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Utopie en bevrijding

Voorkant Popper 'The open society and its enemies - Volume 1: The spell of Plato' Karl POPPER
The open society and its enemies - Volume 1: The spell of Plato
London: Routledge, 1945/1; 1966/5 herzien; ISBN 04 1504 0310

[Dit boek bevat Poppers uitgebreide kritiek op Plato in het eerste deel en op Marx in het tweede deel. De kritiek is erg gebaseerd op wat er gebeurde tijdens WOII (fascisme, nazisme).]

Preface

"Great men may make great mistakes; and as the book tries to show, some of the greatest leaders of the past supported the perennial attack on freedom and reason." (v)

[De aanval op vrijheid en rede. Hij werpt zich dus op als een verdediger van beide. Maar het zijn wel erg vage begrippen natuurlijk. Dus wat verdedig je dan?]

Preface to the second edition (1950)

"Marxism is only an episode - one of the many mistakes we have made in the perennial and dangerous struggle for building a better and freer world."(viii)

Popper merkt op p. ix op dat het boek een sfeer van optimisme ademt die hij achteraf als tamelijk naïef is gaan ervaren.

"But my mood of depression has passed, largely as the result of a visit to the United States; ..."(ix)

[O, nou, dat is inderdaad erg naïef. Alsof mensen en machthebbers daar zo vrij en rationeel waren of zijn. Dat was al niet zo in 1950. Hoe zou hij het ervaren als hij vandaag de dag - in 2017 - de VS zou bezoeken?]

"I see now more clearly than ever before that even our greatest troubles spring from something that is as admirable and sound as it is dangerous - from our impatience to better the lot of our fellows. For these troubles are the by-products of what is perhaps the greatest of all moral and spiritual revolutions of history, a movement which began three centuries ago. It is the longing of uncounted unknown men to free themselves and their minds from the tutelage of authority and prejudice. It is their attempt to build up an open society which rejects the absolute authority of the merely established and the merely traditional while trying to preserve, to develop, and to establish traditions, old or new, that measure up to their standards of freedom, of humaness, and of rational criticism. It is their unwillingness to sit back and leave the entire responsibility for ruling the world to human or superhuman authority, and their readiness to share the burden of responsibility for avoidable suffering, and to work for its avoidance. This revolution has created powers of appalling destructiveness; but they may yet be conquered."(ix)

[Drie keer het woord 'autoriteit', bedoeld wordt de absolute autoriteit van de traditionele gevestigde orde. Het verzet daartegen en het streven naar vrijheid, menselijkheid, rationele kritiek, het vermijden van leed, het verbeteren van het lot van de mensheid - hij noemt de Verlichting niet, maar verwijst er wel naar - leidt als bijproduct tot destructie en dat moeten we zien te voorkomen. Wat dan? De status quo accepteren? Nee, dat wil hij ook niet. Is hij een van die mensen die mensen dat de Verlichtingsidealen zonder meer naar totalitaire regimes leiden? Hij maakt hier niet duidelijk hoe het een leidt tot het ander. En waarom valt het woord religie niet?]

Acknowledgements

Hij bedankt professor F. A. von Hayek.

[Ik weet niet of dat een aanbeveling is voor dit boek. Tenslotte is Hayek zo'n typische neoliberaal.]

(1) Introduction

Het boek is een kritiek op totalitair denken, wat volgens Popper altijd een vorm van historicistisch denken is. Het is ook een kritiek op de methoden van de sociale wetenschappen die menen de toekomst te kunnen voorspellen.

[Waarbij historicisme gedefineerd kan worden als "de theorie die stelt dat de geschiedenis zich onwrikbaar en onvermijdelijk volgens vaste wetten, die kunnen worden ontdekt, naar een bepaalde eindsituatie beweegt. Het historicisme is dus vaak verbonden met het historisch determinisme of het idee dat er een uiteindelijk (eind)doel in de geschiedenis zit." Aldus de Wikipedia. Popper haalt sociale wetenschap en sociale filosofie wel erg gemakkelijk door elkaar.]

"It sketches some of the difficulties faced by our civilization—a civilization which might be perhaps described as aiming at humaneness and reasonableness, at equality and freedom; a civilization which is still in its infancy, as it were, and which continues to grow in spite of the fact that it has been so often betrayed by so many of the intellectual leaders of mankind. It attempts to show that this civilization has not yet fully recovered from the shock of its birth—the transition from the tribal or ‘closed society’, with its submission to magical forces, to the ‘open society’ which sets free the critical powers of man. It attempts to show that the shock of this transition is one of the factors that have made possible the rise of those reactionary movements which have tried, and still try, to overthrow civilization and to return to tribalism. And it suggests that what we call nowadays totalitarianism belongs to a tradition which is just as old or just as young as our civilization itself."(1)

"It further tries to examine the application of the critical and rational methods of science to the problems of the open society. It analyses the principles of democratic social reconstruction, the principles of what I may term ‘piecemeal social engineering’ in opposition to ‘Utopian social engineering’ (as explained in Chapter 9). And it tries to clear away some of the obstacles impeding a rational approach to the problems of social reconstruction. It does so by criticizing those social philosophies which are responsible for the widespread prejudice against the possibilities of democratic reform."(1-2)

[Hier dus ook weer die kritiek op 'utopisch denken' dat door Popper waarschijnlijk gelijk gesteld wordt aan 'totalitair denken'. Gemakzuchtig.]

"A careful examination of this question has led me to the conviction that such sweeping historical prophecies are entirely beyond the scope of scientific method. The future depends on ourselves, and we do not depend on any historical necessity. There are, however, influential social philosophies which hold the opposite view."(3)

"Their story that democracy is not to last for ever is as true, and as little to the point, as the assertion that human reason is not to last for ever, since only democracy provides an institutional framework that permits reform without violence, and so the use of reason in political matters."(4)

"It is clear that this attitude must lead to a rejection of the applicability of science or of reason to the problems of social life—and ultimately, to a doctrine of power, of domination and submission."(5)

(7) The Myth Of Origin And Destiny

(7) Chapter 1: Historicism And The Myth Of Destiny

"It is widely believed that a truly scientific or philosophical attitude towards politics, and a deeper understanding of social life in general, must be based upon a contemplation and interpretation of human history. While the ordinary man takes the setting of his life and the importance of his personal experiences and petty struggles for granted, it is said that the social scientist or philosopher has to survey things from a higher plane. He sees the individual as a pawn, as a somewhat insignificant instrument in the general development of mankind. And he finds that the really important actors on the Stage of History are either the Great Nations and their Great Leaders, or perhaps the Great Classes, or the Great Ideas. However this may be, he will try to understand the meaning of the play which is performed on the Historical Stage; he will try to understand the laws of historical development. If he succeeds in this, he will, of course, be able to predict future developments."(7-8)

Dat is het historicisme waarover Popper het in een eerder boek al had.

[Maar dit citaat bevat allerlei elementen door elkaar, wetenschap, filosofie, religie. Het eerste voorbeeld dat Popper geeft is de opvatting van een uitverkoren volk in religies. Maar wat heeft dat nu toch met wetenschap te maken? Natuurwetten over ras, economische wetten zoals bij Hegel en Marx worden in één adem genoemd alsof het hetzelfde is, alsmede de verzekering dat Popper er niet op uit is de religie te bekritiseren:]

"An attack upon this form of historicism should therefore not be interpreted as an attack upon religion."(9)

[O jee, ja dat willen we niet natuurlijk ... Maar goed. De kwestie is: Waarom zou je geen sociaal-wetenschappelijk onderzoek mogen doen waarin een individu deel uitmaakt van een groter geheel? Waarom zou je geen wetten mogen proberen te ontdekken in de historische ontwikkeling? Waarom zou je niet mogen proberen om de toekomst te voorspellen? De vraag is alleen of de beweringen die op dat terrein gedaan worden op hun waarheidsgehalte gecontroleerd kunnen (mogen!!) worden. In veel gevallen kan dat natuurlijk niet. En een attitude waarin die beweringen immuun gemaakt worden voor kritiek is uiteraard totaal onaanvaardbaar. Maar hetzelfde geldt ook voor natuurwetenschappelijk onderzoek, waar net zo goed allerlei dogma's bestaan (denk aan de discussie over 'dark matter').]

(11) Chapter 2: Heraclitus

Als een belangrijke beïnvloeder van Plato. Heraclitus zou voor de aristocraten zijn en tegen de democratie die het niet toestond dat sommige mensen individueel beter waren dan andere. Ondanks de nadruk op dat alles verandert, is er het geloof in het onveranderlijke, in de wetten in die verandering, het lot waar alles op uitloopt. Empirische wetenschap wordt bekritiseerd, mystieke intuïtie belangrijk gevonden.

"This emphasis on change, and especially on change in social life, is an important characteristic not only of Heraclitus’ philosophy but of historicism in general. (...) But in the Heraclitean philosophy one of the less commendable characteristics of historicism manifests itself, namely, an over-emphasis upon change, combined with the complementary belief in an inexorable and immutable law of destiny."(13)

"But the relativism of values (it might even be described as an ethical relativism) expressed in the last fragment does not prevent Heraclitus from developing upon the background of his theory of the justice of war and the verdict of history a tribalist and romantic ethic of Fame, Fate, and the superiority of the Great Man, all strangely similar to some very modern ideas."(17)

(18) Chapter 3: Plato’s Theory Of Forms Or Ideas

"From the feeling that society, and indeed ‘everything’, was in flux, arose, I believe, the fundamental impulse of his philosophy as well as of the philosophy of Heraclitus; and Plato summed up his social experience, exactly as his historicist predecessor had done, by proffering a law of historical developm ent. According to this law, which will be more fully discussed in the next chapter, all social change is corruption or decay or degeneration."(19)

"Plato believed that the law of historical destiny, the law of decay, can be broken by the moral will of man, supported by the power of human reason."(20)

"The social engineer does not ask any questions about historical tendencies or the destiny of man. He believes that man is the master of his own destiny and that, in accordance with our aims, we can influence or change the history of man just as we have changed the face of the earth. He does not believe that these ends are imposed upon us by our historical background or by the trends of history, but rather that they are chosen, or even created, by ourselves, just as we create new thoughts or new works of art or new houses or new machinery. As opposed to the historicist who believes that intelligent political action is possible only if the future course of history is first determined, the social engineer believes that a scientific basis of politics would be a very different thing; it would consist of the factual information necessary for the construction or alteration of social institutions, in accordance with our wishes and aims. Such a science would have to tell us what steps we must take if we wish, for instance, to avoid depressions, or else to produce depressions; or if we wish to make the distribution of wealth more even, or less even. In other words, the social engineer conceives as the scientific basis of politics something like a social technology (Plato, as we shall see, compares it with the scientific background of medicine), as opposed to the historicist who understands it as a science of immutable historical tendencies.
From what I have said about the attitude of the social engineer, it must not be inferred that there are no important differences within the camp of the social engineers. On the contrary, the difference between what I call ‘piecemeal social engineering’ and ‘Utopian social engineering’ is one of the main themes of this book. (Cp. especially chapter 9, where I shall give my reasons for advocating the former and rejecting the latter.)"(22)

[En vermoedelijk zal de utopische afgewezen worden en zal er gekozen worden voor een technische aanpak die probeert te vermijden om over waarden en normen te praten en simpelweg oplossingen zal bedenken bij door anderen voorgegeven doelen. Hoeveel ellende dat al heeft opgeleverd ... Misschien moet de sociale ingenieur toch maar wel wat meer nadenken over historische tendenzen en wat goed is voor mensen.]

Methodisch essentialisme (zoals bij Plato) en nominalisme:

"Methodological essentialism, i.e. the theory that it is the aim of science to reveal essences and to describe them by means of definitions, can be better understood when contrasted with its opposite, methodological nominalism. Instead of aiming at finding out what a thing really is, and at defining its true nature, methodological nominalism aims at describing how a thing behaves in various circumstances, and especially, whether there are any regularities in its behaviour. In other words, methodological nominalism sees the aim of science in the description of the things and events of our experience, and in an ‘explanation’ of these events, i.e. their description with the help of universal laws. And it sees in our language, and especially in those of its rules which distinguish properly constructed sentences and inferences from a mere heap of words, the great instrument of scientific description; words it considers rather as subsidiary tools for this task, and not as names of essences. The methodological nominalist will never think that a question like ‘What is energy?’ or ‘What is movement?’ or ‘What is an atom?’ is an important question for physics; but he will attach importance to a question like: ‘How can the energy of the sun be made useful?’ or ‘How does a planet move?’ or ‘Under what condition does an atom radiate light?’ And to those philosophers who tell him that before having answered the ‘what is’ question he cannot hope to give exact answers to any of the ‘how’ questions, he will reply, if at all, by pointing out that he much prefers that modest degree of exactness which he can achieve by his methods to the pretentious muddle which they have achieved by theirs.
As indicated by our example, methodological nominalism is nowadays fairly generally accepted in the natural sciences. The problems of the social sciences, on the other hand, are still for the most part treated by essentialist methods. This is, in my opinion, one of the main reasons for their backwardness. But many who have noticed this situation30 judge it differently. They believe that the difference in method is necessary, and that it reflects an ‘essential’ difference between the ‘natures’ of these two fields of research."(32-33)

[Schijntegenstellingen. Ook de natuurwetenschappen blijven niet hangen in ervaringen en waarnemingen, ook daar is er sprake van theorievorming, pogingen wetmatigheden op te sporen, en van definities. De vraag is meer hoe het allemaal gebeurt en hoe controleerbaar de resultaten zijn. Ik vind dat geïdealiseer van de natuurwetenschappen tegenover de sociale wetenschappen erg naïef en dogmatisch. Alsof het niet uitmaakt welk onderwerp je wetenschappelijk wilt benaderen.]

(35) Plato’s Descriptive Sociology

(35) Chapter 4: Change and Rest

"If we are to believe Aristotle’s report (outlined in the last chapter), then the theory of Forms or Ideas was originally introduced in order to meet a methodological demand, the demand for pure or rational knowledge which is impossible in the case of sensible things in flux. We now see that the theory does more than that. Over and above meeting these methodological demands, it provides a theory of change. It explains the general direction of the flux of all sensible things, and thereby the historical tendency to degenerate shown by man and human society."(37-38)

"According to the Republic, the original or primitive form of society, and at the same time, the one that resembles the Form or Idea of a state most closely, the ‘best state’, is a kingship of the wisest and most godlike of men. This ideal city-state is so near perfection that it is hard to understand how it can ever change. Still, a change does take place; and with it enters Heraclitus’ strife, the driving force of all movement. According to Plato, internal strife, class war, fomented by self-interest and especially material or economic self-interest, is the main force of ‘social dynamics’. The Marxian formula ‘The history of all hitherto existing societies is a history of class struggle’ fits Plato’s historicism nearly as well as that of Marx."(39-40)

"We see that Plato aimed at setting out a system of historical periods, governed by a law of evolution; in other words, he aimed at a historicist theory of society. This attempt was revived by Rousseau, and was made fashionable by Comte and Mill, and by Hegel and Marx; but considering the historical evidence then available, Plato’s system of historical periods was just as good as that of any of these modern historicists."(40)

"Plato’s description of the perfect or best state has usually been interpreted as the Utopian programme of a progressivist."(45)

[Wat maakt dat nu uit dat hij die perfecte samenleving in het verleden zet? Of dat het een weergave is van een 'tribal form' van een samenleving? Zo moest het zijn en zo is het niet meer. Iemand kan zijn beschrijving ervan dus gebruiken als een model voor hoe de samenleving zou moeten zijn, als een utopisch en moreel appèl om terug te keren naar de oorspronkelijke volmaakte samenleving. Of ik het daar mee eens ben is weer een ander verhaal. Waarschijnlijk niet: het IS een kastensamenleving, en de regerende klasse / kaste heeft altijd gelijk, zoals Popper zegt.]

"Plato distinguishes three classes in his best state, the guardians, their armed auxiliaries or warriors, and the working class. But actually there are only two castes, the military caste—the armed and educated rulers—and the unarmed and uneducated ruled, the human sheep; for the guardians are no separate caste, but merely old and wise warriors who have been promoted from the ranks of the auxiliaries. That Plato divides his ruling caste into two classes, the guardians and the auxiliaries, without elaborating similar subdivisions within the working class, is largely due to the fact that he is interested only in the rulers. The workers, tradesmen, etc., do not interest him at all, they are only human cattle whose sole function is to provide for the material needs of the ruling class."(46-47)

[Het eerste is waar, het tweede betwijfel ik. 'Iedereen moet zijn plaats kennen', is dat meteen negatief over de arbeiders en zo? Niet per se, want elke plaats is belangrijk in het grote geheel.]

"Plato’s moral valuations, which are, of course, identical with those of the rulers of his best state, will be discussed in chapters 6 to 8; I may therefore confine myself here to describing some of his ideas concerning the origin, the breeding, and the education of his ruling class. (Before proceeding to this description, I wish to express my belief that personal superiority, whether racial or intellectual or moral or educational, can never establish a claim to political prerogatives, even if such superiority could be ascertained. Most people in civilized countries nowadays admit racial superiority to be a myth; but even if it were an established fact, it should not create special political rights, though it might create special moral responsibilities for the superior persons. Analogous demands should be made of those who are intellectually and morally and educationally superior; and I cannot help feeling that the opposite claims of certain intellectualists and moralists only show how little successful their education has been, since it failed to make them aware of their own limitations, and of their Pharisaism.)"(49)

[Hier dus Poppers eigen waarden. Ik vind het allemaal nogal gemakkelijk en naïef, een opvatting van 'iedereen is even belangrijk / gelijke rechten voor iedereen' die ook alleen maar tot ellende leidt. Willen we nu echt dat mensen die niets begrijpen van economie of machtsverhoudingen of opvoeding of relaties even veel te zeggen hebben over die zaken als mensen die er goed in thuis zijn? Ik hou niet van superioriteitsopvattingen zonder inhoud die ten koste gaan van anderen die 'minder' zouden zijn, ik hou er evenmin van om ieders mening of stem even belangrijk te vinden waar dat niet het geval is.]

"This short but triumphant tale of the subjugation of a sedentary population by a conquering war horde (who are identified, in the Statesman, with the nomad hill shepherds of the period before the settlement) must be kept in mind when we interpret Plato’s reiterated insistence that good rulers, whether gods or demigods or guardians, are patriarchal shepherds of men, and that the true political art, the art of ruling, is a kind of herdsmanship, i.e. the art of managing and keeping down the human cattle. And it is in this light that we must consider his description of the breeding and training of ‘the auxiliaries who are subject to the rulers like sheep-dogs to the shepherds of the state’.
The breeding and the education of the auxiliaries and thereby of the ruling class of Plato’s best state is, like their carrying of arms, a class symbol and therefore a class prerogative33. And breeding and education are not empty symbols but, like arms, instruments of class rule, and necessary for ensuring the stability of this rule. They are treated by Plato solely from this point of view, i.e. as powerful political weapons, as means which are useful for herding the human cattle, and for unifying the ruling class.
To this end, it is important that the master class should feel as one superior master race. ‘The race of the guardians must be kept pure’34, says Plato (in defence of infanticide), when developing the racialist argument that we breed animals with great care while neglecting our own race, an argument which has been repeated ever since. (Infanticide was not an Athenian institution; Plato, seeing that it was practised at Sparta for eugenic reasons, concluded that it must be ancient and therefore good.) He demands that the same principles be applied to the breeding of the master race as are applied, by an experienced breeder, to dogs, horses, or birds."(50-51)

"The only admissible control of the master class is therefore self-control. Just as the ruling class must exercise economic abstinence, i.e. refrain from an excessive economic exploitation of the ruled, so it must also be able to refrain from too much fierceness in its dealings with the ruled. But this can only be achieved if the fierceness of its nature is balanced by its gentleness. Plato finds this a very serious problem, since ‘the fierce nature is the exact opposite of the gentle nature’."(52)

(57) Chapter 5: Nature and Convention

"It is one of the characteristics of the magical attitude of a primitive tribal or ‘closed’ society that it lives in a charmed circle1 of unchanging taboos, of laws and customs which are felt to be as inevitable as the rising of the sun, or the cycle of the seasons, or similar obvious regularities of nature. And it is only after this magical ‘closed society’ has actually broken down that a theoretical understanding of the difference between ‘nature’ and ‘society’ can develop."(57)

"The starting point can be described as a naïve monism. It may be said to be characteristic of the ‘closed society’. The last step, which I describe as critical dualism (or critical conventionalism), is characteristic of the ‘open society’. The fact that there are still many who try to avoid making this step may be taken as an indication that we are still in the midst of the transition from the closed to the open society. (...) The starting point which I have called ‘naïve monism’ is the stage at which the distinction between natural and normative laws is not yet made."(59)

"The breakdown of magic tribalism is closely connected with the realization that taboos are different in various tribes, that they are imposed and enforced by man, and that they may be broken without unpleasant repercussions if one can only escape the sanctions imposed by one’s fellow-men. This realization is quickened when it is observed that laws are altered and made by human lawgivers. I have in mind not only such lawgivers as Solon, but also the laws which were made and enforced by the common people of democratic cities. These experiences may lead to a conscious differentiation between the man-enforced normative laws, based on decisions or conventions, and the natural regularities which are beyond his power. When this differentiation is clearly understood, then we can describe the position reached as a critical dualism, or critical conventionalism."(60)

"Critical dualism thus emphasizes the impossibility of reducing decisions or norms to facts; it can therefore be described as a dualism of facts and decisions."(63)

"In the field of decisions, the situation is analogous. The making of a decision, the adoption of a norm or of a standard, is a fact. But the norm or standard which has been adopted, is not a fact."(64)

"To sum up, it is impossible to derive a sentence stating a norm or a decision or, say, a proposal for a policy from a sentence stating a fact; this is only another way of saying that it is impossible to derive norms or decisions or proposals from facts."(64)

"Nearly all misunderstandings can be traced back to one fundamental misapprehension, namely, to the belief that ‘convention’ implies ‘arbitrariness’; that if we are free to choose any system of norms we like, then one system is just as good as any other. It must, of course, be admitted that the view that norms are conventional or artificial indicates that there will be a certain element of arbitrariness involved (...) But artificiality by no means implies full arbitrariness. Mathematical calculi, for instance, or symphonies, or plays, are highly artificial, yet it does not follow that one calculus or symphony or play is just as good as any other. Man has created new worlds—of language, of music, of poetry, of science; and the most important of these is the world of the moral demands, for equality, for freedom, and for helping the weak."(64-65)

"The view that norms are man-made is also, strangely enough, contested by some who see in this attitude an attack on religion. It must be admitted, of course, that this view is an attack on certain forms of religion, namely, on the religion of blind authority, on magic and tabooism. But I do not think that it is in any way opposed to a religion built upon the idea of personal responsibility and freedom of conscience. I have in mind, of course, especially Christianity, at least as it is usually interpreted in democratic countries; (...)
All kinds of norms have been claimed to be God-given. If you accept the ‘Christian’ ethics of equality and toleration and freedom of conscience only because of its claim to rest upon divine authority, then you build on a weak basis; for it has been only too often claimed that inequality is willed by God, and that we must not be tolerant with unbelievers. If, however, you accept the Christian ethics not because you are commanded to do so but because of your conviction that it is the right decision to take, then it is you who have decided. My insistence that we make the decisions and carry the responsibility must not be taken to imply that we cannot, or must not, be helped by faith, and inspired by tradition or by great examples."(65-66)

"The way in which the first clear statement of critical dualism makes room for a religious interpretation of our sense of responsibility shows how little critical dualism is opposed to a religious attitude."(66)

[Wat een merkwaardig standpunt! Bij religies worden waarden en normen voor gedrag altijd afgeleid van de autoriteit van een god en/of een heilig boek. Hoezo zijn die waarden en normen in het christendom iets van persoonlijke verantwoordelijkheid en gewetensvrijheid? Het feit dat je zelf beslist dat je een christen wilt zijn maakt dat aannemelijker?
Wat valt Popper hier door de mand, zeg. Hij wil mensen die gelovig zijn niet voor het hoofd stoten, blijkbaar. Merkwaardig voor iemand die zich zo verzet tegen bijgeloof en zo. Religie is altijd gebaseerd op het stellen van een autoriteit boven je.
1/ Waarom het christendom als voorbeeld van een geweldige religie en niet een andere? Grijpen naar wat je uit je opvoeding kent is altijd gevaarlijk.
2/ Wat met de miljoen historische voorbeelden die laten zien dat in het christendom die persoonlijke verantwoordelijkheid en gewetensvrijheid totaal niet serieus wordt genomen, ook vandaag de dag niet, ook niet in democratische landen - denk aan het gebruik van voorbehoedmiddelen, aan abortus, aan seks, etc etc.
3/ Als ik er voor kies om een slaaf te zijn ben ik dan geen slaaf?]

Over sociologische wetten:

"I have in mind, rather, such laws as are formulated by modern economic theories, for instance, the theory of international trade, or the theory of the trade cycle. These and other important sociological laws are connected with the functioning of social institutions. These laws play a rôle in our social life corresponding to the rôle played in mechanical engineering by, say, the principle of the lever."(67)

[Hij gelooft nogal in moderne economische theorieën, terwijl tegenwoordig hardop de vraag gesteld wordt hoe wetenschappelijk die eigenlijk zijn. Invloed van Hayek en zo. En wantrouwen tegenover allerlei andere sociologische theorie.]

Opvattingen gebaseerd op het biologisch naturalisme. Zowel het recht van de sterkste als humanitaire opvattingen. In de Oudheid al.

"Reacting against this great humanitarian movement—the movement of the ‘Great Generation’, as I shall call it later (chapter 10)—Plato, and his disciple Aristotle, advanced the theory of the biological and moral inequality of man. Greeks and barbarians are unequal by nature; the opposition between them corresponds to that between natural masters and natural slaves. The natural inequality of men is one of the reasons for their living together, for their natural gifts are complementary."(70)

"Whatever authority we may accept, it is we who accept it. We only deceive ourselves if we do not realize this simple point."(73)

[En Popper bedriegt zichzelf als hij denkt dat iedereen in staat is om bewust autoriteit te aanvaarden of zelfs maar bewust dingen verkiest boven andere. Mensen groeien op, worden opgevoed, de invloed van ouders, buurt, school, media, etc. is enorm. Kun je zeggen dat ze allerlei keuzes geaccepteerd hebben? Vind ik helemaal niet zo simpel.]

"We see from this that Plato agrees with Antiphon in at least one point, namely in assuming that the opposition between nature and convention or art corresponds to that between truth and falsehood, between reality and appearance, between primary or original and secondary or man-made things, and to that between the objects of rational knowledge and those of delusive opinion."(74)

(86) Plato’s Political Programme

(86) Chapter 6: Totalitarian Justice

"His fundamental demands can be expressed in either of two formulæ, the first corresponding to his idealist theory of change and rest, the second to his naturalism. The idealist formula is: Arrest all political change! Change is evil, rest divine. All change can be arrested if the state is made an exact copy of its original, i.e. of the Form or Idea of the city. Should it be asked how this is practicable, we can reply with the naturalistic formula: Back to nature! Back to the original state of our forefathers, the primitive state founded in accordance with human nature, and therefore stable; back to the tribal patriarchy of the time before the Fall, to the natural class rule of the wise few over the ignorant many."(86)

"This programme can, I think, be fairly described as totalitarian. (...) Even writers who criticize Plato believe that his political doctrine, in spite of certain similarities, is clearly distinguished from modern totalitarianism by these aims of his, the happiness of the citizens, and the rule of justice. In spite of such arguments I believe that Plato’s political programme, far from being morally superior to totalitarianism, is fundamentally identical with it. I believe that the objections against this view are based upon an ancient and deep-rooted prejudice in favour of idealizing Plato."(87)

"In view of all that Plato says about Goodness and Justice and the other Ideas mentioned, my thesis that his political demands are purely totalitarian and anti-humanitarian needs to be defended. In order to undertake this defence, I shall, for the next four chapters, break off the analysis of historicism, and concentrate upon a critical examination of the ethical Ideas mentioned, and of their part in Plato’s political demands. In the present chapter, I shall examine the Idea of Justice; in the three following chapters, the doctrine that the wisest and best should rule, and the Ideas of Truth, Wisdom, Goodness, and Beauty."(88-89)

"What do we really mean when we speak of ‘Justice’? (...) However, I think that most of us, especially those whose general outlook is humanitarian, mean something like this: (a) an equal distribution of the burden of citizenship, i.e. of those limitations of freedom which are necessary in social life; (b) equal treatment of the citizens before the law, provided, of course, that (c) the laws show neither favour nor disfavour towards individual citizens or groups or classes; (d) impartiality of the courts of justice; and (e) an equal share in the advantages (and not only in the burden) which membership of the state may offer to its citizens. If Plato had meant by ‘justice’ anything of this kind, then my claim that his programme is purely totalitarian would certainly be wrong and all those would be right who believe that Plato’s politics rested upon an acceptable humanitarian basis. But the fact is that he meant by ‘justice’ something entirely different."(89)

"We mean by justice some kind of equality in the treatment of individuals, while Plato considers justice not as a relationship between individuals, but as a property of the whole state, based upon a relationship between its classes. The state is just if it is healthy, strong, united—stable."(90)

"But was Plato perhaps right? Does ‘justice’ perhaps mean what he says? I do not intend to discuss such a question. If anyone should hold that ‘justice’ means the unchallenged rule of one class, then I should simply reply that I am all for injustice."(90-91)

"And in the light of the available evidence, it seems to me most probable that Plato knew very well what he was doing. Equalitarianism was his arch-enemy, and he was out to destroy it; no doubt in the sincere belief that it was a great evil and a great danger. But his attack upon equalitarianism was not an honest attack. Plato did not dare to face the enemy openly."(93)

"the view that justice is equality before the law (‘isonomy’) is never mentioned."(93)

"In order to appreciate fully the implications of Plato’s practically unbroken silence on this issue, we must first see clearly that the equalitarian movement as Plato knew it represented all he hated, and that his own theory, in the Republic and in all later works, was largely a reply to the powerful challenge of the new equalitarianism and humanitarianism. To show this, I shall discuss the main principles of the humanitarian movement, and contrast them with the corresponding principles of Platonic totalitarianism.
The humanitarian theory of justice makes three main demands or proposals, namely (a) the equalitarian principle proper, i.e. the proposal to eliminate ‘natural’ privileges, (b) the general principle of individualism, and (c) the principle that it should be the task and the purpose of the state to protect the freedom of its citizens. To each of these political demands or proposals there corresponds a directly opposite principle of Platonism, namely (a1) the principle of natural privilege, (b1) the general principle of holism or collectivism, and (c1) the principle that it should be the task and the purpose of the individual to maintain, and to strengthen, the stability of the state."(94)

[Wat betreft het punt gelijklheid gaat het om gelijkheid voor de wet zonder dat geboorte, familie of rijkdom daar een rol in spelen. Je kunt op geen enkele manier volhouden dat de huidige westerse samenleving gebaseerd is op gelijkheid voor de wet en mensen evenveel kansen biedt. .]

"Later, in the Laws, Plato summarizes his reply to equalitarianism in the formula: ‘Equal treatment of unequals must beget inequity’20; and this was developed by Aristotle into the formula ‘Equality for equals, inequality for unequals’. This formula indicates what may be termed the standard objection to equalitarianism; the objection that equality would be excellent if only men were equal, but that it is manifestly impossible since they are not equal, and since they cannot be made equal. This apparently very realistic objection is, in fact, most unrealistic, for political privileges have never been founded upon natural differences of character."(96)

"Plato suggests that if you cannot sacrifice your interests for the sake of the whole, then you are selfish.
Now a glance at our little table will show that this is not so. Collectivism is not opposed to egoism, nor is it identical with altruism or unselfishness. Collective or group egoism, for instance class egoism, is a very common thing (Plato knew28 this very well), and this shows clearly enough that collectivism as such is not opposed to selfishness. On the other hand, an anti-collectivist, i.e. an individualist, can, at the same time, be an altruist; he can be ready to make sacrifices in order to help other individuals."(100)

"Why did Plato try to attack individualism? I think he knew very well what he was doing when he trained his guns upon this position, for individualism, perhaps even more than equalitarianism, was a stronghold in the defences of the new humanitarian creed. The emancipation of the individual was indeed the great spiritual revolution which had led to the breakdown of tribalism and to the rise of democracy."(101)

"This individualism, united with altruism, has become the basis of our western civilization. It is the central doctrine of Christianity (‘love your neighbour’, say the Scriptures, not ‘love your tribe’); and it is the core of all ethical doctrines which have grown from our civilization and stimulated it. It is also, for instance, Kant’s central practical doctrine (‘always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as mere means to your ends’). There is no other thought which has been so powerful in the moral development of man."(102)

[Naïef, er is namelijk ook geen enkel uitgangspunt dat zo met voeten getreden werd. Een religie, een kerk - waarom wordt weer meteen het christendom van stal gehaald en niet een andere? - is een collectief met heel andere wetten dan 'houd van je buurman' zoals eeuwenlang gebleken is toen iedereen over de kling gejaagd werd die zich niet aan het collectief en zijn regels wilde aanpassen. Precies niet wat Kant zei, nietwaar? Erg 'tribal', gebaseerd op magie en bijgeloof, waarbij alles als bedreigend gezien wordt wat andere opvattingen of neigingen heeft. Erg totalitair. Met een "truly astonishing hostility towards the individual"(102)]

[Het is onbegrijpelijk dat Popper steeds naar het christendom grijpt. Ik zie bij hem hetzelfde als bij Achterhuis. Hij vergeet voor het gemak maar even hoe weinig allerlei westerse systemen als het kapitalisme en neoliberalisme zich gelegen laten liggen aan individuele mensen, al hebben ze hun mond vol over de individuele vrijheden.]

[Er is een spanningsveld tussen het individu en het collectief. Het collectief kan het individu meer of minder individuele vrijheid geven, meer of minder dwingen zich aan de regels van het collectief te houden, meer of minder eerlijk en onpartijdig behandelen bij een geschil, meer of minder kansen geven om iets te bereiken, en zo verder. Tussen het collectief en het individu bevinden zich ook nog eens kleinere deelcollectieven - klassen, belangengroepen - die zich weer zeggen hard te maken voor de bijbehorende individuen maar even vaak het bureaucratische gedrag gaan vertonen als het grote collectief vertoont. Het is complex. En Popper maakt er een simpel schema van. Wat nu als in Plato's Staat alle slaven en werkers gelukkig zijn terwijl ze dat niet zijn binnen het neoliberale kapitalisme? O ja, hoe kon ik het vergeten: dan zijn ze niet 'echt' gelukkig, dan lijden ze aan een 'vals bewustzijn'. Maar als dat geldt voor de slaven en werkers bij Plato geldt dat ook voor al die gelukkige consumenten in een kapitalistische samenleving.]

[Heel dat idee van 'individuele vrijheid' is op allerlei manieren problematisch en dus zijn alle individuele rechten dat ook. Heel het idee van 'gelijkheid voor de wet' is problematisch zoals telkens weer blijkt uit klassejustitie, de verschillende mogelijkheden om voor je recht op te komen al naar gelang je geld of status hebt en zo meer. Popper stapt met groot gemak over die problemen heen.]

"But in the Gorgias we find nothing of the kind. The theory of justice is a perfectly normal one, and the examples of injustice given by ‘Socrates’ (who has here probably a good deal of the real Socrates in him) are such as boxing a man’s ears, injuring, or killing him. Socrates’ teaching that it is better to suffer such acts than to do them is indeed very similar to Christian teaching, and his doctrine of justice fits in excellently with the spirit of Pericles. (An attempt to interpret this will be made in chapter 10.)
Now the Republic develops a new doctrine of justice which is not merely incompatible with such an individualism, but utterly hostile towards it. But a reader may easily believe that Plato is still holding fast to the doctrine of the Gorgias."(105)

Verderop wordt als kenmerk van een niet-totalitaire, humane staat gegeven:

"the impartial weighing of the contesting claims of individuals."(106)

Verder blijft Popper benadrukken dat Plato sociale verandering wil stopzetten en dat dat leidt tot een rigide kastesysteem etc. etc.

[Maar waarom is sociale verandering zo belangrijk? Er zijn genoeg culturen / samenlevingen die eeuwenlang dezelfde tradities en machtsverhoudingen hanteren of hanteerden. Zijn die slecht dan? En wat is de norm dan van waaruit dat zo beoordeeld wordt? O wacht, de 'vooruitgang' zoals die in het Westen gezien wordt: meer techniek, meer industriële exploitatie, meer consumptie, meer vernietiging van het milieu, meer werk, meer groei, en zo verder. En dat is niet historicistisch?]

"We see here that Plato recognizes only one ultimate standard, the interest of the state. Everything that furthers it is good and virtuous and just; everything that threatens it is bad and wicked and unjust. Actions that serve it are moral; actions that endanger it, immoral. In other words, Plato’s moral code is strictly utilitarian; it is a code of collectivist or political utilitarianism. The criterion of morality is the interest of the state. Morality is nothing but political hygiene.
This is the collectivist, the tribal, the totalitarian theory of morality: ‘Good is what is in the interest of my group; or my tribe; or my state.’ It is easy to see what this morality implied for international relations: that the state itself can never be wrong in any of its actions, as long as it is strong; that the state has the right, not only to do violence to its citizens, should that lead to an increase of strength, but also to attack other states, provided it does so without weakening itself. (This inference, the explicit recognition of the amorality of the state, and consequently the defence of moral nihilism in international relations, was drawn by Hegel.)"(107)

[Wat niet waar is, omdat Machiavelli daar ook al over geschreven heeft. En het is een verkeerde uitdrukking: de 'amoraliteit van de staat' bestaat niet, is simpelweg een andere moraliteit dan die die meer belang toekent aan het individu. Elk politiek handelen is ook gebaseerd op waarden en normen, alle keuzes die waar dan ook gemaakt worden zijn gebaseerd op waarden en normen.]

"This procedure is perfectly consistent and it is fully justified from the point of view of totalitarian morality. If the individual is nothing but a cog, then ethics is nothing but the study of how to fit him into the whole."(108)

"But we must realize that even this tendency to restrict the exploitation of class privileges is a fairly common ingredient of totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is not simply amoral. It is the morality of the closed society—of the group, or of the tribe; it is not individual selfishness, but it is collective selfishness."(108)

[Dat van de eerste zin wordt verder niet aangetoond. Plato heeft in ieder geval weinig op met een zelfverrijkende etc. elite zoals Popper zelf opmerkt. Maar wat is dan nog een collectief egoïsme? Waarom dan de rest van dit citaat? Theoretisch kan een elite in een gesloten systeem in het voordeel van de massa handelen zodanig dat het welzijn van iedereen gediend wordt. Plato dacht dat in ieder geval. Waarom is zo'n invulling van een gesloten totalitair systeem slechter dan een 'open systeem'? Dat is de hamvraag en ik zie nog geen antwoord bij Popper dat ook maar bij benadering bevredigend is. Ik zie alleen nog maar sentiment en geprojecteerde verlangens van Popper zelf. En met argumenta ad hominem / gepsychologiseer zoals op p.109 schiet ik niets op.]

De humanist wil dat de staat hem als individu beschermt. Dat is de functie van de staat.

"I demand protection for my own freedom and for other people’s. I do not wish to live at the mercy of anybody who has the larger fists or the bigger guns. In other words, I wish to be protected against aggression from other men. (...) I am perfectly ready to see my own freedom of action somewhat curtailed by the state, provided I can obtain protection of that freedom which remains, since I know that some limitations of my freedom are necessary; for instance, I must give up my ‘freedom’ to attack, if I want the state to support defence against any attack. But I demand that the fundamental purpose of the state should not be lost sight of; I mean, the protection of that freedom which does not harm other citizens. Thus I demand that the state must limit the freedom of the citizens as equally as possible, and not beyond what is necessary for achieving an equal limitation of freedom. Something like this will be the demand of the humanitarian, of the equalitarian, of the individualist. It is a demand which permits the social technologist to approach political problems rationally, i.e. from the point of view of a fairly clear and definite aim."(109-110)

[Is vrijheid een reep chocolade? Iets wat je in hoeveelheden kunt uitdrukken? Het is zo'n vage term. Wat mag ik zelf beslissen? Welke keuzes mag ik zelf maken? Je kunt over die dingen praten zonder het woord 'vrijheid' te gebruiken en ik denk dat we dat beter kunnen doen: praten in termen van concrete handelingen in plaats van in een abstract niet waarneembaar 'iets'.]

[Wat is er rationeel aan de benadering die Popper voorstaat? Wat bedoelt hij hier met 'rationeel'? Wie stelt de doelen voor de 'social technologist'? Doelen stellen is een normatieve bezigheid. Normatieve rationaliteit is van belang hier, niet instrumentele rationaliteit. Maar ik weet bijna zeker dat Popper het laatste bedoelt.]

"It is certainly difficult to determine exactly the degree of freedom that can be left to the citizens without endangering that freedom whose protection is the task of the state. But that something like an approximate determination of that degree is possible is proved by experience, i.e. by the existence of democratic states. In fact, this process of approximate determination is one of the main tasks of legislation in democracies. It is a difficult process, but its difficulties are certainly not such as to force upon us a change in our fundamental demands. These are, stated very briefly, that the state should be considered as a society for the prevention of crime, i.e. of aggression. And the whole objection that it is hard to know where freedom ends and crime begins is answered, in principle, by the famous story of the hooligan who protested that, being a free citizen, he could move his fist in any direction he liked; whereupon the judge wisely replied: ‘The freedom of the movement of your fists is limited by the position of your neighbour’s nose.’"(110-111)

[Hier wordt de democratische staat weer eens geïdealiseerd. Typisch dat hij met een - wel leuk - voorbeeld komt uit de rechtsspraak. Alsof democratie gelijk staat aan rechtszaken kunnen voeren.]

Hij noemt de rol van de staat een vorm van protectionisme.

"Liberalism and state-interference are not opposed to each other. On the contrary, any kind of freedom is clearly impossible unless it is guaranteed by the state. A certain amount of state control in education, for instance, is necessary, if the young are to be protected from a neglect which would make them unable to defend their freedom, and the state should see that all educational facilities are available to everybody. But too much state control in educational matters is a fatal danger to freedom, since it must lead to indoctrination. As already indicated, the important and difficult question of the limitations of freedom cannot be solved by a cut and dried formula. And the fact that there will always be borderline cases must be welcomed, for without the stimulus of political problems and political struggles of this kind, the citizens’ readiness to fight for their freedom would soon disappear, and with it, their freedom."(111)

Maar dat protectionisme mag niet zo ver gaan dat de staat zich bemoeit met de moraal van individuele burgers, "the control of their moral life".(112)

"In other words, it is the demand that the realm of legality, i.e. of state-enforced norms, should be increased at the expense of the realm of morality proper, i.e. of norms enforced not by the state but by our own moral decisions—by our conscience. Such a demand or proposal can be rationally discussed; and it can be said against it that those who raise such demands apparently do not see that this would be the end of the individual’s moral responsibility, and that it would not improve but destroy morality. It would replace personal responsibility by tribalistic taboos and by the totalitarian irresponsibility of the individual."(112)

[Mooi voorbeeld, want precies aan educatie en onderwijs kun je zien hoe weinig neoliberale staten op hebben met de gelijkheid voor de wet voor haar burgers. En wat betreft die invloed op de moraal van burgers: natuurlijk wordt er desondanks de hele tijd geïndoctrineerd door die zogenoemde neoliberale politiek, en met name ook in het onderwijs. Het zoveelste voorbeeld van Poppers naïviteit. Stukje verder in VII heeft hij het over de sociale contracttheorie. Is hij iemand die daar in gelooft? Het lijkt er op.]

(120) Chapter 7: The Principle of Leadership

"But this leads to a new approach to the problem of politics, for it forces us to replace the question: Who should rule? [een vraag die we volgens Popper niet mogen stellen by the new question: How can we so organize political institutions that bad or incompetent rulers can be prevented from doing too much damage?"(121)

[Alsof je vanuit die eerste vraag alleen maar kunt antwoorden 'die of die' en niet op die andere kwestie kunt komen. Waarom zou het antwoord op de eerste vraag 'unchecked' moeten zijn zoals Popper zegt? Woordenspelletjes.]

"For we may distinguish two main types of government. The first type consists of governments of which we can get rid without bloodshed—for example, by way of general elections; that is to say, the social institutions provide means by which the rulers may be dismissed by the ruled, and the social traditions ensure that these institutions will not easily be destroyed by those who are in power. The second type consists of governments which the ruled cannot get rid of except by way of a successful revolution—that is to say, in most cases, not at all. I suggest the term ‘democracy’ as a shorthand label for a government of the first type, and the term ‘tyranny’ or ‘dictatorship’ for the second."(124)

[De aangeduide paradoks is daarmee toch niet weg? De kiezers kunnen een regering kiezen die besluit de verkiezingen op te heffen of manipuleert in een richting die haar bestaan bevestigt. De democratioe mondt daarmee uit in een dictatuur. Zie Rusland, zie Turkije.]

"But the Athenian state’s laissez-faire policy, criticized by Crossman and Plato, had the invaluable result of enabling certain sophist-lecturers to teach, and especially the greatest of them all, Socrates. And when this policy was later dropped, the result was Socrates’ death. This should be a warning that state control in such matters is dangerous, and that the cry for the ‘man of proven probity’ may easily lead to the suppression of the best."(131)

"State interest must not be lightly invoked to defend measures which may endanger the most precious of all forms of freedom, namely, intellectual freedom."(131)

[Dus dit alles van Popper is een verdediging van zijn eigen vrijheid?]

"Plato’s ideal philosopher approaches both to omniscience and to omnipotence. He is the Philosopher-King. It is hard, I think, to conceive a greater contrast than that between the Socratic and the Platonic ideal of a philosopher. It is the contrast between two worlds—the world of a modest, rational individualist and that of a totalitarian demi-god."(132)

"The authoritarian will in general select those who obey, who believe, who respond to his influence. But in doing so, he is bound to select mediocrities. For he excludes those who revolt, who doubt, who dare to resist his influence. Never can an authority admit that the intellectually courageous, i.e. those who dare to defy his authority, may be the most valuable type. Of course, the authorities will always remain convinced of their ability to detect initiative."(134-135)

(138) Chapter 8: The Philosopher King

"The contrast between the Platonic and the Socratic creed is even greater than I have shown so far. Plato, I have said, followed Socrates in his definition of the philosopher. ‘Whom do you call true philosophers?— Those who love truth’, we read in the Republic. But he himself is not quite truthful when he makes this statement. He does not really believe in it, for he bluntly declares in other places that it is one of the royal privileges of the sovereign to make full use of lies and deceit: ‘It is the business of the rulers of the city, if it is anybody’s, to tell lies, deceiving both its enemies and its own citizens for the benefit of the city; and no one else must touch this privilege.’
‘For the benefit of the city’, says Plato. Again we find that the appeal to the principle of collective utility is the ultimate ethical consideration. Totalitarian morality overrules everything, even the definition, the Idea, of the philosopher. It need hardly be mentioned that, by the same principle of political expediency, the ruled are to be forced to tell the truth. ‘If the ruler catches anyone else in a lie … then he will punish him for introducing a practice which injures and endangers the city …’ Only in this slightly unexpected sense are the Platonic rulers—the philosopher kings—lovers of truth."(138)

[Natuurlijk is dit weer een woordspel. Natuurlijk is het voor Plato wel 'van de waarheid houden' als de filosofische elite liegt en het anderen verboden is om te liegen. Dat is waarheid als het zien accepteren van de natuurlijke verhoudingen tussen mensen. We hoeven het er niet mee eens te zijn uiteraard, dat ben ik ook niet. Maar laat dat gepsychologiseer achterwege, zou ik zeggen, dat is weinig zinvol. Voorbeeld van dat soort zinloos taalgebruik.]

"Plato’s reluctance to proffer his racialism at once in its more radical form indicates, I suppose, that he knew how much it was opposed to the democratic and humanitarian tendencies of his time."(141)

Plato gelooft in de zuiverheid van ras, hij doet aan propaganda, staatsgodsdienst, etc., Popper besteed er veel aandacht aan.

"It is interesting, however, to note that Plato’s theory of truth is slightly less radical than his theory of justice. Justice, we have seen, is defined, practically, as that which serves the interest of his totalitarian state. It would have been possible, of course, to define the concept of truth in the same utilitarian or pragmatist fashion. The Myth is true, Plato could have said, since anything that serves the interest of my state must be believed and therefore must be called ‘true’; and there must be no other criterion of truth."(143-144)

"What Plato demands, therefore, is the rule of learnedness— sophocracy, if I may so call it. In order to understand this demand, we must try to find what kind of functions make it desirable that the ruler of Plato’s state should be a possessor of knowledge, a ‘fully qualified philosopher’, as Plato says."(144)

"The philosopher king is Plato himself, and the Republic is Plato’s own claim for kingly power—to the power which he thought his due, uniting in himself, as he did, both the claims of the philosopher and of the descendant and legitimate heir of Codrus the martyr, the last of Athens’ kings, who, according to Plato, had sacrificed himself ‘in order to preserve the kingdom for his children’."(153)

"What a monument of human smallness is this idea of the philosopher king. What a contrast between it and the simplicity and humaneness of Socrates, who warned the statesman against the danger of being dazzled by his own power, excellence, and wisdom, and who tried to teach him what matters most—that we are all frail human beings. What a decline from this world of irony and reason and truthfulness down to Plato’s kingdom of the sage whose magical powers raise him high above ordinary men; although not quite high enough to forgo the use of lies, or to neglect the sorry trade of every shaman—the selling of spells, of breeding spells, in exchange for power over his fellow-men."(156)

(157) Chapter 9: Aestheticism, Perfectionism, Utopianism

"Inherent in Plato’s programme there is a certain approach towards politics which, I believe, is most dangerous. Its analysis is of great practical importance from the point of view of rational social engineering. The Platonic approach I have in mind can be described as that of Utopian engineering, as opposed to another kind of social engineering which I consider as the only rational one, and which may be described by the name of piecemeal engineering."(157)

"The Utopian approach may be described as follows. Any rational action must have a certain aim. It is rational in the same degree as it pursues its aim consciously and consistently, and as it determines its means according to this end. To choose the end is therefore the first thing we have to do if we wish to act rationally; and we must be careful to determine our real or ultimate ends, from which we must distinguish clearly those intermediate or partial ends which actually are only means, or steps on the way, to the ultimate end.(...) These principles, if applied to the realm of political activity, demand that we must determine our ultimate political aim, or the Ideal State, before taking any practical action. Only when this ultimate aim is determined, in rough outline at least, only when we are in possession of something like a blueprint of the society at which we aim, only then can we begin to consider the best ways and means for its realization, and to draw up a plan for practical action. These are the necessary preliminaries of any practical political move that can be called rational, and especially of social engineering. This, in brief, is the methodological approach which I call Utopian engineering."(157-158)

[Kenmerkend voor de utopische benadering dus: een uiteindelijk doel en een blueprint van de uiteindelijke situatie (bijvoorbeeld de Ideale Staat) , waarna de middelen gekozen worden om die te bereiken.]

"Before proceeding to criticize Utopian engineering in detail, I wish to outline another approach to social engineering, namely, that of piecemeal engineering. It is an approach which I think to be methodologically sound. The politician who adopts this method may or may not have a blueprint of society before his mind, he may or may not hope that mankind will one day realize an ideal state, and achieve happiness and perfection on earth. But he will be aware that perfection, if at all attainable, is far distant, and that every generation of men, and therefore also the living, have a claim; perhaps not so much a claim to be made happy, for there are no institutional means of making a man happy, but a claim not to be made unhappy, where it can be avoided. They have a claim to be given all possible help, if they suffer. The piecemeal engineer will, accordingly, adopt the method of searching for, and fighting against, the greatest and most urgent evils of society, rather than searching for, and fighting for, its greatest ultimate good. This difference is far from being merely verbal. In fact, it is most important. It is the difference between a reasonable method of improving the lot of man, and a method which, if really tried, may easily lead to an intolerable increase in human suffering. It is the difference between a method which can be applied at any moment, and a method whose advocacy may easily become a means of continually postponing action until a later date, when conditions are more favourable. And it is also the difference between the only method of improving matters which has so far been really successful, at any time, and in any place (Russia included, as will be seen), and a method which, wherever it has been tried, has led only to the use of violence in place of reason, and if not to its own abandonment, at any rate to that of its original blueprint."(158)

[Even afgezien van dat het weer eens een schijntegenstelling is: Het klinkt allemaal als korte termijn werken aan symptomen, als het nastreven van kleine verbeteringen. Maar wat is er zo rationeel aan? Of liever ook: welke vorm van rationaliteit is dat? Er zijn tenslotte altijd doelen, er zijn waarden en normen, er zijn overtuigingen op de achtergrond over mensen en samenleven. Welke zijn dat? En wie stelt ze? Met welke (stiekeme) visie en binnen welke machtsverhoudingen wordt er dus gewerkt aan het wegwerken van kwalen van de samenleving? En wat nu als die kwalen voortkomen uit diepere oorzaken van hoe de samenleving in elkaar zit, bv. het bestaan van privé-bezit, de nadruk op productie en consumptie, de dominantie van monogamie, de preutsheid ten aanzien van seks? Hoe weet Popper dat de 'piecemeal engineering' - aanpak de ellende niet in stand houdt of zelfs vergroot? Hoe weet hij dat die aanpak mensen niet in slaap sust en de ellende alleen maar wegmoffelt zodat die later in nog heviger vorm terugkeert (denk aan milieu)?]

"As opposed to this, blueprints for piecemeal engineering are comparatively simple. They are blueprints for single institutions, for health and unemployed insurance, for instance, or arbitration courts, or anti-depression budgeting, or educational reform. If they go wrong, the damage is not very great, and a re-adjustment not very difficult. They are less risky, and for this very reason less controversial. But if it is easier to reach a reasonable agreement about existing evils and the means of combating them than it is about an ideal good and the means of its realization, then there is also more hope that by using the piecemeal method we may get over the very greatest practical difficulty of all reasonable political reform, namely, the use of reason, instead of passion and violence, in executing the programme."(159)

"As opposed to that, the Utopian attempt to realize an ideal state, using a blueprint of society as a whole, is one which demands a strong centralized rule of a few, and which therefore is likely to lead to a dictatorship. This I consider a criticism of the Utopian approach; for I have tried to show, in the chapter on the Principle of Leadership, that an authoritarian rule is a most objectionable form of government."(159)

[Weer dat typische gebruik van 'reason', van een bepaalde vorm van trationaliteit die dus blijkbaar niets met passie en geweld te maken heeft. De hele tijd wordt utopisch denken en handelen gelijkgeschakeld met geweld en dwang en autoritair en totalitair handelen, waarbij verwezen wordt naar de Russische revolutie waar natuurlijk niets goeds uit voortkwam en mensen met miljoenen over de kling werden gejaagd. Popper denkt echt in simpele schema's en is kritiekloos als het gaat om democratische samenlevingen en haar eigendomsverhoudingen. Om ook eens op de man te spelen: hoeveel armoede en ellende zou hij tijdens zijn leven hebben meegemaakt? Upper middleclass jongen. Was marxist totdat de politie een paar mensen doodschoot bij een demonstratie, het is een vluchter, iemand die doodsbang is voor geweld.]

"What I criticize under the name Utopian engineering recommends the reconstruction of society as a whole, i.e. very sweeping changes whose practical consequences are hard to calculate, owing to our limited experiences. It claims to plan rationally for the whole of society, although we do not possess anything like the factual knowledge which would be necessary to make good such an ambitious claim. We cannot possess such knowledge since we have insufficient practical experience in this kind of planning, and knowledge of facts must be based upon experience. At present, the sociological knowledge necessary for large-scale engineering is simply non-existent."(161-162)

[O, het moet allemaal op basis van bestaande kennis berekenbaar en voorspelbaar zijn wat er aan veranderingen doorgezet wordt? Wat een optimisme. Alsof er ook bij 'piecemeal engineering' niet voortdurend van alles fout gaat. Er zijn als het om mensen en samenleving gaat altijd te veel variabelen om alles te kunnen voorzien. En eh ... wat mag er dan wel veranderd worden?]

"But piecemeal social experiments can be carried out under realistic conditions, in the midst of society, in spite of being on a ‘small scale’, that is to say, without revolutionizing the whole of society. In fact, we are making such experiments all the time. The introduction of a new kind of life-insurance, of a new kind of taxation, of a new penal reform, are all social experiments which have their repercussions through the whole of society without remodelling society as a whole. Even a man who opens a new shop, or who reserves a ticket for the theatre, is carrying out a kind of social experiment on a small scale; and all our knowledge of social conditions is based on experience gained by making experiments of this kind."(162)

[O wauw, fundamentele veranderingen in de samenleving ... ]

"What is common to Marx’s criticism and mine is that both demand more realism. We both believe that Utopian plans will never be realized in the way they were conceived, because hardly any social action ever produces precisely the result expected. (This does not, in my opinion, invalidate the piecemeal approach, because here we may learn—or rather, we ought to learn—and change our views, while we act.) But there are many differences."(164)

[Dat wat ik vet maakte zegt wat ik daarnet bedoelde. Maar Popper kletst zich er uit met een slecht argument.]

"It is the conviction [van mensen als Plato en Marx that one has to go to the very root of the social evil, that nothing short of a complete eradication of the offending social system will do if we wish to ‘bring any decency into the world’ (as Du Gard says). It is, in short, its uncompromising radicalism."(164)

"Both Plato and Marx are dreaming of the apocalyptic revolution which will radically transfigure the whole social world.
This sweep, this extreme radicalism of the Platonic approach (and of the Marxian as well) is, I believe, connected with its æstheticism, i.e. with the desire to build a world which is not only a little better and more rational than ours, but which is free from all its ugliness: not a crazy quilt, an old garment badly patched, but an entirely new gown, a really beautiful new world. This æstheticism is a very understandable attitude; in fact, I believe most of us suffer a little from such dreams of perfection. (Some reasons why we do so will, I hope, emerge from the next chapter.) But this æsthetic enthusiasm becomes valuable only if it is bridled by reason, by a feeling of responsibility, and by a humanitarian urge to help. Otherwise it is a dangerous enthusiasm, liable to develop into a form of neurosis or hysteria."(164-165)

[Waarom zou esthetisch enthousiasme niet samengaan met rationaliteit en verantwoordelijkheid en humanisme? Weer allemaal schijntegenstellingen. Dit is in het kader van discussie over utopie zo belangrijk: wat betekent 'bridled by reason' en zo verder? Het begint erg te lijken op het 'wees redelijk' van een ouder tegenover een lastig kind, wat dan min of meer betekent: doe eens normaal, gedraag je als wij, zit niet zo te dromen.]

"This leads us to the more important second point, to the irrationalism which is inherent in radicalism. In all matters, we can only learn by trial and error, by making mistakes and improvements; we can never rely on inspiration, although inspirations may be most valuable as long as they can be checked by experience. Accordingly, it is not reasonable to assume that a complete reconstruction of our social world would lead at once to a workable system. Rather we should expect that, owing to lack of experience, many mistakes would be made which could be eliminated only by a long and laborious process of small adjustments; in other words, by that rational method of piecemeal engineering whose application we advocate."(168)

"Aestheticism and radicalism must lead us to jettison reason, and to replace it by a desperate hope for political miracles. This irrational attitude which springs from an intoxication with dreams of a beautiful world is what I call Romanticism. It may seek its heavenly city in the past or in the future; it may preach ‘back to nature’ or ‘forward to a world of love and beauty’; but its appeal is always to our emotions rather than to reason. Even with the best intentions of making heaven on earth it only succeeds in making it a hell— that hell which man alone prepares for his fellow-men."(168)

(169) The Background of Plato’s Attack

(169) Chapter 10: The Open Society and its Enemies

Over geluk.

"If called upon to justify my opinion, I should not have much difficulty in pointing out that Plato’s treatment of happiness is exactly analogous to his treatment of justice; and especially, that it is based upon the same belief that society is ‘by nature’ divided into classes or castes. True happiness, Plato insists, is achieved only by justice, i.e. by keeping one’s place. The ruler must find happiness in ruling, the warrior in warring; and, we may infer, the slave in slaving."(169)

"But one only has to put the matter in this blunt fashion in order to feel that there is something seriously amiss with this interpretation. At any rate, so I felt, when I had formulated it. I felt perhaps not so much that it was untrue, but that it was defective. I therefore began to search for evidence which would refute this interpretation. However, in every point but one, this attempt to refute my interpretation was quite unsuccessful. The new material made the identity between Platonism and totalitarianism only the more manifest."(169-170)

[Goh, hij probeerde zichzelf te weerleggen door nieuw materiaal te verzamelen en dat lukte niet ... Wat naïef toch weer, helemaal in lijn met zijn wetenschapsfilosofie, op het nogal belangrijke punt na dat onafhankelijke anderen je standpunten natuurlijk moeten proberen te weerleggen, niet jijzelf.]

"In the light of my new interpretation, it appears to me that Plato’s declaration of his wish to make the state and its citizens happy is not merely propaganda. I am ready to grant his fundamental benevolence. I also grant that he was right, to a limited extent, in the sociological analysis on which he based his promise of happiness. To put this point more precisely: I believe that Plato, with deep sociological insight, found that his contemporaries were suffering under a severe strain, and that this strain was due to the social revolution which had begun with the rise of democracy and individualism. He succeeded in discovering the main causes of their deeply rooted unhappiness—social change, and social dissension—and he did his utmost to fight them. There is no reason to doubt that one of his most powerful motives was to win back happiness for the citizens."(170-171)

[Hij bedoelde het goed ... Nogal paternalistisch.]

"It is my intention to give in this chapter a very brief survey of the historical material which induced me to hold such opinions. A few critical remarks on the method adopted, that of historical interpretation, will be found in the last chapter of the book. It will therefore suffice here if I say that I do not claim scientific status for this method, since the tests of an historical interpretation can never be as rigorous as those of an ordinary hypothesis. The interpretation is mainly a point of view, whose value lies in its fertility, in its power to throw light upon the historical material, to lead us to find new material, and to help us to rationalize and to unify it. What I am going to say here is therefore not meant as a dogmatic assertion, however boldly I may perhaps sometimes express my opinions."(171)

[Historische interpretatie leidt slechts tot een mening? heeft geen wetenschappelijke status? Merkwaardige manier van denken: wetenschap is dus blijkbaar geen interpretatie en interpretatie is blijkbaar iets persoonlijks en subjectiefs. Wat een goede historische interpretatie natuurlijk niet is. Je kunt ook te wantrouwig worden ... ]

"The great difference [tussen de magische wereld en de moderne] is the possibility of rational reflection upon these matters. Rational reflection begins, in a way, with Heraclitus.

[Wat een onzin: dit is het klassieke schematische idee dat de westerse wereld begon in de Griekse Oudheid etc. Ik geloof er niets van.]

"With Alcmaeon, Phaleas and Hippodamus, with Herodotus and the Sophists, the quest for the ‘best constitution’ assumes, by degrees, the character of a problem which can be rationally discussed. And in our own time, many of us make rational decisions concerning the desirability or otherwise of new legislation, and of other institutional changes; that is to say, decisions based upon an estimate of possible consequences, and upon a conscious preference for some of them. We recognize rational personal responsibility.
In what follows, the magical or tribal or collectivist society will also be called the closed society, and the society in which individuals are confronted with personal decisions, the open society."(173)

[Erg vaag en daarom een schijntegenstelling. Die weer gekoppeld wordt aan een andere schijntegenstelling: het organische karakter van een gesloten samenleving tegenover het abstracte karakter van een open samenleving. Wat zijn rationele persoonlijke beslissingen en waarom zou je die reflectie niet hebben in een magische, homogene samenleving? En hoeveel anders is dat allemaal in die westerse democratische samenlevingen waar Popper zo gek op is? Het is allemaal zo simpel neergezet. Vreselijk.]

"The aspects I have in mind are connected with the fact that, in an open society, many members strive to rise socially, and to take the places of other members. This may lead, for example, to such an important social phenomenon as class struggle."(174)

[Waarom is sociale mobiliteit iets van open samenlevingen?]

"As a consequence of its loss of organic character, an open society may become, by degrees, what I should like to term an ‘abstract society’. It may, to a considerable extent, lose the character of a concrete or real group of men, or of a system of such real groups. (...) Such a fictitious society might be called a ‘completely abstract or depersonalized society’. Now the interesting point is that our modern society resembles in many of its aspects such a completely abstract society. Although we do not always drive alone in closed motor cars (but meet face to face thousands of men walking past us in the street) the result is very nearly the same as if we did—we do not establish as a rule any personal relation with our fellow-pedestrians. Similarly, membership of a trade union may mean no more than the possession of a membership card and the payment of a contribution to an unknown secretary. There are many people living in a modern society who have no, or extremely few, intimate personal contacts, who live in anonymity and isolation, and consequently in unhappiness. For although society has become abstract, the biological make-up of man has not changed much; men have social needs which they cannot satisfy in an abstract society."(174-175)

[Zo waar een beetje kritiek op de moderne samenleving op het eind. Popper vergeet even te vermelden dat het aantal mensen bij de oude Grieken een stuk kleiner was dan het aantal mensen vandaag de dag. Die hoeveelheid mensen is bijzonder bepalend voor van alles. Onder andere op het vlak van de invloed van individuele beslissingen - een zeer geringe invloed. De moderne samenleving is anoniem, had hij ook kunnen zeggen. Zijn kritiek duurt niet lang:]

"Another way in which the picture is exaggerated is that it does not, so far, contain any of the gains made—only the losses. But there are gains. Personal relationships of a new kind can arise where they can be freely entered into, instead of being determined by the accidents of birth; and with this, a new individualism arises. Similarly, spiritual bonds can play a major rôle where the biological or physical bonds are weakened; etc."(175)

[Ook al weer zo naïef en zo vaag. Alsof mensen vrijelijk kiezen voor hun persoonlijke relaties. Wat betekent 'freely' hier? Het is een standpunt met een totale onderschatting van sociale invloeden. En wat zijn spirituele banden? Ziet hij een positieve rol voor religie weggelegd in de moderne samenleving? Vast wel. Voor het christendom dan wel, natuurlijk.]

"The principles of Spartan policy were these. (1) Protection of its arrested tribalism: shut out all foreign influences which might endanger the rigidity of tribal taboos.—(2) Anti-humanitarianism: shut out, more especially, all equalitarian, democratic, and individualistic ideologies.—(3) Autarky: be independent of trade.—(4) Anti-universalism or particularism: uphold the differentiation between your tribe and all others; do not mix with inferiors.—(5) Mastery: dominate and enslave your neighbours.—(6) But do not become too large: ‘The city should grow only as long as it can do so without impairing its unity’22, and especially, without risking the introduction of universalistic tendencies.—If we compare these six principal tendencies with those of modern totalitarianism, then we see that they agree fundamentally, with the sole exception of the last."(182)

"But at this time, in the same generation to which Thucydides belonged, there rose a new faith in reason, freedom and the brotherhood of all men— the new faith, and, as I believe, the only possible faith, of the open society."(184)

Hij noemt de generatie die in Athene leefde voor de Peloponnesische Oorlogen de 'Great Generation'.

"There were great conservatives among them, like Sophocles, or Thucydides. There were men among them who represent the period of transition; who were wavering, like Euripides, or sceptical, like Aristophanes. But there was also the great leader of democracy, Pericles, who formulated the principle of equality before the law and of political individualism, and Herodotus, who was welcomed and hailed in Pericles’ city as the author of a work that glorified these principles. Protagoras, a native of Abdera who became influential in Athens, and his countryman Democritus must also be counted among the Great Generation. They formulated the doctrine that human institutions of language, custom, and law are not of the magical character of taboos but man-made, not natural but conventional, insisting, at the same time, that we are responsible for them. Then there was the school of Gorgias—Alcidamas, Lycophron and Antisthenes, who developed the fundamental tenets of antislavery, of a rational protectionism, and of anti-nationalism, i.e. the creed of the universal empire of men. And there was, perhaps the greatest of all, Socrates, who taught the lesson that we must have faith in human reason, but at the same time beware of dogmatism; that we must keep away both from misology28, the distrust of theory and of reason, and from the magical attitude of those who make an idol of wisdom; who taught, in other words, that the spirit of science is criticism."(185)

[Plato valt dus voor Popper absoluut niet samen met Socrates. Er is verwantschap in Plato's jongere jaren, maar later slaat hij om naar totalitaire opvattingen.]

"There is a fundamental difference between a democratic and a totalitarian criticism of democracy. Socrates’ criticism was a democratic one, and indeed of the kind that is the very life of democracy."(189)

"Socrates had only one worthy successor, his old friend Antisthenes, the last of the Great Generation. Plato, his most gifted disciple, was soon to prove the least faithful. He betrayed Socrates, just as his uncles had done. These, besides betraying Socrates, had also tried to implicate him in their terrorist acts, but they did not succeed, since he resisted. Plato tried to implicate Socrates in his grandiose attempt to construct the theory of the arrested society; and he had no difficulty in succeeding, for Socrates was dead."(194)

"The lesson which we thus should learn from Plato is the exact opposite of what he tries to teach us. It is a lesson which must not be forgotten. Excellent as Plato’s sociological diagnosis was, his own development proves that the therapy he recommended is worse than the evil he tried to combat. Arresting political change is not the remedy; it cannot bring happiness. We can never return to the alleged innocence and beauty of the closed society. Our dream of heaven cannot be realized on earth. Once we begin to rely upon our reason, and to use our powers of criticism, once we feel the call of personal responsibilities, and with it, the responsibility of helping to advance knowledge, we cannot return to a state of implicit submission to tribal magic. For those who have eaten of the tree of knowledge, paradise is lost. The more we try to return to the heroic age of tribalism, the more surely do we arrive at the Inquisition, at the Secret Police, and at a romanticized gangsterism."(200)

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