A Rant by Samson Soledad . . .
How could this be happening? We are actually proving Plato’s original thesis about the degeneration of government through its five forms.
You probably never gave it much thought, but in Book VIII of his Republic, Plato thought it all through, and his conclusion about the future was not very optimistic.
In case you forgot, Plato postulated that a government would devolve through five phases- Aristocracy > Timocracy > Oligarchy > Democracy > Tyranny. We don’t need to dwell on the first three phases as our founding fathers left Europe to get away from them. They arrived to begin anew with a democratic republic. But in just 250 years, we are clearly passing from the fourth to the fifth phase. But how is this possible? Those founding fathers based our republic on the Hellenist principles that created western civilization. Did the old Greek see something we cannot see? Who is to blame? Why am I writing this letter to you?
Obviously, you journalists cannot see it, or you would have written this letter yourselves. Yes, you, journalists! What Plato saw and attempted to warn us of in his discussion of an ideal republic, was us. The idea of democracy is a powerful potion that elevates humanity into the neighborhood of the gods. But as the Plato prophesied, the fly in the ointment was us.
People! So why am I blaming the journalists and their enablers? Because you were supposed to be our best and brightest. You were the chosen ones who were supposed to expose those in power who succumbed to the dark side. Your annoying tenacity, wit, and ability to identify our failings were the qualities that were meant to keep those who even considered a dark side to “just say no” to avoid something worse. Democracy does not devolve into tyranny on its own. Human weakness is what locks in its destiny.
Specifically— corruption, arrogance and greed! It was your job to use those annoying traits you were blessed with to save us from ourselves. Your “job” was to be relentless in pursuit of our representatives, so they would not begin to “believe their own bull****.” You failed miserably!
It wasn’t your job to ignore those who shared your own delusion of what was best for us. It was your job to police our leaders and savage them with the truth so that once exposed, they would be driven into obscurity- which is worse than hell to a politician. And those of you who employ those annoying misfits, you were not supposed to allow your keepers of the faith to feed your own delusion. You sold your soul for those pieces of silver that would allow you to boast about that fur sink in your kitchen. But how many pieces of silver will it take to stop?
Your own arrogance blinds you from seeing that the end of democracy will be your end as well. Tyranny employs its own form of journalism, and you are not part of that future. And you academics- you sold your soul as well. Emboldened by the narcotic known as tenure, you soiled those young annoying minds at the altar of celebrity and the fantasy of a ruling class. And for what? A reserved parking space and a fancy curriculum vitae to mask your own insecurities? You continue to dismiss and diminish those who make up the great “unbathed” masses. We are the working stiffs who are only called upon to vote every so often to keep the game “rigged” against ourselves. We actually believe in foolish ideas like the golden rule and equal protection under the law. You were supposed to be our champions and not let those arrogant narcissists from destroying our precious ‘shining city upon a hill.’
But perhaps it’s not too late! We beg you to think back to your own beginnings. Of how you decided to be principled and be a hero of the people- of doing what was right! Your solitary job is to be that incessant attack dog of those who seek office or will do anything to play just another inning. It doesn’t matter which side of the two-party church you prefer. There is no difference between the two sides once someone achieves political office. There is only the obsession to remain there. This is our last chance to save ourselves, and it can only happen if you, the journalists, convince us to vote ‘no confidence’ to anyone who abuses our trust.
Look around! You are outraged when one of you is beheaded, or locked away in some gulag. Your very existence depends on you exposing people’s dark side to the light of day and to us, the great “unbathed.” Your time is running out!
one of the unbathed!