Interesting social sciences/The essence of social utopia

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Ideology. Utopia Plato.

English Subtitles exist in this video. Plato on the cover.

Thomas More
Henri de Saint-Simon

The social utopia is a false theory which calls to regress of social structure, to violent cancellation of great social inventions. The utopia in translation from Greek is the "place which is absent". The social utopia is a fairy tale for adults. Utopians are pseudo scholars who offered social utopias. Utopians suggested to cancel various social organizations, utopians suggested to cancel various forms of the social conflict and social control – the government, the state, bureaucracy, branches of criminal justice system, army, a private property, religion, church, family and also war and the market competition. These organizations, kinds of the social conflict and social control represent "skeleton" of social structure, the most essential elements and relations of this structure. If to cancel these elements and relations of social structure, then the social structure will just collapse. Progress of human society consisted that the mankind invented and built each new element social structure with great difficulty. Each new element performs by the specific function in society. It is possible to draw a conclusion that it is impossible to cancel any kind of the social conflict and social control in society. Any similar attempt encounters the natural resistance of people whose common sense doesn't allow to believe in dangerous social utopias therefore utopians try to apply violence with the purpose to force of people to build social utopia.     

List of utopians: Plato, Thomas More, Tommaso Campanella, Gerrard Winstanley, Jean Meslier, Gabriel Bonnot de Mably, Étienne-Gabriel Morelly, François-Noël Babeuf, Henri de Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Robert Owen, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx,  Nikolay Chernyshevsky and so on. Utopians were heroic people often, but utopians were fanatics of the utopian idea. The fanatic is the person who is blindly believing in externally attractive idea and ignoring all facts and arguments which contradict this idea. Therefore the dispute with the fanatic, as well as a dispute with the madman, is useless affair. By the way, many from utopians were natives of the highest and middle class by origin, but the legal career hasn't developed for various reasons at this utopians, therefore this utopians were angered for the whole world and this utopians were ready to walk to the power and wealth on corpses, this utopians were ready to become by tyrants on a wave of people indignation with the legal government. This utopians were born unsuitable for a profession of the ruler, the military leader or the businessman. Many of these utopians promised to save of workers from oppression, that is many of these utopians promised to save of workers from social control, but it isn't possible to cancel social control in society in principle.

The utopia of Plato

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Charles Fourier


Alexander II
Robert Owen


Social structure and laws of Sparta served as a sample for imitation for Plato. According to Plato, it is necessary the division of labor in any state therefore each person must do own business or craft and each person stay out of someone else 's business. And farmers, and builders, and handicraftsmen, and soldiers must exist at the same time in the state, soldiers have to exist that to protect state from external and internal enemies. At the same time if the person has abilities to be engaged in agriculture, then this person isn't capable to be at war and this person is never capable to learn to be at war, this person will be engaged in agriculture all own life.

Just as three parts exist in soul – a reasonable part in the head, a passionate part in heart, a desired part in a liver, and three estates of the realm have to exist in the state:

  • wise rulers - guardians are philosophers,
  • courageous soldiers,
  • hardworking handicraftsmen and farmers.

All people have to obey to the best people. The myth has to be inspired to citizens of this state, the myth consist in that all citizens of the Republic are brothers but this citizens aren't equal because when Gods created of people in a subsoil of mother of Earth, Gods have added gold to one people, Gods have added silver to others people, and Gods have added copper and iron to the third people. A method of selection in rulers are examinations, and the most important social channel of vertical circulation is a school channel in the ideal state. Inequality between people isn't hereditarily in the ideal state. Clever children can pass into the highest estates through examination selection. Plato has suggested to do artificial selection of people and selection of marriage couples. The gymnastics is necessary for strengthening of health and the gymnastics does medicine as senseless. Anyone who is unable to live does not need to be treated. Guardians have to do gymnastics especially much.

Sick people have to die freely. The private property and family have to be cancelled because the private property and family create opposite interests and undermine unity of the state. Guardians live together and all guardians eat together, receiving food once a year from farmers whom guardians protect. Wives of guardians have to be common, children of guardians have to be common. "To be common" of wives can't be taken literally, the disordered sexual relations are forbidden in the ideal state. Everything is subordinated to the purpose of receiving healthy posterity in the ideal state. The state does so that the best men meet with the best wives, and the worst men meet with the worst wives. The posterity of the worst people is destroyed, and the posterity of the best people is brought up. The woman is allowed to give birth to children between the ages from 20 to 40 years, the man is allowed to conceive the child between the ages from 25 to 55 years. The children born out of this framework are destroyed. Special persons bring up of all children of guardians together.

Plato criticizes democracy and Plato gives a satirical image of the democrat as the rich smith, as bald and stocky man which has gone out from prison recently this smith has washed in a bath, this smith has bought to himself a new raincoat and this smith is going to marry on daughter of own lord, having used poverty and helplessness of own lord. This smith is brazen, unbridled, dissolute and dishonest often. Plato contrasts his model of an ideal state to four perverted forms of government – democracy, tyranny, oligarchy (the power of the elected rich people) and a timokracy. The ideal state is the aristocracy in essence. Philosophers have to govern in the ideal state. Philosophers come from number of the cleverest guardians. Guardians become by philosophers with help of stage-by-stage selection. Future philosophers are given fine education, philosophers hold the state positions in 35 years old, philosophers govern by state during 15 years.   Mediocre person can't be a source of either the great benefits, or the big evils. Therefore villains and tyrants are failed philosophers.

The only way to creation of the ideal state is a case when philosopher occurs among descendants of tsars. Plato looked for such ruler in the person of the tyrant Dionysius I of Syracuse, but the result of this search was deplorable, because this tyrant ordered to sell of Plato in slavery because Plato has bored to tyrant because of own utopian advises. [1]          

Criticism of the ideas of Plato

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Nikolay Chernyshevsky
The explosion killed one of the Cossacks and wounded the driver
The assassination of Alexander II, drawing by G. Broling, 1881


In my opinion, Plato is right that division of labor is necessary in society, but Plato isn't right that division of labor has to be just in the form of social estates system. The social estates system leads to a stop of process of vertical mobility, to degeneration of a ruling layer and to death of all society from external conquerors because old and weak rulers begin to direct by this society gradually, dull commanders begin to direct by army, bribe takers and embezzlers of public funds begin to collect taxes. The fate of India can serve as an example of death of society because of degeneration of elite and because of caste system. India with the numerous population became by easy booty often for small group of conquerors – soldiers of Babur (16 century), the English colonialists (18-19 centuries) and so on. If the caste system prevents to natural change of a ruling layer, to arrival of rulers from below, that rulers comes from the outside. The caste system has turned of India into an iron colossus on feet of clay, conquerors can overturn this colossus very easily.

Suggestion of false myths, for example the myth about creation of people by gods, can never last eternally, people can lose trust to liars completely once, as to source of information. Examinations and the school channel of vertical circulation which Platon suggested to make as the main channel of vertical circulation is not the best way of selection of people to the highest layer of society because there is no guarantee that examiners will choose the most suitable candidates for a role of the ruler. Business and war are more preferable ways of selection of people to the highest layer. Unlike businessmen and generals, academicians were never good rulers. The school channel of vertical circulation was the main chanel in China in the ancient time when even the son of the peasant could pass into the upper class with help of examination. As a result the Chinese rulers knew contents of compositions of the philosopher Confucius in perfection, but the Chinese rulers did not know how to fight against Mongols and Manchu aggressors. Artificial selection of people and selection of marriage couples results to need of destruction defective people in concentration camps and gas chambers, to need of establishment of tyranny and totalitarianism, but it is unacceptable. Experience of Bolshevist and fascist experiments has shown in 20 century that representative democracy is better than the aristocracy and the utopian ideal state. It is impossible to cancel a private property as the most effective form of ownership. It is impossible to cancel family and to replace bringing up of children in family to bringing up of children in orphanage since сhildren become criminals as a result of bringing up in orphanage often.

Russian anarchists Mikhail Bakunin and Sergey Nechaev

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Mikhail Bakunin
Sergey Nechayev

Examples of theoretical mistakes of Mikhail Bakunin:

  • Mikhail Bakunin called for cancellation of the state, but in my opinion, the state is a great social invention. If to cancel the state, then bandits will govern in society.
  • Mikhail Bakunin supported the Polish revolt against the Russian Empire, that is as a Russian aristocrat and retired Russian officer, he supported anti - Russian politics. It reminds national treachery.

        Mikhail Bakunin ordered commission of various crimes for full destruction of businessmen, police officers and officials for the sake of more successful carrying out in life of this utopia about cancellation of the state. Mikhail Bakunin considered as the driving force of revolution not the proletariat, but the lumpenproletariat, that is representatives of bottoms of society – criminals, tramps and beggars. The brilliant image of the lumpen is Sharikov (in brilliant performance of the actor Vladimir Tolokonnikov) from the russian film "Heart of a Dog"(1988).

Mikhail Bakunin believed that unskilled workers and peasants of Italy, Spain, Russia and other countries are ready to world social revolution — It is only necessary to raise a number of successful revolts in different places. Mikhail Bakunin extolled robbers as fighters against the state, and Mikhail Bakunin wrote in "the Revolutionary Catechism" that all is allowed in fight for power – even an execution of the former colleagues.

Sergey Nechayev worked according to articles of this "Catechism". Sergey Nechayev has received from Mikhail Bakunin 10000 francs on own criminal enterprise. Sergey Nechayev became a prototype of "the main demon" Pyotr Verkhovensky in the novel of Fyodor Dostoyevsky "Demons". Sergey Nechayev returned to Russia from abroad with the certificate of the authorized Russian branch of the World Revolutionary Union, this Union did not exist in nature. Sergey Nechayev has created the central circle of the "People Punishment" organization. One of the first members of this organization was the student Ivan Ivanov who didn't wish to submit unconditionally to Sergey Nechayev, and Sergey Nechayev decided to kill someone who undermines his authority, and at the same time Sergey Nechayev decided to rally of other members of the organization with help of blood. Members of the organization enticed Ivan Ivanov into a grotto in the park of Academy and members of the organization begun to smother Ivan Ivanov then to shot, and the body of Ivan Ivanov was lowered under ice. Sergey Nechayev has lost own cap on the crime scene. This proof helped to police. All killers were arrested, only Sergey Nechayev managed to hide in Switzerland, but Sergey Nechayev was given as the criminal at the request of Russia. Sergey Nechayev was placed after court in the solitary confinement of the Peter and Paul Fortress.

Citations and references.

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  1. Bertrand Russell A history of western philosophy. Book one. Ancient philosophy. Part II. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Chapter XIV Plato's Utopia.