Aristotle's 'Politics': Turning to the pages of history to defeat the tyranny of the left
Mar 10, 2021: Learning from history seems to be a lost art and never has this lost art been more important than it is today. Today’s EA exclusive draws from an incredible podcast delivered by Charlie Kirk (conservative founder of Turning Point USA). The Kirk podcast is titled “2,000+ Year-old Playbook to Defeat Joe Biden” and was released on March 7, 2021. The content and analysis of this podcast is so important that EA took the time to transcribe and annotate Kirk’s comments in this exclusive EA publication. To start, we will provide brief historical context for two timeless geniuses referenced in Kirk’s March 7 podcast: Aristotle and Cicero.
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Lyceum, the Peripatetic school of philosophy, and the Aristotelian tradition. His writings cover many subjects including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics, and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him. It was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion. He is often regarded as the first true scientist. (source: Biography.com) Direct quotes cited in this article were taken from Aristotle’s seminal book titled “Politics”, a literary work comprised of eight separate books.
Cicero was a Roman lawyer, orator, statesman and political philosopher. He was a champion of Republican government in the last days of the Roman Republic and was assassinated on the orders of Mark Anthony. Cicero wrote extensively on many subjects but is best known for his writings and speeches which include influential expositions of liberty, republican government and justice. (source: Biographyonline.net) Cicero is arguably the most influential political philosopher throughout all ancient Roman history and offers a library of historical insights that remain highly relevant to this day.
The following paragraphs are fully attributed to Charlie Kirk as this article is based principally on his words and insights (EA has taken the liberty to annotate Kirk’s commentary where required).
Aristotle’s “Politics” is a 2500-year-old Playbook on how to beat the left. As we review the verse of Aristotle’s literary work, we feel like he’s talking about what we are going through today. Indeed, dictators, tyrants, despots act exactly as they did 2500 years ago. At college and university, they believe that human nature is malleable, the human nature can be changed, that human nature is nothing more than a product of the circumstances around you. As conservatives, we believe that human nature is naturally flawed, that human nature is a constant battle between good and evil, and that people will act in predictable patterns. Times change but people do not. This is why the US Constitution is the most phenomenal break-through, because the US constitution was not written for the times but written to stand the test of time.
Aristotle: “Dictators preserve themselves by not permitting schools or collegial gatherings for leisured pursuits and doing everything that will keep all people as unknown to one another as possible since familiarity breeds a greater degree of mutual trust.”
So, people who want power aim to keep schools closed, they aim to keep public gatherings shut down. We have seen this over the past year with endless closures and lockdowns, complete and total societal isolation. The goal of the left is to force society to act as unknown individuals since familiarity breeds a greater degree of mutual trust, a dynamic that undermines the power and control of dictators and tyrants. The cost is an erosion of personal trust – just take note of how mean and intolerant society has become to each other in these times. When you do not have that sense of trust or familiarity, that’s where dictators and despots and tyrannical leaders are able to assume ultimate and total control.
With so much of Aristotle’s work, we are faced with the question “How is it possible that something written so long ago applies as if we are reading it in real time?” The answer goes back to this idea that human nature does not change, and especially the pattern of power grabbers or central planners or dictators or despots.
Aristotle: “Another art of the tyrant is to sew quarrels among the citizens. Friends should be embroiled with friends, the people with the notables, and the rich with one another. The tyrant will also impoverish his subjects. He thus provides against the maintenance of guard by the citizens and the people having to keep hard at work, thereby preventing them from conspiring against him.”
What better way to execute a plunder of the people than have a perpetual race, class, and gender war where nobody actually questions “who is in charge?”. This is the art of the tyrant sewing quarrels among the citizens in practice. The act of a tyrant, the act of a failed leader (think of Biden, Pelosi, Whitmer, Newsome, Cuomo, Kemp, and Harris as current American examples) is to sew quarrels among its citizens. Times change, people do not!
It is worth repeating Aristotle’s verse (from Book 5, Chapter 11): Dictators preserve themselves by not permitting schools or collegial gatherings for leisured pursuits and doing everything that will keep all people as unknown to one another as possible since familiarity breeds a greater degree of mutual trust. When you are familiar with one another, when you have relationships, you are less likely to be controlled by a despot. This is a strategy as old as the written word. In a constant state of fear, scared people are easier to command, scared people are easier to control. Dictators, tyrants, and despots use fear as a primary tool for control.
Aristotle: “Another mark of a tyrant is that he likes foreigners more than citizens. He lives with them and invites them to his table. For one of those are enemies [citizens], but the others [foreigners] enter into no rivalry with him.”
It is clear that Biden prefers to do business with the CCP and other nations before dealing and helping his own people and his own national challenges. Think of Biden's conspicuous family ties with the CCP, think of wide open borders, think of covid public health policy abuses, think of the inconsistent application of the rule of law, think of the obsession with global agendas over domestic needs, think of think of the sweeping mistreatment of small businesses. The mark of a tyrant is that he likes foreigners far more than his own citizens and his actions show this in vivid colour.
Aristotle: “A tyrant is also fond of making war in order that his subjects may have something to do and to be in want of a leader.”
We are always in the midst of crisis; we are always in the midst of an emergency because war and chaos make it so that his subjects have something to do and always to be in want of a leader. How does a leader make himself in constant demand? He or she always has a crisis. How do you create pent up demand for centralized control? Say everything is on fire and that you have an unprecedented crisis.
According to the Daily Wire (March 2021), Joe Biden’s DOJ dismissed more than 1/3 of the cases against Portland’s rioters. The Daily Wire reported,
“Federal prosecutors have dismissed more than 1/3 of cases stemming from last summer’s violent protests in downtown Portland where protestors clashed with federal agents. A review of court records found 31 of 90 cases were dismissed by the United States DOJ. Some of the most serious charges dropped include 4 defendants charged with assaulting a federal officer. All of the charges stem from Antifa rioters clashing with special agents brought in to protect the courthouse.”
Ultimately there were 974 charges brought against the Portland Antifa rioters, supporting the claim that “Portland is one dark city”.
The message this Portland example sends is deeper than the outrage. You riot, burn, loot businesses, assault and attack federal agents in Portland, you don’t go to trial and your charges get dropped. The message this sends is that if you are a pastor in San Jose’s Calvary Chapel keeping your church open you will be threatened with arrest and fined $2 million (NBC – Stephen Ellison; January 22, 2021), if you are an Antifa rioter who assaults a federal agent in Portland you will not even face charges. If you want to sing Christian music publicly in Moscow, Idaho you will be arrested. (PJ Media – Paula Bolyard ; September 24, 2020)
So, what does this say to the rest of us? We have a form of planned chaos. This is a new “anarcho-fascist regime” where anarchy is encouraged if you are advocating for the correct positions and doing what is considered socially acceptable. For example, a municipal or state government under a democrat mayor or governor will allow you to shoot up with heroin on the side of a street, however if you get someone’s pronouns wrong in California you can face jail time. Pronouns fetch jail time, heroin use and injection sites fetch endorsing and enabling acceptance.
One axiom worth repeating is the axiom that the law only works if it is accessible to everyone.
Cicero: “The more laws, the less justice.”
What Cicero meant by this, is that when you have so many laws on the books, so voluminous, all power goes to the implementation of the law and to whomever is charged with enforcing those laws.
Cicero: “In the time of war, the law falls silent.”
The left and their gullible followers believe they are in the middle of a mass revolution. They have to fight for social justice, fight for environmental justice, fight for racial justice. What does this mean? The secular and nihilist left does not believe lady justice is blind, they believe the role of justice is to insert themselves to rebalance the playing field. Therefore, Portland’s public rioters and criminals are doing something moral in the unhinged minds of the left, violence is being done in the pursuit and long march to justice.
Imagine a scenario where 300 people with Trump flags broke into a federal building. This happened on January 6, so the scenario is not hypothetical. The people involved (people who happen to have dubious ties to the left) are not just being held accountable for their actions, but they are also having the entire force of the federal government thrown at them. Whereas, the Biden DOJ is saying anyone involved in the violent “racial justice” riots in Portland, you are just fine and “good to go” (including the 4 charged with assaulting and attacking a federal office). These violent miscreants were dismissed “with prejudice” meaning their cases can never be brought back to court.
So, what is the intention of the Democratic leaders at all levels of government? Their intention is to confuse you. We don’t know what laws are going to be enforced, we don’t know what justice system you will face. The left claims we have a two-tier justice system, one for white people and one for people of color. This is utter nonsense. We do have a two-tier system, but one is for allies of the left and the other is for adversaries of the left. When people do not know the consequences of their actions and they believe the only way you will be held accountable is if you have a different opinion from the predominant viewpoint, then we have lost anything resembling a justice system in our country.
Twenty-five centuries ago, Aristotle argued that politics is the ultimate form of community because it combines morality and sociability. How do you know you are dealing with a tyrant? Look to the words, “Another mark of a tyrant is that he likes foreigners more than citizens. He lives with them and invites them to his table. For one of those are enemies [citizens], but the others [foreigners] enter into no rivalry with him.” So, you open up with wide open borders where hundred of thousands are pouring into the country (with unverifiable pasts, unknown health records and a high potential for permanent dependence on the US taxpayer). This is happening at a rate we have never seen before in America. One of President Trump’s many crowning achievements was his ability to solve the southern border crisis by working cooperatively and responsibly with our allies to construct a southern border wall. Conversely, Joe Biden wants to give preference to foreigners, at any and all costs to American society.
In a related twist on this story leftist tyranny, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s constant and choreographed panic covid alerts warrant comment. As Aristotle would warn, “When people are scared, they are easier to control”. You want to know why people don’t trust their government, “Exhibit A” is Dr. Fauci who has “failed upwards” his entire career, has never been right about anything consequential – he has a 40-year long history of being wrong about epidemiology, wrong about social distancing, wrong about masks, wrong about therapeutics, and wrong about mental health consequences associated with perpetual lockdowns. You want to know why people don’t trust the government? It is exactly because of people like Fauci. But it is the strategy of choice for the left. Scared people are people who are easier to command, and dictators, tyrants, and despots use fear as their primary tool for control. So how does Joe Biden stay in power and control. One of the most blatant tactics is to constantly put Fauci in front of the media and press with an aim to keep everyone scared and in constant anxiety. By: Extremely American Colin Wright with full attributions to Charlie Kirk