I spent some time the other night reading the introduction to Plato’s Republic (free on Gutenberg.org – you have no excuse) followed by a bit of Church history. It resulted in a moment of clarity around something that has bothered me for years.
To set up the problem, I posit that the great divide in thought and worldview throughout the ages is that between Plato and Aristotle. This is the direct result of reading an outstanding book several years ago on the same topic. This divide is not a recent or modern phenomenon; it runs through the ages.
My Monarchism is a worldview that, like Plato, uses the manifestation of society’s organizational structure as a model for explaining the deeper, more transcendent, metaphysical concepts. That is why I define royalism as an orientation more spiritual in nature than socio-political. This method is straight out of Plato’s handbook. My Monarchism is Platonic while the American Republican system is, in my view, more Aristotelian, a view with benefits but one that I cannot embrace as a whole. I am Platonic and not Aristotelian.
I think a person’s first priority should be to figure out on which side of this divide they stand. One’s Platonic or Aristotelian orientation effects even one’s interpretation of the more important religious concepts. A Platonic Christian thinks differently than an Aristotelian Christian, which explains much of the free-for-all in modern Christian apologetics.
The problem, then, is that the ideological mortal enemy of Monarchism is the progressive Left, which is itself Platonic. When Rousseau was asked by the Polish to develop a communist model (which proved unsuccessful), it was grounded in Platonic philosophy. At the same time, the exact opposite ideology inherent in the French Monarchy was itself grounded in Platonic philosophy. France owned the Platonic ultra-realism of the day.
So, if progressive Leftism and the conservative, traditional Monarchy are both grounded in Platonic philosophy, how can we explain the difference? That question baffled me for years. I have decided now that it is this – the progressive Left is a deconstructionist Platonic philosophy, while the French Monarchy was grounded in an affirmative, Catholic constructionist Platonic philosophy.
The early Church, and up through the first one thousand years, was decidedly Platonic. Christianity was, in fact, the answer to the questions Plato raised. They go hand in hand, not because the Church tainted itself with pagan philosophy but, rather, because the Church was the very thing toward which Plato was pointing.
Plato is right. He also is dangerous in a spiritual vacuum. His philosophy needs a metaphysics grounded in truth to support it, one that he could not provide in the pre-Christian era. The danger comes when his philosophy falls into the hands of malevolent metaphysics. This is my assertion – that the progressive Left is filling the spiritual void in the modern era with a malevolent deconstructionist metaphysics; for, we have lost sight of the life affirming ultra-realism of old.
Christians need to re-establish our philosophical footing alongside our scriptural and doctrinal foundations if we are to be victorious.