Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chapter 4. Summary of Karl Popper's The Open Society* and its Enemies.

(The Spell of Plato)
(*Do not let George Soroz’ “Open Society Foundation confuse you. He is simply hijacking a term (the title of the book, actually) coined by Karl R. Popper. Popper fostered open societies, Soroz is a collectivist, that is to say he seeks and believes in closed societies. This is a typical leftist ploy: hijack words or phrases to confuse us.

Popper has examined, in great detail the writings of Plato. He concludes that Plato, and later thinkers and writers that followed Plato have wreaked havoc in science politics and philosophy down through the centuries. Popper presents the following small table
of word definitions. The two columns have opposite definitions .i.e., individualism is the opposite of collectivism. Egotism is the opposite of altruism.

Popper observed that Plato had wrongly placed egotism as opposed to collectivism
In Popper’s own words:
“Now it is interesting that for Plato, and for most Platonists,*
an altruistic individualism (as for instance that of Dickens) cannot exist. According to Plato, the only alternative to collectivism was egotism; he simply identifies all altruism with collectivism ,and all individualism with egotism. This is not a matter of of terminology, of mere words, for instead of four possibilities(*Perhaps the most influential was Aristotle, but Plutarch also fell for the Platonic deception.Petr Beckmann compares writings of Aristotle to those of Archimedes and refers to Aristole’s work as “Asristotlean Prattle.” Beckmann contends it was Aristotle who gave force to the idea that the earth was the center of the Universe, a Typical Aristotlean error.)
Plato recognized only two: Individualism equaling Egotism, and Altruism equaling collecivism. [Italic and Bold added by Cap’n Thinkwright]This has created considerable confusion in speculation on ethical matters, even down to our own day.” Socrates was not a participant in Plato’s machinations.[ [ Socrates supported the Open Society; it was for this that he was forced to take his own life.”
Popper summarises:
“ Plato's identification of individualism with egotism furnishes him with a powerful weapon for his defense of collectivism.”

1 comment:

  1. Hi.. Thanks for your articles.. they were very interesting.