A Controlled Peasantry
Socrates: Imagine people are kept in an underground cave from childhood, their legs and necks in chains so that they can see only in front of them. There is a fire behind them casting shadows on the back wall of the cave. Between the prisoners and the fire there is a road along which “puppet-masters” carry objects that cast shadows on the back wall of the cave. Some of the puppet-masters speak, others are silent.
Glaucon: That’s a strange image and strange prisoners you speak of.
Socrates: They’re like us.
Plato, “Allegory of the Cave,” Republic
In his “Allegory of the Cave,” Plato’s character, Socrates, paints a striking picture of people kept in chains from birth deep in a cave chained by the neck and the legs so that they can only see the back wall of the cave. As a consequence, they only “know” the shadows cast by a fire behind them on the back wall of the cave. There are other people, the “puppet masters”, who are not chained and manipulate these prisoners. Some puppet-masters carry objects, such as a sword, between the fire and the prisoners and say the word “sword” when its shadow flickers on the back wall of the cave. Since the prisoners never see a real sword they come to associate the word “sword” with the flickering shadow on the back wall of the cave. The same is true for all objects. Thus, they do not even know what their own words mean. The word “sword” actually means a metallic weapon but they think it means a certain flickering shadow on the back wall of the cave. Having been in this condition since birth, they do not even know they are in a cave or even have a concept of a cave. They do not, therefore, even know that they are prisoners. Their “reality” is an insubstantial parade of flickering shadows dancing before their eyes. The “puppet masters” have kept them in a state of complete illusion about both themselves and the world.
When Glaucon says these are strange prisoners Socrates says, “They’re like us.” We are the prisoners in the cave. The fact that Glaucon finds the image strange shows that he does not know himself. He may even think himself free, but he is a prisoner in a cave being manipulated by puppet masters. He does not even have a concept of the kind of prisoner that he is. Plato’s allegory is not a strange fancy. It is meant to describe the human condition. We have no idea what reality is. We don’t even know the meanings of our own words.
Plato’s point in the Allegory is that tyranny is not an aberration. Rather, tyranny is the normal state of human life. After all, Plato does not reside in Sparta’s military dictatorship but in ancient Athens, the first democracy in the world, peopled by glorious figures like Pericles, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aristotle and so on. If even Athens in “the Golden Age of Greece” is a disguised tyranny, then tyranny is everywhere. It is not as if there is tyranny over there in China but we are free here in America. The nature of the control may be different here but the methods of control are so diabolical that Americans who fancy themselves the lucky citizens of a free Republic are so deluded they don’t even see the chains on their necks.
In 2016, the United States was thrown into turmoil when they were told that the elected president was “Putin’s puppet.” Massive expensive investigations were needed to “save our democracy” from the orange Russian asset. What passes for our “news” media daily chanted in lockstep: “The walls are closing in. Trump will be led out of the White House in handcuffs.”
In fact, that was all theatre crafted by our puppet masters. It was Trump’s opponent in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, who bought a dossier of fake accusations, ultimately from Russians no less. The following four years were filled with orchestrated eye-bulging hyperventilating hysteria by the puppet masters and their minions, none of which really accomplished anything except to frustrate the agenda of the democratically elected president and make the United States look like a “banana republic” around the world, all engineered by the Party that says it wants to “save our democracy”.
In 2020, the puppet masters needed a new way to corrupt the election. A candidate who had run for president many times and failed, and was spectacularly failing again, was saved by the powerful Jim Clyburn (D-SC). None of his past or present failures, his lies about his rank in law school, that fact that he doesn’t know what state he’s in, etc., matter now. They are all cancelled! Good old likeable moderate Joe’s going to restore normalcy.
Unfortunately, a laptop appears that implicates Biden’s son and himself in all sorts of nefarious doings. But 50 former “intelligence officers” sign a document that this story looks like Russian disinformation. The Russia scam again. They are “intelligence” officers after all. The story is cancelled. Everybody likes poor old Joe. Case closed! It’s almost as if Efrem Zimbalist Jr.’s perfect selfless FBI confirmed the facts.
After the election, we find that the laptop was real, not Russian disinformation. We also now find ourselves treated to the highest inflation in 40 years, 13 military service members blown to bits in Afghanistan with a president who says that was a great job, crime spiking across the country, Russia invading a sovereign country with mass murder of civilians, China humiliating us and threatening Taiwan, North Korea resuming firing ballistic missiles over Japanese territory, the southern border in chaos (with record numbers of dead people), and a president who shakes hands with people who aren’t there and blames everybody else for what he has deliberately visited on the nation.
Are the puppet masters in government or the “news” media embarrassed? Not in the least! Why should they be? If you ask too many questions, you will be censored, or worse. You are told what to think. You don’t want to be an “election denier,” do you? There is nothing worse than murderers, rapists and election deniers. You don’t want any trouble.
We used to think we knew what “woman” means but now we have a woman appointed to SCOTUS who doesn’t know that. Actually she does know but we are expected to play along. Everything is play-acting now. We used to know what boys and girls are (and that was one of the great joys of life), but now we are told that boys are girls if they say they are. What if someone tells us they are a boy during the even-hours of every day and a girl during the odd-hours? It’s going to get confusing. Maybe that’s the goal. A confused peasantry is more easily controllable. Our wise benevolent puppet-masters will have to sort it out for us, for which we can be grateful. If the pressure to submit continues on its present course, the day may soon come when it is said of us what Orwell writes of Winston in the last sentences of 1984:
“He had won the victory over himself: He [now] loved Big Brother.”
Image: Pixabay / Pixabay License