Plato on Leadership in Politics and Freedom

“And so tyranny naturally rises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme form of liberty.… The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness.… This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears above ground he is a protector… At first, at the early days of his power, he is full of smiles, and he salutes everyone whom he meets — he to be called a tyrant, who is making promises in public and also in private liberating debtors, and distributing land to the people and his followers, and wanting to be so kind and good to everyone … then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.… Has he not also another object, which is that they may be impoverished by the payment of taxes and thus compelled to devote themselves to their daily wants and therefore less likely to conspire against him?… Thus liberty, getting out of all order and reason, passes into the harshest and bitterest form of slavery.”

“When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.”

(Plato, The Republic)

What is there in music that it should so stir our deeps?

We are all ordinarily in a state of desperation; such is our life; ofttimes it drives us to suicide. To how many, perhaps to most, life is barely tolerable, and if it were not for the fear of death or of dying, what a multitude would immediately commit suicide! But let us hear a strain of music, we are at once advertised of a life which no man had told us of, which no preacher preaches. Suppose I try to describe faithfully the prospect which a strain of music exhibits to me. The field of my life becomes a boundless plain, glorious to tread, with no death nor disappointment at the end of it. All meanness and trivialness disappear. I become adequate to any deed. No particulars survive this expansion; persons do not survive it. In the light of this strain there is no thou nor I. We are actually lifted above ourselves.

[H.D.Thoreau, Journal, 15 January 1857]

Published in: on 09/24/2014 at 07:45  Leave a Comment  
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Drug Abuse is a Result, Not a Cause

Vermont Quits War on Drugs to Treat Heroin Abuse as Health Issue

Inside: Naloxone, used to counter the effects of a heroin overdose

Photograph by Shane Lavalette for Bloomberg Businessweek

Inside: Naloxone, used to counter the effects of a heroin overdose

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin devoted his entire State of the State address in January to what he called Vermont’s “full-blown heroin crisis.” Since 2000, he said, the state had seen a 250 percent increase in addicts receiving treatment. The courts were swamped with heroin-related cases. In 2013 the number of people charged with heroin trafficking in federal court in Vermont increased 135 percent from the year before, according to federal records. Shumlin, a Democrat, urged the legislature to approve a new set of drug policies that go beyond the never-ending cat-and-mouse between cops and dealers. Along with a crackdown on traffickers, he proposed rigorous addiction prevention programs in schools and doctors’ offices, as well as more rehabilitation options for addicts. “We must address it as a public health crisis,” Shumlin said, “providing treatment and support rather than simply doling out punishment, claiming victory, and moving on to our next conviction.”

Read more here.

 

7.30.14

Fresh for day
Past tall aspen trees
Down windy mountain roads
Cold sunny wind shining on my face
I think of you
 
 
I hear your song
On wind rushing by
Calls of early morning birds
And the low rumble of the car engine
Navigating turns
 
 
 
Composed by Nichole Hastings

7.16.14

20140722-191745-69465567.jpg

At 3pm, although our plan had been to meet here and they weren’t here, I wasn’t worried.  I drove up to the William T  and the Happy Hill trailheads to look.  Alas, they weren’t there.  I left a note.  Nor did I hear from them at 5 or 7.  But I had left a note.  Surely they would be in touch soon. At 9pm, I had an uneasy feeling that something had gone awry…

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