Take a moment and notice your visceral response to the question: “Are you primitive or sophisticated?”
The Cat’s in the Bag
We’re going to go for a stroll through our cultural programming, ancient history and things we talk about all the time, like “democracy,” seen from their roots. Our aim is to contextualize our experience in “the long game” that our lives and impressions unfold in, for, as Ludwig Feuerbach said, “centuries in individual life are days in the life of humanity,” and we are not as far as we imagine from the people and events which set us upon our present course of perceiving reality – or of hardly perceiving it at all.
Take your time and you might catch, or comprehend ( from the Latin com: “with, in the presence of”+ prehendere: “to catch, to grasp”) something surprising. To better understand prehendere it may help to know that we have prehensile thumbs that allow us to grasp, and also to create.
If you explore this all the way, your whole life will change in profound ways and in the direction you, rather than someone else, choose. Rest assured, the overwhelming majority of us are not primitive, we are sophisticated. Like most sophisticates, we have an impression of what that means that’s 180 degrees from what the actual sense the word points to. Why?
Primitive or Sophisticated?
To understand whether we are primitive or sophisticated, it helps to recognize that we are using a word, primitive whose roots and sense are indicated by the Latin primus (first) + -tivo (active or passive relationship). But we have been deeply conditioned to ignore the sense of this word, and the possibilities of a relationship to Life that it indicates. Instead we think that “primitive” is “brutish and crude.” It is anything but.
The primitive relationship to the world is one that sees, first, the essential and primary active and passive realities and relationships of what comes first. The primitive conscience (Latin con: “with, in the presence of, together with” + science: “knowing”) knows-with, knows-in-the-Presence-of and together-with first realities. It is not piling on a bunch of mystical nonsense to obscure its Attention to the Real.
If you want to “live better,” for example, a primitive consciousness, a Natural Intelligence that still knows-in-relationship-to-first principles would know that we’d have to first examine such realities as the reality of what happens to water in our current way of living.
The sophisticated way of relating to the world, on the other hand, is quite different. Since the sophisticated mind-set is almost entirely oblivious to the foundational and essential nature of reality, including to the sense of its very own pretense of “being sophisticated,” understanding sophistication is going to require a little historical journey to Classical Greece, where the sophisticated mind-set was perfected to the point that most moderns are quite proud to consider themselves sophisticated – and certainly are – and the condition of the water all around us proves it: we are oblivious to first principles.
Greece is in Afro-Eurasia. The Greeks were great seafarers, fishermen, philosophers, merchants and warriors. A trip to Egypt or Spain, to Turkey or even India formed a part of the reality of many Greek fishing and merchant families. When we look at the map we begin to appreciate that the Mediterranean is an Afro-Eurasian world.The Greeks treasured freedom, even for the common man. They treasured the companionship of free people and the sort of society that arises when free, indigenous Greek people (the demoi) exercised their power-to-be-self-ruled and NOT ruled by others, including their fellow free men. This was known as kratos, the power to self-rule, the power of mastery upon which the lives of any free people, plant or animal are built.
Democracy was the art and science of creating a society of self-ruling free men, it was not a form of “majoritarian mob rule” as we have been led to believe. What we call “democracy” today is its perfect antithesis. It is an empire of slaves who refuse self-mastery and are led by anyone who panders to their childish sense of entitlement and their insistent avoidance of any personal responsibility.
Free men are under their own dominion and not under the thumb of psychopathic politicians or “majorities” who vote themselves into any benefit someone else will pay for. That is not democracy, as the free Greeks practiced it. Democracy was not a “form of government.” Not by a long shot. It was a society of self-governing people, local, rooted in very small localities and communities of what are known as “city-states,” but would more appropriately be considered as mutually response-able and related people.
Spiritual AdulthoodFor the Greeks, as with most Natural and Free Peoples worldwide, freedom was a quality of spiritually adult, lucid and response-able relationship to being ALIVE, of caring and of staying free. No one can give you freedom.
Free people free themselves. It definitely helps to have guidance to learn how to do that for ourselves and those we love. This is precisely why youths were initiated into becoming self-leading people, in service to a community of capital-P People, the demoi.
Freedom is a quality of BEING. You can only BE free by actively living in a way that is freeing, and truly loving, of your BEING and of those whom you say you “love.” Freedom, as understood by free people, necessarily implies a community of AWARE, response-ABLE , and functional adults. Nobody else “gives” an adult freedom. It’s a response-ability, a capacity and not some mystico-linguistic “right” floating around in some mystical ether.
As we saw earlier, the word “free” comes from the Germanic frei: “to free, to love, to court, to woo.” To BE free one has to love oneself, and one’s loved ones, enough to take the Journey to Excellence that BEING FREE implies.
To Educate is to Lead Out: Of What?
Without the help of a tutor to educate us in the Arts and Sciences of freeing ourselves, taking possession of ourselves and entering into a self-led, coherent, response-able relationship to reality can be very challenging. Even one who was born a slave and whose master transferred ownership of his body back to him, without mastering the liberal arts – or the arts of the free – would still remain in the slave’s relationship to Reality.
Children, and the developmentally incomplete, avoid freedom because it comes hand-in-hand with responsibility. There’s no longer “Mommy, Daddy, Master or President” who’s responsible to do for you what you can learn to do for yourself or whom you can blame for what happens to your world.
Without true education, we effectively remain slaves, a person who lives under somebody else’s will and mastery. We increase in sophistication while ignoring primary reality. We “believe” instead of noticing. We “advance” while ignoring primary realities. Almost none of us have been educated, and almost all of us think we have.
Instead we got instruction, which was the destruction and replacement of our Natural Intelligence with a whole structural implant.
A child, or other non-initiated person, who is never educated, a word from the Latin ex: “from inside to outside” + ducere: “to lead”, hasn’t been led out of the relationship of dependency and of mystification to reality and responsibility of children and slaves – and yet remains very sophisticated, even full of “knowledge” conveyed by “experts” who he esteems as far more “believable” than himself.
In the modern world, the education of self-freeing people, known as “liberal education,” was very clearly, intentionally and effectively eliminated so as to alter the fabric of the society to create a useful “industrial” citizen, a “machined man.” Here’s what United States President Woodrow Wilson had to say:
“We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class of necessity in every society, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.”
― Woodrow Wilson
Who “we” is, in this quote by the man who ran against the idea of a central bank and then signed the Federal Reserve Act into law, is a question that it takes a liberal education to discover, precisely the kind of education Wilson eliminated.
A child, quite reasonably, expects someone with an adult relationship to life to be more interested in, and capable of, taking action for the child’s well-being than the child himself is capable of. Citizens, in their child-like credulity, think that people in government are there “to serve them,” because “that’s what they were told.”
An adult enters into a fully response-able relationship to the entirety of his lived reality.
Slaves do not Master Themselves
Classical Greece had a very high percentage of free people: about 18%. The remaining 82% were people in bondage. These were people who were not in possession of themselves, incapable of self-mastery. They were incapable of leading their own lives skillfully, and thus lived at the expense of others, under the mastery of others.
Had the slaves of ancient Greece had the wherewithal to take possession of themselves, they wouldn’t have remained the slaves of people whom they outnumbered by more than five to one. They were human resources to be employed and made use of under another person’s will. That is the life of a slave.
“One day while reviewing his troops in Pomerania, [Frederick] asked the old Prince d’Anhalt what he admired most about the scene they saw before them. He said he admired the fine appearance of the men and the perfection of their drill movements. Frederick got much closer to the point. He was astonished they could both be perfectly safe surrounded by 60,000 men who were their irreconcilable enemies. Furthermore, though each soldier had more strength, and was better armed than both of them, they all trembled in their King’s presence. Such fear, he concluded, was the wonderful effect of order, vigilance and determination.” Memoirs and Papers of Sir Andrew Mitchell; Andrew Bisset, editor; London, 1850, p 99, as quoted in Hohenzollern: Tragic Private Lives by Douglas Norman Parker, Melbourne, Australia.
A slave does not live under his or her own WILL, nor has he learned how to take possession of his will. Instead of knowledge, capacity and WILL, slaves have beliefs, hopes, wants, demands and skills in completing tasks, even very complex ones that require very high levels of preparation and intelligence. They even have “rights,” always given or taken away by their masters and perhaps you are noticing that in modern life they are rapidly being taken away. The slaves, in the meanwhile, will give very reasonable explanations for why this is necessary, and how they are still “free.” “Free,” in the life of a modern slave, is another brand name.
The Culture of Convenience
Slavery is convenient. It comes with guarantees that freedom doesn’t offer. Many slaves in classical Greece lived very well. Slaves were also free of the response-abilities of the free. Housing was guaranteed. Food was guaranteed and slaves didn’t even need to decide what to do with one’s day or how to become part of a greater purpose. All that is on the Master’s tab, so to speak. A slave with a highly-skilled master might participate in a much more interesting life than on his own.
“For men in a state of freedom had thatch for their shelter, while slavery dwells beneath marble and gold.” ~ Seneca
Slavery is not just a “good-bad” proposition, like our so-called “schooling” drummed into our heads would have us believe. By the way, only slaves have their “schooling” drummed into their heads through repetition and parroting other people’s answers. The free are led to master learning by directing their attention to reality without someone else leading them by the nose.
We never learn that a slave’s dream is not freedom, but the opportunity to lord it over another slave. The institution of slavery is held together, not by slave masters outnumbered more than five to one by his slaves back then, and millions to one today. The slaves themselves consolidate the whole “kiss up, kick down” culture of slavery by enslaving each other in slavish relationships , starting with their children.
We conveniently ignore the deeper and more subtle realities of slavery, especially as practiced in the modern world, the so-called “free” world.
Any free Greek from the classical era coming into our modern world today would be stunned to discover a society where more than 99.9% of the population are functional slaves yet pretend to live in “democracies.” Whether he would take this farce as laughable or horrifying or some strange mixture of both is something I often wonder. But what he would understand is how this situation came to be. Its seeds were already sown several thousand years ago. He would also see the cunning of creating a society where slaves get to vote themselves deeper and deeper into slavery.
Many of you read the paragraph where I said, “Classical Greece had a very high percentage of free people: about 18%,” and most of you will think, “NO! That’s a very low percentage.”
Yet you live in a society whose fabric is composed of 99.99% people who have no real connection to land, to community, who have no history, who do not even speak the language of their forebears only three generations back, who toil most hours of their day to pay off debts that were incurred, not only by you personally, but by those who rule you.
The psychopaths who rule and herd you allow you to call yourselves “free,” knowing full well that almost none of you will recognize your enslavement, much less take the long road back to the response-abilities of the free. Exceedingly few of you will do the hard work and study required of those who would free themselves.
Free people, in all times and cultures, are people who free themselves whereas, as Ezra Pound put it:
“A slave is one who waits for someone else to free him.”
In eight years of traveling around the world I have personally met only one person of European descent doing that work and study. I have met a number of people indigenous to the Americas doing that work, in a real way.
Slavery is not a matter of chains. It is a relationship to ourselves, each other and the world.
To many “modern” people this may sound shocking. The art and science of systematically, even enjoyably, enslaving entire populations, are at the heart of how modern societies are designed. Let’s get oriented with a few quotes:
“Scientific societies are as yet in their infancy. . . . It is to be expected that advances in physiology and psychology will give governments much more control over individual mentality than they now have even in totalitarian countries. Fichte laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished.
Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible.”–—Bertrand Russell,1953 (bold italics added)
“Education in a scientific society may, I think, be best conceived after the analogy of the education provided by the Jesuits. The Jesuits provided one sort of education for the boys who were to become ordinary men of the world, and another for those who were to become members of the Society of Jesus. In like manner, the scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women, and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless, and contented. Of these qualities probably contentment will be considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the researches of psycho-analysis, behaviourism, and biochemistry will be brought into play.” –Bertrand Russell. Read the book online here…[part 3, XIV, Education in a Scientific Society p.251] (bold italics added)
Now we return to Greece, after establishing a little bit of the relevance of our current topic to how “scientific power” is being perfected today. You will get the relevance as we go through this series.
The dream of children and slaves is to lord it over and enslave another, to live at somebody else’s expense and to avoid the challenge of responsibility and mastery.
Slaves ask much more of others than they will ever offer themselves.
As for freedom, it may be helpful to our modern, sophisticated understanding to at least get a grasp of the sense of being sophisticated. After all, the title of this essay asks “are you primitive or sophisticated?”
In the ancient Greek understanding, slaves were not seen as naturally inferior to their masters. They were seen as people who refused or were refused, or were developmentally incapable of mastering the tools to becoming spiritually and functionally adult.
There are tremendous advantages to having someone else be responsible for our lives. The ancient world of Afro-Eurasia, just like our modern world, was inundated with roving populations of displaced, conquered, traumatized, and captured people sold into bondage and systematically traumatized and violated so that they would become psychologically and intellectually, as well as physically defenseless.
Beyond the blinders of false morality
In the programming of the modern sophisticated mind-set, we think of slavery as “wrong.” We don’t think of the mechanisms by which slavery, as a permanent state of dependence on another for one’s existence and freedom, was brought about and has been generalized today.
The ancient Greeks, and many other indigenous people all around the world, had a different grasp of the nature of being a slave. Slavery is a state of being and relating: a slave has no constructive use for himself! He needs someone else to use him.
This is not accusatory, it is structural. If you wonder how, please read Wealth LIVES. A slave cannot lead himself into a constructive way of living, of learning, of gaining ability and caring fully. This is often the result of multi-generational physical, emotional and cultural trauma. Today, however, the assault has been extended to our nutrition, fluoridation of water, mass media programming, and exploiting every means to shape a human resource who is useful but “not too smart for their master’s good.”
Many of the ancient Greek free people wanted nothing to do with slaves. They didn’t want them in their households and they didn’t engage with them except, perhaps, in the marketplace where they might be selling their masters’ goods. Many felt that to own slaves and to live in their company made one somewhat of a slave, as well.
Nevertheless, the Greek homelands were being inundated by droves of displaced peoples seeking food, shelter, or being bought and sold in bondage, and many free and indigenous Greeks had a more generous attitude. They took slaves in and tried to make some use of them that would justify the expense of buying and maintaining them. Many slaves led quite comfortable lives while simultaneously refusing, or incapable of learning how, or deprived of the means of learning how to BE free, which is to say, response-able for themselves. Others led lives of extreme brutality.
In ancient Greece there was tremendous mobility between the status of free and bonded people. Many masters would initiate their slaves into self-mastery, into taking possession of their faculties and will. Once they proved capable of actually taking possession of their spiritual, or relational, conscious selves, they would then convey ownership of their bodily self to the newly-freed slave.
This carried enormous responsibility for the master and could easily put him and his descendants in grave peril, including converting a master into a slave. The newly-freed slave, and his descendants, remained the legal responsibility and liability of his former master, and his descendants, for three generations. Any debts incurred or crimes committed by the ex-slave, or his descendants, would remain the obligation and responsibility of the former master and his descendants for three generations!
To BE free, in Classical Greece, was not a “right” or simply some legal “status.” It was a spiritual condition of being self-owned, self-led and responsible, not only to oneself, but to a greater society of free people. That condition is not granted by another person: one has to acquire the ability to free oneself and to contribute to others. One has to acquire mastery.
Among the Classical Greeks, therefore, neither owning slaves nor freeing them was a “good deal,” which is why many free Greeks did not want to have slaves. The errors or crimes committed by slaves were the liability of their masters, and remained the liability of that master, and the next two generations of his descendants, even after the slaves had been freed . Three generations had to prove their capacity, not only for self-mastery but for giving birth to, and for raising self-mastering people.
Many free Greeks became slaves through the actions of their own slaves, for which they were responsible.Classical Greek democracies were societies of self-mastering people, societies founded on a notion of freedom predicated on self-mastery and responsibility. Unfortunately, the Greek city-states were also geographically situated at the crossroads of Afro-Eurasia, and the mass migrations of displaced peoples.
Many people, including some ill-informed American Indian commentators, scoff at the notion that “only landowners” could vote in Greek democracies. They fail to investigate any further than the cheap sloganeering used by current, so-called “democracies” today, which are actually the perfect opposite of how societies of self-ruling people organize themselves.
“Landowners” amounts to “indigenous, local” people. These “landowners” were mostly craftsmen and farmers, striving to maintain their ancient and enduring life ways in the midst of huge population and climate dynamics affecting the whole of Afro-Eurasia. Powerful, strong, dynamic nomadic and pastoral peoples were also sweeping down from the northern parts of the Eurasian continent, and conquered, overtook and often displaced already-stupefied and cowed “grass-eating people.”
In the modern “citizen-slave” stupefaction masquerading as “education” we are deeply programmed to think of Europe, Asia and Africa as separate “continents.” Europe and Asia are the same continent. In the human reality of the last 50,000 years, aside from a ferry ride across the Bosphorus Straits at Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey today) and the Nile, in Egypt, it was common for the great Greek philosophers, like Pythagoras, to go on pilgrimage, by boat or on foot, to spend years learning with the scholars and initiates of ancient Egypt, in Africa, and vice-versa.The human reality of the Mediterranean world was very much an Afro-Eurasian reality, with nothing to protect the small, classical Greek city-states from whatever other interests were roaming about the countryside and waters that surrounded them, in pursuit of, or escape from, whatever fortune had befallen and awaited them.
The Classical Greeks did everything in their power to avoid having their society degenerate into a society of slaves. Functional slave anti-societies are precisely what the falsely called modern “democracies” have become: societies were there are no demoi (free people) and hardly anyone has even the most remote idea of what kratos (the art of self-mastery) is.
What we call modern “democracies” are increasingly revealing themselves as what they are: societies where a minuscule and psychopathic minority leads and decides for a manipulable majority like a herd, through mental manipulation, institutionalized instruction, deceptive language, financial fraud and wholesale criminality.
“Under the relentless thrust of accelerating over-population and increasing over-organization, and by means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature; and quaint old forms—elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the rest—will remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial—but democracy and freedom in a strictly Pickwickian sense. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit.” -Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (bold italics added)
BEING FREE was not the result of claiming some “right” that we modern sophisticates consider somebody “owes” us. It was a skill one had to gain, master and exercise on our own and on behalf of our loved ones. The reality of freedom and slavery is quite simple:
We either master ourselves or somebody else will.
The master liberating his slave in classical Greece had to ensure that his ex-slave had achieved sufficient mastery over his conscience, his capacity to orient in reality, to engage constructively in his society and to guide his children into mature and response-able engagement with life, so that the freed slave, and his descendants, would NOT become a burden to the general society and begin to bankrupt others with their carelessness and incapacity.
Freedom is Response-Ability
Many free people were bankrupted and entered into bondage because of the expense of paying the debts of former slaves and/or of their descendants, freed by their father or grand-father. In that same way, and for very similar reasons, people were responsible, in those societies, for the debts and crimes of their children. The obligation of teaching children how to be free and live free, which, necessarily, means responsibly and capably, and to do the same for any slaves who were going to be set free, by being taught how to be free, had a very heavy weight.
People were responsible for those they brought into their households and their participation in the greater community. The Greeks valued a society composed of free, skilled, aware, response-able people. At the same time, in this era of small city-states, a society of sloppy, careless people would easily get overrun militarily and sold off to others.
Freedom had a price. That cost was very present in the minds of the inhabitants of classical Greece at the crossroads of Afro-Eurasia. They were surrounded by all kinds of neighboring peoples, known to them for millenia, who had gotten conquered and sold into bondage.
Consider for a moment the numbers of wars with different tribes, like the Spartans, in that era. Being alive and being adult was NOT a half-ass, half-hearted proposition that everyone and anyone was at liberty to slop their way through “in their own way.” You either got oriented and skilled or your country was taken and you and your people enslaved; just like today. Westerners have been effectively enslaved for over 2000 years. We’ve institutionalized and perfected slavery to superb levels of comfort, incoherence, irresponsibility and degeneracy.
Philosophy is not an armchair sport
For the Greeks, philosophy, from the Greek philo: “loving” + sophia: “knowledge, wisdom”, or “the love of wisdom,” which is knowing the condition of the ways, was not some abstract, intellectual proposition. It was very concrete and consequent, determining whether one thrived at home, with one’s people, or got shipped off and sold in some foreign land.
Slaves have “rights”. The Free have capacities and responsibilities.
“Freedom” was not a “right” any idiot could claim at somebody else’s expense. Idiot comes from the Greek idios: “self”. An idiot is someone who is self-absorbed and doesn’t want to know about anything outside of his own benefit. It is very much a Greek concept and the concept of an indigenous community of self-ruling people who have to be aware of the concerns of others. In Greek life an idiot is someone who pursues his private interests without regard for the greater community. An idiotes is “self-referent,” as most people in much of the West are. It is a philosophical impossibility to have a democracy of idiots.
In Nature a deer does not have a “right to life,” a “right to freedom” floating in some mystical ether with her name on it. What she does have are natural capacities and response-abilities, which are hers to activate. If she’s sloppy, she’s lunch for the Panther. Either the Deer pays attention and acts, or it doesn’t. It lives in the excellence of its capacity or it lives in base mediocrity, but not for long. The Panther is the Guardian of the Deer’s Excellence and Vitality, just as the Deer are the Guardians and Protectors of the Panther’s Excellence and Vitality. The Web of Life is woven of a mutuality of response-abilities and excellencies.
Freedom is the capacity to live autonomously and RESPONSE-ABLY.
Slavery is the refusal to acquire and cultivate that capacity.
That applies to humans as much as to a deer. Whether or not that fits with your sophisticated, modern worldview, my invitation is to actually VIEW your world and understand it from its Natural reality.
The Nature of things is revealed by their NATURE.
Observe. Pay Attention.
We’ve just laid a little bit of a panorama on a few aspects of the socio-cultural fabric of ancient Greece. Let’s delve more deeply into what’s required for a child, or a slave, both dependents, to take possession of their faculties and, thus, become free.
All Free Peoples provide initiation for their adolescents to become conscious and capable adults, so that they can BE free and care for themselves and their coming generations FULLY. That initiation is educative, which, as we saw in Journey Out and Back, means “to lead out”. But to lead out of what?
The Initiation of Free People starts with closely paying attention to initial realities, to what we call the primitive, the primary relationships out of which Life weaves itself.
Slaves also provide initiation for their children, but of a totally different nature. The end result is they spend their lives believing, hoping, praying and always begging, protesting and demonstrating for others “in power” to give them what they want while they refuse to realize their own power and coherence. Slaves call this religion, from the Latin re: “again, once more” + ligare: “to tie up.” With religion slaves get mystified, indoctrinated, and “tied up,” again, instead of realized. Slaves become sophisticated. Their initiation leads them to believe all kinds of cosmic theories about things they never experienced nor grasp the foundations of. They get mystified.
Slaves are taught “advanced knowledge,” without ever mastering the foundational and primitive skills that allow one’s learning to proceed coherently.
Ph.D.: Piling it High and Deep
Instruction, which now gets called “education,” in all sophisticated cultures, is its perfect opposite. The word comes from the Latin int: “to penetrate, to go from outside to inside” + struere: “to heap up, to pile up,” is a literal “penetrating of the instructee with a pile of information.”
Consider that all of your Life you have gone further and further into something in an additive and refining process. Day by day you add, subtract, memorize, redefine inside of something. What are you inside of? What would the education of the free, or the authentic liberal education, lead you outside of?
In the process of discovering that you will also discover the Nature of how you are primitive or sophisticated.
Deep Freedom Now is dedicated to those who love themselves sufficiently to free their Aliveness, their Vitality, their Brilliance, their Capacity and their Response-Ability. It is dedicated to aspirants to Spiritual Adulthood, on that Journey Out and Back into Present-Oriented, Ancestrally-Contextualized and Response-Able Adulthood Rooted in That-Which-Lives.
This article is Part 1 of a two-part series.
In Part 2 we are going to discover how a gang of “philosophical guns-for-hire” in Classical Greece subverted the liberal education that awakens our capacity to free and orient ourselves from the primary and initial realities to the exceedingly complex. These “philosophical gangsters” took the most precious legacy of the free Greeks and subverted it into its perfect opposite. They perfected slavery with the tools for freedom and were despised by many free Greeks for what they did. They created a perfect slave who is convinced, not only that he is free, but that he has a “right” not only to be enslaved, but to claim more and more “rights” which make him more and more of a slave.
The Greeks ended up enslaved by a means they never anticipated: they got enslaved by psychopaths who manipulated slaves and created a “democracy of slaves,” where slaves got to vote themselves into greater and greater states of dependency. We remain in this kind of culture today. We’re going to take our time with this one. If you get it you will have a very different outlook on your entire world, and your response-abilities.
In our next article we will discover who the Sophists were and how they transformed brute slavery into an infinitely-perfectable and sophisticated art and science of binding people, not with chains, but with impressions.
Until you read Part 2, there’s more that you can do with this article. Pay attention to what this article points to in reality, explore further and TRACK out the themes here on your own. Pay attention to your reactions and objections to what you read here and then investigate on your own. Do you seek out the primary realities of what you read, or do you have a bunch of “pre-loaded reactions” that get triggered when you read words and ideas that contradict your own?
Recall, the question we are exploring is “are you primitive or sophisticated?” We will explore the difference further in Part Two where we introduce the philosophical crime gang known as the Sophists whose cunning, and stunning, legacy continues, a thousand times magnified, all the way to today. In Part Three we are going to discover, in very practical terms, how the Sophists do their work in the modern “democracies” (sic.) of slaves. If you’d like to read Parts Two and Three, sign up for our newsletter in the blue box below.
Have a Good Journey! Pay Attention! Lead your Learning! Free people free themselves. Slaves think someone else is going to do it for them, or that they can somehow passively consume their way to freedom.
To delve more deeply into the fascinating history of the Sophists, we invite you to read the next article in this series “Sophists Shape the Sophisticated”.
Which is Way-Finding
That We May Live the Life We Love
And Love the Life We Are
Enough to Care Fully
For The Life We’re Living.