Thursday, September 23, 2010

What is the Noble Lie?

"Plato made clear that merit and not heredity defined the gold man and that gold could be found in all parts of society."
What is the "Noble lie" in Economics??

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

The Guardians were to be men of Gold....while the "stratification of society" was to assigned their metal attributes?

The Noble lie would be to uncover that Lincoln meant "something more" as to the use of "crucibles mentally used,"  were to find that perfection could be more then the guardians of society, but more the search for the truth of character?

“ Man is the most composite of all creatures.... Well, as in the old burning of the Temple at Corinth, by the melting and intermixture of silver and gold and other metals a new compound more precious than any, called Corinthian brass, was formed; so in this continent,--asylum of all nations,--the energy of Irish, Germans, Swedes, Poles, and Cossacks, and all the European tribes,--of the Africans, and of the Polynesians,--will construct a new race, a new religion, a new state, a new literature, which will be as vigorous as the new Europe which came out of the smelting-pot of the Dark Ages, or that which earlier emerged from the Pelasgic and Etruscan barbarism.”


Ralph Waldo Emerson, describing American Culture as a melting pot in a journal entry, 1845

The oligarchical society is the demise of democracy gone to far. An unruly mob?

How shall a gold standard used by position, in politics or economics,  advantage the course set by the Guardians of that society? It will announce the provisions toward a police state in order to keep democracy ruled, while this perpetuation seeks to remain covered by an extremism manufacture by opposition in that society?
A just society must be governed by men of reason.Inventing a new social myth to replace the old. Socrates calls those who rule for the benefit of the whole society and not to it's detriment golden men: in his myth they rightfully govern the men of silver and bronze.
This is the myth of metals(415a ff.) the centrepiece of a second accusation that has dogged Plato through the centuries. Plato made clear that merit and not heredity defined the gold man and that gold could be found in all parts of society. Nonetheless, Plato has never escaped the charge that he imposes upon society an elitist and authoritarian rule. The charge is pressed even though in Book IV Plato makes justice in the individual the condition of justice in society.--Pg 16, Para 2 and 3, of Plato the Republic Introduction by Richard W. Sterling and William C. Scott.
So "extremism can exist" in both perspectives about which a society has extended itself? Capitalism's one form of that extremism  toward this stratification of society maintained. It said nothing "about the character" because it does not want to encourage a "subjective look" at what it can do by "using numbers" in which to propel advantage, by consumers buying into.

They know what you need, yet they do not realize that once it has become common knowledge, the shift in society can be as little as "choosing a competitor"  whose moral backbone is devised on character building rather then seeking to use this stratification in society to maintain the "metal standard?"

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Update:

Phil, in his Odd and Sods comment to my blog entry here because of "spam filtering" thought to link his response, "Will Artificial Intelligence Ever be Able to Discern the Truth?" and the evolution of reason to what perceptions Plato may have formed about him in regards to views on society? Does Computerization somehow destroy or "create issues around the Noble Lie?"

Republic, Book III, 415a: 


"...hear the rest of the story. While all of you in the city are brothers, we will say in our tale, yet God in fashioning those of you who are fitted to hold rule mingled gold in their generation,1 for which reason they are the most precious—but in the helpers silver, and iron and brass in the farmers and other craftsmen. And as you are all akin, though for the most part you will breed after your kinds,2 415b it may sometimes happen that a golden father would beget a silver son and that a golden offspring would come from a silver sire and that the rest would in like manner be born of one another. So that the first and chief injunction that the god lays upon the rulers is that of nothing else3 are they to be such careful guardians and so intently observant as of the intermixture of these metals in the souls of their offspring, and if sons are born to them with an infusion of brass or iron 415c they shall by no means give way to pity in their treatment of them, but shall assign to each the status due to his nature and thrust them out4 among the artisans or the farmers. And again, if from these there is born a son with unexpected gold or silver in his composition they shall honor such and bid them go up higher, some to the office of guardian, some to the assistanceship, alleging that there is an oracle5 that the state shall then be overthrown when the man of iron or brass is its guardian. Do you see any way of getting them to believe this tale?” 415d “No, not these themselves,” he said, “but I do, their sons and successors and the rest of mankind who come after.6” “Well,” said I, “even that would have a good effect making them more inclined to care for the state and one another. For I think I apprehend your meaning. XXII. And this shall fall out as tradition7 guides.”



“But let us arm these sons of earth and conduct them under the leadership of their rulers. And when they have arrived they must look out for the fairest site in the city for their encampment,8 415e a position from which they could best hold down rebellion against the laws from within and repel aggression from without as of a wolf against the fold. And after they have encamped and sacrificed to the proper gods9 they must make their lairs, must they not?” “Yes,” he said. “And these must be of a character keep out the cold in winter and be sufficient in summer?” “Of course. For I presume you are speaking of their houses.” “Yes,” said I, “the houses of soldiers10 not of money-makers.”

416a “What distinction do you intend by that?” he said. “I will try to tell you,” I said. “It is surely the most monstrous and shameful thing in the world for shepherds to breed the dogs who are to help them with their flocks in such wise and of such a nature that from indiscipline or hunger or some other evil condition the dogs themselves shall attack the sheep and injure them and be likened to wolves1 instead of dogs.” “A terrible thing, indeed,” he said. 416b “Must we not then guard by every means in our power against our helpers treating the citizens in any such way and, because they are the stronger, converting themselves from benign assistants into savage masters?” “We must,” he said. “And would they not have been provided with the chief safeguard if their education has really been a good one?” “But it surely has,” he said. “That,” said I, “dear Glaucon, we may not properly affirm,2 but what we were just now saying we may, 416c that they must have the right education, whatever it is, if they are to have what will do most to make them gentle to one another and to their charges.” “That is right,” he said. “In addition, moreover, to such an education a thoughtful man would affirm that their houses and the possessions provided for them ought to be such as not to interfere with the best performance of their own work as guardians and not to incite them to wrong the other citizens.” 416d “He will rightly affirm that.” “Consider then,” said I, “whether, if that is to be their character, their habitations and ways of life must not be something after this fashion. In the first place, none must possess any private property3 save the indispensable. Secondly, none must have any habitation or treasure-house which is not open for all to enter at will. Their food, in such quantities as are needful for athletes of war4 sober and brave, 416e they must receive as an agreed5 stipend6 from the other citizens as the wages of their guardianship, so measured that there shall be neither superfluity at the end of the year nor any lack.7 And resorting to a common mess8 like soldiers on campaign they will live together. Gold and silver, we will tell them, they have of the divine quality from the gods always in their souls, and they have no need of the metal of men nor does holiness suffer them to mingle and contaminate that heavenly possession with the acquisition of mortal gold, since many impious deeds have been done about 417a the coin of the multitude, while that which dwells within them is unsullied. But for these only of all the dwellers in the city it is not lawful to handle gold and silver and to touch them nor yet to come under the same roof1 with them, nor to hang them as ornaments on their limbs nor to drink from silver and gold. So living they would save themselves and save their city.2 But whenever they shall acquire for themselves land of their own and houses and coin, they will be house-holders and farmers instead of guardians, and will be transformed 417b from the helpers of their fellow citizens to their enemies and masters,3 and so in hating and being hated,4 plotting and being plotted against they will pass their days fearing far more and rather5 the townsmen within than the foemen without—and then even then laying the course6 of near shipwreck for themselves and the state. For all these reasons,” said I, “let us declare that such must be the provision for our guardians in lodging and other respects and so legislate. Shall we not?” “By all means,” said Glaucon. See: Myth of Metals
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Plato prove that justice does not depend upon a chance, convention or upon external force. It is the right condition of the human soul by the very nature of man when seen in the fullness of his environment. It is in this way that Plato condemned the position taken by Glaucon that justice is something which is external. According to Plato, it is internal as it resides in the human soul. "It is now regarded as an inward grace and its understanding is shown to involve a study of the inner man." It is, therefore, natural and no artificial. It is therefore, not born of fear of the weak but of the longing of the human soul to do a duty according to its nature.
Plato's Concept Of Justice: An Analysis Bold was added by me for emphasis.

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See Also:The Myth of Mettle
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