Thrasymachus Speaks

I’m sick with rage, but rather than lashing out myself, I will let my namesake do it for me, from the original. He is disgusted by the sophistry of the gathering, and by Socrates’ continuous use of questioning to tear apart the statements of others, without making any statement himself, to reach a preordained conclusion-

“He roared out to the whole company: What folly. Socrates, has taken possession of you all? And why, sillybillies, do you knock under to one another? I say that if you want really to know what justice is, you should not only ask but answer, and you should not seek honour to yourself from the refutation of an opponent, but have your own answer; for there is many a one who can ask and cannot answer. And now I will not have you say that justice is duty or advantage or profit or gain or interest, for this sort of nonsense will not do for me; I must have clearness and accuracy.”

The gathering seems quite frightened by this outburst- I don’t know if they had anything like dueling back then, but they seem to think he might actually hurt somebody. They assure him he will have the chance to make his argument.

“Listen, then, he said; I proclaim that justice is nothing else than the interest of the stronger. And now why do you not me? But of course you won’t.”

Socrates’ way of dealing with this is to say that the rulers may sometimes be mistaken, and in that case their orders to their subjects will not be in their own interests. So, to the extent the rulers are correct, they are justified, but when they are wrong, well, it’s just too bad.

This line of logic has been followed by all the totalitarian regimes of modern times I can think of. It’s not that totalitarian regimes don’t admit mistakes- they sometimes do explicitly, like the Soviet Union after Stalin, or implicitly quite frequently just by changing policy. But they don’t have to, and they pay no penalty whether the mistake is recognized or not. The subjects have no participation in this process, except to gratefully receive the wisdom of the anointed.

The system is closed. The Popular Front social democracy under which we live is no different. The sanctions are much less severe, but all the principals are the same.

The current chimpout is over the torture of terrorists and the legal justification offered for doing so. The US Constitution does not apply to every person on the planet; nor do the Geneva Accords. There are quite a few scumbags who fall through the cracks on these. You don’t need to be a law professor to figure this out; but the Constitution doesn’t mean what it says, it means what they say it says.

But by this logic how are the drone attacks not first degree murder? Because when a liberal does it, it’s not a crime.


About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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