On Politics

The Mind Map

Content:

1 Civilization

1.1 On refusing it

1.2 On not knowing the lack of it

1.3 On the experience 

1.4 On not knowing how to live in it

2 Society

2.1 On refusing it

2.2 How to behave

2.3 Choices

2.4 Authority

2.5 Bad authority

2.5a People are impatient

2.6 Control

2.6a Order

2.6b The torment of man

2.6c On how to captivate rebels

2.6d On censorship

2.6e On war

3 Political Systems 

3.1 Tyranny

3.1a In a war with the good

3.1b How to maintain power

3.1c Who is in power

3.2 Kingship

3.2a Forms of Kingship

3.3 Oligarchy 

3.3a Who’s interest

3.3b Public officials

3.3c Maintain power

3.4 Aristocracy 

3.4a Structure

3.4b Public officials

3.5 Const. Gov.

3.5a Structure

3.6 Democracy

3.6a Structure

3.6b Foundation

3.6c Doesn't work

3.7 Communism 

3.7a Foundation

3.7b Didn’t work out because of... wives?

3.8 Socialism

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1 Civilization

1.1 On refusing it

I don’t want to work in the castle, I prefer to always be free(The Castle by Franz Kafka)

1.2 On not knowing the lack of it

It explores the feeling that we never feel what it is not to be civilized. - We walk on the sidewalk - The butcher kills everything without contact with darkness (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad)

Behind this glass of coffee, there is a world full of madness and suicide ... But everything has to be, this I know as I know the multiplication table, the truth is that I don’t think this is right or anything that God wants, I think this is shit. (Kurgast - Herman Hesse p.59)

1.3 On the experience 

There is only the notion of being observed, and that is the absolute truth. (The Castle by Franz Kafka)

1.4 On not knowing how to live in it

I climbed up and down the station bridge, quite unaware that its function was to permit people to cross from one track to another. (No Longer Human - Osamu Dazai. p.21)

When later I discovered that the bridge was nothing more than a utilitarian device, I lost all interest in it. (No Longer Human - Osamu Dazai. p.22)

I could only suppose that riding underground instead of on the surface must be a novel and delightful pastime. (No Longer Human - Osamu Dazai. p.22)

It occurred to me that prison life might actually be pleasanter than groaning away my sleepless nights in a hellish dread of the “realities of life” as led by human beings. (No Longer Human - Osamu Dazai. p.70

The “world,” after all, was still a place of bottomless horror. It was by no means a place of childlike simplicity where everything could be settled by a single then-there decision. (No Longer Human - Osamu Dazai. p.133)

2 Society

2.1 On refusing it

The timetable of a philosopher ruler 1- Study of dialectic 2- Experience minor government roles 3- lift the eye of the soul, to then order the city and themselves (Plato - The Republic Penguin p.XXXV) 

2.2 How to behave

Integrate is formed in that state where men are seldom punished, and the virtue receives encouragement as if it were a public good. Let as state think of itself as free from criminal tendencies, and it shall be: it will show more anger towards those not subscribing to the general avoidance of excess if it sees they are few. (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.210)

For fear in moderation controls men’s passion, but fear that is persistent and intense and causes desperation makes men without spirit bold and prompts them to try anything. (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.201)

When Pythius, the father of five sons, asked that one be exempted from service, he allowed him to choose the one he wanted, and then he had the chosen son torn in two, and placing each half of him on either side of the road, offered him as a sacrifice to win the god’s favor for his army. Therefore it met the end that was its due: conquered, scattered far and wide in defeat, and witnessing its own destruction on all sides, it tramped along between the two lines of corpses formed by its own soldiers. (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.32)

This was the savagery shown in anger by a barbarian king (....) A king tortured by Aristotle, Alexander, who during a banquet stabbed with his own hand one of his closest friends, Clitus, with whom he had grown up, for refusing to flatter him and being reluctant to make the transition from free-born Macedonian to Persian slave. (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.32)

p. 32 - 36 examples of torture by anger (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford)

In such fashion did the king of the Persians cut off the noses of an entire people in Syria, from which the place gets its name “ Land of the snub- Nosed” (...) was the kind for not killing them? (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.35)

I see their instruments of torture, not indeed of one kind, but fashioned differently by different people: some hang their victims upside down, some drive stakes through their private parts, others stretch their arms out on a fork-shaped yoke; I see cords, I see whips, and contraptions designed to torture every joint and limb: but I see death as well. (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.75)

2.3 Choices

In public life, as John Morley observed, the choice is constantly between two evils, and action is one long second best. (Cicero - Selected Works - Penguin - p.9)

The temptation is to wish to be feared or loved by people for no reason other than the joy derived from such power, which is no joy at all. It is a wretched life, and vanity is repulsive. (Saint Augustine - Confessions (Oxford) p.213)

2.4 Authority

Whereas the ultimate authority should be not themselves but certain unchangeable moral principles which they are incompetent to annul or amend. (Cicero - Selected Works - Penguin - p. 7)

Authority is based first on reason (The Little Prince)

How does the castle decide on a person’s existence? (The Castle by Franz Kafka)

2.5 Bad authority

2.5a People are impatient

Do you never understand the significance of this: that brave men have now learned to appreciate the noble achievement, the wonderful benefaction, the glorious renown, of killing a tyrant? When men could not endure Caesar, will they endure you? Mark my words, this time there will be crowds competing to the deed. They will not wait for a suitable opportunity - they will be too impatient. (Cicero - Selected Works - Penguin - p.152)

A guard is no protection, I can tell you! The protection you need is not weapons, but the affection and goodwill of your fellow citizen. (Cicero - Selected Works - Penguin - p.150)

2.6 Control

2.6a Order

Created the foolish who fulfill only order. (Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Os Irmaos Karamazov (Editora 34)

2.6b The torment of man

This need for convergence in subjection is what has been the main torment of each individual man and of all humanity since the beginning of time. Because they subjected themselves altogether, they exterminated each other with sword attacks. (Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Os Irmao Karamazov (Editora 34)

2.6c On how to captivate rebels

3 forces to captivate rebels conscience, miracle, mystery, and authority. (Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Os Irmaos Karamazov (Editora 34)

2.6d On censorship

Just like a personified censorship. (Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Memorias de um subsolo (Editora 34) p.16)

2.6e On war

I’m not making a comparison of suffering, but optical self-enchantment. - Observing the war. (Kurgast - Herman Hesse)

3 Political Systems 

For when there are many, each has his share of goodness and practical wisdom: and, when all meet together, the people may thus become something like a single person, who, as he has many feet, many hands, and many senses, may also have many qualities of character and intelligence. This is the reason why many are also better judges of music and the writing of poets, some appreciate one part, some another, and altogether appreciate all. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 108)

None of these benefits the common interest. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p.  100)

Political ideals: the nature of the highest good and of the best and happiest life. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 246)

Since most men are rather bad, slaves to gain, and cowards in the face of danger, it is usually frightening to be in someone else power. (Aristotle The art of Rhetoric Oxford p.71)

3.1 Tyranny

3.1a In a war with the good

Tyranny is never overthrown until people can begin to trust one another, and this is the reason why tyrants are always at war with the good.

3.1b How to maintain power

A tyrant should appear grave, without being harsh: and his appearance should be such that those who come into his presence will do so with ave, and not in fear. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 222)

2 ways of preserving tyrannies. One way is the traditional tyrant policy of repression, which has its analogy with the policy of extreme democracy; its three main objects are to break the spirit of objects, to sow distrust among them, and to make them incapable of action. The other way is a policy of assimilating tyranny to kingship, by a good administration and exercise of personal restraint; a wise tyrant will adorn his city, pay need to public worship, honor the good, keep his own passions in check, and enlist in his favor as large a measure of social support as he possibly can. In this way, he may prolong his day, and attain a state of “ half-goodness” (Aristotle's Politics Oxford p. 217)

To prohibit common meals, “ societies for cultural purpose. “ all appearing in public. “ spies “ sow mutual distrust and foster between friends and family “ to impoverish his subjects - partly to prevent them from having the means for maintaining a civic guard; partly to keep them so busy with the daily tasks that they have no time for plotting. One example of this is the build of the Egyptian pyramids. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 219)

He should distribute such honor personally, but he should leave all punishment to be influenced by the other officials or the lower courts. If a decision is taken to remove someone from a position of power, the removal should be gradual, and he should not be deprived of all his authority at a single blow. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 223)

Given that a city is composed of two sections - the poor and the rich, both of these should, if possible, be induced to think that it is the tyrant’s power which secures them in their position, and prevents either from suffering an injury at the hands of the other. character, if not wholly disposed to goodness, at any rate, half-good- half-good and yet half-bad, but at any rate not wholly bad. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p.224)

3.1c Who is in power

Tyranny is a government by a single person directed to the interest of that person. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 222)

3.2 Kingship

3.2a Forms of Kingship

³ There are five forms of kingship 1) the spartan form 2) Kingship among barbarian people 3) the dictatorship or elective form of tyranny 4) the kingship of the heroic age 5) absolute kingship, with the king exercising a plenary power like that wich a father exercised over his household. Agamenon was patient under abuse in the presence of the assembly but exercised the power of life and death on the field of battle. At any rate, he says: Whom so I find apart from the fight... he shall have no hope of escaping: Dogs and vultures shall rend him; for mine is the power to command death. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 120)

3.3 Oligarchy 

3.3a Who’s interest

oligarchy is directed to the interest of the well-to-do. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 120)

3.3b Public officials

Oligarchy: a section appoints from a section. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 174)

3.3c Maintain power

The best sort of oligarchy will correspond to the best, or agricultural, sort of democracy. (...) Generally, while democracy relies on quantity or numbers, oligarchies ought to rely on the quality of their organization. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 242)

3.4 Aristocracy 

3.4a Structure

Best political system: aristocracy (most qualified to rule) (Aristotle The Eudemian Ethics p.65)

3.4b Public officials

Aristocracy: a section appoints to all or all appoint from a section. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 174)

3.5 Const. Gov.

3.5a Structure

Public officials: Constitutional Government: All should appoint but not at the same time appointing to some offices by lot and some by-election. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 174)

3.6 Democracy

3.6a Structure

Democracy is a form of government that is safer, and less vexed by faction, than oligarchy. general origins and causes of factional conflict, we may do so under three heads: (1) psychological motives; (2) the objects in view; and (3) the initial occasions, which in turn are of two main kinds. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 181)

Public officials democracy: all appoint from all either by-election lot, using the one method for some offices and the other for others. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 174)

3.6b Foundation

Why there is a variety of different constitutions: Democracy arose out of an opinion that those who were equal in any one respect were equal absolutely, and in all respects. (people are prone to think that the fact of their all being equal free-born means that they are all absolutely equal.) Oligarchy similary arose from an opinion that those who were unequal in someone's respect were altogether unequal. (Those who are superior in point of wealth readily regard themselves as absolutely superior). (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 178)

The underlying of democracies is liberty. Liberty, as conceived in democracies, is twofold; in one form it means that all have a term of office and the will of all prevails; in the other, it consists in “ living as you like”.The democratic conception of justice consists of arithmetical equality, rather than proportionate equality on the basis of desert. Ideally, one should not be ruled by one, at least, that one should (rule and) be ruled in turns. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p.231).

Democracy exists wherever the free-born are sovereign, and that oligarchy exists wherever the free-born are sovereign, and that oligarchy exists wherever the rich are sovereign, though it so happens that the former are many and the latter few. - there are many who are free-born, but few who are rich. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p.140)

3.6c Doesn't work

Democracy is childish. democracy is directed to the interest of the poor. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 71) 

3.7 Communism 

3.7a Foundation

Communism is based on a false conception of unity. (Aristotle Politics Oxford p. 45) 

3.7b Didn’t work out because of... wives?

Talking with one another we expressed detestation for the storms and troubles of human life and had almost decided on withdrawing from the crowds and living a life of contemplation. This contemplative leisure we proposed to organize in the following way; everything that we could raise we would put into a common treasury and from everyone’s resources would create a single household chest. Insincere friendship nothing would be the private property of this or that individual, but out of the resources of all one treasury would be formed; the whole world belongs to each, and everything would belong to everyone. We saw that we could have about ten people in the same community. (Saint Augustine - Confessions (Oxford) p.108)

¹⁷ But later the thought began to occur to us whether this would be acceptable to the wives whom others among us already had, and which we ourselves wanted to acquire, the project therefore collapsed. (Saint Augustine - Confessions (Oxford) p.109)

3.8 Socialism

Same immaturity, sentimentality! o What captivates these young people is not realism but the sensitive, ideal side of socialism. (Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Memorias de um subsolo (Editora 34) p.83)