#WikiJustice: Plato’s Republic Revisited

What is Justice? Well we should start, as is often the case, in both the correct and comically coincidental way by remembering that the word “just” is both an adjective and an adverb. It describes an action or a person (though most appropriately a person who acts justly.)

So what is a just act? A just act is one that maintains the overall balance of fairness, or returns things towards a state of fairness. A just act is one which helps keep things the way they "ought" to be. (Though you may disagree with 'we ought to try and make things as fair for everyone as best we can'.)

What I have described above is of course, very similar to Plato's concept of Justice ... which is the goal of the Republic; it is a quest for a Just Government, both a government that would help steer things towards what they "ought" to be, and a government that could remain the way it "ought" to be.

His central thesis is that things operate rightly/justly when things behave in the way they are meant to. He likens Society to such a thing and proposes there are different groups in society which make the world work, and the world works best when those groups focus on doing what they do best.

Now as brilliant as Plato was, his grouping of Governors, Guardians, and Populace may not have anticipated our present circumstances though for now, I think, the premise appears to remain true; justice is that which "ought" to be, and we get there by contributing the way we "ought" to ... the way which seems best suited.

To Plato the Populace moved the machine of Society/The Economy/Business Cycle, by accepting and not neglecting our desire to consume. He understood there were those among the populace who would take advantage of this system (non-progressive multimillionaires) and so we would need guardians to up hold the law.  That includes both those reminding people to follow the law (spiritual leaders) and exposing and enforcing violations of the law (warfare).

Finally, Plato saw that the guardians could be corrupted, and so could those set to watch them, and them. He postulated it was possible to find people we could justifiably be comfortable with having in the watcher role, but that just identifying them would require another level of control to be corrupted. While Plato doesn't solve our problems, he lets us know what we need to solve it optimally. Intelligence, Wisdom/Judgement, Fairness.

Thankfully for us along comes the enlightenment and we get an expanding of the governing class. Science or Experts become our reservoir of intelligence, a Free Press becomes the theoretical watcher of the watchers. And our Aristocracy need only be wise and we can soar.  Sadly, this was not the case. However, it shouldn't derail us from examining if this is a good model.

As stated the ideal governor would be one who understood what was happening and could then decide what to do.  However, given the sum total of human knowledge to date, that task had to be separated, into those who have detailed information and possible solutions, and those that will use that information wisely; in other words, incorporate the most important pieces into the bigger picture for governance.

So here we can see that experts have a tremendous role to play but ideally should not be commenting too forcefully or publicly outside their field of expertise (If we can get the elected officials part up and running).

Now the elected officials ideally should be able to understand all but the most nuanced and complex of the science but also must have a high degree of pragmatism, empathy and perspective in order to be able to prioritize such large scale issues.

The Media's job is then two fold. The first role is to keep everyone honest. That means on scientific issues (which includes economics) their job is to have experts on and summarize the views of those experts, then tell us who we vote for to enact those views if we agree, because the second job is to keep everyone informed of who's honest, which is calling a spade a spade. To me that's what an impartial mediator does. Now, by no means is this an easy job. We have to both be smart enough to understand and know the correct logic of the issue well, and be quick witted enough to shut down con men with the truth.  Sadly, though even with all that we're still expected to keep it entertaining. That just seems unfair.  (As a quick aside to the media: You can't count on the truth winning when you leave it to experts to debate. Because it's not really experts vs. experts. It's experts vs. con men. And con men can talk around experts.)

Now why is this piece entitled #WikiJustice? Well, because I intentionally left the largest group for last – The Populace and #TheResistance.

As a member of the consuming populace for most of my life, and sitting somewhere right in the middle between Baby Boomers and Millennials, I want to be the first to admit I f*cked up. I stopped caring a little too much. I stopped listening, stopped caring and then convinced myself of the favorable rationalization it didn't matter anyway. Bottom line, I was too lazy.  Now, I'm not saying that's everyone. What I’m saying is that most of the resistance woke up like me from the populace and the combined resources of what I've seen the resistance become; it is nothing short of a crowdsourced wiki of governance, whether it's helping with journalistic endeavors, criminal Investigations, political strategizing, funding, or most importantly, getting people engaged and voting. I think the resistance is the answer to WHO watches the watchers. Well, like everything, those best suited to.

That's #WikiJustice. Those in the Populace who already have roles rising to the occasion to help honestly fill other roles society needs. Whether it's Figuring out the Truth, Offering Guidance, Exposing Corruption or Making it All Heard, I'm hoping this time the Populace can maintain interest long enough and defer their expertise often enough to each other, to finally take a seat at the table with the Governors. Because remember the enemy is never a class, but the corrupt in that class; it's the reason we have guardians and Governors ... for the corrupt.

So WHATEVER it is you do, do your best at it and try and help knowledge pass along. The goal of the governing class is fact/fairness/judgement. Help society fill these roles. Help connect the dots. Find, analyze and forward information to where it needs to go. Because remember: Who watches the watchers when everyone's a watcher? Everybody.

 

You Can't Hide from Everybody. #WikiJustice

 

#ResistWhat? Dark Money

#ResistWho? Corrupt Non-Progressive Multimillionaires

#ResistWhereWhenWhy? Everywhere and Endlessly for Justice.

#TheResistance #WikiJustice

Contributing Editor: Anonymous

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