Plato’s allegory of the cave or why stupid people took over the world!

Now imagine a cave with 3 prisoners, watching carefully moving shadows on the wall, shadows considered by them as realit. 

Simple as it is, Plato’s idea of knowledge based on perception results in opinions (from greek  doxa) a subjective and relative point of view, the opposite of the objective thinking that is philosophy. Plato’s fear of opinion is manipulation: one can only be manipulated with subjectivity, beliefs and passions, hence dogmatism and fanatism. In an attempt to summarise the cave’s state, it is best described as a doxocracy or the government of opinions.

Now imagine that one of these manipulated prisoners takes the lead, he will be a manipulator, which means an incompetent, for his mind was fed by lies and shadows considered as truth. That’s why Plato’s idea of democracy is the government of incompetents!

In the contemporary world, we are all in a cave, staring at a wall of an uncountable amount of images and opinions: the screen. Our exposure to mass media turned us, from citizens to customers, in a frenetic consumerist behaviour. Not to forget the role of marketing and advertising creating beautiful appealing images and appearances for mass consumerism. So we end up all looking similar, wearing the same clothes , following the same trends, making us clones, so much that sovietism couldn’t even achieve!

Amidst this Plato’s mega game of images exposure and manipulation, we have become stupid, confusing superficial with substantial. Meaning, we confuse confidence (or a good image) with competence. So we understand confidence as competence, which are 2 different things. Therefore, the more confident looking a person is, the more competent he or she is perceived. That’s why, we vote for the confident one, we hire the confident one and the result is, as in Plato’s cave, manipulated prisoners believing a manipulator’s shadows projection on the wall. 
Meanwhile, the smart is thought of as non competent so let’s cheer for the stupid confident. It is no surprise that fools took over the world and that our world is obscurantist!

10 thoughts on “Plato’s allegory of the cave or why stupid people took over the world!”

    1. That is commendable idealism but practically it can’t work because since the masses mistake confidence with content the only thing one can do is to put on the mask of the ever confident person – but that exactly does stand in opposition to someone who does evolve by questioning oneself.
      Hence those steady winners are people who either hide behind their own mask or that of a huge promotional election-machine.
      Your only choice is not to play that game and vote with your feet,
      and meanwhile hope that at one point a critical mass evolved as you did which doesn’t reward stupidity anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Very good.
    But I wouldn’t call succesful manipulators the stupid ones. IF they manage to manipulate successfully they get all the resources they want with no work at all. That’s not stupid. It’s immoral but it’s not stupid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your reasoning is the same why Trump fans do believe him to be ‘intelligent’,
      but I assume that ‘stupidity’ in the context of this article is not geared towards intelligent cleverness.
      Any terrorist organiser is intelligent and clever,
      yet wisdom and ethics to me are the much more relevant attributes,
      and one of those ethics would be not to suppress other human’s will.
      Manipulation does exactly that, regardless with which intention it was used.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good post. The people are easily manipulated for 2 reasons. The education system does not work to develop critical and independent thinking skills in the young any more. The news media and the government feed the people misinformation and disinformation all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Manipulation isn’t negative. Perspective through hindsight, makes it seem that way. Manipulation, and forms of using seems to get a bad wrap and I like how Plato describes it as more of a naive simplistic virtue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my reply to DirkH above I just explained why manipulation to me personally is not positive at all.
      Anyone believes that it would be great if used for their own political or religious or philosophical agenda,
      but that is nothing more than believing that to enforce ones will onto others would be ok
      because the ends do justify the means,
      which in consequence is the same logic which does support all wars and cruelties committed by humankind.

      Liked by 1 person

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