Thursday, July 28, 2016
The Philosopher King (A Letter to a Local Newspaper Editor)
The Philosopher King an idea rooted in in antiquity which advocates for a strong and enlightened leader to emerge from the populace and do away with social unrest, moral emptiness and failed bureaucracy of (with respect to when this idea was formulated, let's say the Greek) social order and instead, promote a culture of unity (attained through uniting in the name of suppressing of overreaching/imperialist nations states, Persia in the case of the ancient Greeks), while promoting science and art as the new gold standard of society.
Proposed and refined by Plato, then put into practice by Philip of Macedonia who later, passed his ideas and empire down to his son, Alexander then Great (an esteemed pupil of Aristotle). Alexander embodied this ideas more than most. At its height, Alexander’s borders encompassed over 3/4 of the known world and his influence stretched (and continues to stretch) even further.
The idea of the Philosopher King struck a special chord with me after first hearing about it upon happenstance in an ancient history course during my university days. The idea that the great and just using their gifts to create a culture which fosters further greatness is an admirable (albeit increasingly far-fetched given today’s political climate) one.
Some of my other pieces encouraging readers to deconstruct the media, the legitimacy of law and ethics as well as ideology itself in the name of increasing personal freedom may have seemed long winded and cynical but today, I offer hope.
I have one point of contention with Plato. I do not believe that the Philosopher King need be limited to a single great leader. If we make a genuine effort to secure greatness for ourselves as individuals through the practice of radical transgression against established ideas, then we shall be great and spread our new power and vigor across the world much as the heroes of the ancient world did through their conquest(s). Putting aside our egotism, our fixation with misfortune and our blind subservience to institutions will allow each of is to be first among equals in a diverse army of Philosopher Kings. The road to this newfound freedom has many twists and turns. Much that we hold as sacred in this day and age will have to be looked at quite critically, for some it will be painful but we will be all the better for it.
There is growing discontent from the both the Left and Right regarding the state not just the state as in statism (government) but the state of affairs as a whole. Our esteemed leaders, our police and politicians have proven time and time again that they are at best incompetent and at worst, evil. Knowing (or at the very least, sensing) this, I saythat we have sat idle at the crossroads for far too long. The (post) modern age has given us all the tools we need to build a freer, more united society in which the true "Anarchs" (to paraphrase Ernst Junger), have cast off their shackles and unlock the potential of all citizenry to exert their purpose and power on a world that the overwhelming majority agree, needs it… We don’t need another Alexander the Great. We simply need great hearts and great minds.