Winner 2013 Webby Awards for Best Political Website
Top Banner, Site wide
Apr 20, 2014

 Choose a size
Text Size

Top Leaderboard, Site wide

First Solar Bread Oven Takes a Bow
Drought Adds to Syria’s Misery




The Divide


Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Arts and Culture

Frederic Raphael on Socrates

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jul 31, 2009
book cover

By Frederic Raphael

The execution of Socrates has often been seen as prefiguring the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. Both became emblematic: Democracy would forever be tarnished by the former, the Jews by the latter. It was convenient for reactionaries to make a secular saint of Socrates. He then became a pious reason for denouncing democratic law-making, majority decisions and the political machinery that takes authority away from the best people/people who know best. Philosophers have been regularly contemptuous of the caprices of the masses. Their appetite for certainty gags on the fluctuations of popular taste and the ambiguities of vulgar language. If society were governed by immutably defined concepts, philosophers would be unarguable kings. Considering the world sub specie aeternitatis  (Spinoza’s recipe for a life untroubled by futile emotions), they would be able to keep everything precisely as it is, which would be identical with what it should be: the caesura between is and ought would be repaired; paradise regained. 

Is it just that Socrates became a poster boy for anti-democrats? He was a participating citizen in democratic Athens, fought in its wars and honored its verdict (instead of going into exile, as his friends could have arranged). He avoided the grand manner and, with a puckishness that can be tiresome, even on the page, insisted that he knew nothing and had no doctrine to propagate. He was at ease in aristocratic company, but he did not belong to it by birth. His father was said to have been a stonemason. Socrates lived frugally and, it may be, on the income of his wife, Xanthippe, whose horsy name implies, so Robin Waterfield tells us, that she came from a classier background than the husband who rarely came home (Roger Scruton’s “Xanthippic Dialogues” is a marvelous exposition of Socrates’ character, and a brilliant parody of Plato, from the point of view of the philosopher’s put-upon wife, who is given a tongue at least as sharp as her husband’s). 

 

 

Why Socrates Died

 

By Robin Waterfield

 

W.W. Norton & Co., 288 pages

 

Buy the book

 

Socrates played the simple soul, but he was also a responsible citizen who, on military service, could afford the shield and armor with which the middle class had to supply itself. When he philosophized, it was as an amateur who took care to distinguish himself from the mendicant sophists: They took fees, he never did. Socrates was a long-running, peripatetic chat show. The old academic joke accuses him (and Jesus) of one major mistake: He never published. But if he left no account of himself, he is vividly represented in the works of both Plato and Xenophon. In addition, he was held up to memorable ridicule by Aristophanes, especially in “The Clouds,” a play first produced over 20 years before Socrates was put on trial. The playwright—for whom Plato reserved a privileged cup in his “Symposium”—is alleged to have generated abiding popular animus against the man whom he depicted (contrary to what we know of the authentic Socrates) teaching pupils how to “make the worse appear the better cause.” The satirist’s juiciest targets are generally below the belt. 

Keener on award-winning than on truth, Aristophanes made his Socrates the very type of amoral opportunist whom Plato, in his turn, lampooned in the Thrasymachus who puts Socrates on the back foot, in “The Republic,” by defining justice as the “will of the stronger.” After Thrasymachus’ forceful intervention, the whole dialogue turns into an attempt, never quite convincing, to establish what should be true (justice is the reflection of eternal values) against what, in practice, seems to be the case: Those with power administer justice in their own interest. 

Socrates described himself as the Athenian “gadfly.” Some years ago, I.F. Stone, an American gadfly who stung only to the right, learned Greek in order to understand what still puzzles Waterfield: why the Athenians made a landmark celebrity, and then a scapegoat, of the cranky troublemaker whose unpaid service to the community was to prod citizens into taking a close look at themselves and their ideas. Socrates also claimed to be “maieutic,” a midwife who helped people in the difficult business of giving birth to the truth. 

Xenophon’s account is affectionate and unaffected. A decent right-wing landowner and retired general who made no secret of his admiration for Sparta, Xenophon was obliged to live in exile, once democracy was restored in Athens. He depicts Socrates as sparky and provocative but without any political agenda, a Mr. Chips of the old Athenian school. Plato, by contrast, appropriated him as the spokesman of ideas which, in the end, were too elaborate to fit plausibly in his mouth. When Plato wrote his last major work, “The Laws,” Socrates was replaced by anonymous and notably less entertaining interlocutors. 

To see long excerpts from “Why Socrates Died,” click here.

If Plato’s earlier dialogues give the truest impression of the historical Socrates, it seems that his long career as tease and teacher centered on a wish to elicit the essential meanings of words in order that moral standards could be based on eternal Ideas of which our own are only approximations. “The Republic” is an attempt to imagine a society in which morals dominate politics, and a static ideology determines the citizens’ conduct and status (with a nocturnal Gestapo to take out those who disagree). The dangerous consequences of this ambition were spelled out, in a polemical style that affronted Platonists, in Karl Popper’s “The Open Society and Its Enemies.” Robin Waterfield refers to “The Republic” as “magisterial, wonderful,” which conveys nothing of its political menace, its satirical acuteness or its elimination of the arts.


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By barbatus, August 7, 2009 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

Excellent review! Thank you.

Just one question: why neither the author of the reviewed book nor the reviewer mentioned the old article “Socrates and Athens” by Moses Finley (published last time in the “Aspects of Antiquity: Discoveries and Controversies,” 1977). Mr. Waterfield did cite Finley once in this book, but . . . had he read the article? Perhaps, he wouldn’t need to write this book, if he had.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 4, 2009 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment

I use Hamilton and Cairns. I thought the division of the Republic into ten books was standard. My old Jowett translation has the same divisions.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, August 4, 2009 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

Thinking I nor translator H. D. P. Lee could not be that wrong, I see how the mistake could be made causing your and my disagreement.  In Lee’s Republic that he calls Part Eight, Section 1, he begins the translation of the Education of the Philosopher.  But therein lies the folly, my folly, and I had an inkling of it, which is why I checked my other three translations. It is wholly dependent on which translator one looks at. I had been going on Lee’s organization, so I apologize, but we are both right and both not quite perfectly right.  After the Allegory in VII, you are correct that Plato describes the education the Guardians (philosopher kings in waiting),  and starts the discussion of the Imperfect Societies about the timarchy, oligarchy, democracy, in Book VIII and winds up tyranny and the tyrant in Book IX.  So sorry for my negligence.  I hope we can continue amicably, and civilly, henceforth?

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 4, 2009 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

RE Shenonymous, August 4 at 11:09 am #
Surely you must mean, Tony Wicher, Book IX since Book VIII is about the education of the Philosopher Ruler
—————————————————————————-
Book VIII of the Republic does not say one word about the education of the philosopher king. That’s Book VII. Book VIII recounts the degeneration of the ideal republic through the stages of timarchy, oligarchy, democracy and tyranny.

Try reading it some time.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, August 4, 2009 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

Surely you must mean, Tony Wicher, Book IX since Book VIII is about the education of the Philosopher Ruler.  How funny that Plato, a member of the wealthy class of Athenians, never offered to give up his position nor family wealth and as a philosopher, and did not ascend to a seat of government power.  Critias, the most treacherous of the Thirty Tyrants was his uncle, who it is said Plato admired.

I disagree with Plato on the importance of a government being ruled by a philosopher.  A wise man, yes, but not all philosophers are wise men.  Wise men, according to Socrates in the Charmides, “the wise, or temperate man, ...will know himself, and be able to examine what he knows or does not know, and see what others know, and think that they know and do really know; and what they do not know, and fancy that they know, when they do not.  No other person will be able to do this.  And this is the state and virtue of wisdom, or temperance, and self-knowledge,...”  However, in the Theaetetus, Plato in the mouth of Socrates says of the “lords of philosophy,” (ah, the philosopher kings), “have never, from their youth upwards, known their way to the Agora, or the dicastery (the courts), or the council, or any other political assembly; they neither see nor hear the laws or votes of the a State written or recited; the eagerness of political societies in the attainment of offices,...do not even enter their dreams.”  Further he says of the philosophers, “Whether any event has turned out well or ill in the city, what disgrace may have descended to any one from his ancestors, male or female, are matters of which the philosopher no more knows than he can tell, as they say, how many pints are contained in the ocean.”  And this, is the kind of mind, that travels to universals and wonders about the heavens than the mud he might have his feet in, is to be the “ruler” of the earthly kingdom.  I don’t think so. For that intellect might think of such things as what is virtue and who are the virtuous, but he does not have any experiential idea of the common man and what it takes to live commonly.

I do not happen to believe in the mob mentality of a large ethnically and diversely religious nation.  While some other nations do have a range and variety of social orders, I believe the United States uniquely accommodates that heterogeneity.  The consciousness of the polity in this country is not as buried as is liked to be thought.  Particularly that of the voting population.  Yes, they may be easily swayed by demagoguery, but there are so many competing views these days expressed in the media that they tack back and forth on issues as is seen in the ever being modified polls taken on every which kind of issue the media can conjure up.

I do not believe in a “wise” kingship.  Plato misogynistically left out the possibility of women leaders. He thought women were only a lesser man.  See the Republic, Book II.  And while he can be considered way before his time (millennia to be exact) in acknowledging the excellence and virtuous qualities of women, he retained a masculine view of women as the ‘weaker’ sex, they were not fully equal to men, and had a ‘fit’ place in society.  Do see the Republic again.  I do grant that he was brave to express a more egalitarian view of women in a society that thought of them as less than slaves.

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 3, 2009 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

By M Henri Day, August 3 at 7:02 am #
Tony Wicher, what form of government do you suggest ?
«Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.»

    x x x x x x x x x x x x

MHD,

I’m on the same page as you and Churchill. Plato envisions a just state, ruled by just rulers, but only as an ideal. He never explains how such a state is supposed to come about. The framers of the Constitution did their best to provide a stable framework for a representative democracy, and they did a hell of a job. They are as close to being real-life examples of Plato’s “philosopher kings” as history has to offer. But it is up to the people to make the Constitution more than a piece of paper. At this time I fear we are making the transition from democracy to tyranny described so vividly in Book VIII of the Republic.

Report this

By Dar, August 3, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

bogi666:
“DAR, facts are hard to face. All the information housed in the Library of Alexandria had to be re-discovered. The dark ages are well documented. As for Islam, it wasn’t funded until 700 AD or so, so it didn’t have the baggage that the Christians did with respect to Science at that time. If not for the Moslems in Spain Christianity might have just melted away because the Moslems preserved the writing and Catholic scholars had to go to Spain to study what was forbidden to exist is the Catholic countries. Anyway what’s your point?”

—————-

1-My point being that you claimed that somehow from 400 bc to 1500 ad there was nothing of scientific worth in western Eurasia (the Christian and Islamic world), which isn’t the case.

2-I know of no one who knows exactly what was lost when the Library of Alexandria was ruined. For all we know, it may have been nothing that wasn’t preserved elsewhere.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, August 3, 2009 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Direct democracy in Greece was first introduced in Athens in the 505 BCE by
Cleisthenes, about 50 years before Pericles. Prior to this form of governing, the Greek city-states were ruled by an oligarchy, or an elite few, rich, powerful men, known as tyrants.  This was undoubtedly a descendent of savage competitive war-waging tribal rule from prehistoric practices.

Democracy was a government structured to serve the people, who were considered to be while male citizens, and only they had the right to vote. Unlike our present representative democracy, citizens would convene to discuss publicly and vote for candidates and actions, which benefited the majority.  The majority of the Athenians who had the right to vote came from the middle and lower classes. This system gave them self-governing power and the upper class, or aristrocrats, lost power by reason of social status.

The paradigm of democracy, whether direct or representational, presumably gives the majority the louder and most forceful voice in determining their life within a state. Democracy is defined, imprecise as it is, as a form of government in which the people have all authority. In actual practice, there is a gulf between the people’s ostensible authority and actuality.  How the government is implement by its relatively powerful leaders is the degree to which that public’s actual authority is effected. 

Some discussion ought to be given to the benefits of democracy, which kind: direct or representational, and the benefits of some other form when democracy is criticized.  If this kind of civil discussion cannot take place, then no further criticism should be volleyed against democracy.

The blood-thirsty rule of the Thirty Tyrants is historic fact.  Democracy does not have to descend to irrational or disorderly mob rule.  To suggest that it is mob rule intentionally puts a negative connotation that can be associated with the word mob.  But, the whole body politic could be considered a mob if the definition means the mass of common people, or the populace.  Socrates place in Athenian society is recorded, and is only through secondary sources.  How one wants to interpret Plato, Xenophon, or Aristophanes, is how one will see the character Socrates, for that is all we have, a characterization.

Report this
M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, August 3, 2009 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher, what form of government do you suggest ? I agree with you that manipulation of public opinion by our corporate media makes the system which we call «democracy», but which might better be described as «plutocracy» problematic, but which of the alternatives discussed by such authors as Platon or Aristoteles (relevant for a discussion of the trial of Sokrates) would you prefer ? I’m no fan of that old imperialist, war criminal, and strategic idiot, Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, but it’s difficult to gainsay his comment to the effect that :

«Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.»

Henri

Report this
Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2009 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Plato/Socrates is often criticized for being anti-democratic, but those who do so fail to appreciate his reasons for being so critical. The fact that Socrates was put to death by a democratic vote illustrates in the most concrete manner conceivable his point. The real trouble with democracy as Plato saw it is that democracy is ruled by public opinion, and public opinion can be manipulated by those who seek power. Unfortunately in our day techniques of crowd manipulation are so advanced that they make Plato’s criticism of democracy truer today than ever.

Report this

By bogi666, August 2, 2009 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

DAR, facts are hard to face. All the information housed in the Library of Alexandria had to be re-discovered. The dark ages are well documented. As for Islam, it wasn’t funded until 700 AD or so, so it didn’t have the baggage that the Christians did with respect to Science at that time. If not for the Moslems in Spain Christianity might have just melted away because the Moslems preserved the writing and Catholic scholars had to go to Spain to study what was forbidden to exist is the Catholic countries. Anyway what’s your point?

Report this

By Tony Lynch, August 1, 2009 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Frederic Raphael assumes a knowing and rather anti-Socratic tone - and I suppose there is nothing wrong with that.  But it would help if Mr Raphael evinced more knowledge about that which he writes.  Certainly it would help justify his tone if he avoided schoolboy howlers.  Thus there is NO “Nocturnal Council” in “The Republic”.  That appears in “The Laws” which - as he himself admits - sees Socrates as interlocutor replaced by someone much less interesting if more Platonic.

Report this
M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, August 1, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Judging from Mr Raphael’s review, Robin Waterield, after running over the same ground, seems to have reached more or less the same conclusions as those reached by I F Stone in his brief book on the subject, so there is little reason to choose the former over the latter. Izzie Stone may have stung «only to the right» (perhaps Mr Raphael should be reminded that at the time Mr Stone was writing, almost all stinging in the United States was being done in the other direction, so his writings did help to restore a modicum of balance), but I don’t remember him committing solecisms of the type «tip of the iceberg»....

Henri

Report this

By Dar, August 1, 2009 at 12:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

bogi666:

“Christian, Moslem fundamentalists are Neo Platonist’s. It was Plato’s philosophy which prohibited the scientific method of inquiry and ushered in the dark ages from about 400 BCE to 1500 AD. The Ionian Greeks had created the scientific method, reasoning, which resulted in a theory about the existence of the Atom in 400 BCE[Carl Sagan]. Simultaneously in China and India similar Atom theories were also created. All evaporated about the same time, 400 BCE. Christian and Moslem Fundamentalists still adhere to the Platonic rejection of science and reason because they violate what their interpretation of the Bible is.”

Silly post, not to mention quite brazen, to dismiss two thousand years of science and art and technology from “400 BCE to 1500 AD”.

Apparently all those medieval Islamic scientists, including the neo-Platonist Ibn Sina, as well as those Roman engineers, were just figments of the imagination.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 31, 2009 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

Refusing to recognize the gods of the state and accused of corrupting the youth, Socrates was found guilty at his trial.  However this was an acceptable pretext to “get the guy.”  Three Athenians presented a case against him.  Socrates unabashedly held anti-democratic views and most of the city held it against him. Two of his acolytes, Alcibaides and Critias, had participated in the overthrow of the democratic Athenian government and began a siege of terror where thousands of Athenians’s property was confiscated, appropriated, and then they were exiled from the city or put to death.  Sympathy for Soc was at an all time ebb.  The vote was 280 guilty to 220 not guilty.  It was not as simple as impiety and corruption of the youth that he was given the death penalty. 

The political history of Athens in the years before he was called before the jury (of 500 Athenians. Imagine a jury of 500 in any American court!) gives some insight into why he was treated as he was at trial.  In Socrates’ youth was the ascendancy of Pericles, a highly honored general who became a statesman, the leader of the democratic party, and who brought with his politics what some call history’s first liberal government.  Pericles believed that the ordinary populous, not only the aristocrats who owned property was entitled to liberty.  Socrates however grew to believe people should not be self-governing but were more like sheep needing a philosopher king.  People in general did not have basic virtue and were not able to attain the knowledge needed to develop a good society.  He criticized the right of every citizen to speak in the assemblies.  This angered his fellow citizens. 

When Sparta defeated Athens, an oligarchy formed (which is a government by a very small group of people or family) called the Thirty Tyrants and they destroyed the government and sent the leaders of the Athenian democracy into exile among whom was the man who led the prosecution of Socrates, Anytus (Anytus is featured and an interlocutor of Socrates in Plato’s dialogue, the Meno).  In exile, he and the others formed a resistance.  The tyrants became an issue in Socrates’ trial.  Socrates had done nothing to stop the violence committed by the tyrants and the many horrors and murders at their hands gave the Athenians a different view of Socrates who was seen as a dangerous breeder of tyrants and as an enemy of the Athenians.  It was not the power elite that put him to death, it was the turning his back on the Athenians that was the final arbiter.

Report this

By lester333, July 31, 2009 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Thank you bogi666 for explaining the fundamentalist?  Great post.

Report this

By bogi666, July 31, 2009 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Christian, Moslem fundamentalists are Neo Platonist’s. It was Plato’s philosophy which prohibited the scientific method of inquiry and ushered in the dark ages from about 400 BCE to 1500 AD. The Ionian Greeks had created the scientific method, reasoning, which resulted in a theory about the existence of the Atom in 400 BCE[Carl Sagan]. Simultaneously in China and India similar Atom theories were also created. All evaporated about the same time, 400 BCE. Christian and Moslem Fundamentalists still adhere to the Platonic rejection of science and reason because they violate what their interpretation of the Bible is.

Report this

By cmarcusparr, July 31, 2009 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Let me ask for clarification.

Was Socrates executed because those in power and public opinion had lost patience with the man who warned them not to go to war (Peloponnesian War), and after “democratic” Athens became a tyranny of oligarchs, the Athenians despised Socrates for saying, “I told you so”?

Did his execution have very little, if anything, to do with his philosophical approach to life (“Know thyself”)? So, Socrates wasn’t a Greek precursor to Jesus (who was also executed for political reasons and who also didn’t publish)?

Was he executed because Socrates angered the power elite, who turned the mob against him by spreading rumor and innuendo about his sexual preferences and political associations? After the Spartans beat the living crap out of the Athenians, did the Greeks simply find a scapegoat in the pug-faced old man?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, nothing changes, or at least, it hasn’t changed since 399 BCE.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 31, 2009 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

Very perceptive comments, jmr.  We have to remember that Socrates wrote not a word (and Raphael does note this in his review).  Everything we know about him is from secondary sources.  Every dialogue Plato wrote, he wrote because he was exploring various ideas.  He wrote to clarify for himself what he thought he knew (following his mentor, Socrates’ Delphic imperative to Know Thyself), but also, yes, pedantically also, but didactically, to show others the folly and fallacies of their uninformed reasoning and emotional responses to life experiences.  Plato took liberty to put words into the mouths of his protagonists and antagonists as writers are wont to do. 

Part of the charges against him is that Socrates was an advocate for monism and that went against the polytheistic societies that were current at that time.  He is reported to have been driven by his daemon that advised him on matters of conscience.  Having pissed of a number of men, corrupting the Athenian youth was the excuse to put him to trial, and then subsequently, to death. Several men were in his company when he took the hemlock, except Plato was not there, so his dialogue the Phaedo is really a third hand account. 

Plato himself was an accomplished poet who gave up the art and became highly critical of poetry as he grew to understand the license with truth poetry could take, and he thought was shamefully and reprehensively taken by many of the popular poets, Homer in particular.  He does quite a number on Ion, a reciter of Homer, in the dialogue of that same name.  However, poetry can also, in contrast, give truthful insights.  How these truths are discovered by individuals is a matter of their own sophistication and ability to understand metaphor.  In somewhat contradiction, the form Plato used to expose his ideas, was an artform, the dialogue and many scholars think a reading of all his dialogues shows an overarching structure to them.  Since the way we come to have Western translations of his dialogues are not in the exact order in which he wrote them, it is difficult to make a firm case that there was a specific overall plan. 

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Plato lived to a ripe old age of 80.  He died in the comfort of his own home, was not executed for some of his really heretical ideas, even though his uncle Critias he much admired (for what reason I’ve not been able to fathom, at least not yet) was eventually deposed as part of the vicious really savage 30 Tyrants.  Critias’s poetry and other writings are reported to have been second rate if even that, was allegedly a bloodthirsty leader who was killed in battle.  A study of ancient history shows that peril lurked for nearly every leader and many, unbelievably many, like Caesar, was murdered by not only opponents but by outraged common people. I think we have seen that dangerous position afflicts political leaders in this millennia, so nothing really changes, even though things change.

Report this

By jmr, July 31, 2009 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

Socrates was guilty of pedantry, and this is why he’s been the darling of pedants through the ages.  He believes in morality and truth and knowledge, but, when presented with specifics, he glibly deconstructs them.  He does this at his trial, where he tries to argue his case on the courthouse steps with his prosecutor Euthyphro, by deconstructing piety:  Is it pious because it is favored by the gods or do the gods favor it because it is pious?  Of course, he leaves the question open, having rendered Euthyphro’s arguments circular—a dialectical coup which does his case no good.  Socrates yearns for “the moral regeneration of Athens,” but makes sport of any attempt to impose specific morality.

Though “corruption of the youth” may not have been in the indictment, it was certainly an aggravating factor. A guy hanging around the stoa, filling the heads of idle youth with nihilism, which today’s academics call “teaching,” would certainly be regarded as subversive and destabilizing. And, as one might infer from the review, the need for stability, at that moment in Athens, was foremost on the minds of the powers that be. 

In good times gadflies are often salutary, but in times of unrest they tend to be swatted.  Socrates was guilty of pedantry, but what got him condemned was bad timing.

Report this

By Egomet Bonmot, July 31, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Freddie Freddie Freddie… why did you write that mean-spirited Kubrick memoir?

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 31, 2009 at 5:28 am Link to this comment

As a long scholar of Plato, Xenophon, and Aristophanes, I celebrate this book review, not because the book is the most worthiest of reads, it isn’t, but because the ideas that were introduced to the world for both public contemplation and private self-reflection by that ancient culture is out in the electronic open and not kept continue to mold in the printed product of trees.  It will be most interesting to see any and all comments on this forum, and the sagacity and ignorance that will also accompany.  What fun.

Report this
Newsletter

sign up to get updates


 
 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.