Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friedrich Engels
Henry David Thoreau
Adolph Hitler


Benito Amilcare Andtea Mussolini


John Dewey
John Locke

Karl Heinrich Marx
John Stuart Mill
Jean Jacques Rousseau

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Vladimir (Ilich Ulov) Leninian

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Hobbes
Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

These seventeen scholars I have chosen from my academic and personal studies, over a period of as many years; world-renowned persons suitably familiar with human nature and society as commonwealths; their behavior; and their receptiveness or resistance to change from stimulus internally and externally. These men are scholars of commonweals as viable means of governing not just a few villagers, or a small town or two; but vast populations bent on having their own individual way.
To some extent unlike their religious and theocratic-minded counterparts, these intellectuals have reached toward the pragmatic, but certainly not without some reference to a Holy Book. Their comments are limited, and reasonable so, to my personal research, reading, referencing and boundary of understanding of some of these men’s most celebrated works.

Here is my lowly and certainly limited rendition of what might take place.

Jodie M. Christian Jr. (Ayyub)

Socrates: Spokesperson

As spokesperson I have you all here to discuss the state of affairs on the planet since our departure. I open the table to comments from you distinguished gentlemen, barring your party politics and, thus, the pressures from any past constituency that may have helped shape them; so that we may hear your personal views; your true philosophy with a view to reaching the practical.

It is my belief that excluding these restrictions you are more apt to voice your views unguardedly to modern mankind, with the expressed privilege and advantage not afforded our contemporaries. By that I mean Mr. Christian gave us a partial, collective and unprecedented hindsight and foresight; the tools he thinks necessary to reach the best possible conclusion for the betterment and prosperity for humankind. Shall we proceed?”

Gentlemen, before we get started I must dispatch certain rules of verbal engagement. Our facilitator is not, how do I say, erudite as ourselves. Therefore, we will limit our discussions to his restricted knowledge of our vast… repertoires.

I know this is quite unfair to us all, and I must protest such feeble premise. However, we will work with what we have: An unprecedented span of time, which will account for hindsight and farsightedness, if that should be his feeble-minded consolation to us. He also, of course, attributes high marks in his formal academic studies and his philosophy classes to qualify himself to attempt this project. I just wish he had read much more before attempting such a ludicrous idea!

Despite that, I will call your names and assign which work or works he will, or can allow us [Zeus and Hera help us] to comment:
“Plato, ‘The Republic’, ‘Crito’, ‘Symposium and Phaedrus’ and ‘The Apology’;
Aristotle, ‘Politics’;
Monsieur Machiavelli,Il Principe (The Prince)’;
Mr. Hobbes, ‘Leviathan’;
Monsieur Locke, ‘The Second Treatise on Civil Government’;
Herr Hitler, ‘Mein Kauf’;
Monsieur Jefferson, ‘The Declaration of Independence, ‘Acts for Establishing Religious Freedom’, and an assortment of seven ‘Letters’; one referring to Aristotle’s ‘Politics’;
Mr. Thoreau, ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience’;
Monsieur Mill, ‘On Liberty’;
Herr Marx, ‘Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy’;
Herr Engels, ‘Socialism: Utopian and Scientific’;
Herr Uliánov [Lenin], ‘State and Revolution’;
Herr Mussolini, ‘The Doctrine of Fascism’;
Mr. Dewey, ‘Reconstruction in Philosophy and Ethics’;
Mr. Gandhi, ‘Non-Violent Resistance; and
Monsieur Rousseau, ‘The Social Contract’.

Gentlemen, I will complete this charade, limiting my comments to works from my esteemed protégé [Plato], ‘Symposium and Phaedrus’ and Crito. In addition, for supplementary substance in behalf of Herr Hitler, I can allow within our discussion ‘A Study in Tyranny’, by Alan Bullock. Let us get started.

Messrs. Hobbes and Locke, you are perhaps more familiar with Messrs. Machiavelli, Plato, Aristotle and myself. I am the eldest, which means nothing only in the sense of a starting point of the earliest reference available to our discussion.

However, it is Mr. Dewey who has the best advantage from this point onward; he having been not only exposed to the entire collection of the works aforementioned, but is the longest living member to experience life on our planet in his professional and academic capacity. Therefore, I defer to Mr. Dewey, and turn the remainder of our discussion as spokesperson and facilitator over to him. Mr. Dewey?                         

John Dewey: Incumbent Spokesperson

Thank you my illustrious Socrates. It is an honor and a luxury to be in the company of such great men, great personalities over such a span of time. And although our curator and warden Mr. Christian can only give us what he has studied himself, which is a sight more than the average layman or citizen, we shall proceed with that.

A very wise former spokesperson you are my learned colleague Socrates, in that you recognize at the very least, the culmination of many supposed valid and valued philosophies at our disposal and at my command; the philosophy and ethics, though fragmented it may be, of everyone present.

However, I choose to lead the discussion with the term disposal; which is my prerogative as spokesperson and longest living scholar at the table. My reasoning in disposing of philosophy and ethics instead of taking command of them is what I propose to put to the table for discussion. I intend to pull no punches and know that there are no thin skins among us. Thus, we will continue.

Social philosophy that promulgates the natural idea of society is defective. There is no faultless idea of the state, or the individual; that one concept of state or one concept of an individual fits all states and individuals. This ideology has led to, and will continue to lead to unchecked oppression of varied states and the demise of a host of groups of people, and individuals.

The states and individuals I refer to do not fit the blanket concept that is accepted by the status quo of what a state and an individual should be. Are there any comments?”

Vladimir (Ilich Uliánov) Lenin

“I agree with no reservation Herr Dewey! An organic, or status quo state is an instrument for the exploitation of the oppressed class.

“I know which states and which individuals you refer to my esteemed colleague and realist; and therein lies the inevitable progression from capitalism to communism.

“But, party politics aside, Herren Engels and Marx will agree with me that society, in its further development, produces how do you say Herr Hobbes, the leviathan; the Goliath, and has much need of a slayer. No?”
                     Thomas   Hobbes

However, except, of course, in times of war with other states. In such times of distress from without one would be in want of the biggest, meanest, and nastiest ‘monster’ a state could conjure up or have conjured up for them, on their side of course. With Goliath, as you will Herr Lenin, except for divine intervention and David, the Philistines were before and would have been long after, masters of their own fate as a nation.

The trouble, however, with winning is returning the monster to its cage, or at least keeping monarchial power at bay in times of peace. No one seems to factor in the expenditure and adjudicate of the damned caging! Pity.
                     Adolph Hitler

Cages? Cages you say? I must protest such bourgeois jargon. Society is in no need of any cages. What society needs are strong, competent leadership, complete allegiance, and boldness - audacity! None of these noble attributes existed collectively among those cowardly Philistines, none whatsoever!

You must know that Goliath was only wounded from the stone hurled by that courageous young lad David.  Those wretched leaders stood by in utter fear and watched as that brave boy finished him off, cowering at the demise of one lone soldier. I would have sacked ten of my generals in lieu one of him (David). God Himself wrenched victory from the Philistines, and well so. Had they the competent leadership necessary for a swift victory they would have justly been the masters of their own fate. Dereliction of duty is what those sops were guilty of, and bribery!   

Evidence proves the Philistines were an advanced culture, which had technological, military, and artistic superiority over their Israeli… neighbors.

There are no monsters to be caged except the monsters of university, who teach such rubbish as an uncontrollable society, in peace or war. What a successful society needs is emotional and physical competence, unfailing allegiance, and most fundamentally - AUDACITY!”
                     Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli
Herr Hitler, I presume. I must point out that after the demise of Goliath - which is quite insignificant; the same of Saul, a true despot - had the King of the Philistines procured the proper alliances with David and the Holy Man of the Israelites [Samuel] there would not be much left for him to do to secure a bloodless coup of the Hebrews.

With David installed as high governor over his people, the assassination of Samuel if necessary, no one would doubt or contest the ensuing sovereignty of the King of the Philistines over southwest Palestine and other, more broader areas; which, by the way would be limited only by the kings’ imagination.
If the ‘Holy Books’ can be trusted to give an accurate account, David, when hungry, fed himself and his soldiers with ‘holy’ bread from the ‘sacred’ table, and garnered any weapons available to protect himself under duress. This is proof-positive that he was a practical man.

Therefore, it is, in my expressed judgment, highly likely that if when informed of an unfortunate assassination of Samuel, he would have certainly made the necessary inquires, and, arrested the usual suspects. Nevertheless, in due course he would have proceeded for the safety and prosperity of his people - like any other good Don.

Gentlemen… do not look so shocked. Almost by definition, men murder prophets throughout our history… for a great deal less.
Therefore, Herr Hitler, your premise is more than plausible. I salute your reckoning.” 
             John Stuart Mill

Gentlemen, it is quite apparent that the demise of any state or commonwealth seems to be a result of variables included or omitted from the equation, and the manner in which those variables are invested. Two are the administration of law and the allowances of rights, hence, an endless and unmethodical transfer of… power! 

Therefore, I suggest methods of inductive and deductive reasoning, by way of a vote for or against a variable, a variable that exists or one that is lacking from the present state of affairs, that is, as of 1952 if I understand our limitations correctly.

I suggest using this methodology for two reasons. Firstly, they are both reasonable and impersonal means of dispatching our duties. Deductively we can safely manage most arguments from sound, known premises. On the other hand, we can reason inductively for those items or circumstances where we have limited experience but need to draw a conclusion.         

Secondly, construct the most credible and cognitive mode of common living possible. Our guidelines and goal must remain before us, which are: One, the absence of party politics, which civilly permit tendering our empirical and honest beliefs. Two, include the whole of mankind in our pursuit for prosperity, with a view to his ultimate betterment.

I remind you, gentlemen, that we are amiably allowed the gifts of hindsight and foresight not unlike prophets. However, like Moses, we will not enjoy our final product, but will submit the result of our best effort. Therefore, I implore you to vote affirmatively to my proposal. Otherwise, we shall be here several lifetimes!”

                 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

 If I may interject, my good counselor; it has all been done previously. In addition, I submit this for consideration: God Himself has allowed an evolving of affairs in matters. Not only of government and the administration of such, but has also permitted the same of individual human endeavors: Whether to live collectively or as a recluse; to think and to choose, even wrongly if that be the case; to suffer unjustly or by ones own fault, and yet, optimistically with a view to reparation. What additional gift we should beg is…insight! Believe me when I say, I do not speak in the realm of religion, but in the realm of the practical and the possible.

Whereas, fittingly, there exists no faultless means of our testing what we suppose a state and an individual should be. However, we must painstakingly endeavor to understand our progression, gentlemen; understand ourselves and hope that it is advancement and not a repetition in madness.”

Nonetheless, I will be honored to attempt the exercise in the manner you state, Mr. Mill. Therefore, I cast my vote in favor of your methodology.”
 “Aye for Mill, say Hobbes.”
    “Aye to John, from Jefferson.”
    “Ja, Herr Mill, from Herr Hitler.”
 “Né, Aristotle.”
 “Da, Lenin.”
 “D'accord, de bonne grâce, from Rousseau.”

...Therefore, so it went until all were unanimous.

Let it stand that Mr. Mills methodology, of deductive and inductive reasoning, be the means of ratifying a point of value to: construct the most credible and cognitive mode of common living possible for the whole of mankind.

Mr. Gandhi, your point is well taken, and it is my intent as regulator to keep to the goal and guidelines – so that something useful can come out of all this.