Plato’s reading suggestions, episode 104

Here it is, our regular Friday diet of suggested readings for the weekend:

China is rapidly becoming a real life version of 1984. Or pick your favorite dystopia.

The Megyn Kelly problem.

Remember when neuroscientists told you there was no free will? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that…

Socrates on political correctness: the missing dialogue from Plato’s Republic.

What explains so many mass shootings in the US? The answer is obvious, and empirically based.

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Categories: Plato's Suggestions

63 replies

  1. Saphsin, the Studebaker article is interesting; thanks for posting it. I think much of the discussion of the roles of government is clouded by several factors. For one thing, “government” is almost invariably treated as synonymous with the federal, or central government, although residents of the US (excepting members of recognized Indian nations) are continually aware of the activity of their respective state, county and municipal governments, which are quite often tagged with the same complaints about corruption, etc., that are leveled at the federal government. Also, the sheer size of this country, coupled with the leaning toward a states’ rights approach by people in both the blue and red states (compare pot legalization and restriction of voters’ rights) makes it almost impossible to achieve a consensus on political activity. Furthermore, I think any student of American history would agree that the unregenerate attitude of whites in the post-Civil War south intensified during and after the botched Reconstuction period, finding expression in the Jim Crow era, which was driven underground during the Civil Rights movement and spread around the entire country by migration in more recent times, where it is alive and doing pretty well in the Republican party.

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  2. WTC … good points. A lot of Americans don’t recognize that we’re in a nation of 325 million people. Setting aside states’ rights issues, that makes governance more difficult at times. It also makes the decentralization/communalism idea of Grees yet less appealing.

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  3. I still think there are deeply philosophic issues to work out. Reality is bottom up generative and our political idealizations are platonic. These top down forms are useful framing devices, but we will never get beyond the conflicts because everyone will gravitate to different places on the various spectrums. Such as between individualism and communitarianism, or social and emotional rights versus civic and cultural codes, economic neo-liberalism versus socialism, etc.
    These tensions can no more be fully resolved than the battle of the sexes, or between young and old, because they are a Taoist balance of opposites and the only monolithic final solution would be a flat line.
    Now if people were to better understand their particular position is a piece of a larger puzzle, they might better understand why everyone is not alike.

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