Leo Strauss on Classical and Modern Tyranny

   Let us begin to get at the distinction between ancient and contemporary tyranny.

Leo Strauss, who saw the days of Hitler, writes (On Tyranny, Introduction, pp. 21-23):

Tyranny is a danger coeval with political life. The analysis of tyranny is therefore as old as political life itself…

..when we were bought face to face with tyranny- with a kind of tyranny that surpassed the boldest imagination of the most powerful thinkers of the past- our political science failed to recognize it.

…many of our contemporaries were relieved when they discovered in the pages in which Plato and other classical thinkers seemed to have interpreted for us the horrors of the twentieth century…

Not much observation and reflection is needed to realize that there is an essential difference between the tyranny analyzed by the classics and that of our age. In contradistinction to classical tyranny, present day tyranny has at its disposal “technology” as well as “ideologies; more generally expressed, it presupposes the existence of a particular interpretation, or kind of science….science was not meant to be applied to the conquest of nature or to be popularized and diffused…science,”

…one cannot understand modern tyranny…before one has understood the elementary and in as sense natural form of tyranny which is pre-modern tyranny…

   It is no accident that present-day political science has failed to gasp tyranny as it really is. Our political science is haunted by the belief that “value judgments” are inadmissible in scientific considerations, and to call a regime tyrannical amounts to pronouncing a “value judgment.” The political scientist who accepts this view of science will speak of the “mass state,” of dictatorship, of totalitarianism, of “authoritarianism, and so on… One cannot overcome this limitation without reflecting on the origin of present day political science. Present day political science traces its origin to Machiavelli…Machiavelli’s Prince (as distinguished from his Discourses on Livy) is characterized by the deliberate indifference to the distinction between King and tyrant; The Prince presupposes the tacit rejection of that traditional distinction.

   If the good is most essential, one cannot have scientific knowledge, especially of political things, without the good.

   Prior to Socrates, among the pre-Socratics, three forms of government were distinguished, democracy, aristocracy and monarchy, as in Herodotus. (Demo-cracy is literally the strength or kratos of the people, the demos; aristo-cracy when the best are stronger, and mon-archy the primacy of one.) Then, after natural philosophy became a known explanation of causes, people noticed that the tyrants of days present were different from the ancient kings, the best men different from the oligarchs, and democracy has barely been tried. In order to get the many to aim at the common good, Aristotle provides the “middle class” regime, giving the many and the few a constitution by which they might arrive at the common good by self interest in the assembly, despairing of the ability of the many to aim at the common good, rather than fleece the rich. Aristotle arrives at six forms, three legitimate and three illegitimate, depending upon whether the regime aims at the common good or rather the advantage of the ruling element. It is Socrates and Socratic philosophy that makes explicit the distinction between Kings and tyrants. Even for Sophocles, Oedipus “Rex” is also called “tyrannous.” Aristotle spells out the distinction: The rule of one man or monarchy that aims at the common good is royal, while the one aiming in rule at his own interests is a tyrant.

   In Xenophon’s Hiero, Simonides shows a tyrant, Hiero, how he might exercise his rule so as to become happy, avoiding the defects and occupational hazards of the tyrant’s life- where security and peace cannot be achieved. Gangsters too think they are not free to leave their life of crime, unlike a free man. Simonides gives Hiero a glimpse of the happiness of kingship.

   I am amazed that no movie writer has tried to film the adventures of Dion and Plato in Syracuse. And no drama college has tried to enact the Trial and Death of Socrates. [Maybe I’ll do it, after I write my comedy of the Toledo war- a historical comedy that writes itself.* See Note 1 below.]

   Science and ideology are what makes modern tyranny different from classical tyranny. As we are seeing, the internet has made Orwellian tyranny possible, and the people hardly notice, or pretend from fear not to notice. But the crucial distinction of “twentieth century totalitarianism” is ideology. The two are fascism on the “right,” and communism on the left, responsible for the deaths of some one hundred million of their own citizens when no war was occurring, not to mention the countless deaths caused in wars seeking to impose and prevent the modern horror. What is today being called “nationalism,” in contrast with “globalism,” is fascism, based on the hatred according to race, rather than economic class. The first regime based explicitly on race was the American South, and the KKK emerged to salute its defeated flag.

   Tyrannical characters of the classic sort- in the classic meaning of the word tyranny as an order of soul- are enlisted in support of these ideological tyrannies, but these may have barely a thought, let alone an idea, in their heads. That the forms of regime are based on orders of soul is a principle explained in Plato’s Republic, especially in Books III and VIII. The modern ideologies behind the tyrannies based upon race and class, and now religion, are intellectual perversions. These deny that murder is wrong, striking at the rational essence of man, but their politics is a projection of a diabolical delusion: a perversion of the imagination- a faculty intended for the perception of the best soul and the best regime. The garden variety tyrant, those seeking their own wealth and power at the expense of the city, cannot even imagine that the intellectual perversions exist, and indeed these do not know what they are in for (though it is, we might say, in their “unconscious” mind). The tyrant murders due to fear for his own security. Plato describes this crossing of a boundary or limit between the human and the bestial in the image of the transformation of the werewolf. But, we hold, in order to understand the modern ideological tyrannies, one needs to consider certain things found in Jung and Christianity. These tyrannies would not be possible, arising out of German philosophy, were it not for the Medieval world and the void in the modern imagination, left at the destruction of the medieval world. Modern tyranny, and possibly Machiavellian tyranny, may be essentially anti-Biblical, and prove to be essentially anti-Christian- not that it cannot use the appearance in opinion of Christianity. That is, what these are can only be understood in light of what they reject.

   Another difference between ancient and modern tyranny is that ancient tyranny was held over a city or polis, until those following Alexander and then the Roman emperors. The nation had barely developed out of the ancient polis when Plato and Aristotle were writing.  Justice pertains to human communities, and these are first families, then tribes, then villages, then cities, townships, states and nations. There are also groups of nations, and of course a form of justice that pertains to our fellow humans as such. But modern politics is different from ancient politics in that the modern sovereignties are nations. The Greek word is ethnoi. The U. S. is different as a young nation representing all other ethnoi, but we function like France or Germany or any other grouping according to nationality. Every nationality on earth has American citizens with representation in the U.S. Congress. But modern tyranny is over nations rather than cities, and often involves the imagination of empire, and even world empire. Fascism is ideological tyranny based upon tribe or race, while communism is ideological tyranny based upon class. 

   That we have failed, on occasion to distinguish between modern tyranny and kingship of the sort described in Plato’s Republic- where the regime is over a single rare city, and communism even there is confined to the guardian class- is symptom of the same deficiency that leaves us prey to modern tyranny. For some time now it has been said that the alternatives are democracy and totalitarianism, and Plato is not a democrat. Bloom notes that democracy is the only regime outside the best that tolerates philosophy.

   In contrast with Bloom, we say that it is not utopianism as such, but a particular inversion of the Christian utopia, that is modern totalitarianism. The only thing prior to our century like it, the killing of an identifiable group in the interests of achieving a perverse utopia- is the Western Christian Inquisition. Modernity arises as a rejection of this medieval Christianity, which we say is based upon the error of mistaking the messiah for a legislator, and Christianity for a nomos or law, and it is the same even if this particular one were not the messiah. Jesus is not a legislator, but the savior, prepared for by the man-made legislations as those of Moses and Mohammed. But salvation is not similarly secured by a belief, and is not a thing man-made, but the birth in the soul of the child that is the image of God, and also the highest faculty. Hence, as Justin Martyr teaches, Socrates is quite obviously “saved,” and by the very same logos. Hence, those judged in the last judgement (Revelation 20) are judged according to what they have done. If the soul is immortal, we are stuck with ourselves and what we have become. What we can do is sacrifice in penance and turn toward God, in prayer. But the modern perverse utopias are a projection onto the political of an inversion of this penance, and so it appears that some worthwhile end can be achieved by violating the commandment forbidding murder. Hence, it is not a lack of prudence in achieving justice, but a perverted imagination of the just condition, which characterizes the Twentieth Century utopias. This cannot be understood without understanding Christianity and what has occurred, but its basis is accessible in the Socratic understanding of the intellect and imagination. One thing most needed, then, is a restoration to its proper function of the faculty of the imagination, and one sees the root of the project of Shakespeare. Plato’s Republic too replaces the Homeric poetry of ancient Greece with the study in which the regime of the city is the image through which it is possible to see the soul.


  1. See, Michigan has this whippersnapper gov’nor, kid like 21, thinks ‘es friggin’ Napoleon, see, but he turns out to be the noblest guy. And it has an Ohio guy named Two Stickney, and actual shooting battle, Ohio prisoners seducing the Michigan Judge’s daughter, everything you need….I’d have Augustus Woodward and Stevens T. Mason discussing education under the “Educational Oak,” and show the founding of our state, and the University of Michigan. And Andrew Jackson, for all hoots, gets to be the hero, firing Mason just before he sent our territory of Michigania against the fine if prudentially challenged State of Ohio in the first ground game between these two rivals. Ken Buns should help the theater guys at Chelsea, in the Purple Rose Theater, again since the comedy writes itself.



   Impeachment is of course next, though there may no longer be impeachment in the United States. A president may be impeached for crimes committed before his inauguration, and we had published a citizen’s arrest for election fraud. But after taking the oath, the shyster could not get through the weekend without violating the oath he had just taken to uphold the constitution. That is how it is when one has not read the constitution. Specifically, Trump has acted to intimidate the press, in having his Mr. Spicer tell all the journalists there would be “Consequences.” I am sure he does not mean only that they will make spirited counter-statements. One Wall street Journalist has stopped writing. Everything one says will only be used against you.

   The intimidation of the press is a very serious matter, and illegal for the executive to do. If Trump has had his Russian friends intimidate this blogger, it is probably also treason. As I was writing a comment on a letter to the president written by one working on the porch of the Supreme Court, a new page came on with naked women all over, like the Russian prostitute trolls, and then the scary picture came on with a few words including assassin and assassinate.” Two persons I had communicated with then appeared in hindsight in a different light, one with scary eyes and hair I had thought was a joke, and another  who indicated knowledge of my location. Charming. Impeachment is useless if we do not correct the communications, media and the violation of the First and Fifth Amendments.

   The primaries, the elections, the Electoral College, the attempted indictment were all decisively interfered with by Russian control of the media and internet. Impeachment will now be impossible due to these, and the FBI and CIA are no longer free, working for a free government and not a tyrant. That leaves the States and the State police, who are under the governors, and I suggest that these grow some patriotism and forbid the violation of fundamental law and the U. S. constitution each within their respective states.

   By the way, no one has yet looked to see or try to trace my death threat, nor to raise a question regarding the procedure with which it interfered.

   But we have called on the Democratic party to begin impeachment in the House of Representatives. The “Republicans” do not need Trump or the Russians to run the table with their agenda now, and his popularity numbers were down to 32% at inauguration. So far, there is only that sissy movement to sue him for emoluments, though this may be enough and sufficient. What we have to be willing to face and counter is the Russian internet and Trumpster media interference, to arrest these people and regain control of our nation’s communications, even by stuffing that Bill of Rights down their throats.

   Whenever government fails to secure “these ends” or the fundamental rights, it is our right and duty to rebel. Impeachment is nothing compared to that, but is included in that right and duty.

Citizen’s Arrest of Donald Trump

   I wish, then, to declare the arrest of Donald Trump for election fraud, here in writing now. I Do not know which agency to contact, but will do that within the next day. They really need to contact me, since, I have told my Senators, if I call the FBI, they will not understand and hang up on me. The State Police, too will send a 24 year old adorned with so many cameras he can hardly walk, let alone sit for philosophical arguments. Ok, Donald J. Trump, presumed President elect, you are hereby under arrest. The charade is over.

   I wish, too, to appeal to the Federal election Commission to declare the vote of the Electoral College illegitimate, and the U. S. elections of this past November to be null and void, due to foreign interference which may well have turned the presidential and some congressional elections. I request a do-over, with paper copies of each vote, sealed and kept by each citizen in case there is a problem.

   I suggest, too, that until we sort out what the true vote of the people is, all office holders keep their places, in the interests of national security.

Note: Incidentally, this is quite in the interest of Mr. Trump personally, though it may not yet appear to him. On the charge of Treason, he may well be able to plead that he really just did not know what he was getting into. Crime requires intention, and there are various levels of intention and different senses in which one did not know what they were doing.

How Could Nazi Germany Ever Happen?

   Our Governor- the same who handled the Flint Water Crisis by hiring a new PR firm- just came on the radio saying that he was committed to honoring the electoral process, so much so that he is all ready to welcome the Trump administration. I told him on the phone- he never listens, never sends a call back- that I supposed that means that he will not be helping us to see to it that the Eastpoint officer- the one who beat the black man while four other officers held him down- does not retain his badge. I have not been following the story, but have heard that he was confined to desk duty. The Governor is responsible for every police officer in the state, since every city and township is a creature of the State Government, and not at all like the federalism that limits the authority of the federal government over the states.

   I began to call for the removal of this governor when I saw first hand, I believe, that the State Police were being run like the Flint water crisis. We have open terrorist targets being ignored, and when citizens make suggestions, they too are ignored. The President knows that this is not only a state but a federal issue. He sent the EPA about the target, and Ms. Lynch to visit Eastpoint-something about elections and the council. I called the governor and suggested he go help her. When the state and federal work together- there is sovereignty. And they can too, in a friendly or cooperative spirit to preserve what is right. That is different from the unitary government we are about to get. If the republicans want to ignore the CIA assessment of Russian involvement in the election, and go about respecting the results of this election, we will soon see blood on the pavement. If we do not indict Donald Trump, but rather work for a smooth transition, as if that will cure everything, well, do not ever wonder again how Nazi Germany occurred. People in positions of the public trust worked instead from fear and self-interest. Acquiesce is the word. A people is responsible for tyranny when it is seated over them, just as the Palestinians are responsible for electing Hamas. And what is wrong with Hamas, if it is profitable for the Palestinians?

Remove that officer and indict Donald Trump, or the result is an absolutely unnecessary civil war and an almost unnecessary foreign war. You will send your sons and grandsons out in brownshirts and receive them home in boxes for your oxy-protected partisan stupor while you were sworn into office to serve the people and uphold the Constitution.

Eastpointe Police Beat a Drunk Driver

   Bye, bye officers. We the people will have your badge now. Stop resisting!

   These cops are so bad that this man is in a state of nature, where self defense is justified, except that they are wearing the badge. Take off your badge now and step in the ring with him, and if he loses, you can have me, and if I lose, I’ll give you my teacher, who teaches police how to use their hands as well as their minds and hearts. Stop resisting.

Merry Christmas. We ask for your penance and reparation.

Man files lawsuit for alleged Eastpointe police beating caught on video

That beating, caused the man to lose vision in one eye – and it was caught on video.

– A lawsuit was filed against Eastpointe police, alleging a brutal beating against a black man while he was restrained in a chair.

That beating caused the man to lose vision in one eye – and it was caught on video.

“If you keep acting like a child, you’re going to get strapped in that chair and you’re going to stay there,” an officer can be heard saying on the video. The date is August 10, 2015. Frankie Taylor has been picked up for drunk driving in Eastpointe – and that officer wasn’t kidding.

On the video, you can see officers pick Taylor up and take him to the chair and try to restrain him, threatening to tase him. That’s when another officer comes in, puts on gloves and strikes Taylor – repeatedly – knocking him unconscious.

“Stop resisting, stop resisting, stop resisting,” said an officer inbetween every strike. Multiple officers are huddled around Taylor and that officer, with their backs to the camera.

“The guy hit me so many times, it made me cry once I seen the tape [sic],” Taylor says. “I was knocked out.”

Another concern for Taylor was how he was treated or, in this case, not treated after being struck in the head. Taylor says he wasn’t taken to a doctor. Instead, he was transferred to the Macomb County Jail the next day. He eventually ended up at Detroit Receiving Hospital for surgery on his eye – an eye that had already had a lens replaced once.

“He has permanent loss of eyesight in one eye. His vision is severely compromised,” says attorney James Rasor. “He has these horrible nightmares.”

“I don’t feel like that I was a threat to the officers to the point that they had to hit me until I was unconscious,” Taylor says.

Attorney James Rasor alleges not only did Eastpointe police use excessive force on Taylor, they discriminated against him because he’s black, refusing to let him make a phone call – even though he says white inmates were allowed to do so.

“You want to protect people from this type of brutality by police forces,” says Rasor. “White folks were allowed to use the phone by police officers; even one who had urinated in his pants was allowed to use the phone. Frankie Taylor wasn’t, and the only difference is that Frankie Taylor happens to be African-American.”

“I wouldn’t expect this from officers,” says Taylor.

Rasor has filed suit in federal court. Eastpointe police say they can’t comment on pending litigation.

Election Recount: The Republican Arguments Against Looking Behind the Curtain

   So far, in addition to raising the price, the republicans have agued that there is no indication of any possible irregularities in the vote count, and that Jill Stein does not have the standing to ask for a recount because she could not possibly have won the election, though Hillary may well have.

   Regarding standing, though, it is simply not the law that the candidate must themselves have been within range of victory. We saw them tie the hands of the Democrats with that criticism of the Trumpster for threatening not to honor the results if he did not win. That is the whole reason they were slow to get on board. Plus, it is more proper that this be suggested by the third parties in the interest of another, rather than by one party in their own interest. If Stein had one electoral vote, she would have a literal chance, should there fail to be a majority of electors for either, and the election go to the house where they choose her as a compromise.

   It is interesting too that, had Stein thrown her votes to Hillary, she, that is, Hillary,  would apparently have won Michigan. That is why, in addition to advising the Democrats to choose Bernie for V.P., we here at the CLC– the smallest political party in America- advised Both her and Mr. Johnson to endorse Hillary. That too would have prevented our little problem here.

   There really are no good arguments against a rational consideration of whether we are to allow our nation and the world to drift into an age of Fascism. When there is an important question, it almost always helps to examine the matter methodically and call out all our powers to learn the truth of the matter.

   Remember in the movie “Finding Nemo,” where the whole school is caught in the fishing boat’s net, and Nemo says, Everybody Swim Down!

Well, Everybody, Swim Down!

Jack Lessenberry Endorses Szymanski and Thomas for Michigan Supreme Court

We usually know nothing about the judges we elect, which is one reason that some states choose them by appointment. There is no party affiliation, so the vote does not even have this vague association on which to go. Frank Szymanski and Deborah Thomas are Democrat- affiliated, and Michigan, you recall, was ready to vote all the Republicans out of office after the Flint water crisis revealed the problem with economic-based political theory. The endorsement of Jack Lessenberry means a great deal, as he would not endorse guys who will sell out our courts and our municipalities so that organized crime can profit from legal property seizures. These people should go back to running businesses. Judges have spoke openly about the corruption necessarily implied when lawyers who are arguing the cases before the judges are the only one who know them, and the law firms contribute to the judges campaigns. Without a detailed knowledge of the matter, let us just say that we do not want to re-elect the judges who decided that the property seizures done when no crime was committed are just fine, for example after the red cross worker fought the case in court with no money. The police are “immune” and property is guilty. Justices who do not cringe from their knowledge of the Fifth Amendment at these practices do not belong on my ballot, let alone receiving my vote.

Dar Bass of Imagine Trash.org on NPR Stateside

The very day after I wrote about the Sheeny man, Stateside reviewed the Kent County Sustainable Business forum and Dar Bass, who is also connected to the Kent County Public Works. He has thought a bit about trash, and viewed what goes into landfills. They have focused on things like getting businesses to bunch their corrugated cardboard together so there is enough to bother with recycling. He notices how many returnable pop cans are thrown away. The balance is always the value of time and attention in our daily priorities, but Mr. Bass is full of good and worthwhile ideas. I wonder if he likes my idea for a sheeney man at Mount Salem and perhaps a store of reclaimed items- the sheeney man would make a fortune, though I would not want the job. The key is to have someone watch and remind people about hazardous house waste, stuff we do not want to be drinking down the river.

It is a shame that the yard waste collected is full of Chemlawn and roundup, so that it may be the last thing one would want to use on one’s garden. They might test for this and consider the wide ranging effects.

Mount Salem: The Sheeny Man

Mount Salem is of course the giant trash dump everyone in Salem loves because they get free dumping and local taxes. Long ago, though, we noticed that no one cares about the dumping of toxic waste. Everyone just throws batteries into the trash, not to mention other chemicals. This of course goes into the ground water and flows probably into Northville Township, where no one cares because they think drinking bottled water keeps them safe. I myself have not made the one hazardous waste day in the past three years, and do not even know what day this is on. But when I worked at the factory by the dump, there was a sign not the drink the water, though they would not admit it was because it was poisoned by the dump.

So I was thinking (Who, me?) what if we had a sheeny man, a trash-picker, who was allowed to set up by the dump, reclaim and sell good stuff, even sell stuff he had fixed up, and at the same time reminded people not to dump poison? What if they had a hazardous waste day right there at the dump every day? The Sheeny man is an old word, from my mother’s childhood, when he used to go around the neighborhood picking up good trash. There are lots of sheeny men who would like such a job, and at the dump they could make a fortune if they could stand the air, and of course, bring their own water.

It is a shame too that all the compost from yardwaste is poisoned from Chemlawn and Roundup and a thousand other things.

Marijuana legalization is Blocked from the Ballot in Michigan

The 1986 policy used to block the petition has NEVER BEFORE BEEN USED.

This is why we need a Supreme Court decision declaring the prohibition of Marijuana unconstitutional. The prohibition itself leads to the violation of the constitution in countless other ways, and assures that money will flow to organized crime. All we need do is obey our constitution to cut the “war on drugs” in half overnight. Common sense, rather than special interest inspired regulation of genuine commerce would then have to be enacted. An example is that one ought not use carcinogenic chemicals in growing medicinal weed for sale. But again, the states never gave the federal government the power to prohibit growing ones own weed and smoking it. The federal government simply took this power, and justified it on the basis of their power to tax and regulate commerce, which are among their enumerated powers. They had to change the constitution to prohibit alcohol, and even then never prohibited making ones own beer and drinking it at home. The prohibition is a constitutional absurdity that has perverted our public offices beyond belief and in numerous ways. Only people who do not understand the issue, or else lie, are permitted to hold public offices. So we have cultivated liars and corruption in our polity, and all we have to do to be rid of this corruption is, like Dorothy, click our heels and obey our Constitution.

The following post was sent out by MI Legalize:

MILegalize has filed a 48-page, six-count complaint and 26-page emergency motion against various agencies of the State of Michigan for refusing to count the 354,000 signatures submitted by MILegalize to place the Marijuana Legalization, Regulation, and Economic Stimulus Act on the November 2016 ballot.

The State defendants are using a never-before utilized 1986 policy as an excuse not to count the signatures. This policy would require MILegalize to collect almost double the amount of signatures required to make the ballot by requiring affidavits from every signor of the petition whose signature was more than 180 days old- 200,000+ people- or, local clerks could certify the signatures as valid.
But that doesn’t work for a lot of reasons: local clerks have no legal obligation to verify the signatures, they have never done it before, have never received any training or money to do so, and even the Bureau of Elections stated clerks did not have to verify the signatures.
For these reasons, and more, the 1986 policy is impossible to comply with– they may as well have asked MILegalize to turn in a unicorn or find Bigfoot to qualify for the ballot.
The MILegalize legal team, which consists of six attorneys working on the case in consultation with many more attorneys behind the scenes, prepared a suit which MILegalize filed which seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to enjoin the state from using the 1986 policy; it asks the Court to declare the policy and two other election laws as unconstitutional; and asks the Court to order the Bureau of Elections to begin counting MILegalize’s signatures.
The case was filed in Michigan’s Court of Claims on June 17th, and MILegalize is currently waiting on the State’s reply or for the Court to issue an emergency ruling.
Rest assured, MILegalize will fight for the inclusion of every valid Michigan voter who signed the petition. We are fighting for more than just better cannabis laws, we are fighting for the heart and soul of our democracy. We will not quit.
At the same time we engage in legal action to protect the rights of Michigan voters, we continue to campaign for the November election and need your help educating Michigan voters about the initiative. Our enemies may be trying to keep us bogged down in court so the public does not get informed of the details of the campaign as much as they would if we had already qualified.
A typical statewide ballot campaign requires $3-$10 million dollars for media advertising and get-out-the-vote resources. MILegalize is not a typical campaign and we can achieve victory without the resources of a typical campaign, but we still need your help to win.