The Noble Lie

In “The Republic” Around 375 BCE, Plato addressed justice in general terms. in terms of a just government, and of a just man.

In Book III, Socrates proposes the “Noble Lie.” Oversimplifying the idea, it is a Myth (lie) that would have a positive effect on society.

Perfecting society

Much like today, justice is not defined in “The Republic” and as a result it appears to be circumstantial. What would be just in one city-state might not be in another.

Much like today, the “Noble Lie” identifies a path and supports the particular idea of justice currently in vogue.

Much like today, justice is a highly regarded societal value even though it is undefinable and application of its ideas can be arbitrary.

Unlike Greece in the time of Plato and Socrates, today the narrative of choice can be presented very simply by social media and corporate media in support of the governing authority.

Unlike in Greece, today objections are easily suppressed.

Unlike in Greece, today history is editable. Previous versions of the narrative can be amended so as to appear they never existed.

The questions

Do the promoters of today’s narrative have any interest in perfecting the idea of justice and the city-state?

Are they instead seeking only power they control?

Is the idea of governments responding to the expressed wants of the governed obsolete?

Is the current expression of the narrative more like a graduate level seminar, where the idea is to discuss the problem, create a sound theoretical solution, then go have lattes?

Who pays if they are wrong? Have we considered Thomas Sowell’s point, “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

The takeaway

Maybe I have missed a lot. Maybe the current approach makes some sense. I don’t see it yet, and I have had no one explain it to me using evidence and sound reasoning.

What I do see is that we have fallen into the ideological trap of “Never let a crisis go to waste.” and “The persuasion of power will solve the situation” In a more cynical version I see intellectuals influencing the changes in support of an ideology diametrically opposed to the one that made North America and Western Europe successful.

Let us all recall Jimmy Carter advisor, the late Bert Lance, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Sound advice.

I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email

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