Ben Franklin and the Books

Ben Franklin invented the lending library, when a group of friends pooled their books, at what is also the origin of the American Philosophical Society. The library was the first public project. He gained pledges of contributions, the “subscription” library, and began the education of the people that would be self governing. In a short while, the average American was said to be as well educated than most “gentlemen” of the artificial aristocracy. “Franklin” means a middle-class craftsman or tradesman, and Ben is an early cultivator of the Masonic attitude toward virtue. The habit of Lincoln, walking long distances to borrow and return books, and reading Jefferson, may be a result of this, another of the innumerable benefits of Franklin bestowed on mankind and his nation.

In his Autobiography, It is clear that Franklin has access to Xenophon’s Memorabilia, though it is not clear how many are the Platonic dialogues to which Franklin has access. His Latin may not have been sufficient, and the Republic was not yet translated. Similarly, Shakespeare is not quite yet accessible, until the Germans led to a British rediscovery. He writes his list of virtues as though he had not read Aristotle’s Ethics, nor known of the 4 cardinal virtues, though he has seen other lists. While he leaves out charity or liberality, he is, in addition to libraries, the cause of the fire departments, insurance, hospitals, orphanages, the Post office, Franklin stoves, lightening rods. While he leaves “wisdom” out of the list, he is a natural philosopher emerging into political philosophy, in the last third of his career, and is the teacher of Madison and Jefferson in the next generation.

Franklin writes:

“These libraries have improved the general conversation of the Americans, made common tradesmen and farmers as intelligent as most gentlemen from other countries, and perhaps have contributed in some degree to the stand so generally made throughout the colonies in defense of their privileges.”

Imagine trying to study in the library at Alexandria, where one could not smoke or drink coffee! But seriously, to carry and own ones own books, as became possible with the printing press, is a modern marvel, giving those ion our age superior access to scholarship- though a population of 8 billion may not produce the thinkers that emerged in a single century in Athens. My own, built out of used books and books from classes, with additions from the library book sales where the best are discarded as unread, is likely far superior to that of Franklin, and he is one of the few philosophers who were not impoverished, like Anaxagoras, begging oil for his lamp of Pericles. With one’s own books, it is possible to underline in blue and red, saving a reading from 30 years ago, compounding efforts. The traditional bound paper book must make a comeback, as the E-book just is not portable!

Notes from Irving Wasserman II: Intro 1981

We took the Intro class in 1981, after the big conversion in the Plato class, and after the class called “Political Philosophy,” and so the notes begin to become more clear. This section completes my notes from Euthyphro, Apology, Crito and Meno, and introduces Irv’s gemstone: his class on the Republic. Unlike my own “Intro to Philosophy” class, which would have 22 or so students at a Catholic college, Irv had 32 students at a state school, and we remember fondly sitting in the back row marveling at the disrespect and indifference of the Athenian multitude, not knowing what they had before them in the class of Irving Wasserman. I can still see him smirk, twitch, cluck and shuffle his feet in response to the class!

Prof Wasserman was then not yet using the West edition of the Four Texts on Socrates, and was still using the Cornford summary of the Republic. I was quite proud to show him the West edition, from our studies in Dallas, similar to when I was able to get Irving the Strauss essay called “Mutual Influence,” like Mustard Seed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, able to bring fresh honey to the consort of the Fairy Queen.

Philosophy 101- Section D Professor I. Wasserman

Introduction to Philosophy Office 428 Mackinac Hall

Fall, 1981 MWF 12:00. 210 Mackinac Hall

Texts Plato Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Bobbs-Merril

Plato Republic Cornford ed.

Shakespeare The Tempest Signet

Descartes, Discourse on Method, Bobbs-Merril

Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, Penguin

Course Aim: To provide an understanding of some of the main problems of philosophy through a study of several important thinkers, both ancient and modern. The ancient, or classical view regarding happiness, the good life, reason and nature, freedom and equality, is represented by Plato and Shakespeare; the modern counterpart by Descartes and Karl Marx.

Notebook, p. 1

The Apology

Socrates speaks of himself Corrupting the minds of the youth

believing in other deities.

“Socrates is guilty of corrupting the minds of the young, and of believing in deities of his own invention instead of the gods of the city.

He spends his life in the effort to kindle into a flame the spark of good in every man

Socrates never condemned.

Socrates the hero

Dialogue rather than treatise, a good way to start philosophy


Not apologetic, eh? But rather bothers everyone

Manner of speaking Sophistry. Appearance.

Strongest case for the city If the city is the best for the youth and worships the true gods

Then Socrates does in fact corrupt the youth and has done wrong in worshiping other gods

Socrates first moves to dig up the context, old accusations.

The existent (present) opinion “When you were children

The foundations are old accusations.

Making the weaker argument appear the stronger

Inquiry into things below and above; Into the mysteries

Hades and Heaven, the beginning and the end

inquiry = Atheism

The oracle: Why he lived the way he did

Difference between public assembly +…begs them not to shout

[No, I’m not a sophist

Who is the expert in perfecting the human and social qualities

“It seems that I really am wise in a limited sense.”

Human wisdom

“an unimpeachable authority, witness, the Oracle of Delphi

Notebook, p. 2

Does the invisible preshadow the intelligible?

Callias, if your sons were calfs or bulls,, we’d get a trainer for their natures

Who is the expert in perfecting human social qualities?

A kind of wisdom, human wisdom

More than human, A lie? p. 21. The oracle

The paradox of human wisdom

“I felt that here if anywhere I should succeed in pointing out to the divine authority: “You said I was the wisest of men, but here is a man who is wiser than I… Notebook 2-5 is reading notes from the Apology]

Notebook, p. 6

Top margin: Timeaus- a likely story

  1. speculates about the heavens and what is under the earth
  2. 2) Makes the weaker argument appear the stronger
  3. 3)Teaches these things to others

2) indirectly replies by talking about manner of speech, and about trying to arouse sympathy (perjury).

Natural philosophers

The reason why is what Socrates mwanted, not prior conditions or particular causes.

Anaxagoras: Mind. But Socrates was disappointed. Why?

Action limited to starting motion in space

Shift from outer tom inner

Pre-Socratic- discoverry of nature

Socratic- discovery of the soul

Bringing philosophy down from the heavens to the earth.

Technae- is there a comparable art that woill produce wisdom?

Arete, purpose, end skill, flute player, etc.

Who is the teachert of human arete’?

Sophists- rhetoric

Of how to win friends and influence people

-political art- to rise in the city

Philosophy: the archetectonic art

2) check- Meletus’ exchange

If he were speaking to folk who would not confuse him with the Sophists, would he answer #2?

The oracle: There is no one wiser than Socrates. (Not that Socrates is wise or is the wisest man)

He went to search for a wiser man. He knew he was not wise, but not that others were n’t. Human wisdom.

Notebook, p. 7

That it is good to know that we do not know.


Questions for Crito

a) What arguments does Crito present to Persuade Socrates to live rather than die?

b) Why does Socrates choose death?

2a) What are the main points in Socrates’ dialogue with the laws?

Is his emphasis on obediesnce to law surprising? Does it seem to contradict what he says in the Apology?

Socrates seems to take for granted that the laws are good. Corrupting the young.

Socrates is not […F?] forcing a vote between philosophy and the city.

Courage in dialogue

Shows that we dio not really know what we thought we know.

Philosophy is always dangerous, unsettling.

Philosophy: What is? aims at the nature of something.

He had to do it in a responsible way, so as not to hurt the city.. The city thinks Socrates hurt them.

He declares his whole life was in service of the city.

Socrates went into the marketplace every day.

Socrates has haunted the West: Nietzsche loved and hated him.

Nietzsche and Heidegger attribute the evils of the West to Socrates.

“Socrates will appear again.”!

To not know and to think tyhat we do know is the worst possible condition, for then he will never know and never seek.

Create. Not a void.


To the poets

The stories of heroesd and gods. Poetry recited to music.

Comparable to the writers of the Bible.

Homer and Hesiod. Literature in the broadest sense. Muses.

Inspiration- The poets say many good and true things. Not as the result of knowledge or understanding.

Notebook, p. 8 Top margin:Lecture Apology/ Text Crito. Take the best course reason has to offer.

numinosity. “Everyone would stop eating.”

The possession of the muses. So theyt think they know. A lot of other things eveyone else thinks they know too.

What kind of music has the most profound moral and political reproduction

The many decide that way by intense emotional attachment.

Artisans- the craftsmen. They do teach and practice a practical art.

They thought they knew a lot of other thiongs, like how to live the good life.

Socrates has a divine mission; For the god.

Service to the god- pointing out to people that they do not know what they thought they knew.

[Margin: Why is this a service of the god? The audience is skeptical.]

Cracow, Poland teaching of Apology

-they just let him have it

Never dig a pit for a student that you cannot fill.

Not iconoclasm.

[Crito reading notes]

Notebook, p. 10

Top margin: Lecture Apology. Crime and invention. The freedom consists in knowledge of reality. Rationalistic freedom and intention

Meletus. What is so wrong with answering: “The laws?” (He could have used that answer to some good)

He is out to show Meletus’ folly

Who? Everyone. To show that Meletus never cared about the improvement of the young.

The horse trainer.


No one would intentionally make someone worse, because he himself then would be harmed.

All harm is done unintentionally. If not intentional, its not a crime.

Acts of agents are intentional. Degrees of murder. Sanity, if your sane, you are responsible. If not sane, determined.

No person in his right mind would voluntarily do something to harm him.

Joury: “What!? No one voluntarily does wrong!? crime!?

All law and crime depends upon volition. He’ therefore, here undermines thew basis of all law.

2 senses of intentional.

[margin: Forgiveness is the truth above the law. Philosophers as such won’t punish]

We cannot act intentionalloy unless we know reality.

Jury: “Boy, he sure makes weaker arguments appear stronger”

Given[ing] Meletus a chance to make the indictment more extreme- and he will- Meletus goes for it. “Atheist.” contradiction. Mixes up with Anaxagoras.

Notebook p. 11-13 Crito second reading notes

p.13: Lecture

Reading the Allegory of the Cave

   These brief notes indicate a fuller account that can be drawn out by reading the central books of Plato’s Republic. [I have typed out a Comprehensive exam answer on the Sun, Line and Cave, “On the Philosophic ascent in Plato’s Republic,” in the WordPress menue hovering in the philosophy section.]
   The account may be said to begin from a point made by Seth Benardete, that there seems to be no place for political philosophy in the three images of Sun, Line and Cave. We argue that it is there, but veiled, as might be demonstrated by following suggestions in the works of Leo Strauss and Alan Bloom.
   The cave is “by nature.” Here: Where is the place of political philosophy in the Sun, line and cave images? Bloom: “Only by constant reference back to the divided line can one understand the allegory of the cave.” The key to the demonstration is in Book 10. What fun! Plug in the city.
   Bloom: The poetic images are to be used as the geometers use the figures they draw… Strauss: The human things are the key to understanding all things. There are no artificial things outside the cave. Man is the highest image. City and soul have the same form, in Books III-V.
   3/3 Draw the three images, sun, line and cave, together on the same paper. Where do the images of the poets go? And images as the the three part city and soul? Now watch the soul, as the female element is added. And at 501, the imago Dei: the cause of the laws, Genesis 9:6; 1:26.
   The particulars of the image are of course very important, and the account recurs at 517 and 535). There are shadows and phantoms seen in water, divine appearances in water, and such, and the things themselves, including humans. Note that the entire pattern of the line- a segmented line divided again in the same proportions- is repeated outside the cave. The account makes up what reminds of Jacob’s ladder, a pattern helpful for ascending and descending in metaphysics. To say the least, there is a bit more to Plato than linguistic universals and the originals of math.
    There is of course the one and the two, and within these, the philosopher and king, one king of the visible, while the good is king of the intelligible. Third from a king and virtue” is a key phrase, from Book X.

Student Loans II: The Ombudsman

   NPR has been considering student loans today, and if I were not blocked from commenting by Facebook etc., I would set a few sentences on their webpage. I just heard back from the “ombudsman,” and they basically said that it was just fine that MGA has added 75,000 $ to my loan, already tripled by interest. Congress has given them the authority to collect fees, and so these might be a million dollars if they want. My suspicion is that this is a recent action by the Republican congress that does not, you see, want to encumber these fine businesses with regulations. They interviewed a default that went three years to a university of Phoenix, you know, like a Trump University, and dropped out after three years. By contrast, my degree was from the University of Dallas, and I completed a Ph. D in politics. I may well have been blacklisted by my government and ejected by the Catholics, but what is sure is that for the ten years I applied for full time teaching jobs, they were not hiring white males for union professorships, due to Federal affirmative action. This is of course contrary to Madison and the Fourteenth Amendment, which does not allow them to hire everyone except white males, and we stick by that Fourteenth Amendment. I have called for the statistics on this, but no one collects them. Sue, I could teach in high school, where the unions have made Ph. Ds worthless and “certification” everything. I could go get certification, which they have made a two year fifty thousand dollar program to learn how to set up a classroom and be sensitive to diverse people. But then when I get out- and everyone knows this is true- the schools will not hire me because I already have a ph. D, and the unions will make them pay me more to cover the same number of students, and the quality of a Ph. D is utterly invisible, to people who have never studied education with the greatest minds. This too, everyone knows, that they have ejected the traditional study of education, and cannot even identify the greatest books on education.

   So, I taught for ten years as an adjunct, because I am called “white.” I do have a rather sever insistence upon liberty, but this has not caused me to lose a single job. I did decline to try to teach at Washtenaw Community college for minimum wage with half a mouth of teeth, because they have a smoke fee campus, and we resolve to obey the rules. But this job would not even provide subsistence, let alone the repayment of loans. And by the way, if I were not “white,” and had gotten a full time job (thee are for practical purposes, no non-“white” Ph. Ds in political science that could not get full time union jobs).

   So, I tied to repay my loans with writing and inventions. Thank You, WordPress, for blocking my internet access in hopes of gaining an extortion fee, and thank you to the Republican Congress that took money to allow such a thing. Thanks to the office of Tim Walberg, who cannot even tell me what laws allow MGA to default me surreptitiously and charge me 75,000 $, thee times that borrowed for a Ph. D, to push a paper across a desk and stamp it. Nor can my state representatives or anyone else tell me, o even take up this question: Are they doing this to everyone, or did they just do it to me? Have they added 75,000$ to very many loans, financially enslaving and ruining a whole class of college educated people? Or did they just do this to me? And if so, why? Thanks to the “ombudsman,” for being a yes man to MGS, allowing them to do whatever they want. What is interesting is that if I ever could afford to pay them, I could afford a lawyer, and we would raise these questions in court. I have a bread bag with twelve pieces of junk mail I have still not had time to open, and we will open these and read them and respond on court time. I never got through my IRS paperwork, let alone answer junk mail proliferated when creditors use and sell our prostituted information. Thee is a limit to the paperwork we can be obligated to do, and I know, because I have hit the limit.

Hillsdale College Establishes a Free Classical Academy in Whitmore Lake

Following the experience and example of their Barney school, Hillsdale college has opened a charter school in Livingston county that is tuition free. It will be very interesting to see how they adapt the classics program to the High School and Middle school level. Languages, such as Greek, and Literature, such as Shakespeare, can be done along with drama and  history, in addition to the sciences and mathematics already done in High School. This will be a bit more interesting than the grammar and “English” courses usually taught.

I would advise anyone able to give this program a try. A kind of friendship is possible at these schools, where a common enterprise and classics give the atrophied American intellect and imagination and outlet that makes a kind of happiness available for these students, in contrast with the emptiness left in the souls of the students of programs based on the idea that “jobs” and “technology” ae the goals of education.

Congratulations, Hillsdale!

Surveillance Legislation

Say, why do we not suggest to our legislators a new law giving the FBI and the police the powers to set prostitutes onto the citizens to get the suspicious individuals to fall in love. Then we could be as sure as possible that these odd-balls are not bad actors. And if these targets have a friend, we could give the prostitutes the powers to also “date” the friend, get the two accusing one another, and thereby, for every ten we target, we ought catch at least one spy or mobster? How many such have been missed by our failure to do so?

And, in section 2 of such a law, we could give the CIA power to hire certain professors, so these are wearing two hats, as it were, and are then able to watch the development of the young plants in their crucial phases, looking for any sign of terrorist tendencies, nascent communism or white supremacist? These are fairly inexpensive measures, and one just cannot be too sure now-a-days. We will further authorize any measures at all, from our book on princes, in order to protect these deeds of our intelligence agents from being considered as crimes or in any way brought to light.

Then in section 3 of such a law, we will forbid any looking into these measures if anyone ever figures out what their government has been doing, say, like Snowden with his documents, we will authorizes the agencies to chase them all the way to Moscow to preserve our government secrets and secret methods. Let us, in fact, pass this whole law in secret, and authorize the threatening of anyone who even thinks, say, of having Congress call FBI agents to tell the truth at hearings, or other such measures mortally dangerous to democracy.

You see, just because I am in the CLC does not mean I could not be a legislator in this political climate.

Senators Peters and Stabenow and Representative Walberg Refuse to Oversee the Executive Agencies

For four years, I have requested the assistance of my representatives in the national government in holding the CIA and FBI, or the responsible parties and agencies, accountable for having set my former fiance on me to spy in domestic matters, which is illegal. These senators and representatives can easily establish 1. that our government does do this sort of thing, 2. that the agencies are involved in education in the United States in the way that I suggest, 3. That proximity is entirely likely in my case, and to some extent certain, 4. That my circumstances include some very strange coincidences that indicate that what I suggest is likely, and 5. That my former professor ceased to speak to me immediately following the defense of my dissertation for no manifest reason, and will not give a reason to anyone. This is in complete contrast with the recommendations in my file, so that when they say I cannot spell or am a “gnostic” or somehow a harmful thinker, it is contradicted by the recommendations. The recommendations are public and they can be sued over them, but not responding when universities inquire for applications, this one cannot be sued over.  Such things, 6) would be a blacklisting if he were employed or influenced those or was influenced by those employed by these agencies. I could continue to list reasons that Congress ought ask the questions 1. Was that woman set on me, and 2. Why did that professor cease to speak to me. A third question is whether these two are connected, as a woman seems to have been set on me earlier while I was a student at the University of Dallas. So now I want them to tell absolutely everything they ever did to me throughout the course of my education. My other professor said that the excommunication from my professor was indeed very strange, and should not have occurred, and certainly not for something stupid like pot, or without my having some inkling of a reason. Some persons there were either told something slanderous by government or did not like me, perhaps because I did not apply for certain agency jobs to which I was invited to apply, (and can prove it). Congress should have asked me a few questions related to the persons involved, such as one couple of professors and what extracurricular positions these might have held. Having taken scholarship money in a tuition grant, it was perhaps expected that I would have no choice but to apply to repay the borrowed living expense money- a debt which has ruined my financial life, to go along with my friendship and romantic life. I will have no career and no family, although my failure as a writer might of course have many causes other than blacklisting. My Lear book has sold over 100 copies, but the price is kept so high that no one will buy the e-book, as though it were intentional to sell zero copies. And my search engine access is blocked, so that all my traffic is word of mouth, resulting in the failure of my self published e-book, a seven year project. I applied for full time teaching jobs, though, for ten years without ever gaining a single interview, and there is nothing wrong with my grades or work, except that it is perhaps too philosophical for the contemporary American University.

It is also strange that my academic files have disappeared from the University of Dallas, and that persons connected with the University are angry with me for having my representative ask for an account of the matter, and that the university is anything but forthcoming. An account was given after a year or more of persistent questioning, and after having Representative Walberg ask them directly, about 3 years ago. It is said that the files disappeared along with 19 others when they were sent to be put on microfilm and the originals thrown away, and this story we have in writing, though a FOIA request was ignored. Representative Walberg saw this occur, but as soon as it became clear that there were indeed federal agencies involved, he ceased to be of any assistance, his office referring me instead to try to find a lawyer (there are none accessible to the poor for federal matters) or go yet again to the agencies themselves, who think such practices are just fine and who cannot oversee themselves due to the chain of command. Whomever I speak to, in whatever agency including the Justice department, I am asking that they investigate their superiors.

It is very unseemly to discuss such things in public, but that is why 1. Congress should respond to complaints of this sort immediately to settle the matters, 2. We ought think twice about covert government involvement in education, and 3. We ought think twice too about setting women on people without warrant. You see, if a professor irrationally excommunicates a student and thereby destroys his career, that is part of education, and professors can do that, though their bosses might want an account of the matter. But if these professors are acting as government agents, the Constitution of the United States that they are sworn to uphold is seriously violated. I believe that it is extremely important that the citizens do something about this when it occurs, even if it is difficult to do so in a responsible manner. But one certainly does not want a circumstance like that of Mr. Snowden, where he tried every way imaginable to get Congress to do their job, and finally went to the Guardian newspaper and ended up in Moscow! Such irresponsible stonewalling by Congress and government is indeed a threat to national security, if we would remain a free people. The alternative is to have agencies without oversight, incompatible with a free people, the contradiction of liberty, which is in fact what we have now, due especially to the failure of Congress persons to do their jobs. It is in absolute frustration with government, as well as the assurance that such things ought not be done and cannot continue, that I appeal to the people through the press, again that fourth branch of the U. S. government that sometimes kicks in when the other three fail.

There is a no way to communicate this circumstance to anyone who does not care, at least enough to hear the points of the explanation. But what it means is that a terrible error was made and there is no way to correct it: The citizen must simply be destroyed because congress and the Senate Intelligence Committee cannot ask a few simple and direct questions and the agencies be bound or ordered by the President, if necessary, to tell the truth.

One cannot imagine what it means to fall in love with someone who was set upon you as a spy. Nor can one imagine the psychic confusion and romantic torture that results from their apparent M.O., which is to set these women between two friends. Police at all levels of government use women to spy on male targets, from small operations and “Confidential Informants” to prostitutes paid or rewarded to inform and spy, to serious foreign policy matters. Every Senator should know this. As the Sixty Minutes special on Confidential Informants demonstrates, there is great need for the oversight of the police in the use of civilians who have no lawyers. That show focused on two deaths that were caused when, for example, a petty weed dealing sophomore woman was sent to wear a wire to spy on heroin dealers, buying guns and heroin. To capture the love of a person and to cause friends to accuse one another would be a very effective method of spying, and this is in fact what seems to have occurred. If I were correct, it is clear that nothing at all would be done in the current illiberal system where there is no oversight. The CIA is free to suspect a student, set women on them, receive slanderous accounts drawn from misinterpreted phone taps by State or local police, in effect blacklist a PhD, effect something like rape, in a bizzare violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments so unique it has no name, and that is just fine with government: Nothing can or will be done about this, again because it is the job of congress and they will not do their jobs. I want the President to order the agencies to tell at least my representatives the truth about these matters, since it has been demonstrated that the agencies will lie to Congress. I want government to hold the bad actors accountable and set the damages straight before worse consequences result, as I will continue to press this issue in every political way, including publicizing enough of the matter to get something done about it. Or do you think one in my circumstance should allow what again is like rape for the purposes of spying, and like blacklisting to destroy a career?

Just a bit to add: It is also fine with Congress and the agencies if one receive death threats to prevent holding some powerful persons accountable, or for government bad actors to use such measures to cover up their crimes and errors. They might carry out or subcontract the carrying out of such threats, and Congress must admit that there is nothing our government is set up to do about it. They might also simply leave a person exposed or expose them, without doing another thing, allowing others to carry out such a threat for them. They are not stupid. And like the fellow killed lately by the Russians in London, they are sure to make it look like a natural death or accident. That nothing would be done about such a thing, characteristic of Russian tyranny but not free government, is agreed by all and just fine, apparently, with Congress and the President. That is a result of these sorts of matters, and is again why Congress needs to do its job from the beginning, or why we cannot have a tyranny of the unelected executive agencies justified by our terror or by the nuclear age. We must remain free regardless of these perils, and in truth, contrary to what most think, it is the only safe course, as tyranny would expose us to disaster far sooner than liberty.

Congress also does not seem to understand its own powers if it denies itself the right and duty to oversee and hold accountable these agencies. Every cent of American money spent, and that means every single thing the American government does, requires in principle an account to Congress.

I have of course taken the stigma of madness for trying to do something about these things. I will add the inconveniences of this, the social effect of saying something no one wants to hear or can believe, to my list of damages for which I would charge them, about 57 million dollars minimum, should there ever be oversight, accountability and meaningful recourse in such matters. Everyone agrees that if these things did occur much as I say they sure seem to have, absolutely nothing would be done about it, so that all things are just as if I were seeing quite clearly. But, needing the help of fellow citizens and friends, absolutely no one has offered to help, but it has been suggested of course that I “get help.” As I have told my father, I do indeed need help, but not that kind! I rather need the help of fellow free citizens, to insist that Congress do their job an inquire when there is so much reason to do so, and see to it that these things do not continue to occur. What if they did that to your son or daughter? Tim Walberg, when asked that, would not answer. I could get their psychodope even without saying such things, and I know the system would just love to drug me for saying things no one can think let alone believe, except for those who have for themselves seen these things done, and know well that I tell the truth about this sort of thing having become rather routine. But among the things no one can explain to me are why the simplest questions cannot be asked and honest answers required when I have already presented plenty of reason to raise the questions, and to present more reason will be harmful. It is objectively obvious that something strange did indeed occur, and the silence is more evidence that there is indeed a problem here.

One final point: Machiavelli indeed seems to us to teach the folly of the use of love and women in spying, since he has that wonderful teaching about how a tyrant can do anything to the liberty of men so long as he does not touch their patrimony. For this reason it does seem to me that Machiavellians would understand that if one prostitutes or rapes or tortures wrongly in the mistaken service of national security, the truth will come out. Machiavelli probably does not mention love, unless it is in the Mandragola, I’ll have to check. Or perhaps it is with his true teaching, in The Art of War. But Machiavelli also has that nice teaching about how many can see what one appears to be, but none can touch what you are, from The Prince. Once Machiavellianism enters American politics, the genuine or Socratic philosophers are called to counter its effects. For this, we must somehow “speak to the mariners,” as the boatswain says in The Tempest, “or we run ourselves aground.We must show the people to stand upright, and these forces- even the seven dark powers or a “seven nation army” of Russia, ISIS, the mob, the Colombian type cartels, the Nazis and the Klan- can be beaten, along with the prescription drug and other huge transnational money interests. The Internet billionairs, who are decent and very powerful indeed, might be persuaded to help, while they are looking for philanthropic causes in their retirement. We, the American people, are like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, and Machiavelli is wrong in general, if he does have a point about how difficult it is to make these covert matters evident. No one will listen, and no one will believe you. Indeed, swept along by appearance and self-interest, no one will even ask the simplest questions.

The Centrist Libertarian Constitutionalist Party

Lets let the Republican party divide, rather than follow a tyrant based upon some vague party allegiance. The CLC is a new political party, right in the center, between the Left and Right of both parties. The common good has often been the mean between the two positions, and our political system is a way of hashing out this balance. There is a mean in many political questions, just as in the ethical questions, so let us go straight to this, and save some time and money.

The CLC upholds Liberty as our nation has upheld equality. Common opinion has made great progress regarding equality, though the excesses occur when we sacrifice liberty to common opinion, and this is called “political correctness.”

The CLC insists upon the Constitution of the United States. The Bill of Rights is a part of the Constitution- all ten amendments, and not only the Second Amendment.

Hence, the CLC has opposed property seizures, which have occurred by setting aside the Fifth Amendment, seizing property contrary to the Fifth Amendment, without due process of law. The judicial decision allowing this because “property is guilty” is a corrupt decision.

The CLC opposes the surveillance state, which has occurred by setting aside the Fourth Amendment. In order to amend our Constitution, we require a super-majority of 2/3 to propose and 3/4 to ratify. This is what would be necessary to end the Fourth Amendment. But we have ended the limitations on search and seizure not by a super-majority, but by the excesses of the executive agencies and the corruption of Congress. This is illegal.

The CLC opposes the rigged game economy, where billionaires and millionaires make even more money by controlling Congress with the power their wealth can give them. The rules are then set according to their self interest, destroying the middle class, as the value of enterprise is devoured by these. We uphold true free enterprise against the tyranny of money, which is not free enterprise at all. Innovation and the spirit of invention can be crushed if the poor cannot advance because the rich have set the rules to take the value of their products.

The CLC has an answer to reform campaign finance. We will take goods used for our campaigns, and no money. The voters must require that legalized bribery end. We must do this voluntarily, because of the First Amendment. John Adams said this constitution is meant for a people of virtue, and will work for no other. Hence, we will end laminated junk mail and T.V. attack adds that insult the intelligence of the American voter. We will speak to the people directly, through the internet, and let the media follow if they want news.

The CLC will enact tax reform and simplify the tax process, saving billions for the GNP. We preach tax honesty, but must insist that government make tax honesty possible and not foolish. We spend too much of the GNP on filing taxes and filling out forms, and this is not necessary.

The CLC will insist upon the integrity of the large internet companies, both toward one another and toward their customers. Examples are that we insist upon true searches, upon not making a commodity of our liberty, privacy and security, nor forcing us to go shopping when they want. Where these have prevailed upon congress to allow their interests to become law, we will expose the corruption. The marketing of information must stop, for security reasons.

The CLC will end the abuse of health care by the prescription drug industry, the corruption of doctors in prescribing drugs for profit and the milking of the national health care system by insurance companies, doctors and organized crime that makes this project difficult if not impossible. The Oxy-heroin scam is the best example. And we will check to see whether antidepressants are the cause of the epidemic of public shootings, and end the corruption of psychiatry by the profits made by drugging people.

We will not raise taxes, but end welfare fraud in order to pay for infrastructure investment and reasonable social programs. The food stamp fraud rate is about fifty percent.

We must apologize to organized crime, but insist that both blue and white collar gangsters get jobs that produce real value.

We support prison and justice reform, the prosecution of the abuse of power in judicial and executive offices, and insist upon the immediate end to police shooting civilians without warrant or reason. We ask, “What is the difference between policing a free people and policing in a tyranny?” Those who cannot answer cannot hold police power over us. We remind these too that under our constitution, punishments are determined by the legislative and judicial branches: the executive has no power to determine punishment, and commits a crime by violating the constitution when it punishes.

We favor responsive government, rather than at present, where the citizens cry out and nothing is done until the issue enters the media.

We support a liberal arts based curriculum of genuine education, not only the current system of trade schools promoting only jobs, technology and popular opinion. We invite you to fill out this questionnaire: The goal of education is_____________.

We support the legalization of Marijuana, as the law forbidding it is unconstitutional. We insist upon the legislative regulation of commerce, but for the common good rather than for special interests.

Find another candidate with more substantive policy in a single page! We are in error to hire businessmen to run government: witness the Flint water crisis. I am Mark A. McDonald, a life long student of politics, former teacher of American government, and student of the human sciences, attempting to run for Congress in the Seventh House District of Michigan (until I find a better candidate), and am the founder of the CLC. I am running because my current representative would not support John McCain regarding torture, nor question the executive agencies in his position of supposed oversight, nor insist upon internet integrity.

Toward a Philosophic Psychology, Chapter One First Draft Published

The first draft of the first chapter of a book on psychology has been printed in the Psychology section, in the menu at the top of the webpage. We set this as a challenge to the weak philosophical foundation of modern psychology. The book is a seven year project, and perhaps in that time we will gather some good comments and criticisms. The chapter is there free, so be free to copy it and mark it up. This is a new field, the philosophy of psychology. Happy reading!

Conversations With Famous Persons III: Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell is of course one of the most prominent students of the great Carl Jung. He wrote a book on the archetype of the hero, a book that did quite well. Once, my philosophy teacher asked me, “what is a hero?” I am still working on that question to this day, so I will soon be spending more time with Mr. Campbell.

One night, Mr. Campbell gave a wonder-filled lecture at the Fountain Street Church in downtown Grand Rapids, near to my home there on Oak street, nestled between the bells of three churches. I had been reading quite a bit of Jung, even while discovering Socrates and philosophy. We had taken up the question of natural right, or what is just by nature, as distinct from what is legal. There are of course, unjust laws, and the just by nature is our way of saying what it is that guides the legislators when they are making laws, trying to avoid making unjust laws, or laws with implications that result in injustice. The question is of course very difficult. But it is simply self contradictory to say that right and wrong are only matters of opinion with no truth behind. Everyone believes that some are unjust, so that to be human is to have opinions about justice and injustice that one believes are true. Again, at its root, all modern thought is self contradictory. It is especially so when these imply that it is unjust to believe in justice.

Back to Joseph Campbell. After the lecture, when all the questions were asked, and everyone had gone home, I was honored to be taken by Mr. Campbell into the room behind the altar, as he packed up his papers, preparing to leave. I had of course been wondering how my new discovery of natural right would interface with the thought of Jung.

There are in Jung two different thoughts on the fundamental philosophic things, and I wonder if he ever thought it out. On one hand, his thought and all of analytic psychology are based on the assumption that wholeness is good. To integrate the archetypes is good for us, or healthy for the soul, while if we ignore these things and the things of self knowledge, ignore the unconscious, never throw a penny in the fountain, this is not healthy for the soul. First, to integrate the shadow, we cease faction with the shadows outside and admit to ourselves the parts of our nature and character that we do not admire. In Christianity, this is penance, and is guided by the law. It is the seeing of the splinter in one’s own eye.

The integration of the shadow opens the way to romantic love, and the drama of the hero begins. Jung calls this enterprise the integration of the anima or soul, as in “Your my soul, and my inspiration,” from the popular song. The anima turns out to be a mediator toward the archetypes and the highest enterprise of their integration, the things concerning what Jung calls the archetype of the “self,” meaning our true selves. This is the child and the wise old man.

In the room behind the altar, Mr. Campbell, after quite some argument, finally assented to the idea that if wholeness is the human good or the good for man, there must be an objective basis to ethics. Jung calls himself a “subjectivist,” following Kant, as though the archetypes are categories that account for the similarity and meaning of the many myths. I suppose I had confused the ego as subject with the self as subject, in trying to understand German subjectivism.

Another part of the thought of Jung is that wholeness, and even God, is a coincidence of opposites, both good and evil, so that again, natural right will slip away. The just and unjust, the argument suggests, will be united in a whole that is “beyond good and evil.” This is not to be taken lightly, even by us ethical objectivists. An impenetrable mystery of the Bible will always be that God made that rebellious angel, allows all this unbelievable stuff to occur, and even “gave into the hearts” of those ten kings, “to do his mind and to do one mind and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the sayings of God are made complete” (Revelation 17:17).

The hero participates in all things human, and in order to overcome the villain, must conquer this within himself. It may be a lesser achievement if he conquers this outside himself, and like Arthur, is extinguished with his opposite Mordred.

In our psychology, the new Socratic psychology, we hold that justice and virtue are the health of the soul, while injustice and faction are the illness and disease of the soul, at least at this level. The Socratic discussion of faction in the first book of Plato’s Republic comes to mind.

In addition, there is a hierarchy of the parts of the soul and the priorities, a hierarchy that is by nature or natural. When we subject what is higher, like wisdom, to what is lower, like bodily pleasure or money, we disrupt the parts of our own soul, leaving a discord rather than a harmony. Injustice, like stealing, is usually a result of inflamed desire, so that the desire for money is held by us in action to be more important than our concern for others, or to love God and our neighbor. To steal from me is then basically to say that your having that 20$ for dope is more important to you than my friendship, or my right to property, etc. There are not, in this philosophy, universal laws that are always literally true: One might steal medicine from a stingy doctor to save a dying child. It is not that the Mosaic prohibition is wrong, but it is a matter of priorities. All ethics, in choice, is a matter of priorities, and these priorities have a basis in an objective natural hierarchy. One should, if there is time, find another way, but if it comes down to it, one must choose the life of the child over the universal law, and hope he grows up to become a good kid who helps others, rather than a bad kid who hurts others.

The ends of wealth, honor and wisdom correspond to the three parts of the soul, and these to the three parts of the polity: the money-makers, the noble, and the wise. The benefit of Socratic psychology is that the archetype at the root of politics is the nature of the soul. It is in order to see justice in the soul that Socrates, in Plato’s Republic, undertakes the attempt to found a city in speech.

Aristotle describes three right regimes and three perversions of these. In the right regimes, the part that is the ruling element aims at the common good, while in the bad forms, the ruling element aims at its own apparent self interest, at the expense of the other classes, and of the whole city. So tyranny is the worst, while genuine Kingship, which is very rare, and genuine aristocracy, which is also rare though not unknown in history (as in the Knights of the Round table) are the best forms of constitution. It is not impossible, too, for the few rich to rule, as they are the able administrators, especially if these are educated by the wise and honor those truly noble. We have what Aristotle, in his politics, calls polity or politea, a constitution which, devised wisely, throws the few rich and the many poor who vote into a legislature, where powers are balanced, to hash out the common good in each instance, so that neither class is fleeced.

To conclude, then, when Joseph Campbell admitted that the thought of Jung- and indeed the entire aim of psychology at the knowledge and cultivation of the health of the soul- implies an objective ethics and natural right, modern psychology finally escaped the subjectivism of German philosophy and the ethical relativism that once seemed to be the only conclusion to be drawn from the many cultures and the undesirableness of the absolutist claims of opinions that had pretended to be objective knowledge. Rather than imply that there is no truth, the falsity of the absolutism of medieval tradition requires that there be a truth, and that opinion can be improved by the pursuit of knowledge. The possibility of mistakes implies that there is truth. The unhealthiness of faction and the possibility of the health of the soul implies that there is ethical truth, and these are the philosophical bases of psychology.