Jeremy Corbyn: Philosopher King
In Plato’s Republic, Socrates predicts the coming of a Philosopher King and sets out the conditions necessary for a Good State in conveniently referenced dialogue with an interlocutor. In this discussion Socrates predicted that there would never be a perfect, or near perfect system of governance until “philosophers become kings in the world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers” 473d.
Socrates describes a Philosopher King who would have the qualities necessary to rule a Good State: “the capacity to grasp eternal and immutable” 484b, prone to “truthfulness” 485c, being “self-controlled and not grasping about money” 485e, “a well-balanced man, who is neither mean nor ungenerous nor boastful nor cowardly” 486b, with “a good memory” 486d, “a mind with a grace and sense of proportion” 486d, “a friend of truth, justice, courage, and self-control” 487a.
Socrates believed when such a person was put into a position of power, “whenever men skilled in philosophy are somehow forced to take part in politics, then the [Good] society we described either exists or existed or will exist, and the spirit of philosophy herself gain control.” 499d The state and conditions where the Philosopher King would come to power are also important to note, “the state whose rulers come to their duties with least enthusiasm is bound to have the best and tranquil government, and the state whose rulers are eager to rule the worst.” 520d So concluding that a Philosopher King “will approach the business of government as an unavoidable necessity.” 520e
In Jeremy Corbyn A New Hope for Labour from Issue 32 of Hastings Independent Press 26/6/2015, I predicted that Jeremy Corbyn would be the new leader of the Labour party, I placed a very lucrative bet at 100/1, and was the first liken him to Obi Wan Kenobi on the Jeremy4leader page. I’m not comparing myself to Socrates here, I’m just saying that Jeremy Corbyn does bare a striking resemblance to the character described as the Philosopher King in The Republic, let’s just look at the facts.
Jeremy Corbyn came to be an MP over 30 years ago and has consistently maintained a policy of public ownership and social conscience; his politics is informed by ideals that are ‘eternal and immutable’.
Throughout his leadership Jeremy has gained a reputation for giving honest and truthful answers where others sound like they’ve learnt sound bites.
Corbyn is the MP who claims the least expenses in parliament showing that he is the least greedy.
Jeremy says that he would like to make Labour a “social movement” again, he is very kind in his assessments of others saying that he owes his knowledge to other people, “you can learn something from everybody if you listen.”
Since the Iraq war was first tabled to MPs Jeremy Corbyn has opposed it, first in person at a meeting with Blair, then as a key member of the Stop the War Campaign, now in pushing for the publication of the Chilcot report and offering an apology from the Labour party for the war.
Most importantly there is the manner in which he came to be in the Labour leadership contest. In over 30 years of serving, MP Jeremy Corbyn has taken up many causes from ending South African apartheid, to peace in Northern Ireland, from Stop the War, to Save the NHS, he speaks at rallies, gets arrested for protesting, and works with Unions to champion workers’ rights. Never once, until last year, has Jeremy tried to gain any position of power within the Labour party, he is seemingly not interested in cultivating power or money. A group of Labour MPs gathered last year to discuss the small range of candidates on offer in the leadership contest and put Jeremy forward as the MP to represent the leftwing side of the Labour party. Jeremy Corbyn was persuaded to stand in the leadership election in which he marginally got just enough support from other MPs to get onto the ballot with the sole purpose to ‘widen the debate’.
At the start of the debate other candidates treated him as if he was not to be taken seriously, now, he has won with the largest mandate of any modern Labour leader and maintains a strong support from the membership and unions. This in spite of one of the most directed and obvious media smear campaigns of this political generation. He has been called ‘unelectable’ by the grandees of his own party, who are even going as far as to try to ‘root out’ and disqualify new members who are likely to vote for Corbyn; the same people who brought you Ed Miliband, suggested Angela Eagle as an alternative, and at every turn proved themselves to be spectacularly unelectable for the past 10 years.
Corbyn has been cast as an ultra-leftist for essentially wanting to renationalise those industries sold out of public ownership since 2005 and invest in infrastructure. He has gained popular support from the members of his own party and created the greatest mass exodus to Labour in history – membership looking to top 600,000 – despite all the vested interests of power and establishment doing their best to stop him.
This is not to say we are now moving towards a perfect society. I wish to tackle the limitations of a Corbyn government in an upcoming article Jeremy Corbyn Marxist Traitor, but for now, move over New Labour because Jeremy Corbyn MP, Philosopher King, has looked at his kingdom and is finally here, to sit on his thrown, a fresh prince to oust Blair.