Saturday, September 3, 2011

Plato and Fool's Gold

"The pursuit of gold (chrematistics) became the all-powerful incentive for action for at least a part of society. This change in the public spirit, according to Plato, gives rise, even in an aristocratic society, to a class of people whose gods are money, which they honor secretly with crude passion. The money chest of the rich, filled with gold soon begins to exert its fascination on the whole community. A substantial competition for material possessions is unleashed which constantly increase the avarice; whereas on the other hand, the ideal goods (the arete) sink in the public esteem. For where one bows down before the riches of the rich one must naturally look with disdain on the virtue of the good." - Plato, quoted on From Egypt to Eire

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