2016 interview with Socrates: ‘Golden Age of Greece,’ my Aesop! But you can have one for all Earth now if you want (4 of ?)

language warning: Socrates and I speak in the same direct language that caused his execution for “corrupting the young.”

“Thinkin’ ‘bout how many time I have fallen,

Spirits are using me, larger voices callin’

What heaven taught you and me, cannot be forgotten.”

  • ~ Crosby, Stills & Nash: Southern Cross

Carl: Well, well, well! Look who’s back with more to say!

Socrates: I really thought we were done talking, but hey, I’m never done, am I! I’m driven by questions, Carl, and I have another one: How did the Athens I knew become a “Golden Age” in your history when I knew it was, frankly, as fucked up as one could imagine.

C: (smiles) Please begin, Socrates.

S: Athens was a slave-driver, empire driven, tribute taking, freedom-hypocritical, sexist, war-plagued, civil-war destroyed, and Socrates-murdering society.

I think I’m done. (turns and walks away)

(spins with arms opened and broadly smiling) Nah, I think we should elaborate!

C: Didn’t fool me with that.

S: So let’s inquire into this: the ideals of personal freedom, government under law, and unleashing human creativity were breakthrough values that once revealed were embraced by all men and women of conscience.

These ideals produced a love of diverse self-expression; periods of ethical government (although those were always subverted); beauty expressed in physical bodies, art, architecture, outstanding literature and plays.

Those are the highlights.

C: So what went wrong?  I mean, these are genuine breakthroughs for human experience and expression.

S: What you see in America today: hubris and greed. This so-called “Golden Age” began with our amazing defense from two wars against Persian invasion.

This is similar to two world wars in your modern era, with remarkable technical and cultural advancements that you appreciate today. For example, everybody enjoys American entertainment, just as everyone enjoyed Greek plays (except me for that dick, Aristophanes).

This said, these two “Golden Ages” are the opposite of any definition of virtue because they also embrace:

“Golden Age” and shouting, “USA! USA!” my Aesop!

C: So why do you think it got called “Golden,” and what options do we have to evolve beyond this hypocrisy and shell of genuine civilization?

S: “Golden Age,” “Progressive Era,” “Civil Rights” are all co-option frames for the work animals to believe in bursts of progress, although the reality is endless oligarchs scheming for greater control through empire. The proper political term is recuperation today.

The only way out of hypocrisy is to name it, recognize it, and choose to move beyond it. The good news is that 95% of humanity would choose cooperation if given the opportunity to freely choose informed by accurate information.

Both Athenians and Americans believe in democracy, but a vote only counts when given comprehensive facts about which one is voting!

C: So why didn’t Athenians demand better information, and vote for something better than empire?

S: Why don’t you Americans?

C: Sorry; that’s, “Why haven’t Americans?” as a question directed to our past. You know better than I this is changing fast.

S: (chuckles) Are you sure? How do you know?

C: Game-changing polling data, literacy rates of almost all compared to 10% in your day, and abundant solutions for a real Golden Age today.

S: Oh, really? What solutions are those? (smiles innocently)

C: The easy one to end illegal and lie-began Wars of Aggression of the US/UK/Israel by lawful arrests of those leaders. In an Emperor’s New Clothes moment when those militaries are done being abused, those wars end. Corporate media complicit criminals also get arrested, with replacement by full factual content on our most important issues.

Nearly as easy, but far more complicated, monetary reform and public banks end almost all economic problems with full-employment and the best infrastructure we can imagine.

Finally, resource-based economics accelerated with hidden technological breakthroughs brought to light from arresting our .01% wanna-be masters will start Earth’s first genuine Golden Age.

S: When enough people demand that which you point to.

C: Yes.

S: And when will that be?

C: When enough people demand it, in one form or another. Or if we get some divine help to start this party. When it happens, events will move in an Emperor’s New Clothes endgame.

S: So what can interested people do to help bring this bright future forward?

C: Exactly what was defeated in all previous attempts: experience and express that resonance for this brighter future with thoughts, words, and actions. If there are enough of us here in action, and/or if divine will is interested in that outcome, we’ll win. If not, it’s just another lifetime in the empire.

S: No hopeful prognostications, Carl?

C: With all love and respect, Socrates: Fuck you. Human beings can’t know anything beyond what you advocated: what anyone can point to that anyone else can see, we can say with confidence. Beyond that, we’re clueless.

Pardon the attitude, but a million kids will die this month from entirely preventable poverty in gruesome slow agony from the obvious crimes centering in war, money, and lies of .01% psychopaths. Hey, Soc, let’s feel this for a moment, ok? Take 5-minutes to see these psychopaths in action:

There’s nothing to be hopeful about, but everything to work for.

S: You don’t seem very happy about that position, Carl.

C: (smiles) My personal vote is to end this empire now; and I’m confident those in positions above human have the power and authority to provide a breakthrough. Human beings have endured all recorded history of wars, disease, poverty, lies, and now we’re being poisoned through food, water, air, and who knows what else.

We can handle the truth about these .01% empire psychopaths.

We deserve the truth. Now.

S: So you’re not happy?

C: No. Not at all. I’m not unhappy; I’m willing to take what God concludes is best, and that what we receive is exactly that.

I’m not discouraged; for whatever reasons, Earth’s tragic comedy of empire continuing means that my personal vote is in the minority. So, I’ll continue to sharpen my knowledge and skills, and exercise them for another day.

But am I happy with the ongoing suffering on our planet when all solutions are obvious with just a little explanation?

No.

How about you, Socrates? Happy about that?

S: I’m only here talking with you because there is further opportunity to be of service on Earth. No one of conscience is happy about the vicious destruction on this planet.

Earth has never had a “Golden Age” in recorded history.

My initial interest for this conversation was to make that clear. And, as you say, when enough people want a truly golden age, it will be so.

C: (slight smile) I conclude we’ve made those points clear. Any last thoughts to share, Soc?

S: Only that the pain on Earth is an effect of causes. God does indeed allow the tragic-comedy of Earth to continue, as you struggle to embrace. You can, and should, exercise your voice and “vote” on this matter while trusting in perspectives and virtues greater than you can imagine to manage this planet; upon which you are a mere visiting guest.

C: So why has this planet been a place of endless psychopathic wars, Soc? What’s up with that history extending from your lifetime to ours that’s, as you say, “as fucked up as you could imagine”?

S: You’re asking about the design of Earth, and an overview of the history from that creation to “non-Golden” ages from mine to yours?

C: Yes. Please.

S: You know we’ve already discussed this point.

C: Yes.

S: You expect a different answer?

C: Do what you want, Soc. I’m still askin’.

S: You have to wait for your answers. Human limitations, Bro. I can’t tell you any more than you struggle to find on your own.

C: With all love and respect, Socrates: fuck you. Humanity deserves to know. Monsters are set loose on this planet, and you want to keep the victims ignorant?

S: I’ll escalate your request to management.

C: Thank you.

S: Of course; I’m also playing a role of service and ongoing test of Faith.

C: I mean the love and respect, Soc. I feel you, as we say, for the challenge and disappointment you faced in your life.

S: Thank you. And I only have love and respect for all humans pushing the boundaries for growth, truth, and service. I’m sorry, I may have mumbled: FOR GROWTH, TRUTH, AND SERVICE.

Was that clear? (raises eyebrow)

C: Very clear. For growth, truth, and service.

And please don’t forget to escalate my respectful request for fucking truth on this planet.

Hey, what’s the opposite of “Golden Age;” something like “Poison Age,” “Slave Age,” or “Be Fucked Age”?

S: You make your point. I’ll escalate your request with all your passion.

C: Thank you.

S: (smiles lovingly) Thank you.

**

“Interview” series:

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Note: I make all factual assertions as a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History, with all economics factual claims receiving zero refutation since I began writing in 2008among Advanced Placement Macroeconomics teachers on our discussion board, public audiences of these articles, and international conferences. I invite readers to empower their civic voices with the strongest comprehensive facts most important to building a brighter future. I challenge professionals, academics, and citizens to add their voices for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.

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Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History; also credentialed in Mathematics. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu

Note: Examiner.com has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers), so some links in my previous work are blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to http://archive.org/web/, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” then click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (blocked author pages: here, here).

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  • diogenes

    Thanks Carl. Tell Socrates I said it’s OK for him to pick on Aristophanes since Aristophanes picked on him, but I’m sure if he takes a less involved look he’ll readily admit that as a comic dramatist Aristophanes is hilarious and brilliant — even moreso in Greek where he’s as furious a punster as Rabelais or Shakespeare and filthier than Mercutio — and he DID write Lysistrata, the earliest extant anti-war work in literature (besides the Iliad and much of Athenian drama) — so make that the earliest extant explicitly anti-war work in literature. That’s the curious thing, how the great artists of Athens got it so right and its political powers got it so wrong. Here’s what Aeschylus says about war in the voice of the chorus of elders in his Agamemnon:

    Banker
    of corpses, Ares
    suspends his scales in the clash of spears
    and from the flames of Ilion
    sends families home a weight
    of dust and hard tears
    in exchange for men:
    packing urns with ashes,
    an easy job.
    And people grieve ‹– praise
    this man as skilled
    in battle, that one because, in the slaughter, he fell
    valiantly:
    all for the sake of another man’s wife
    ‹that’s what some growl between their teeth
    as grief creeps toward resentment
    against the Atreidai champions of justice.
    And others, there, outside the walls,
    good men,
    occupy graves in the Ilian earth
    where the enemy ground they took
    hides them.

    I bet there are more American widows than we ever hear of who share their sentiments — and yours and Socrates’ about America’s “Bankers of corpses.” Although these days we don’t pretend our wars are about “another man’s wife” — Helen of Troy. No, our wars are to bring “freedom and democracy” to Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya — not for oil and opium. But either way, they’re about “justice,” not sacked cities, plunder and corpses. So they say.

    • Carl_Herman

      Thank you, diogenes 🙂

      Powerful statement from Aeschylus.

      I edited Socrates rebuke of Aristophanes for his more specific circumstances. As with Rome comedies and today’s sitcoms, I appreciate humor, but only so far as it doesn’t replace our most important topics. Today’s comedians making fun of “conspiracy theories” is their right, of course, but they will earn a future they care to embrace. Life is just.