Freedom’s Progress?: A History of Political Thought, by Gerard Casey

If I wished to punish a province, I would have it governed by philosophers.
–        Frederick the Great

Plato would disagree – to summarize, a philosopher should lead the polity, ensuring that the subjects get what is good for them, whether they know it or not.  It is the authority of the expert.  In many ways government since the Enlightenment (both tyrannical and relatively liberal) has carried this mantle.

I have previously written something on Plato’s philosophy (forms, etc.), so I will not cover similar ground here.  However, there are several points raised in Casey’s account that are worthy of exploration.

Casey describes Plato’s basic philosophical outlook: “…virtue is primarily a matter of knowledge…no one knowingly does wrong…”  I have stared at these words, read these over and over.  I cannot think of the words to describe my reaction.  To be clear, my reaction is negative.

Plato is credited with the idea of “the noble lie” – keep the enemies guessing and keep the commoners loyal and in their place.  Consider the myths that are intended to hold together a nation – not even a nation-state, just a nation.  These exist for every population that considers itself a nation.

Freedomu2019s Progress…
Gerard Casey
Best Price: $87.03
Buy New $73.47
(as of 06:15 EDT – Details)

Casey offers a typology from C.D.C Reeve, further expanding on this point.

–        You have a false ideology if you believe that you live in a

You can read the rest of this article at: