Monday, January 25, 2010

Philosopher Kings and the Political Spectrum

John R. Houk
© January 25, 2010

Let’s be clear: a majority of Joe (and Jane) Americans that are enfranchised voters really have little clue of the affect of public policy on their day to day lives. It is also a good guess that Joe American has little concern of how a political ideology (Left, Right, Moderate, Christian (Right and Catholic), Islamic or Humanistic) affects his/her day to day life.

As a Conservative (actually largely Neoconservative) it is easy to be critical of President Barack Hussein Obama imposition of his political agenda on the American public. Victor Davis Hanson (VDH) has termed this political imposition reminiscent of Plato’s advocating of “Philosopher Kings” to govern political society. Plato felt that a class of Philosopher Kings would be trained in such wisdom that their oligarchy rule would best benefit majority. Plato believed all classes apart from Philosopher Kings were incapable of governing themselves to a harmonious society. Hence Plato also believed if information did not benefit the well being of the other classes it was okay to lie to them to avoid the rabble rising affect. Trust me this is a simplistic explanation that leaves much out but I believe you get the gist of it.

It is time to be honest. There are many Conservatives that also wittingly or unwittingly would subscribe to the Philosopher King model. The Conservative Philosopher Kings would not emphasize the Leftist Collective model. Rather the Conservative Philosopher King would focus on less government intrusion in an individual citizen’s life and would utilize more security to enable the protection of a thrifty entrepreneurial society. Neoconservatives (more or less) would extend this protection by promoting alliances with like-minded (as possible) nations or nation-building of nations that threaten our thrifty entrepreneurial society.

Libertarians would definitely look upon the Philosopher King model with aghast because their core of governing strategy is the contractual agreement of an autonomous-individual class with security based on mutual agreement rather than supreme State oversight. One who considers himself an absolute Paleoconservative (SA Gottfried) might ephemerally denounce the Philosopher King model. And yet the Philosopher King model is exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind in establishing the propertied class as people of wisdom and thus with the enfranchisement of voting.

So getting back to VDH (who I admire incidentally), who has criticism of President Barack Hussein Obama’s image of a Philosopher King. I am of the belief the VDH criticism is valid only as such that the Obama agenda is apparently a collective-Socialism (some might even say Marxism).

What say ye?

JRH 1/25/10

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