periods."

Chapter 3: Plato's Theory of Forms or Ideas

Plato and his times: Page: 18

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Plato lived in a period of wars and of political strife which was, for all we know, even more unsettled than that which had troubled Heraclitus. While he grew up, the breakdown of the tribal life of Greece had led in Athens, his native city, to a period of tyranny, and later to the establishment of democracy which tried jealously to guard itself against any attempts to reintroduce either a tyranny or an oligarchy, i.e. a rule of the leading aristocratic families. During his youth, democratic Athens was involved in a deadly war against Sparta, the leading city-state of the Peloponnese, which had preserved many of the laws and customs of the ancient tribal aristocracy. The Peloponnesian war lasted, with an interruption, for twenty-eight years. (In Chapter 10, where the historical background is reviewed in more detail, it will be shown that the war did not end with the fall of Athens in 404 B.C., as is sometimes asserted.) Plato was born during the war, and he was about twenty-four when it ended. It brought terrible epidemics, and, in its last year, famine, the fall of the city of Athens, civil war, and a rule of terror, usually called the rule of the Thirty Tyrants; these were led by two of Plato's uncles, who both lost their lives in the unsuccessful attempt to uphold their regime against the democrats. The re-establishment of the democracy and of peace meant no respite for Plato.

[TEXT DELETED]"

Chapter 3: Plato's Theory of Forms or Ideas

Popper declares his hostility to Plato's facist ideas: Page: 33

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Before proceeding to Plato's sociology and to the use he made of his methodological essentialism in that field, I wish to make it quite clear that I am confining my treatment of Plato to his historicism, and to his 'best state'. I must therefore warn the reader not to expect a representation of Plato's philosophy, or what may be called a 'fair and just' treatment of Platonism. My attitude towards historicism is one of frank hostility, based upon the conviction that historicism is futile, and worse than that. My survey of the historicist features of Platonism in therefore strongly critical. Although I admire much is Plato's philosophy, far beyond those parts which I believe to be Socratic, I do not take it as my task to add to the countless tributes to his genius. I am, rather, bent on destroying what is in my opinions mischievious in this phiolosophy. It is the totalitarian tendency of Plato's political philosophy which I shall try to analyse, and to criticize."

Chapter 4: Change and Rest

Plato's greatness as a sociologist: Page: 39

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"But Plato's greatness as a sociologist does not lie in his general and abstract speculations about the law of social decay. It lies rather in the wealth and detail of his observations, and in the amazing acuteness of his sociological intuition. He saw things which had not been seen before him, and which were rediscovered only in our time. As an example I may mention his theory of the primative beginnings of society, of tribal patriachy, and, in general, his attempt to outline the typical periods in the development of social life. Another example is Plato's sociological and economic historicism, his emphasis upon the economic background of the political life and the historical development; a theory revived by Marx under his name 'historical materialism'. A third example is Plato's most interesting law of political revolutions, according to which all revolutions presuppose a disunited ruling class (or 'elite'); a law which forms the basis of his analysis of the means of arresting political change and creating a social equilibrium, and which has been recently rediscovered by the theoreticians of totalitarianism especially by Pareto."

Chapter 4: Change and Rest

The Dorian Constitution of Ancient Sparta and Crete: Page: 41 to 42

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Before discussing Plato's perfect state in any detail, I shall give a brief sketch of his analysis of the role played by economic motives and the class struggle in the process of transition between the four decaying forms of the state. The first form into which the perfect state degenerates, timocracy, the rule of the ambitious noblemen, is said to be in nearly all respects similar to the perfect state itself. It is important to note that Plato explicitely identified this best and oldest among the existing states with the Dorian constitution of Sparta and Crete, and that these two tribal aristocracies did in fact represent the oldest forms of political life within Greece. Most of Plato's excellent description of their institutions is given in certain parts of his description of the best or perfect state, to which timocracy is so similar. (Though his doctrine of the similarity between Sparta and the perfect state, Plato became one of the most successful propogators of what I should like to call 'the Great Myth of Sparta' - the perennial and influential myth of the supremecy of the Spartan constitution and way of life.)"

Chapter 4: Change and Rest

Plato's theory of social change - disunity of the ruling class: Page: 43 to 45

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"One of the main objects of Plato's analysis of political developments is to ascertain the driving force of all historical change. In the Laws, the historical survey is explicitely undertaken with this aim in view : 'Have not uncounted thousands of cities been born during this time . . . and has not each of them been under all kinds of government? . . . Let us, if we can, get hold of the cause of so much change. I hope that we may thus reveal the secret both of the birth of constitutions, and also of their changes.' As the result of these investigations he discovers the sociological law that internal disunion, class war formented by the antagonism of economic class interests, is the driving force of all political revolutions. But Plato's formulation of this fundamental law goes even further. He insists that only internal sedition within the ruling class itself can weaken it so much that its rule can be overthrown. 'Changes in any constitution originate, without exception, within the ruling class itself, and only when this class becomes the seat of disunion', as his formula in the Republic; and in the Laws he says (possibly referring to this passage of the Republic): 'How can a kingship, or any other form of government, ever be destroyed by anybody but the rulers themselves? Have we forgotten what we said a while ago, when dealing with this subject, as we did the other day?' This sociological law, together with the observation that economic interests are the most likely cause of disunion, is Plato's clue to history. But it is more. It is also the clue to his analysis of the conditions necessary for the establishment of political equilibrium, i.e. for arresting political change. He assumes that these conditions were realized in the best or perfect state of ancient times."

Chapter 4: Change and Rest

Plato's Solution to avoiding class war: Page: 45

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"How does Plato solve the problem of avoiding class war? Had he been a progressivist, he might have hit on the idea of a classless, equalitarian society; for, as we can see for instance from his own parody of Athenian democracy, there were strong equalitarian tendencies at work in Athens. But he was not out to construct a state that might come, but a state that had been - the father of the Spartan state, which was certainly not a classless society. It was a slave state, and accordingly Plato's best state is based on the most rigid class distinctions. It is a caste state. The problem of avoiding class war is solved, not by abolishing classes, but by giving the ruling class a superiority which cannot be challenged. As in Sparta, the ruling class alone is permitted to carry arms, it alone has any political or other rights, and it alone receives education, i.e. a specialized training in the art of keeping down its human sheep or its human cattle (In fact, its overwhelming superiority disturbs Plato a little; he fears that its members 'may worry the sheep', instead of merely shearing them, and 'act as wolves rather than dogs'. This problem is considered later in the chapter.) As long as the ruling class is united, there can be no challenge to their authority, and consequently no class war."

Chapter 4: Change and Rest

The Slave Class in Plato's Ideal Society: Page: 47

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"The workers, tradesmen, etc., do not interest him at all, they are only human cattle whole sole function is to provide for the material needs of the ruling class. Plato even goes so faras to forbid his rulers to legilsate for people of this class, and for their petty problems. This is why our information about the lower classes is so scanty. But Plato's silence is not wholly interrupted. 'Are there not drudges', he asks once, 'who do not possess a spark of intelligence and are unworthy to be admitted into the community, but who have strong bodies for hard labour?' Since this nasty remark has given rise to the soothing comment that Plato does not admit slaves into his city, I may here point out that this view is mistaken. It is true that Plato discusses nowhere explicitly the status of slaves is his best state, and it is even true that he says that the name 'slave' should better be avoided, and that we should call the workers 'supporters' or even 'employers'. But this is done for propagandist reasons. Nowhere is the slightest suggestion to be found that the institution of slavery is to be abolished, or to be mitigated. On the contrary, Plato has only scorn for those 'tenderhearted' Athenian democrats who supported the abolitionist movement."

Chapter 4: Change and Rest

Plato describes the Dorian Invasion: Page: 50

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"These nomad tribes, we hear, settled in the cities of the Peloponnese, especially in Sparta, under the name of 'Dorians'. How this happened is not very clearly explained, but we understand Plato's reluctance when we get a hint that the 'settlement' was in fact a violent subjugation. This, for all we know, is the true story of the Dorian settlement in the Pelponnese. We therefore have every reason to believe that Plato intended his story as a serious description of prehistoric events; as a description not only of the origin of the Dorian master race but also of the origin of their human cattle, i.e. the original inhabitants."

Chapter 4: Change and Rest

Plato, infanticide and eugenic breeding of the master race: Page: 51

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"To this end, it is important that the master class should feel as one superior master race. 'The race of the guardians must be kept pure', says Plato (in defence of infanticide), when developing the racialist argument that we breed animals with great care while neglecting our own race, an argument which has been repeated ever since. (Infanticide was not an Athenian institution; Plato, seeing that is was practised at Sparta for eugenic reasons, concluded that it must be ancient and therefore good.)"

Chapter 4: Change and Rest

Summing up Plato's Historicist Sociology: Page: 55

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"To sum up. In an attempt to understand and to interpret the changing social world as he experienced it, Plato was led to develop a systematic historicist sociology in great detail. He thought of existing states as decaying copies of an unchanging Form or Idea. He tried to reconstruct this Form or Idea of a state, or at least to describe a society which resembled it as closely as possible. Along with ancient traditions, he used as material for his reconstruction the results of his analysis of the social institutions of Sparta and Crete - the most ancient forms of social life he could find in Greece - in which he recognized arrested forms of even older tribal societies.

[TEXT DELETED]"

Chapter 5: Nature and Convention

Beginning of Social Science; Natural Laws and Normative Laws; closed magical societies: Page: 57

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Plato was not the first to approach social phenomena in the spirit of scientific investigation. The beginning of social science goves back at least to the generation of Protagoras, the first of the great thinkers who called themselves 'Sophists'. It is marked by the realization of the need to distinguish between two different elements in man's environment - his natural environment and his social environment. This is a distinction which is difficult to make and to grasp, as can be inferred from the fact that even now it is not clearly established in our minds. It has been questioned ever since the time of Protagoras. Most of us, it seems, have a strong inclination to accept the peculiarities of our social environment as if they were 'natural'.

It is one of the characteristics of the magical attitude of a primitive tribal or 'closed' society that it lives in a charmed circle of unchanging taboos, of laws and customs which are felt to be as inevitable as the rising of the sun, or the cycle of the seasons, or similar obvious regularities of nature. And it is only after this magical 'closed society' has actually broken down that a theoretical understanding of the difference between 'nature' and 'society' can develop.

An analysis of this development requires, I believe, a clear grasp of an important distinction. It is the distinction between (a) natural laws, or laws of nature, such as the laws describing the movements of the sun, the moon, and the planets, the succession of the seasons, etc., or the law of gravity or, say, the laws of thermodynamics, and, on the other hand, (b) normative laws, or norms, or prohibitions and commandments, i.e. such rules as forbid or demand certain modes of conduct; examples are the Ten Commandments or the legal rules regulating the procedure of the election of Members of Parliament, or the laws that constitute the Athenian Constitution"

Chapter 5: Nature and Convention

Breaking down closed tribal societies: Page: 60

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"The breakdown of magic tribalism is closely connected with the realization that taboos are different in various tribes, that they are imposed and enforced by man, and that they may be broken without unpleasant repercussions if one can only escape the sanctions imposed by one's fellow-men. This realization is quickened when it is observed that laws are altered and made by human lawgivers. I have in mind not only such lawgivers as Solon, but also the laws which were made and enforced by the common people of democratic cities. These experiences may lead to a conscious differentiation between the man-enforced normative laws, based on decisions or conventions, and the natural regularities which are beyond his power."

Chapter 5: Nature and Convention

Misunderstandings about norms being mad-made: Page: 64 to 66

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"The statement that norms are man-made (man-made not in the sense that they were consciously designed, but in the sense that men can judge and later them - that is to say, in the sense that the responsibility for them is entirely ours) has often been misunderstood. Nearly all misunderstandings can be traced back to one fundamental misapprehension, namely, to the belief that 'convention' implies 'arbitrariness'; that if we are free to choose any system of norms we like, then one system is just as good as any toher. It must, of course, be admitted that the view that norms are conventional or artificial indicates that there will be a certain element of arbitrariness involved, i.e. that there may be different systems of norms between which there is not much to choose (a fact that has been duly emphasized by Protagoras). But artificiality by no means implies full arbitrariness. Mathematical calculi, for instance, or sumphonies, or plays, are highly artificial, yet is does not follow that one calculus or symphony play is just as good as any other. Man has created new worlds - of language, of music, of poetry, of science; and the most important of these is the world of moral demands, for equality, for freedom, and for helping the weak(6). When comparing the fiels of morals with the field of music or of mathematics, I do not wish to imply that these similarities reach very far. These is, more especially, a great difference between moral decisions and decisions in the field of art. Many moral decisions involve the life and death of other men. Decisions in the field of art are much less urgent and important. It is therefore most misleading to say that a man decides for or against slavery as he may decide for or against certain works of music and literature, or that moral decisions are purely matters of taste. Nor are they merely decisions about how to make the world more beautiful, or about other luxuries of this kind; they are decisions of much great urgency. (With all this, cp. also chapter 9.) Our comparison is only intended to show that the view that moral decisions rest with us does not imply that they are entirely arbitrary.

The view that norm are man-made is also, strangely enough, contested by some who see in this attitude an attack on certain forms of religion, namely, on the religion of blind authority, on magic and tabooism. But I do not think that it is in any way opposed to a religion built upon the idea of personal responsibility and freedom of conscience. I have in mind, of course, expecially Christianity, at least as it is usually interpreted in democratic countries; that Christianity which, as against all tabooism, preaches, 'Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time . . . But I say unto you . . .' ; opposing in every case the voice of conscience to mere formal obedience and fulfilment of the law.

I would not admit that to think of ethical laws as being mad-made in this sense is incompatible with the religious view that they are given to us by God. Historically, all ethics undoubtedly begin with religion; but I do not now deal with historical questions. I do not ask who was the first ethical law-giver. I only maintain that it is we, and we alone, who are responsible for adopting or rejecting some suggested moral laws; it is we who must distinguish between the true prophets and the flase prophets. All kines of norms have been claimed to be God-given. If you accept the 'Christian' ethics of equality and toleration and freedom of conscience only because of its claim to rest upon divine authority, then you build on a weak basis; for it has been only too often claimed that inequality is willed by God, and that we must not be tolerant to unbelievers. If, however, you accept the Christian ethics not because you are commanded to do so but because of your conviction that it is the right decision to take, then it is you who have decided."

Chapter 5: Nature and Convention

Using Natural Law for expounding any theory under the sun: Page: 71

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

[TEXT DELETED EXPLAINING HOW NATURAL LAW WAS USED TO JUSTIFY EQUALITY AND JUSTICE]

"Reacting against this great humanitarian movement - the movement of the 'Great Generation' as I shall call it later (chapter 10) - Plato, and his disciple Aristotle, advanced the theory of biological and moral inequality of man. Greeks and barbarians are unequal by nature; the opposition between them corresponds to that between natural masters and natural slaves. The natural inequality of men is one of the reasons for their living together, for their natural gifts are complementary. Social life begins with natural inequality, and it must continue upon that foundation. I shall discuss these doctrines later in more detail. At present, they may serve to show how biological naturalism can be used to support the most divergent ethical doctrines. In the light of our previous analysis of the impossibility of basing norms upon facts this result is not unexpected.

Such considerations, however, are perhaps not sufficient to defeat a theory as popular as biological naturalism; I therefore propose two more direct criticisms. First, it must be admitted that certain forms of behaviour may be described as more 'natural' than other forms; for instance, going nakid or eating only raw food; and some people think that this is itself justifies the choice of these forms. But in this sense it certainly is not natural to interest oneself in art, or science, or even in arguments in favour of naturalism. The choice of conformity with 'nature' as a supreme standard leads ultimately to consequences which few will be prepared to face; it does not lead to a more natural form of civilization, but to beastliness. The second criticism is more important. The biological naturalist assumes that he can derive his norms from the natural laws which determine the conditions of health, etc., if he does not naively believe that we need adopt no norms whatever but simply live according to the 'laws of nature'. He overlooks the fact that he makes a choice, a decision; that it is possible that other people cherish certain things more than their health (for instance, the many who have consciously risked their lives for medical research). And he is therefore mistaken if he believes that he has not made a decision, or that he has derived his norms from biological laws."

Chapter 5: Nature and Convention

Summary of Plato's descriptive sociology: Page: 84

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

[TEXT DELETED EXPLAINING HOW NATURAL LAW WAS USED TO JUSTIFY EQUALITY AND JUSTICE]

"It is, I think, appropriate to conclude this sketch of Plato's descriptive sociology with a summary and an evaluation.

Plato succeeded in giving an astonishingly true, though of course somewhat idealized, reconstruction of an early Greek tribal and collectivist society similar to that of Sparta. An analysis of forces, especially the economic forces, which threaten stability of such a society, enabled him to describe the general policy as well as the social institutions which are necessary for arresting it. And he gives, furthermore, a rational reconstruction of the economic and historical development of the Greek city-states.

These achievements are impaired by his hatred of the society in which he was living, and by his romantic love for the old tribal form of social life. It is this attitude which lead him to formulate the untenable law of historical development, namely, the law of universal degeneration or decay. And the same attitude is also responsible for the irrational, fantastic, and romantic elements of his otherwise excellent analysis. On the other hand, it was just his personal interest and his partiality which sharpened his eye and so made his achievements possible. he derived his historicist theory from the fantastic philosophical doctrine that the changing visible world is only a decaying copy of an unchanging invisible world. But this ingenious attempt to combine a historicist pessismism with an ontological optimism leads, when elaborated, to difficulties.

[TEXT DELETED]

In politics, it is the opposition between the one collective, the state, which may attain perfection and autarchy, and the great mass of people - the many individuals, the particular men who must remain inperfect and dependent, and whose particularity is to be suppressed for the sake of the unity of the state (see the next chapter). And this whole dualist philosophy, I believe, originated from the urgent wish to explain the contrast between the vision of an ideal society, and the hateful actual state of affairs in the social field - the contrast between a stable society and a society in the process of revolution."

Plato's Political Programme: Chapter 6: Totalitarian Justice

Plato's Totalitarian and Fascist Political Program: Page: 86 to 88

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"The analysis of Plato's sociology makes it easy to present his political programme. His fundamental demands can be expressed in either of two formulae, the first corresponding to his idealist theory of change and rest, the second to his naturalism. The idealist formula is: Arrest all political change! Change is evil, rest devine. All change can be arrested if the state if made an exact copy of its original, i.e. of the Form and Idea of the city. Should it be asked how this is practicle, we can reply with the naturalistic formula: Back to nature! Back to the original state of our forefathers, the primative state founded in accordance with human nature, and therefore stable; back to the tribal patriarchy of the time before the Fall, to the natural calss rule of the wise few over the ignorant many.

I believe that practically all the elements of Plato's political programme can be derived from these demands. They are, in turn based upon his historicism; and they have to be combined with his sociological doctrines concerning the conditions for the stability of class rule. The principal elements I have in mind are:

(A) The strict division of the classes; i.e. the ruling class consisting of herdmen and watch-dogs must be strictly separated from the human cattle.

(B) The identification of the fate of the sate with that of the ruling class; the exclusive interest in this class, and in its unity; and subservient to this unity, the rigid rules for breeding and educating this class, and the strict supervision and collectivization of the interests of its members.

(C) The ruling class has a monopoly of things like military virtues and training, and of the right to carry arms and to receive education and training, and it is excluded from any participation in economic activities, and especially from earning money.

(D) There must be a censorship of all intellectural activities of the ruling class, and a continual propaganda aiming at moulding and unifying their minds. All innovation in education, legislation, and religion must be prevented or suppressed.

(E) The state must be self-sufficient. It must aim at economic autarchy; for otherwise the rulers would either be dependent upon traders, or become traders themselves. The first of these alternatives would undermine their power, the second their unity and the stability of the state.

This programme can, I think, be fairly described as totalitarian. And it is certainly founded upon a historicist sociology.

But is that all? Are there no other vfeatures of Plato's programme, elements which are neither totalitarian nor founded upon historicism? What about Plato's ardent desire for Goodness and Beauty, or his love of Wisdom and of Truth? What about his demand that the wise, the philosophers, should rule? What about his hopes of making the citizens of his state virtuous as well as happy? And what about his demand that the state should be founded upon Justice? Even writers who criticize Plato believe that his political doctrine, in spite of certain similarities, is clearly distinguished from modern totalitarianism by these aims of his, the happiness of the citizens, and the rule of justice. Crossman, for instance, whose critical attitude can be gauged from his remark that 'Plato's philosophy is the most savage and most profound attack upon liberal ideas which history can show', seems still to believe that Plato's plan is 'the building of a perfect state in which every citizen is really happy'. Another example is Joad who discusses the similarities between Plato's programme and that of fascism at some length, but how asserts that there are fundamental differences, since in Plato's best state 'the ordinary man . . . achieves such happiness as appertains to his nature', and since this state is built upon the ideas of 'an absolute good and an absolute justice'.

In spite of such arguments I believe that Plato's political programme, far from being morally superior to totalitarianism, is fundamentally identical with it. I believe that the objections against this view are based upon an ancient and deep-rooted prejudice in favour of idealizing Plato. That Crossman has done much to point out and to destroy this inclination may be seen from this statement: 'Before the Great War . . . Plato . . was rarely condemned outright as a reactionary, resolutely opposed to every principle of the liberal creed. Instead he was elevated to a higher rank, . . . removed from practical life, dreaming of a transendent City of God'. Crossman himself, however, it not free from that tendency which he so clearly exposes. It is intereting that this tendency could persist for such a long time in spite of the fact that Grote and Gomperz had pointed out the reactionary character of some doctrines of the Republic and the Laws. But even they did not see all the implications of these doctrines; they never doubted that Plato was, fundamentally, a humanitarian. And their adverse criticism was ignored, or interpreted as a failure to understand and to appreciate Plato who was by Chritians considered a 'Christian before Christ', and by revolutionaries a revolutionary. This kind of complete faith in Plato is undoubtedly still dominant, and Field, for instance, finds it necessary to warn his reader that 'we shall misunderstand Plato entirely if we think of his as a revolutionary thinker'. This is, of course very true; and it would clearly be pointless if the tendency to make of Plato a revolutionary thinker', or at least a progressivist, were not fairly widespread. But Field himself has the same kind of faith in Plato; for when he goes on to say that Plato was 'in strong opposition to the new and subversive tendencies' of his time, then surely he accepts too readily Plato's testimony for the subveriveness of these new tendencies. The enemies of freedom have always charged its defenders with subversion. And nearly always they have succeeded in persuading the guileless and well-meaning.

The idealization of the great idealist permeates not only the interpretations of Plato's writings, but also the translations. Drastic remarks of Plato's which do not fit the translator's views of what a humanitarian should say are frequently either toned down or misunderstood. This tendency begins wtih the translation of the very title of Plato's so-called 'Republic'. What comes first to out mind when hearing this title is that the author must be a liberal, if not a revolutionary. But the title 'Republic' is, quite simply, the English form of the Latin rendering of a Greek word that had no associations of this kind, and whose proper English translation would be "The Constitution' or 'The City State' or 'The State'. The traditional translation 'The Republic' has undoubtedly contributed to the general conviction that Plato could not have been a ractionary.

In view of all that Plato says about Goodness and Justice and the other Ideas mentioned, my thesis that his political demands are purely totalitarian and anti-humanitarian needs to be defended. In order to undertake this defence, I shall, for the next four chapters, break off the analysis of historicism, and concentrate upon a critical examination of the ethical Ideas mentioned, and of their part in Plato's political demands. In the present chapter, I shall examine the Idea of Justice; in the three following chapters, the doctrine that the wisest and best should rule, and the Ideas of Truth, Wisdom, Goodness, and Beauty."

Plato's Political Programme: Chapter 6: Totalitarian Justice

Plato's hijacking of the word "justice": Page: 90 to 91

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"But was Plato perhaps right? Does 'justice' perhaps mean what he says? I do not intend to discuss such a question. If anyone should hold that 'justice' means the unchallenged rule of one class, then I should simply reply that I am all for injustice. In other words, I believe that nothing depends upon words, and everything upon our practical demands or upon the proposals for framing our policy which we decide to adopt. Behind Plato's definition of justice stands, fundamentally, his demand for a totalitarian class rule, and his decision to bring it about.

But was he not right in a different sense? Did his idea of justice perhaps correspond to the Greek way of using this word? Did the Greeks perhaps mean by 'justice', something holistic, liek the 'health of the state', and is it not utterly unfair and unhistorical to expect from Plato an anticipation of our modern idea of justice as equality of the citizens before the law? This question, indeed, has been answered in the affirmative, and the claim has been made that Plato's holitic idea of 'social justice' is characteristic of the traditional Greek outlook, of the 'Greek genius' which 'was not, like the Roman, specifically legal', but rather 'specifically metaphysical'. But this calim is untenable. As a matter of fact, the Greek way of using the word 'justice' was indeed surprisingly similar to our own individualistic and equalitarian usage.

In order to show this, I may first refer to Plato himself who,"

[TEXT DELETED]

Plato's Political Programme: Chapter 6: Totalitarian Justice

Plato's perversion of faith in justice: Page: 92 to 94

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"The result is startling, and opens up a number of questions. Why did Plato claim, in the Republic, that justice meant inequality if in general usage, it meant equality? To me the only likely reply seems to be that he wanted to make propaganda for his totalitarian state by persuading the people that it was the 'just' state. But was such an attempt worth his while, considering that it is not words but what we mean by them that matters? Of course it was worth while; this can be seen from the fact that he fully succeeded in persuading his readers, down to our own day, that he was candidly advocating justice, i.e. that justice they were striving for. And it is a fact that he thereby spread doubt and confusion amont equalitarians and individualists who, under the influence of his authority, began to ask themselves whether his idea of justice was not truer and better than theirs. Since the word 'justice' symbolized to us an aim of such importance, and since so many are prepared to endure anything for it, and to do all in their power for its realization, the enlistment of these humanitarian forces, or at least, the paralysing of equalitarianism, was certainly an aim worthy of being pursued by believer in totalitarianism. But was Plato aware that justice meant so much to men? He was; for he writes in the Republic: 'When a man has committed an injustice, . . . . is it not true that his courage refuseds to be stirred? . . . . But when he believes that he has suffered injustice, does not his vigour and his wrath flare up at once? And is it not equally true that when fighting on the side of what he believes to be just, he can endure hunger and cold, and any kind of hardship? And does he not hold on until he conquers, persisting in his exalted state until he has either achieved his aim, or perished?

Reading this, we cannot doubt that Plato knew the power of faith, and above all, of a faith in justice. Nor can be doubt that the Republic must tend to pervert this faith, and to replace it by a directly opposite faith. And in the light of the available evidence, it seems to me most probable that Plato knew very well what he was doing. Equalitarianism was his arch-enemy, and he was out to destroy it; bo doubt in the sincere belief that it was a great evil and a great danger. But his attack upon equalitarianism was not an honest attack. Plato did not dare to face the enemy openly.

I proceed to present the evidence in support of this contention.

The Republic is probably the most elaborate monograph on justice ever written. It examines a variety of views about justice, and it does this in a way which leads us to believe that Plato omitted none of the more important theories known to him. In fact, Plato clearly implies that because of his vain attempts to track it down among the current views, a new search for justice is necessary. Yet in his survey and discussion of the current theories, the view that justice is equality before the law ('isonomy') is never mentioned. This omission can be explained only in two ways. Either he overlooked the equalitarian theory, or he purposely avoided it. The first possibility seems very unlikely if we consider the care with which the Republic is composed, and the necessity for Plato to analyse the theories of his opponents if he was to make a forceful presentation of his own. But this possibility appears even more improbable if we consider the wide popularity of the equalitarian theory. We need not, however, rely upon merely probable arguments since it can be easily shown that Plato was not only acquainted with the equalitarian theory but well aware of its importance when he wrote the Republic."

[EXPLAINING TEXT DELETED]

Plato's Political Programme: Chapter 6: Totalitarian Justice

The "Humanitarian theory of Justice" vs "Plato's totalitarian theory of justice": Page: 94 to 95

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"The humanitarian theory of justice makes thress main demands or proposals, namely (a) the equalitarian principle proper, i.e. the proposal to eliminate 'natural' privileges, (b) the general principle of individualism, and (c) the principle that it should be the task and the purpose of the state to protect the freedom of its citizens. To each of these political demands or proposals there corresponds a directly opposite principle of Platonism, namely (a1) the principle of natural priviledge, (b2) the general principle of holism or collectivism, and (c1) the principle that it should be the task and the purpose of the individual to maintain, and to strengthen, the stability of the state. - I shall discuss these three points in order, devoting to each of them one of the sections IV, V, and VI of this chapter.

Equalitarianism proper is the demand that the citizens of the state should be treated impartially. It is the demand that birth, family connection, or wealth must not influence those who administer the law to the to the citizens. In other words, it does not recognize any 'natural' privileges, although certain privileges may be conferred by the citizens upon those they trust.

This equalitarian principle had been admirably formulated by Pericles a few years before Plato's birth, in an oration which has been preserved by Thucydides. It will be quoted more fully in chapter 10, but two of its sentences may be given here: 'Our laws', said Pericles, 'afford equal justice to all alike in their private disputes, but we do not ignore the claims of excellence. When a citizen distinguishes himself, then he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as a reward for merit; and poverty is not a bar . . .' These sentences express some of the fundamental aims of the great equalitarian movement which, as we have seen, did not even shrink from attacking slavery. In Pericles' own generation, this movement was represented by Euripides, Antiphon, and Hippias, who have been quoted in the last chapter, and also by Herodotus. In Plato's generation, it was represented by Alcidamas and Lycophron, both quoted above; another supporter was Antisthenes, who had been one of Socrates closest friends.

Plato's principle of justice was, of course diametrically opposed to all this. He demanded natural privileges for the natural leaders. But how did he contest that some of the best-known formulations of the equalitarian demands were couched in the impressive but questionable language of 'natural rights', and that some of their repressentatives argued in favour of these demands by pointing out that 'natural', i.e. biological equality of men. We have seen that the argument is irrelevant; that men are equal in some important respects, and unequal in others; and that normative demands cannot be derived from this fact, or from any other fact. It is therefore interesting to note that the naturalist argument was not used by all equalitarians, and the Pericles, for one, did not even allude to it.

Plato quickly found that naturalism was a weak spot within the equalitarian doctrine, and he took the fullest advantage of this weakness. To tell men that they are equal has a certain sentimental appeal. But this appeal is small compared with that made by a propaganda that tells them that they are superior to others, and that others are inferior to them."

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Plato's Political Programme: Chapter 6: Totalitarian Justice

Why did Plato try to attack individualism?: Page: 101

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Why did Plato try to attack individualism? I think he knew very well what he was doing when he trained his guns upon this position, for individualism, perhaps even more than equalitarianism, was a stronghold in the defences of the new humanitarian creed. The emancipation of the individual was ineed the great spiritual revolution which had led to the breakdown of tribalism and to the rise of democracy. Plato's uncanny sociological intuition shows itself in the way in which he invariably discerned the enemy wherever he met him.

Individualism was part of the old intuitive idea of justice. That justice is not, as Plato would have it, the health and harmony of the state, but rather a certain way of treating individuals, is emphasized by Aristotle, it will be remembered, when he says 'justice is soemthing that pertains to persons'. This individualistic element had been emphasized by the generation of Pericles. Pericles himself made it clear that the laws must guarantee equal justice 'to all alike in their private disputes'; but he went further. 'We do not feel called upon', he said, 'to nag at our neighbour if he chooses to go his own way.' (Compare this with Plato's remark that the state does not produce men 'for the purpose of letting them loose, each to go his own way . . .'.) Pericles insists that this individualism must be linked with altruism: 'We are taught . . . never to forget that we must protect the injured'; and his speech culminates in a description of the young Athenian who grows up 'to a happy versatility, and to self-reliance'

This individualism, united with altruism, has become the basis of our western civilization."

[TEXT DELETED]

"Plato was right when he saw this doctrine the enemy of his caste state; and he hated it more than any other of the 'subversive' doctrines of his time. In order to show this even more clearly, I shall quote two passages from teh Laws whose truly astonishing hostility towards the individual is, I think, too little appreciated. The first of them is famous as a reference to the Republic, whose 'community of women and children and property' it discusses. Plato describes here the constitution of the Republic as 'the highest form of the state'. In this highest state, he tells us, 'there is common property of wives, of children, and of all chattels. And everything possible has been done to eradicate from our life everywhere and in every way all that is private and individual. So far as it can be done, even those things which nature herself has made private and individual have somehow become the common properly of all. Our very eyes and ear and hands seem to see, to hear, and to act, as if they belonged not to individuals but to the community. All men are moulded to be unamimous in the utmost degree in bestowing praise and blame, and they even rejoice and grieve about the same things, and at the same time. And all the laws are prefected for unifying the city to the utmost.' Plato goes on to say that 'no man can find a better criterion of the highest excellence of a state than the principles just expounded'; and he describes such a state as 'divine', and as the 'model' or 'pattern' or 'original' of the state, i.e. as its From or Idea. This is Plato's own view of the Republic, expressed at a time when he had given up hope of realizing his political ideal in all its glory.

The second passage, also from the Laws, is, if possible, even more outspoken. It should be emphasized that the passage deals primarily with military expeditions and with military discipline, but Plato leaves no doubt that these same militarist princimples should be adheared to not only in war, but also 'in peace, and from the earliest childhood on'. Like other totalitarian militarists and admirers of Sparta, Plato urges that the all-important requirements of military discipline must be paramount, even in peace, and that they must determine the whole life of all citizens; for not only the full citizens (who are all soldiers) and the children, but also the very beasts must spend their whole life in a state of permanent and total mobilization. 'The greatest principle of all', he writes, 'is that nobody, whether male or female, should ever be without a leader. Not should the mind of anybody be habituated to letting him do anything at all on his own initiative, neither out of zeal, nor even playfully. But in war and in the midst of peace - to his leader he shall direct his eye, and follow him faithfully. And even in the smallest matters he should stand under leadership. For example, he should get up, or move, or wash, or take his meals . . . only if he has been told to do so . . . In a word, he should teach his soul, by long habit, never to dream of acting independently, and to become utterly incapable of it. In this way the life of all will be spent in total community. There is no law, nor will there ever be one, which is superior to tihs, or better and more effective in ensuring salvation and victory in war. And in times of peace, and from the earliest childhood on should it be fostered - this habit of ruling others, and of being ruled by others. And every trace of anarchy should be utterly eradicated from all the life of all the man, and even of the wild beasts wich are subject to men'.

These are strong words. Never was a man more in earnest in his hostility towards the individual. And this hatred is deeply rooted in the fundamental dualism of Plato's philosophy; he hated the individual and his freedom just as he hated the varying particular experiences, the variety of the changing world of sensible things. In the field of politics, the individual is to Plato the Evil One himself."

Plato's Political Programme: Chapter 6: Totalitarian Justice

The sincerity of Plato's Totalitarianism: Totalitarianism is the morality of the closed society : Page: 108

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"I wish to make it clear that I believe in the sincerity of Plato's totalitarianism. His demand for the unchallenged domination of one class over the rest was uncompromising, but his idea was not the maximum exploitation of the working class by the upper class; it was the stability of the whole. The reason, however, which he gives for the need to keep the exploitation within limits, it again purely utilitarian. It is the interest of stabilizing the class rule. Should the guardians try to get too much, he argues, then they will in the end have nothing at all. 'If they are not satisfied wtih a life of stability and security, . . and are tempted, by their power, to appropriate for themselves all the wealth of the city, then surely they are bound to find out how wise Hesiod was when he said, "The half is more than the whole",' But we must realize that even this tendency to restrict the exploitation of class privileges is a farily common ingredient of totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is not simply amoral. It is the morality of the closed society - of the group, or of the tribe; it is the morality of the closed society - of the group, or of the tribe; it is not individual selfishness, but it is collective selfishness.

Considering that Plato's third argument is straightforward and consistent, the question may be asked why he needed the 'lenghty preface' as well as the two precending arguments? Why all this uneasiness? (Platonists will of course reply that this uneasiness exists only in my imagination. That may be so. But the irrational character of the passages can hardly be explained away.) The answer to this question is, I believe, that Plato's collective clockwork would hardly have appealed to his readers if it had been presented to them in all its barrenness and meaninglessness. Plato was uneasy because he knew and feared the strength and the moral appeal of the forces he tried to break. He did not dare to challenge them, but tried to win them over for his own purposes. Whether we witness in Plato's writings a cynical and conscious attempt to employ the moral sentiments of the newe humanitarianism for his own purposes, or whether we witness rather a tragic attempt to persuade his own better sonscience of the evils of individualism, we shall never know. My personal impression is that the latter is the case, and that this inner conflict is the main secret of Plato's fascination. I think that Plato was moved to the depths of his soul by the new ideas, and especially by the great individualist Socrates and his matryrdom. And I think that he fought against this influence upon himself as well as upon others with all the might of his unequalled intelligence, though not always openly. This explains also why from time to time, amid all his totalitarianism, we find some humanitarian ideas. And it explains why it was possible for philosphers to represent Plato as a humanitarian."

Plato's Political Programme: Chapter 6: Totalitarian Justice

The language of Political Demands or Political Proposals: Not how did the state orginate - but "What do we demand from the state?" : Page: 109

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"In a clear presentation of this theory, the language of political demands or of political proposals (cp. chapter 5, III) should be used; that is to say, we should not try to answer the essentialist question: What is the state, what is its true nature, its real meaning? Nor should be try to answer the historicist question : How did the state orginate, and what is the origin of political obligation? We should rather put our question in this way : What do we demand from a state? What do we propose to consider as the legitimate aim of state activity? And in order to find out what our fundamental political demands are, we may ask : Why do we prefer living in a well-ordered state to living without a state, i.e. an anarchy? This way of asking our question is a rational one. It is a question which a technologist must try to answer before he can proceed to the construction or reconstruction of any political institution. For only if he knows what he wants can he decide whether a certain institution is or is not well adatped to its function.

Now if we ask our question in this way, the reply of the humanitarian will be : What I demand from the state is protection; not only for myself, but for others too. I demand protection for my own freedom and for other people's. I do not wish to live at the mercy of anybody who has the larger fists or the bigger guns. In other words, I wish to be protected against aggression from other men. I want the difference between aggression and defence to be recognized, and defence to be supported by the organized power of the state. (The defence is one of a status quo, and the principle proposed amounts to this - that the status quo should not be changed by violent means, but only according to law, by compromise or arbitration, except where there is no legal procedure for its revision.) I am perfectly ready to see my own freedom of action somewhat curtailed by the state, providing I can obtain protection of that freedom which reamins, since I know that some limiations of my freedom are necessary; for instance, I must give up my 'freedom' to attack, if I want the state to support defence against any attack. But I demand that the fundamental purpose of the state should not be lost sight of; I mean, the protection of that freedom which does not harm other citizens. Thus I demand that the state must limit the freedom of the citizens as equally as possible, and not beyond what is necessary for achieving an equal limitation of freedom.

[TEXT DELETED]

If fact, this process of approximate determination is one of the main tasks of legislation in democracies. It is a difficult process, but its difficulties are certainly not such as to force upon us a change in our fundamental demands. These are, stated very briefly, that the state should be considered as a society for the prevention of crime, i.e. of aggression. And the whole objection that it is hard to know where freedom ends and crime begins is answered, in princimple, by the famous story of the hooligan who protested that, being a free citizen, he could move his fist in any direction he liked; where upon the judge wisely replied : 'The freedom of the movement of your fists is limited by the position of your neighbour's nose.'

The view of the state which I have sketched here may be called 'protectionism'. The term 'prtectionism' has often been used to describe tendencies which are opposed to freedom. Thus the economist means my protectionism the policy of protecting certain industrial insterests against competition; and the moralist means by it the demand that the officers of the state shall establish a moral tutelage over the population. Although the political theory which I call protectionism is not connected with any of these tendencies, and although it is fundamentally a liberal theory, I think that the name may be used to indicate that, though liberal, it has nothing to do with the policy of strict non-intervention (often, but not quite correctly, called 'laissez faire'). Liberalism and state-interference are not opposed to each other. On the contrary, any kind of freedom is clearly impossible unless it is guaranteed by the state. A certain amount of state control in education, for instance, is necessary, if the young are to be protected from a neglect which would make them unable to defend their freedom, and the state should see that all education facilities are available to everybody. But too much state control in educational matters is a fatal danger to freedom, since it must lead to indoctrination. As already indicated, the important and difficult question of the limitations of freedom cannot be solved by a cut and dried formula. And the fact that there will always be borderline caess must be welcomed, for without the stimulus of political problems and political struggles of this kind, the citizen's readiness to fight for their freedom would soon disappear, and with it, their freedom. (Viewed in this light, the alleged clash between freedom and security, that is, a security guaranteed by the state, turns out to be a chimera. For there is no freedom if it is not secured by the state; and conversely, only a state which is controlled by free citizens can offer them any reasonable security at all.)"

Plato's Political Programme: Chapter 6: Totalitarian Justice

Protecting the weak from the strong - and Plato's distortion of this : Page: 115

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Protection need not mean self-protection; many people insure their lives with the aim of protecting others and not themselves, and in the same way htye may demand state protection mainly for others, and to a lesser degree (or not at all) for themselves. The fundamental idea of protectionism is : protect the weak from being bullied by the strong. This demand has been raised not only by the weak, but often by the strong also. It is, to say the least of it, misleading to suggest that it is selfish or an immoral demand.

Lycophron's protectionism is, I think, free of all these objections. It is the most fitting expression of the humanitarian and equalitarian movement of the Periclean age. And yet, we have been robbed of it. It has been handed down to later generations only in a distorted form; as the historicist theory of the origin of the state in a social contract; or as an essentialist theory claiming that the true nature of the state is that of a convention; and as a theory of selfishness, based on the assumption of the fundamental immoral nature of man. All this is due to the overwhelming influence of Plato's authority."

Plato's Political Programme: Chapter 6: Totalitarian Justice

Plato puts the question and the answer : Page: 119

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"But this is not yet the whole story. By its emphasis on class perogative, Plato's theory of justice puts the problem 'Who should rule?' in the centre of political theory. His reply to the question was the wisest, and the best, should rule. Does not this excellent reply modify the character of his theory?"

Chapter 7: The Principle of Leadership

"Plato's "Who should rule?" vs Checks and Balances - Institutional Control - Democracy and Democratic Control: Pages: 124 to 126

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"And indeed, it is not difficult to show that a theory of democratic control can be developed which is free of the paradox of sovereignty. The theory I have in mind in one which does not proceed, as it were, from a doctrine of the intrinsic goodness or righteousness of a majority rule, but rather from the baseness of tyranny; or more precisely, it rests upon the decision, or upon the adoption of the proposal, to avoid and to resist tryanny.

For we may distinguish two main types of government. The first type consists of governments of which we can get rid of without bloodshed - for example, by way of general elections; that is to say, the social institutions provide means by which the rulers may be dismissed by the ruled, and the social traditions ensure that these institutions will not easily be destroyed by those who are in power. The second type consists of governments which the ruled cannot get rid of except by way of a successful revolution - that is to say, in most caes, not at all. I suggest the term 'democracy' as a short-hand label for a government of the first type, and the term 'tyranny' or 'dictatorship'; for the second. This, I believe, corresponds closely to traditional usage. But I wish to make clear that no part of my argument depends on the choice of these labels; and should anybody reverse this usage (as is frequently done nowadays), then I should simply say that I am in favour of what he calls 'tryanny', and object to what he calls 'democracy'; and I should reject as irrelevant any attempts to discover what 'democracy' 'really' or 'essentially' means, for example, by translating the term into the rule of the people'. (For although 'the people' may influence the actions of the rulers by the threat of dismissal, they never rule themselves in any concrete, practical sense.)

If we make use of the two labels as suggested, then we can now describe, as the principle of a democratic policy, the proposal to create, develop, and protect, political institutions for the avoidance of tyranny. This principle does not imply that we can ever develop institutions of this kind which are faultless or foolproof, of which ensure that the policies adopted by a democratic government will be right in a good or wise - or even necessarily better or wiser than the policies adopted by a benevolent tyrant. (Since no such assertions are made, the paradox of democracy is avoided.) What may be said, however, to be implied in the adoption of the democratic principle is the conviction that the acceptance of even a bad policy in a democracy (as long as we can work for a peaceful change) is preferable to the submission to a tyranny, however wise or benevolent. Seen in this light, the theory of democracy is not based upon the principle that the majority should rule; rather, the various equalitarian methods of democratic control, such as democratic elections and representative government, are to be considered as no more than well-tried and, in the presence of a widespread traditional distrust of tryanny, reasonable effective institutional safe-guards against tryanny, always open to improvement, and even providing methods for their own improvement.

He who accepts the principle of democracy in this sense is therefore not bound to look upon the result of a democratic vote as an authoritative expression of what is right. Although he will accept a decision of the majority, for the sake of making the democratic institutions work, he will feel free to combat it by democratic means, and to work for its revision. And should he live to see the day when the majority vote destroys the democratic institutions, then this sad experience will tell him only that there does not exist a foolproof method of avoiding tyranny. But it need not weaken his decision to fight tyranny, nor will it expose his theory as inconsistent.

Returning to Plato, we find that by his emphasis upon the problem 'who should rule', he implicitely assumed the general theory of sovereignty. The question of an institutional control of rulers, and of an institutional balancing of their powers, is thereby eliminated without ever having being raised. The interest is shifted from institutions to questions of personnel, and the most urgent problem now becomes that of selecting the natural leaders, and that of training them for leadership.

[TEXT DELETED]

Not only does the contruction of institutions involve important personal decisions, but the functioning of even the best institution (such as democratic checks and balances) will always depend, to a considerable degree, on the persons involved. Institutions are like fortresses. They must be well designed and manned."

Chapter 7: The Principle of Leadership

Plato's idea of selecting or educating future leaders is self-contradictory : "Nothing is less true, as far as intellectual initiative is concerned, than the idea that those who are good in obeying will also be good in commanding." : Pages: 134 to 135

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Why is it that Plato does not wish his leaders to have originality or initiative? The answer, I think, is clear. He hates change and does not want to see that re-adjustments may become necessary. But this explanation of Plato's attitude does not go deep enough. In fact, we are faced here with a fundamental difficulty of the leader principle. The very idea of selecting or educating future leaders is self-contradictory." You may solve the problem, perhaps, to some degree in the field of bodily excellence. Physical initiative and bodily courage are perhaps not so hard to ascertain. But the secret of intellectual excellence is the spirit of criticism; it is intellectual independence. And this leads to difficulties which must prove insurmountable for any kind of authoritarianism. The authoritarian will in general select those who obey, who believe, who respond to his influence. But in doing so, he is bound to select mediocrities. For he excludes those who revolt, who doubt, who dare to resist his influence. Never can an authority admit that the intellectually courageous, i.e., those who dares to defy his authority, may be the most valuable type. Of course, the authorities will always remain convinced of their ability to detect initiative. But what they mean by this is only a quick grasp of their intentions, and they will remain for ever incapable of seeing the difference. (Here we may perhaps penetrate the secret of particular difficulty of selecting capable military leaders. The demands of military discipline enhance the difficulties discussed, and the methods of military advancements are such that those who do dare to think for themselves are usually eliminated. Nothing is less true, as far as intellectual initiative is concerned, than the idea that those who are good in obeying will also be good in commanding. Very similar difficulties arise in political parties : the 'Man Friday' of the party leader is seldom a capable successor.)"

Chapter 7: The Principle of Leadership

Plato as the inventor of secondary schools and universities : Pages: 136

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"It has been said, only too truly, that Plato was the inventor of both our secondary schools and our universities. I do not know a better argument for an optimistic view of mankind, no better proof of their indestructible love for truth and decency, of their originality and subbornness and health, than the fact that this devastating system of education has not utterly ruined them. In spite of the treachery of so many of their leaders, there are quite a number, old as well as young, who are decent, and intelligent, and devoted to their task. 'I sometimes wonder how it was that the mischief done was not more clearly perceptible,' says Samuel Butler(24), 'and that the young men and women grew up as sensible and goodly as they did, in spite of the attempts almost deliberately made to warp and stunt their growth. Some doubtless received damage, from which they suffered to their life's end; but many seemed little or none the worse, and some almost the better. The reason would seem to be that the natural instinct of the lads in most cases so absolutely rebelled against their training, that do what they teachers might they could never get them to pay serious heed to it.'"

Chapter 7: The Principle of Leadership

Plato trained tyrants and summing up on Plato's political programme : Pages: 137

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

[TEXT DELETED]

"These and a few similar experiences of Plato's - who could boast of a total of at least nine tyrants amont his one-time pupils and associates - throw light on the peculiar difficulties connected with the selection of men who are to be invested with absolute power. It is hard to find a man whose character will not be corrupted by it. As Lord Acxton says - all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

To sum up. Plato's political programme was much more institutional than personalist; he hoped to arrest political change by the institutional control of succession in leadership. The control was to be educational, based upon an authoritarian view of learning - upon the authority of the learnded expert, and 'the man of proven probity'. This is what Plato made of Socrates' demand that a responsible politician should be a lover of truth and of wisdom rather than an expert, and that he was wise only if he knew his limitations."

Chapter 8: The Philosopher King

Plato's interpretation of the role of medicine : Pages: 138 to 139

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Plato interprets medicine as a form of politics, or as he puts it himself, he 'regards Aesculapius, the god of medicine, as a politican'. Medical art, he explains, must not consider the prolongation of life as its aim, but only the interest of the state. 'In all properly ruled communities, each man has his particular work assigned to him in the state. This he must do, and no one has time to spend his life in falling ill and getting cured.' Accordingly, the physician has 'no right to attend to a man who cannot carry out his ordinary duties; for such a man is useless to himself and the state'. To this is added the consideration that such a man might have 'children who would probably be equally sick', and who also would become a burden to the state. (In his old age, Plato mentions medicine, in spite of his increased hatred of individualism, in a more personal vein. He complains of the doctor who treats even free citizens as if they were slaves, ' issuing his orders like a tyrant whose will is law, and then rushing off to the next slave patient', and he pleads for more gentleness and patience in medical treatment, at least for those who are not slaves.) Concerning the use of lies and deceit, Plato urges that these are 'useful only as a medicine';"

[TEXT DELETED]

"Which means, as we already know, and as we learn here again from Plato's reference to medicine, 'for the benefit of the state'. (Kant remarked once in a very different spirit that the sentence 'Truthfulness is the best policy' might indeed be questionable, whilst the sentence 'Truthfulness is better than policy' is beyond dispute.)"

Chapter 8: The Philosopher King

Plato's cynical opinions on religion : Pages: 142

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"It is hard to understand why those of Plato's commentators who praise him for fighting against the subversive conventionalism of the Sophists, and for establishing a spiritual naturalism ultimately based on religion, fail to censure him for making a convention, or rather an invention, the ultimate basis of religion. In fact, Plato's attitude towards religion as revealed by his 'inspired lie' is practically indentical with that of Critias, his beloved uncle, the brilliant leader of the Thirty Tyrants who established an inglorious blood-regime in Athens after the Peloponnesian war. Critias, a poet, was the first to glorify propaganda lies, whose invention he described in forceful verses eulogizing the wise and cunning man who fabricated religion, in order to 'persuade' the people, i.e. to threaten them into submission.

'Then came, it seems, that wise and cunning man,
The first inventor of the fear of gods . . .
He framed a tale, a most alluring doctrine,
Concealing truth by veils of lying lore.
He told of the abode of awful gods,
Up in revolving vaults, whence thunder roars
And lightning's fearful flashes blind the eye . . .
He thus encircled men by bonds of fear;
Surrounding them by his spells, and daunted them -
And lawlessness turned into law and order.'

In Critias' view, religion is nothing but the lordly lie of a great and clever statesman. Plato's views are strikingly similar, both in the introduction of the Myth in the Republic (where he bluntly admits that the Myth is a lie) and in the Laws where he says that the installation of rittes and of gods is 'a matter for a great thinker'. - But is this the whole truth about Plato's religious attitude? Was he nothing but an opportunist in this field, and was the very different spirit of his earlier works merely Socratic? There is of course no way of deciding this question with certainty, though I feel, intuitively, that there may sometimes be a more genuine religious feeling expressed even in the later works. But I believe that wherever Plato considers religious matters in their relation to politics, his political opportunism sweeps all other feelings aside. Thus Plato demands, in the Laws, the severest punishment even for honest and honourable people if their opinions concerning the gods deviate from those helf by the state. Their souls are to be treated by a Nocturnal Council of inquisitors, and if they do not recant or if they repreat the offence, the charge of impiety means death. Has he forgotten that Socrates had fallen a victim to that very charge?"

[TEXT DELETED]

"In theory, an analogous step has actually been taken by the pragmatist successors of Hegel; in practice, it has been taken by Hegel himself and his racialist successors. But Plato retained enough of the Socratic spirit to admit candidly that he was lying. The step taken by the school of Hegel was one that could never have occurred, I think, to any companion of Socrates."

Chapter 8: The Philosopher King

Plato's suggestion that Plato is the one most worthy to rule as a Philosopher King : Pages: 154 to 155

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Ultimately, 'there is left only a handful of men who are worthy of being associated with philosophy'. From the point of view we have reached we would have expect that the 'unworthy suitors' are Antisthenes adn Isocrates and their school (and that they are the same people whom Plato demands to have 'suppressed by force', as he says in the key-passage of the philospher king). And indeed, there is some independent evidence collaborating this expectation (56). Similarly, we should expect that the 'handful of men who are worthy 'includes Plato, and perhaps, some of his friends (possibly Dio); and, indeed a continuation of this passage leaves little doubt that Plato speaks here of himself: 'He who belongs to this small band . . . can see the madness of the many, and the general corruption of all public affairs. The philosopher . . is like a man in a cage of wild beasts. He will not share the injustice of the many, but his power does not suffice for continuing his fight alone, surrounded as he is by a world of savages. He would be killed before he could do any good, to his city or to his friends. . . Having duly considered all these points, he will hold his peace, and confine his efforts to his own work . . .' (57). The strong resentment expressed in these sour and most un-Socratic (58) words marks them clearly as Plato's own. For a full appreciation, hoever, of this personal confession, it must be compared with the following : 'It is not in accordance with nature that the skilled navigator should beg the unskilled sailors to accept his command; nor that the wise man should wait at the doors of the rich . . . But the true and natural procedure is that the sick, whether rich or poor, should hasten to the doctor's door. Likewise should those who need to be ruled besiege the door of him who can rule; and never should a ruler beg them to accept his rule, if he is any good at all.' Who can miss the sound of an immense personal pride in this passage? Here am I, says Plato, your natural ruler, the philospher king who knows how to rule. If you want me, you must come to me, and if you insist, I may become your ruler. But I shall not come begging to you.

[TEXT DELETED]

I thiink we must face the fact that behind the sovereignty of the philospher king stands the quest for power. The beautiful portrait of the sovereign is a self-portrait. When we have recovered from the shock of this finding, we may look anew at the awe-inspiring portrait; and if we can fortify ourselves with a small does of Socrates' icrony when we may cease to find it so terrifying. We may begin to discern its human, indeed, its only too human features. We may even beging to feel a little sorry for Plato, who has to be satisfied with establishing the first professorship, instead of the first kingship, of philosophy; who could never realize his dream, the kingly Idea which he had formed after his own image. Fortified by our does or irony, we may even find, in Plato's story, a melancholy resemblance to that innocent and unconscious little sature of Platonism, the story of thte Ugly Dachshund, of Tono, the Great Dane, who forms his kingly Idea of 'Great Dog' after his own image (but who happily finds in the end that he is Great Dog himself) (62).

What a monument of human smallness is this idea of the philosopher king. What a contrast between it and the simplicity of humaneness of Socrates, who warned the statesmen against the danger of being dazzled by his own power, excellence, and wisdom, and who tried to teach him what matters most - that we are all frail human beings. What a decline from this world of irony and reason and truthfulness down to Plato's kingdom of the sage whose magical powers raise him high above ordinary men; although not quite high enough to forgo the use of lies, or to neglect the sorry trade of every shaman - the selling of spells, of breeding spells, in exchange for power over his fellow-men."

Chapter 9: Aestheticism, Perfectionism, Utopianism

Dangers in Plato's Utopian Engineering : Pages: 157

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

'Everything has got to be smashed to start with.
Our whole damn civilization has got to go, before
we can bring any decency to the world.'
'Mourlan', in Du Gard's Les Thibaults.

"Inherant in Plato's programmer there is a certain approach towards politics which, I believe, is most dangerous. Its analysis is of great practical importance from the point of view of rational social engineering. The Platonic approach I have in mind can be described as that of Utopian engineering, as opposed to another kind of social engineering which I consider as the only rational one, and which may be described by the name of piecemeal engineering. The Utopian approach is the more dangerous as it may seem to be the obvious alternative to an out-and-out historicism - to a radically historicist approach which implies that we cannot alter the course of history; at the same time, it appears to be a necessary complement to a less radical historicism, like that of Plato, which permits human interference."

Chapter 9: Aestheticism, Perfectionism, Utopianism

Dangers of Utopian Social Engineering vs the practicalites of Piecemeal Social Engineering: Pages: 158 to 159

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Before proceeding to criticize Utopian engineering in detail, I wish to outline another approach to social engineering, namely, that of piecemeal engineering. It is an approach which I think to be methodologically sound. The politician who adopts this method may or may not have a blueprint of society before his mind, he may or may not hope that manking will one day realize an ideal state, and achieve happiness and perfection on earth. But he will be ware that perfection, it at all attainable, is far distant, and that every generation of men, and therefore also the living, have a claim; perhaps not so much a claim to be made happy, for there are not institutional means of making a man happy, but a claim not be to made unhappy, where it can be avoided. They have a claim to be given all possible help, if they suffer. The piecemeal engineer will, accordingly, adopt the method of searching for, and fighting agaginst, the greatest and most urgent evils of society, rather than searching for, and fighting for, its greatest ultimate good. This difference is far from being merely verbal. In fact, it is most important. It is the difference between a reasonable method of improving the lot of man, and a method which, if really tried, may easily lead to an intolerable increase in human suffering. It is the difference between a method which can be applied at any moment, and a method whose advocacy may easily become a means of continually postponing action until a later date, when conditions are more favourable. And it is also the difference between the only method of improving matter which has so far been really successful, at any time, and in any place (Russia included, as will be seen), and a method which, wherever it is tried, has led only to the use of violence in place of reason, and if not to its own abandonment, at any rate to that of its original blueprint.

In favour of his method, the piecemeal engineer can claim that a systematic fight against suffering and injustice and ware is more likely to be supported by the approval and agreement of a great number of people than the fight for the establishment of some ideal. The existance of social evil, that is to say, of social conditions under which many men are suffering, can be comparatively well established. Those who suffer can judge for themselves, and the others can hardly deny that they would not like to change places. It is infinitely more difficlt to reason about an ideal society. Social life is so complicated that few men, or none at all, could judge a blueprint for social engineering on the grant scale; whether it be practicable; where it would result in a real improvement; what kind of suffering it may involve; and what may be the means for its realization. As opposed to this, blueprints for piecemeal engineering are comparatively simple. They are blueprints for single institutions, for health and unemployed insurance, for instance, or arbitration courts, or anti-depression budgeting, or educational reform. If they go wrong, the damage is not very great, and a re-adjustment not very difficult. They are less risky, and for this very reason less controversial. But if it is easier to reach a reasonable agreement about existing evils and the means of combatting them than it is about an ideal good and the means of its realization, then there is also more hope that by using the piecemeal method we may get over the very greatest practical difficulty of all reasonable political reform, namely the use of reason, instead of passion and violence, in executing the programme. There will be a possibility of reaching a reasonable compromise and therefore of achieving the improvement by democratic methods. ('Compromise' is an ugly word, but it is important for us to learn its proper use. Institutions are inevitably the result of a compromise with circumstances, interests, etc., though as persons we should resist influences of this kind.)

As opposed to that, the Utopian attempt to realize an ideal state, using a blueprint of society as a whole, is one which demands a strong centralized rule of a few, and which therefore is likely to lead to a dictatorship. This I consider a criticism of the Utopian approach; for I have tried to show, in the chapter on the Principle of Leadership, that an authoritarian rule is the most objectionable form of government. Some points not touched upon in that chapter furnish us with even more direct arguments against the Utopian approach. One of hte difficulties faced by a benevolent dictator is to find whether the effects of his measures agree with his good intentions (as de Tocqueville saw clearly more than a hundred years ago). The difficulty arises out of the fact that authoritarianism must discourage criticism; accordingly, the benevolent dictator will not easily hear of complaints concerning the measure he has taken. But without some such check, he can hardly find out whether his measures achieve the desired benevolent aim. The situation must become even worse for the Utopian engineer. The reconstruction of society is a big undertaking which must cause considerable inconvenience to many, and for a considerable span of time. Accordingly, the Utopian engineer will have to be deaf to many complaints; in fact, it will be part of his business to suppress unreasonable objections. (He will say, like Lenin, 'You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.') But with it, he must invariably suppress reasonable criticism also. Another difficulty of Utopian engineering is related to the problem of the dictator's successor. In chapter 7 I have meantioned certain aspects of this problem. Utopian engineering raises a difficulty analogous to but even more serious than the one which faces the benevolent dictator who tries to find an equally benevolent successor (see not 25 to Chapter 7). The very sweep of such a Utopian undertaking makes it improbable that it will realize its ends during the lifetime of one social engineer, or group of engineers. And if the successors do not pursue the same ideal, then all the sufferings of the people for the sake of the ideal may have been in vain."

Chapter 9: Aestheticism, Perfectionism, Utopianism

Utopian Social Engineering's want of Large Scale Social Experiments: Pages: 162

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Such arguments in favour of Utopian engineering exhibit a prejudice which is as widely held as it is untenable, namely, the prejudice that social experiments must be on a 'large scale', that they must involve the whole of society if they are to be carried out under realistic conditions. But piecemeal social experiments can be carried out under realistic conditions, in the midst of society, in spite of being on a 'small scale', that is to say, without revolutionizing the whole of society. In fact, we are making such experiments all the time. The introduction of a new kind of life-insurance, of a new kind of taxation, of a new penal reform, are all social experiments which have their repercussions through the whole of society without remodelling society as a whole. Even a man who opens a new shop, or who reserves a ticket for the theatre, is carrying out a kind of social experiment on a small scale; and all our knowledge of social experiments is based on experience gained by making experiments of this kind. The Utopian engineer we are opposing is right when he stresses that an experiment in socialism would be of little value if carried out under laboratory conditions, for instance, in an isolated village, since what we want to know is how things work out in society under normal social conditions. But this very example shows where the prejudice of the Utopian engineer lies. He is convinced that we must recast the whole structure of society, when we experiment with it; and he can there conceive a more modest experiment only as one that recasts the whole structure of a small society. But the kind of experiment from which we can learn most is the alteration of one social institution at a atim. For only in this way can we learn how to fit institutions into the framework of other institutions, and how to adjust them so that they work according to our intentions. And only in this way can be make mistakes, and learn from our mistakes, without risking repercussions of a gravity that must endanger the will to future reforms. Furthermore, the Utopian method must lead to a dangerous dogmatic attachment to a blueprint for which countless sacrifices have been made. Powerful interests must become linked up with the success of the experiment. All this does not contribute to the rationality, or to the scientific value, of the experiment. But the piecemeal method permits repreated experiments and continuous readjustments. In fact, it might lead to the happy situation where politicians begin to look out for their own mistakes instead of trying to explain them away and to prove that they had always been right. This - and not Utopian planning or historical prophecy - would mean the introduction of scientific methods into politics, since the whole secret of scientific method is a readiness to learn from mistakes.

These views can be corroborated, I believe, by comparing social and, for instance, mechanical engineering. The Utopian engineer will of course claim that mechanical engineers sometimes plan even very complicated machinery as a whole, and that their blueprints may cover, and plan in advance, not only a certain kind of machinery, but even the whole factory which produces this machinery. My reply would be that the mechanical engineer can do all this because he has sufficient experience at his disposal, i.e. theories developed by trial and error. But this means that he can plan because he has made all kinds of mistakes already; or in other words, because he relies on experience which he has gained by applying piecemeal methods. His new machinery is the result of a great many small improvements. He usually had a model first, and only after a great number of piecemeal adjustments to its various parts does he proceed to a stage where he could draw up his final plans for the production. Similarly, his plan for the production of his machine incorporates a great number of experiences, namely, of piecemeal improvements made in older factories. The wholesale or large-scale method works only where the piecemeal method has furnished us first with a great number of detailed experiences, and even then only within the realm of these experiences. Few manufacturers would be prepared to proceed to the production of a new engine on the basis of a blueprint alone, even if it were drawn by the greatest expert, without first making a model and 'developing' it by little adjustments as far as possible."

Chapter 9: Aestheticism, Perfectionism, Utopianism

Platonic and Utopian canvas cleaning - and destroying society in the process: Pages: 166

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"The kind of thing Plato has in mind when he speaks of canvas-cleaning is explained a little later. 'How can that be done?' asks Glaucon. 'All citizens above the age of ten', Socrates answers, 'must be expelled from the city and deported somewhere into the country; and the children who are now free from the influence and the manners and habits of their parents must be taken over. They must be educated in the way [of true philosophy], and according to the laws, which we have described.' (The philosophers are not, of course, among the citizens to be expelled : they remain as educators, and so do, presumably, those non-citizens who must keep them going.) In the same spirit, Plato says in the Statesmen of the royal rulers who rule in accordance with the Royal Science of Statesmanship: 'Whether they happen to rule by law or without law, over willing or unwilling subjects; . . . and whether they purge the state for its good, by killing or by deporting [or 'banishing'] some of its citizens . . . - so long as they proceed according to science and justice, and preserve . . . the state and make it better than it was, this form of government must be declared the only one that is right.

This is the way in which the artist-politician must proceed. This is what canvas-cleaning means. He must eradicate the existing institutions and traditions. He must purity, purge, expel, banish and kill. ('Liquidate' is the terrible modern term for it.) Plato's statement is indeed a true description of the uncompromising attitude of all forms of out-and-out radicalism - of the aestheticist's refusal to compromise. The view that society should be beautiful like a work of art leads only too easily to violent measures. But all this redicalism and violence is both unrealistic and futile. (This has been shown by the example of Russia's development. And the economic breakdown to which the canvas-cleaning of the so-called 'war communism' had lead, Lenin introduced his 'New Economic Policy', in fact a kind of piecemeal engineering, through without the conscious formulation of its principles or of a technology. He started by restoring most of the features of the picture which had been eradicated with so much human suffering. Money, markets, differentiation of income, and private property - for a time even private enterprise in production - were reintroduced, and only after this basis was re-established began a new period of reform.)

In order to critisize the foundations of Plato's aesthetic radicalism, we may distinguish two different points.

The first is this. What some people have in mind who speak of our 'social system', and of the need to replace it by another 'system' is very similar to a picture painted on a canvas which has to be wiped clean before one can paint a new one. But there are some great differences. One of them is that the painter and those who co-operate with him as well as the institutions which make their life possible, his dreams and plans for a better world, and his standards of decency and morality, are all part of the social system, i.e. of the picture to be wiped out. If they were really to clean the canvas, they would have to destory themselves, and their Utopian plans. (And what follows then would probably not be a beautiful copy of a Platonic ideal by chaos.) The political artist clamours, like Archimedes, for a place outside the social world on which he can take his stand, in order to lever it off its hinges. But such a place does not exist; and the social world must continue to function during any reconstruction. This is the simple reason why we must reform its institutions little by little, until we have more experience in social engineering.

This leads us to the more important second point, to the irrationalism which is inherent in radicalism. In all matters, we can only learn by trial and error, by making mistakes and improvements; we can never rely on inspiration, although inspirations may be most valuable as long as they can be checked by experience. Accordingly, it is not reasonable to assume that a complete reconstruction of our social world would lead at once to a workable system. Rather we should expect, that owing to lack of experience, many mistakes would be made which could be eliminated only by a long and labourious process of small adjustments;

[TEXT DELETED]"

Chapter 9: Aestheticism, Perfectionism, Utopianism

Paving the road to hell with the best of intentions: Pages: 168

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

"Aestheticism and radicalism must lead us to jettison reason, and to replace it by a desparate hope for political miracles. This irrational attitude which springs from an intoxication with dreams of a beautiful world is what I call Romanticism. It may seek its heavenly city in the past or in the future; it may preach 'back to nature' or 'forward to a world of loe and beauty'; but its appeal is always to our emotions rather than to reason. Even wtih the best of intentions of making heaven on earth it only succeeds in making it a hell - the hell which man alone prepares for his fellow-men."

Chapter 10: The Open Society and its Enemies

Plato, Totalitarianism and the Strain of Civilization: Pages: 169

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

[TEXT DELETED]

"True happiness, Plato insists, is achieved only by justice, i.e. by keeping one's place. The ruler must find happiness in ruling, the warrior in warring; and, we may infer, the slave in slaving. Apart from that, Plato says frequently that what he is aiming at is neither the happiness of individuals nor that of any particular class in the state, but only the happiness of the whole, and this, he argues, is nothing but the outcome of that fule of justice which I have shown to be totalitarian in character. That only this justice can lead to any true happiness is one of the main theses of the Republic.

In view of all this, it seems to be a consistent and hardly refutable interpretation of the material to present Plato as a totalitarian party-politician, unsuccessful in his immediate and practical undertakings, but inthe long run only too successful in his propaganda for the arrest and overthrow of a civilization which he hated. But one only has to put the matter in this blunt fashion in order to feel that there is something seriously amiss with this interpretation. At any rate, so I felt, when I had formulated it. If felt perhaps not so much that it was untrue, but that it was defective. I therefore began to search for evidence which would refute this interpretation. However, in every point but one, this attempt to refute my interpretation was quite unsuccessful. The new material made the identity between Platonism and totalitarianism only the more manifest.

The one point in which I felt that my search for a refutation had succeeded concerned Plato's hatred of tyranny. Of course, there was always the possibility of explaining this away. It would have been easy to say that his indictment of tyranny was mere propaganda. Totalitarianism often professes a love for 'true' freedom, and Plato's praise of freedom as opposed to tyranny sounds exactly like this professed love. In spite of this, I felt that certain of his observations on tryanny, which will be mentioned later in this chapter, were sincere. The fact, of course, that 'tyranny' usually meant in Plato's day a form of rule based on the support of the masses made it possible to claim that Plato's hatred of tyranny was consistent with my original interpretation. But I felt that this did not remove the need for modifying my interpretation. I also felt that the mere emphasis on Plato's fundamental sincerity was quite insufficient to accomplish this modification. No amount of emphasis could offset the general impression of the picture. A new picture was needed which would have to include Plato's sincere belief in his mission as healer of the sick social body, as well as the fact that he had seen more clearly than anybody else before or after him what was happening in Greek society. Since the attempt to reject the identity of Platonism and totalitarianism had not improved the picture, I was ultimately forced to modify my interpretation of totalitarianism itself. In other words, my attempt to understand Plato by analogy with modern totalitarianism led me, to my onw surprise, to modify my view of totalitarianism. It did not modify my hostility, but it ultimately led me to see that the strength of both the old and the new totalitarian movements rested on the fact that they attempt to answer a very real need, however badly conceived this attempt may have been.

In light of my new interpretation, it appears to me that Plato's declaration of his wish to make the state and its citizens happy is not merely propaganda. I am ready to grant his fundamental benevolence. I also grant that he was right, to a limited extent, in the sociological analysis on which he based his promise of happiness. To put this point more precisely : I believe that Plato, with deep sociological insight, found that his contemporaries were suffering under a severe strain, and that this strain was due to the social revolution which had begun with the rise of democracy and individualism. He succeeded in discovering the main causes of their deeply rooted unhappiness - social change, and social dissention - and he did his utmost to fight them. There is no reason to doubt that one of his most powerful motives was to win back happiness for the citizens. For reasons discussed later in this chapter, I believe that the medico-political treatment which he recommended, the arrest of change and the return to tribalism, was hopelessly wrong. But the recommendation, though not practicable as a therapy, testifies to Plato's power of diagnosis. It shows that he knew what was amiss, that he understoon the strain, the unhappiness, under which the people were labouring, even though he erred in his fundamental claim that by leading them back to tribalism he could lessen the strain, and restore their happiness.

It is my intention to give in this chapter a very brief survey of the historical material which induced me to hold such opinions."

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Chapter 10: The Open Society and its Enemies

Closed magical/tribal socities and Open Societies - and the Strain of Civilization: Pages: 171 to 177

Extract from "The Open Society and Its Enemies Volume 1: The Spell of Plato" by Karl Raimund Popper (Completed in 1943; Published 1945) (Edition extracts taken from version published by Princeton University Press, Fifth Edition (revised), 1966. ISBN: 0-691-01968-1
(Also refer to versions published by Routledge and Kegan Paul - Ordering Routledge books)

[TEXT DELETED]

"Our Western civilization originated with the Greeks. They were, it seems, the first to make the step from tribalism to humanitarianism. Let us consider what that means.

[TEXT DELETED]

Of course, this revolution was not made consciously. The breakdown of tribalism, of the closed societies of Greece, may be traced back to the time when population growth began to make itself felt among the ruling class of landed proprietors. This meant the end of 'organic' tribalism. For it created social tension within the closed society of the ruling class. At first, there appeared to be something like an 'organic' solution of this problem, the creation of daughter cities. (The 'organic' character of this solution was underlinied by the magical procedures followed in the sending out of colonists.) But this ritual of colonization only postponed the breakdown. It even created new danger spots wherever it led to cultural contacts; and there, in turn, created what was perhaps the worst danger to the closed society - commerce, and a new class engaged in trade and seafaring. By the sixth century B.C., this development had led to the partial disolution of the old ways of life, and even to a series of political revolutions and reactions. And it had led not only to attempts to retain and to arrest tribalism by force, as in Sparta, but also to that great spiritual revolution, the invention of critical discussion, and, in consequence, of thought that was free from magical obsessions. At the same time we find the first symptoms of a new uneasiness. The strain of civilization was beginning to be felt.

This strain, this uneasiness, is a consequence of the breakdown of the closed society. It is still felt even in our day, especially in times of social change. It is the strain created by the effort which life in an open and partially abstract society continually demands from us - by the endeavour to be rational, to forgo at least some of our emotional social needs, to look after ourselves, and to accept responsibilities. We must, I believe, bear this strain as the price to be paid for every increase in knowledge, in reasonableness, in co-operation and in mutual help, and consequently in our chances of survival, and in the size of the population. It is the price we have to pay for being human."

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