"To be wealthy and famous in an unjust society is a disgrace."
This essay is part of a series of studies of the Forms of Human Civilization. Capitalism has from its inception destroyed--and continues to destroy--all civilized human values and principles. It's necessary for us, therefore, to examine the Forms (the essence) of human civilization in order to understand how to reinstitute these values and principles that are essential to human well-being.
In this essay series, we take the approach that humans overcome demonic terrestrial forces--such as injustice--by understanding and realizing the Forms of human civilization. In all historic eras, humankind has ordered its life according to specific societal archetypes: patterns of behavior and objectives--Forms. When these elements become deranged and deadly--as at present--then we can overcome these destructive patterns of behavior only by understanding the true essence of these Forms and instituting them in society.
We'll first examine how injustice has become institutionalized in the present American police state. Following that, we'll examine Plato's conceptions of justice and discuss how these Forms can be understood and realized in our culture. We use Plato's conception of the Form Justice because it contains all elements of past and current importance relevant to this subject. Plato's study of justice and injustice in his dialogues is the most exacting and comprehensive examination of the Form Justice that any thinker has been able to achieve.
"Our aim in founding the State was not the disproportionate happiness of any one class, but the greatest happiness of the whole; we thought that in a State which is ordered with a view to the good of the whole we should be most likely to find Justice." Plato (428-348 BCE), Commonwealth III
Injustice Has Become State Policy in the American Police State
Trump's and Barr's Coverup of Trump's Crimes
Trump's Immigration Policy: Total Racist Shutdown
Bush stole the 2000 election through collusion.
In 2013, the capitalist cabal became judge, jury, and executioner within the American police state. The Injustice Department is destroying our economy.
The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows the government to arrest and detain any American citizen without due process. Whisleblowers are the only ones who go to jail.
The acts of injustice cited above are merely a few of hundreds that the capitalist cabal has perpetrated since its ongoing take-over of the U.S. political and financial institutions in the beginning decades of the twentieth-century.
Plato's Conception of the Form Justice
The essence of Plato's philosophy was an ongoing battle against exactly the same kind of twisted, unreal, counterfeit world that we presently face. Philosophy--the search for wisdom and truth--arises out of the resistance of the soul to its destruction by a perverted world. The situation Plato faced--and we now face--is the life-or-death of our very being."To be ignorant of the nature of justice and injustice, and good and evil, and to be unable to distinguish delusion from reality, is disgraceful to a person, even though he have the applause of the whole world."
"Plato began his study of the social order with a definition and an analysis of the concept of justice. The state has no other and no higher aim than to be the administrator of justice. But in Plato's language the term justice does not mean the same as in common speech. It has a much deeper and more comprehensive meaning. Justice is not on the same level with other virtues of man. It is not, like courage or temperance, a special quality or property. It is a general principle of order, regularity, unity, and lawfulness. Within the individual life this lawfulness appears in the harmony of all the different powers of the human soul; within the state it appears in the 'geometrical proportion' between the different classes, according to which each part of the social body receives its due and cooperates in maintaining the general order. With this conception Plato became the founder and the first defender of the Idea of the Legal State." Ernst Cassirer, The Myth of the State
Plato defined injustice and disorder in the world of tyranny as polypragmosyne, the seizing of power by those who incorrectly presume they possess wisdom in all things. In modern terms, this has been clearly illustrated in the case of the demonic cabal, which assumes that it has the understanding of how Americans--and the world--ought to order their lives and therefore possesses the mandate to seize control of American society and the world. 1 What polypragmosyne means in practice is that the self-deluded, unenlightened, and depraved seize the rule of a society to its detriment and final destruction.
"Since the concept of justice is developed for the purpose of criticizing the sophistic disorder, its meaning must be understood in relation to its opposite. For the designation of sophistic disorder Plato uses the term polypragmosyne, the readiness to engage in multifarious activities which are not a man's proper business; and on occasion he uses the terms metabole (change or shift of occupation) and allotriopragmosyne (meddlesomeness, officious interference) (434b-c; 444b).
'One man cannot practice with success many arts' (347a)--that is the principle on which the participants of the dialogue have agreed. Polypragmosyne covers the various violations of the principle, such as the attempts to practice more than the one craft for which a man is specifically gifted, as well as the desire of the unskilled to rule the polis to its detriment. [Presumption of wisdom seizing power] When applied to the soul it refers to the inclination of appetites and desires to direct the course of human action and to claim the rulership of the soul which properly belongs to wisdom. Dikaiosyne, on the other hand, covers right order on all levels in opposition to polypragmosyne--with the qualification, however, that Plato is inclined to narrow the meaning of justice to the right order of the soul and the polis, while the division of labor on the level of crafts is only a figuration of justice proper, a 'shadow of justice' (eidolon tes dikaiosynes) (443c-d)."
Eric Voegelin, Ellis Sandoz, Order and History: Plato and Aristotle, Volume 16
Among other essential features of Plato's conception of justice, he outlined the ideology of all regimes that institutionalize injustice in its dealings with an oppressed working class, including the current capitalist cabal. Below is Plato's outline of misconceptions and "justifications" of injustice advocated by despots and oppressors (from Book II of his Commonwealth).
The myths, delusions, and falsehoods outlined below are the underlying ideology of the capitalists who now are rapidly destroying our entire Western civilization.
- Virtue is toilsome in itself and to be shunned as as an affliction, and to be practiced only for the sake of rewards and repute, due to opinion.
- Injustice is superior to justice; people practice justice reluctantly, as a mere necessity, not as a good.
- The life of the unjust man is superior to that of the just man.
- Justice is a compromise between the best, doing wrong with impunity, and the worst, to be wronged and to be unable to get revenge.
- People carry out justice unwillingly because they lack the power to do injustice.
- To commit injustice is a good and to suffer it is an evil, but the excess of evil in being wronged by injustice is greater than the excess of good in doing wrong.
- Those who lack power determine that it is to their profit to make a compact neither to commit or suffer injustice.
- This is the beginning of laws and contracts between men.
- They name the commandment of the law the lawful and the just.
- Justice is approved, not as a real good, but as a thing honored in the lack of power to do injustice.
- Anyone who is "a man" would never agree with anyone either to wrong nor be wronged, for he would be mad.
- If anyone were able to act anonymously (say, by having a ring of invisibility), he would resort to injustice.
- Every person, by his nature, pursues his self-advantage as a good.
- The convention of law forces us to pay honor to "equality."
- No one is just by his own will but only from constraint.
- Every man when he supposes himself to have power to do wrong, does wrong.
- Everyone believes there is far more profit in injustice than justice.
- People might deceitfully praise a person who imposed justice on himself, but in truth he would be regarded as a fool.
- The height of injustice is to seem to be just without being so.
- An unjust man who gets caught is a bungler.
- An unjust man is able to cover his misdeeds through connections and money.
- The just man will learn that he ought not to be just but merely seem just.
- Some people recommend justice for its seeming good repute and benefits.
- It is "the seeming" that "masters the reality." (365c)
- "For with a view to lying hid we will organize societies and political clubs, and there are teachers of cajolery who impart the arts of the popular assembly and the courtroom, so that, partly by persuasion, partly by force, we shall contrive to overreach with impunity." (365d)
- "If there are no gods, or they do not concern themselves with the doings of men, neither need we concern ourselves with eluding their observation. If they do not exist and pay heed, we know and hear of them only from such discourses and from the poets who have described their pedigrees. But these same authorities tell us that the gods are capable of being persuaded and swerved from their course by "sacrifice and soothing vows" and dedications. We must believe them in both or neither. And if we are to believe them, the thing to do is to commit injustice and offer sacrifice from the fruits of our wrongdoing." (365e)
- "Yet it will be objected . . . we shall be brought to judgment in the world below for our unjust deeds here. . . The rites for the dead have much efficacy." (366a)
- Combine evil with a counterfeit decorum and you will prosper.
- People disparage injustice from lack of manliness or other weaknesses.
Human justice depends, in part on persons being aware that they have a conscience and listening to that conscience. The conscience is one of the points of contact that humans have with the divine. The video below is a clip from the movie, The Ox-Bow Incident, in which a man is unjustly murdered by a mob, controlled by an ex-military mountebank. The victim is allowed to write a farewell letter to his wife. It is this letter of the victim that the cowboy (Henry Fonda) reads.
Plato's Practice of Philosophia
Plato's examination of the essence of justice occurs within his disclosure of the Perennial Tradition 2 named philosophia (philosophy), through which he taught select students how to attain a state of higher discernment that was termed wisdom using the process called dialectic. With the bastardization of Plato's original practice of philosophia into academic anti-philosophy, we've lost almost all ability to distinguish an authentic teaching from a petrified scholastic husk. With our present state of "learning," we are largely the product of ossified systems which teach us to pile opinion on top of assumption.
"The modern philosopher is a professional pedant, paid to instruct the young in philosophical doctrines and to write books and articles. He is a professor of philosophy, not so very different from a professor of biology or of marketing. He need not reshape his inner being to the model of the doctrines he discusses in his classes. If pressed, he will perhaps claim that he is useful because he teaches the young to think more clearly and, less plausibly, that he forces his fellow professors in other departments to clarify their concepts. The proud cities of metaphysics were long ago abandoned as indefensible and have fallen into ruin. The philosophers have for the most part retreated to the safer territory of language and logic, creating for themselves a sort of analytical Formosa."
John Walbridge. The Leaven of the Ancients:
Suhrawardi and the Heritage of the Greeks
Beginning with Aristotle, "philosophy" has become nothing more than the intellectual analysis and synthesis of concepts into systems of thought which other later "philosophers" can then analyze and critique, building their own superstructures of conjecture.
"Aristotle's education was entirely different from that of Plato. Aristotle did not know the secret science of the 'initiates.'
"We are therefore fully entitled to consider Plato as the last exponent and philosophic interpreter of 'ancient wisdom.'"
Andrew Efron, The Sacred Tree Script, 1941
Finally with Kant, philosophy became nothing but the empty shell of academic nattering. In such non-philosophers as Hume, Adam Smith, Hobbes, and the contemporary John Rawls, justice is misdefined so as to become nothing but a veiled justification for capitalist plunder of the working class. None of the supposed "great" figures of classical philosophy were intelligent or courageous enough to see that the form Justice condemns the economic-social system of capitalism as being totally unjust.
One of the current so-called studies of justice was carried out by Lawrence Kohlberg. He wanted to create a taxonomy of moral development in humans, proposing a stage theory of moral thinking similar to Piaget's formulations of child development.
"Kohlberg's conception of justice follows that of the philosophers Kant and Rawls, as well as great moral leaders such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King. According to these people, the principles of justice require us to treat the claims of all parties in an impartial manner, respecting the basic dignity, of all people as individuals. The principles of justice are therefore universal; they apply to all. Thus, for example, we would not vote for a law that aids some people but hurts others. The principles of justice guide us toward decisions based on an equal respect for all."
W.C. Crain, (1985), Theories of Development, (Ch. 7), Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development
Rawls, Kohlberg, and others of their ilk examine justice merely in the abstract, never daring to ask whether our current society--based on capitalism, militarism, imperialism, and anti-rationalism--is just. They like to refer to "great moral leaders" such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, but ignore what these genuine moral leaders have actually said:
"I would lend my heartiest support to the abolition of the British system of government, as well as to the abolition of the capitalist system. . . If the British Empire does not stop exploiting the weaker races, we shall refuse to collaborate with it. Imperialist exploitation must disappear; collaboration will have to be free, and India at liberty, if she pleases, to sever the association."
Gandhi fought against the capitalist imperialism of the British Empire and won partial victories. Martin Luther King fought for civil rights with some success, and in the later stages of his life he began to fight against capitalist oppression of the working class. It is because of the latter that he was assassinated by the capitalist cabal.
In this time when the American political-economic-social system has become one of almost total injustice, it's helpful to remind ourselves that Plato's concept of justice requires that persons perpetrating illegal or unjust acts must be punished.
"The art which makes them into the best men is that which punishes them rightly and distinguishes the good and the bad ones."In any society concerned with enacting justice, it's necessary for criminals (persons who act contrary to law) to be accused, indicted, convicted of their crimes, and serve time in prison. One of the most egregious elements of current injustice is that capitalist criminals of every sort are being allowed to commit crimes without their being accused or punished. We saw above that the current cabal's injustice department is allowing Wall Street criminals to perpetrate financial crimes and go scott free. In the few cases where indictments have been brought against capitalist institutions for criminal fraud, individuals who commit the crimes go free and the institutions are merely fined an insubstantial amount.
Plato, Rival Lovers, [137d]
"If an evil person's injustice be undetected and unpunished, he only gets worse, whereas he who is detected and punished has the brutal part of his nature silenced and humanized; the gentler element in him is liberated, and his whole soul is perfected and ennobled by the acquirement of justice and temperance and wisdom, more than the body ever is by receiving gifts of beauty, strength and health, in proportion as the soul is more honourable than the body."
Plato, Commonwealth IX, 591b
As reported by Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times, in February, 2013, the Obama Justice Department and several states brought big lawsuits against the credit rating agency Standard & Poor, alleging it concocted a "fraudulent scheme that contributed to trillions of dollars in investment losses and the cratering of pretty much the entire world financial system." Those are serious charges, and the federal government's demand for $5 billion in penalties isn't peanuts. Yet there was something bloodless about the lawsuits, for the simple reason that they didn't point the finger at any particular person who was responsible for those dastardly doings.
"For example, you wouldn't have found the name Harold McGraw III anywhere in the court papers. Who?
"McGraw was chairman, chief executive and president of McGraw-Hill, S&P's parent company, in the period at issue, 2004 to 2007. (He's still in place today.) Did he profit from S&P's wrongdoing? Let's assume so: he not only owns 10 million company shares but received $44.5 million in compensation over those years, according to corporate disclosures. Did he know or care about what was happening at S&P? One would hope so because it was by far the most profitable domain in his empire, contributing an average of more than 70% of McGraw-Hill's operating profit.
"Harold McGraw's largest business unit engaged in an 'egregious' fraud that 'goes to the very heart' of the financial crisis, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said. But prosecutors have made no effort to hold him, or anyone else, directly responsible for what was done at S&P."
The same is true for such criminal executives as Goldmann Sach's Lloyd Blankfein and J.P. Morgan Chase's Jamie Dimon: no indictments for their multiple financial crimes!
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895
True justice is only possible in a just state lead by just leaders."The primary criterion of wise rulership is whether the ruler possesses the scientific expertise of benefitting all the people or not."Such a just state is impossible as long as capitalism is the basic economic system within a society and a capitalist cabal controls the political, economic, and social systems of power--as at present in America and throughout the world. Momentary improvements may take place in a society, as in the instance of France when Emile Zola, famed French writer, forced the French military dictatorship to countermand its false conviction and imprisonment of French military officer Captain Alfred Dreyfus.
"While rulers act according to the principles of wisdom and justice, and use their power with a view to the general security and improvement, the state over which they rule, and which has these characteristics may be described as the only true State."
France, for one brief moment, saw justice enacted in the Dreyfus affair. But with its systemic capitalist economic system and its basic plutocratic political system still intact, France quickly returned to its oppression of the working class and the use of war as one of the primary means of producing capitalist profit.
"A wise ruler observes the one great rule of distributing justice to the citizens with intelligence and skill, is able to preserve them, and, as far as may be, to make them better."
At the present time, the majority of Americans are effectively asleep--suicidally unaware and indifferent to the fact that capitalists are murdering them by all means possible and as rapidly as possible. When Americans begin to awaken from their suicidal sleep, they'll discover that only through creating cooperative commonwealth communities will they be able to create a truly just society.
1 There is nothing more absurd than a Donald Trump, a Barack Obama, a Henry Kissinger, or a Jeff Sessions--toadies of the demonic cabal--pontificating on how the world ought to be run. The supposedly superior groups of foreign policy advisors--Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg group--are farcical in their presumption of knowledge and understanding. The "economic experts" within the cabal--Greenspan, Volcker, Summers, Bernanke, Geithner etc.--have now been exposed as idiots who have no genuine understanding of the "market" and have encouraged rampant corruption to destroy the American and world economy.
2 See the author's book The Perennial Tradition
- 12/8/2017: Trump's In-Justice Department
- 2/14/2013: Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail