Plato, in his book The Republic, criticized all political regimes. But mostly he feared the outcome of democracy as a tyranny.
Democracy, known as people’s government, is already biased in Plato’s book. Since they are deeply manipulated by sophists and politicians, their reign would necessarily include manipulation. Alongside this vicious nature of democracy, comes the principle of equality and freedom of opinions. This allows the competent and the incompetent to express themselves equally. This will create chaos later on in the democratic life.
The outcome of democracy would lead to tyranny as people’s choice to bring order back in society and politics.
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It was grey outside, but the landscape stretches out so far. It was bigger than he could recall. The trees are almost black and crows are looking at him. Then he sees his mom and dad. They look so young, smiling at him. He ran to them and hugged them tight. He doesn’t know how long the three of them stayed like this. It is such a warm feeling.
– I’m sorry if I made feel so sad and so embarrassed all your life but please understand me that C was dying anyway. I wanted to spare her the pain!
– You are forgiven my dear, no more sadness, no more sorrow. We hope that you are fine and happy here and that the staff treats you well. Anyway, you look so beautiful and strong!
– Thank you mom, thank you dad. Yes I am fine and they are all very nice to me. I paint a lot to save the world. Look how great it is now!
– That’s true, it is wonderful, and you’ve done such a great job.
And the sun pointed out in the sky. The green colors were bright. Crows gathered to witness the magic work of a great artist. Suddenly birds were singing and flowers blossoming. Everybody was joyful. They stayed there forever, for an eternity that no one can take away from him. It was an eternal instant of shapes and colors and melodies. It was the eternal instant of love!
The Man in White and The Woman in blue, alongside the whole staff in white and blue stood by The Artist’s bed. He was motionless; “no pulse” said The Man in White. The Artist died in his sleep; he died for a trip that never existed, he died for a dream that was dead before it was born, he died for a world that never knew him! Outside, it was an early spring!
The Man in White kept asking about an eventual visit of relatives of The Artist. Usually visits are booked in advance. No one announced anything. So what was this trip he mentioned? The Man in White has been worried about The Artist: the latter hardly leaves his room, he rarely talks. These were serious signs of some troubles. “So again, no trip, no eventual visit, no random movements that could alert the security guys who were already on alert”, he thought.
Reading his mind, The Woman in Blue has been worried for days now. To her, The Artist, who is a patient like all the others, is no ordinary guy. She remembers a woman bringing him to this place many years ago. She did say that he lost his parents and was in many foster houses. Many foster parents refused to keep him for being crazy and a murderer. Then, he has no parents, no sisters and brothers, and no foster parents of course, no relatives. And that trip was an enigma wrapped in mystery. Or was it imaginary?
Guilty? Sometimes he does feel guilty for any random reason. It’s not for killing the beautiful C because he killed her to save her from the world’s problems. Whereas he felt bad towards others for not saving them, and for their misunderstanding of his mission.
Today, an idea crossed his mind. “Maybe the world is in turmoil because of me?” he said to himself; “maybe the world will start laughing again if I disappear?” He knew where this idea came from. Heroes have short lives; normal people live long. He was told that he was not like everyone else and he is aware that there is something special in him. He took some pills, for today is a big day, he will have his trip.
Today, the sun was shy and the sky was grey. He was trying to finish his painting of the landscape but everyday he must change colors; the weather is changing. He is tired of the weather and of his blurry vision. There is stillness outside: no birds singing, no people walking. Somehow, he feels lonely and trapped in his own body. Loathing the body for being heavy and disgusting, the soul has to free itself from it. That’s the big trip, the astral trip. As he was falling asleep, he saw himself from above, a laying body on the bed, a stupid heavy body. Now, at last, he can roam around freely.
The Mother is a well fit woman for her age. She works hard, along her husband, The Father, to grow the family business more and more. She always thought that the name “family business” was sadly funny. Her son was crazy and a murderer. They decided, her husband and herself, to have partners in their business. It was a shame that their son can’t inherit nor deal with any job in the real world. Even his paintings are not that good. The amount of bitterness they had to face since The Artist killed his friend was enormous. The best thing they did is to seek for him a professional help by sending him to a specialized unit for special people like him. The diagnosis included: hallucinations, paranoia and so on; she doesn’t even want to remember what the doctors had told them about him.
Although they rarely mention him, The Father and The Mother miss their son. They gave up hope and faith in his recovery. It’s better for all them to be distant from one another. The Artist is in good hands. But they both decided to pay him a visit; a visit they looked forward to and dreaded at the same time. They have mixed feelings towards him: love and fear. Will he be happy seeing them again after all this time? Will he blame them for being careless and harsh on him? Is there any love left in him? Love needs to be nourished and maintained; love is a constant effort and sacrifices. This is what they taught him and they did the opposite.
The Father and The Mother both felt guilty. They tried to hide it by working hard. Guilt never fails to sneak up.
The Artist is no monster. He is a regular man who is capable of unconditional love, just like he was taught to. He loved nature and the world so much that he can’t bare violence and corruption. He never understood that reality is made of different layers; some layers are better left quiet and unseen. Preaching honesty and on the other hand, hiding the truth.
On the contrary, he is a one-dimensional man, built of one dimension and that is love. His love is the stormy flooded kind, just like an endless pouring rain, or an erupting volcano. His love is like a starry night, infinite and dark, yet twinkling with lit dots. Hence, his fight against human pain started. Just like winter covers lands with snow killing plants so they can blossom again in spring. Winter doesn’t dislike flowers; it adores them so it is essential to kill them. Only nature understands this kind of love.
It was his love that brought him to this place surrounded with beautiful gardens. It is the house of the misfits. Residents here are very different from one another. Some people call it a hospital and some others, an asylum. But this place doesn’t fit anywhere; it has no name.
Gazing through the window at the big garden outside, The Man in White was in deep thinking. If it wasn’t for his chest going up and down, one would say he is a statue, in complete stillness. He was interrupted by The Woman in Blue:
– What’s wrong? Or are you meditating?
– I am trying to think. The more I learn, the less I understand!
– What do you mean?
– How do you define “normal”?
– Normal is the common, like the common sense. Why this question? Asked The Woman in Blue.
– So the norm is what is allowed and accepted by the mass. What we should be and do and think and feel. But we fight all our lives to be different, because only a teenager wants to fit in; an adult wants to fit out. And when the difference appears, it scares us. Why?
– Maybe because it doesn’t look like us and we don’t get it.
– Or maybe because we can’t control it. Millions of people are anxious out there and it is due to oppressive systems and ways of thinking that we have been implementing ourselves with. We are all ticking bombs, some people burst out before others. The moment they do, they become different and scary; therefore we will try to hide them, to imprison them so they are invisible. We, humankinds with our collective consciousness and cultures, have created monsters.
– Are you blaming the system for making The Artist the way he is today?
– Yes I am. We have been fooled by big words and values, all to make us alike, thinking and acting alike; each one of us is a replica of everyone. We have been taught things but reality is different. Reality is full of differences. Life is full of differences. Nature is full of differences. Society is uniformity competing against life.
– Ok, why don’t you let him escape then and have his trip?
– I’m afraid he will be dead because people can’t tolerate life!
The Man in White called the security chief: ” we need to be vigilant sir. I want all doors, gates, windows, any pass way under strict surveillance. The Artist is going on a trip, and you know sir, nobody leaves this place easily, without my permission. I bet he is planning for an escape”.
He hung up the phone and turned to The Woman in Blue and asked her: “do you know his parents or any of his relatives?
– No I don’t. And it is weird that he is mentioning a trip. This whole idea makes me unease. You were right to call up the security people.
It was a hot day and he was running across the green field. The smell of blossoming flowers still lingers until this day. This place was his playground. He would play with his friend, the beautiful C. They would invent games every time, they would chase one another, would race and he would always win. She was indeed very beautiful, looking almost like coming straight out of a painting. He loved her so much that he started drawing her face. He drew her again and again until perfection. This is how he became The Artist. And with every new portrait, they were both happy. He’s smiling at this memory, staring at all her portraits right across his bed. It was an innocent and strong love. He solely trusted her and he misses her so much.
But one day, she didn’t show up to the playground. He waited for her for many days, for weeks. He went to her house and knocked on the door; her mom told him that she was terribly ill. He pushed her away and went up to her bedroom. What he saw was painful. She was pale and thin, she lost all her beauty. She slowly turned her face and said to him: “I’m sorry. I am very sick. Promise me that you will keep on painting and think of me while doing it”.
Years have passed since he saw her and this memory never fails to bring tears to his eyes. He never wanted to hurt her; he just wanted to stop her pain. So he came closer to her, put his hands around her neck and strangled her. “I loved her deeply I didn’t want her to suffer” he reminded himself. “Aren’t we supposed to take care of the ones we love?” His feelings are still strong and so are his ideas. To love is to eradicate the pain. To love is to sacrifice. Love requires courage. People teach this but little do they apply what they preach; they are all selfish liars. No wonder the world is crying.
Then he painted her again but this time her features were fading away. This was new and strange to him. It oddly amused him. He smiles then laughs out loud as always. He is free now, free of her haunting face, she is flying very high with the wind. He feels ecstatic; for the first time he knew he did the right thing.
The Man in White asked him: “your art is becoming progressively dark. Why is that?” The Artist remained silent, deeply taken by many ideas, frenetically painting. “Are you anxious or mad at anything?” said The Man in White.
– Yes I am. The world is in danger and I must save it. I don’t want to witness my loved ones suffering
– Why do you think it is your duty to save the world and to save them?
– Because I am The Artist, the greatest man who ever lived! Artists are heroes; they always make the world a better place. But this time, it is about saving it.
Then, The Artist laughed out loudly, which worried The Man in White. He asked The Artist: “How will you save your loved ones? Who are they? I’ve never met them”. “My parents” replied The Artist with a smile. “We are going on a trip together, they are rich! There will be landscapes and sunshine, birds and flowers; the perfect place to talk, to laugh and to cry, to love and to hate. I love mom and dad, it breaks my heart to see them sad”. Then he jumped off his seat and yelled at The Man in white: “I hate them. They made me sad. How will I spend many days with them? I don’t know. Should I go with them or should I not?” The Artist sat down and stared at the wall on his right. He mumbled inaudible words to himself. To this sight, The Man in White left, unease and worried. He will miss The Artist.
(drawing by me)
In two weeks, they will all travel to meet after quite a long separation. The Artist was anxious, apprehending this trip. He hadn’t seen them for too long. The mere idea of spending several days with them all at once sends shivers down his spine. How can a short trip rebuild shattered lives? Doesn’t love require consistency and daily efforts? Warmth without connection is a fading trace of love. So, how this short trip revive it all?
“One can fake it”, he says to himself, “as long as nobody gets hurts, right?” He shook this idea out of his mind quickly: honesty is bravery. He can’t fake it to his own family. Then his anxiety grew by the hour. He didn’t know what to tell them. He was struggling with his art. He thinks they see him as a failure; they think he sees them as greedy; he thinks he is the greatest man alive.
He had a mission: to make the money making world a better place with his art. “We have sold our souls to the devil; one can’t mix money with art, it becomes a mockery”, he says to himself. But what do they understand anyway?
He pictured his family reunion full of virulent discussions and quarrels. Will they finally accept them the way he is? Will he accept them the way they are?