How much did Plato know about Judaism?

The Platonic State in its Significance for the Subsequent Period


The Platonic State in its Significance for the Subsequent Period.


E. Zeller

Anyone who knows people's ideals knows more than half of their characters. This is true not only of individuals, but also of whole times and peoples; and therein lies the peculiar interest of those writings which are devoted to the description of ideal conditions, that chiliastic literature which occupies such an important and remarkable place in the history of religion, education, and politics. Such writings tend to make suggestions and depict hopes that go far beyond everything that is possible under the given circumstances, and often enough beyond everything that is possible among people; but as fantastic as they usually look: if the thoughts of their time and important people really express themselves in it, we will still be able to learn a great deal from them. On the one hand, they reveal to us the goals which their authors hold for the highest and most desirable, and thus the mainsprings which moved the circles from which they emerged. On the other hand, they show us what was recognized as wrong in the given situation at a certain point in time, under what conditions an improvement was hoped for; and they thus partly illuminate the past by examining it from the standpoint of the future and often inexorably condemning it, partly by throwing prophetic images of the later historical formations into the future. For every true and historically justified ideal is necessarily a [109] Prophecy, and it is precisely this that distinguishes the idealist from the fantastic, that the latter pursues arbitrarily self-made ends with impossible means, whereas the latter starts from the feeling of existing ills and strives towards historically justified goals which only for this reason become fantastic in their further execution, because the conditions for their purer form and their natural realization are not yet in place.

Of all the writings to which the above remarks apply, there is hardly a second one that can be compared with the Platonic republic in terms of historical significance or internal content. At first glance, of course, this script speaks to us strangely enough. seems not just, but him is also so impracticable, and he was already so much so in his own time that it is not surprising if the [110] "Platonic state" for a fantastic ideal, for the imagination of a dreamer, has become proverbial.

It was not so long ago that it was generally mistaken for nothing else. Nowadays, however, one has almost convinced oneself that there is far more reality behind this phantasy than one would like to believe on a superficial view. Not only that Plato wants his suggestions to be taken very seriously and only expects salvation for humanity from them: there is also so much in them that corresponds to existing customs and institutions, and even their most striking determinations are so completely explained by the conditions That time, and from the peculiarity of Platonic philosophy, that we cannot see in it arbitrary inventions, but only conclusions, which the philosopher did not know how to avoid precisely because he was a Greek of the fourth century BC and a consequent thinking man. The very first basic demand of his state, the rule of the philosophers, can be derived from the given conditions and from the prerequisites of the Platonic system. That, provided that the conventional Greek constitutions visibly outlived themselves, and had competed in the turmoil of the Peloponnesian war for the ruin of the states; provided that the restored democracy in Athens had already irrevocably pronounced its verdict in Plato's eyes through the execution of Socrates. This, because a system that wanted to base all morality on knowledge could not lay any other foundation for the state either, because the state can only be made into the image of the idea that it should be, according to Plato, by those who see it of ideas raised. Similarly, we see the separation of the classes arising from a double root: from the Greek's contempt for manual labor, which for the most part made trade, and to the Spartans even agriculture, a humiliation for the free citizen; and out of the philosopher's fear of engaging his citizens in the occupation of the sensory world, out of the conviction that only a thorough education of the mind and character qualifies the warrior and statesman for the higher tasks, and that these work with the pursuit of earthly gain , [111] is incompatible with an activity which serves sensual needs and desires. If, finally, that suppression of personal interests, which finds its harshest expression in the abolition of marriage and private property, necessarily repels the individual's lack of rights in his relationship to the state, it is only the extreme of a way of thinking which the Greeks did in the same way of course it was alien to us; for the fact that the citizens were there for the sake of the state, not the state for the sake of the citizens, that no individual had a right to the whole, was agreed in Greece, and in Sparta especially the existing custom in many respects came closer to that platonic bodies. It was z. B. One can clearly see that those institutions and principles that alienate us so much in Plato were not so unheard of in Greece; they follow on from the existing, they grew out of the soil of the Hellenic state. But if Plato goes further in this direction than any previous one, if he has made serious proposals, especially in the community of women and property, such as those before him only the whim of Aristophanes, admittedly in a different way, as the summit of everything [112] brought political nonsense to the stage, this also finds its explanation in the circumstances of the time and in the spirit of Platonic philosophy. On the one hand, long and difficult experiences since the beginning of the Peloponnesian War had shown the dangers with which the welfare of states was threatened by the selfishness of individuals. Plato wanted to prevent these dangers by cutting off the roots of that selfishness: he wanted to make the conflict between private interests and general interests impossible by the complete abolition of private property. Unity, he says, is the state's first need; but full unity will only be there where no one has anything for himself. So he committed the same political mistake as Hobbes later made when he wanted to counter the evils of the revolution through absolute despotism, as the state artists of reaction still make daily when they do not violate the striving for freedom by satisfying the justified and Cutting off unfounded claims, but trying to dampen them by suppressing all freedom; with the essential difference, of course, that in Plato's unrestricted ruling power, perfected virtue and insight are connected with socialist institutions, an education of the citizens which prevents any abuse of the same and the extreme restriction of personal freedom is in harmony with their free will had to bring. But Plato’s philosophical peculiarity worked together with the political reasons, and it is this which was decisive for the shaping of his ideal of the state. The hardships of his proposals are ultimately based on the idealistic dualism of his whole worldview. Whoever knows nothing higher than the consideration of general concepts, nothing truly real, than the species existing for themselves outside the individual beings, who in the sense world only knows the distorting appearance of the supersensible, in individuality only a limitation and obscuration, not the indispensable condition sees for the realization of the general, consequently he cannot admit any free development of the individual for the practical either; but he will have to demand that the individual renounce all personal desires and with selfless devotion [113] purify itself as a pure tool of general laws, to represent a general concept. Therefore, even in the state, such a person will not be able to go out to mediate the rights of the individual with those of the community in a reconciling manner; rather, in his eyes, they will have no right in relation to the state, they will only have the choice of either to renounce all private interests and, thus qualified, to place themselves in the service of the community, or, if they do not want this, to renounce political rights and political effectiveness. So here the political and social institutions depend on the first beginnings of the system. To have misunderstood the importance of individuality, the infinite variety and movement of real life, is the fundamental error of Platonic metaphysics and Platonic socialism, already sharply described by Aristotle.

But this has already been spoken of elsewhere and by others, and from this point of view there seems to be more and more general agreement among experts about the Platonic state. So far less attention has been paid to the relation in which it stands to the theories and the conditions of the subsequent period. This subject will therefore be discussed here in a more precise elaboration of the brief references which I have given about it in another place.

What first draws our attention in this regard are the strange points of contact between the Platonic ideal of the state and what later developed in the early Christian world from church and state areas. The basic idea of ​​the Platonic theory of the state has a striking resemblance to the idea of ​​the Christian church. According to Plato, according to its real destiny, the state is nothing more than a representation and an aid to morality; its highest task is to educate its citizens to virtue and therefore to happiness; To turn their minds and their eyes to a higher, spiritual world, to secure for them that bliss after death, which at the end of the republic presents itself in a magnificent outlook as the summit of all human endeavors. It is obvious how close this state is to the [114] "Kingdom of God", whose earthly appearance the Christian church wants to be. The theoretical presuppositions and the form of both are different, but their basic idea is the same: in both it is a question of a moral community, an educational institution, the ultimate goal of which lies in a world beyond. Plato actually says that there is no salvation for the states if the deity does not rule over them. Furthermore, if this dominion is to be exercised in Plato by the philosophers, because they alone are in possession of the higher truth, then in the medieval church the priests occupy the same position; And just as the warriors stand by their side as an executive power, so according to medieval terms this is the highest task of the spiritual warrior class, the knights and princes, to expand and protect the church, the regulations which it gives through the mouth of the priests, to execute. The three medieval classes, the apprenticeship class, the military class, and the nutritional class, are pre-established in the Platonic state, and the rule of the former, which in reality could only be partially enforced, was at least no less decided by himself and demanded for the same reasons as Plato did that of the philosophers: because they alone know the eternal laws by which states, like individuals, must conform in order to correspond to their higher destiny. Finally, the conditions to which this high level of teaching is linked are largely the same in the medieval church as with our philosopher, only translated from the Greek into Christianity; for that commonality of all possessions, which Plato desires the states as the highest good, is also a Christian ideal, and if here in the Christian church the concept of renunciation, voluntary poverty, in the Platonic state that of community of goods, it also stands out this difference is largely reflected: Plato, too, demands of his philosophers and warriors that they withdraw to the simplest way of life, and the Christian Church, too, was able to realize spiritual poverty even in the mendicant orders only under the form of communal possession. But even the platonic community of women is essentially closer to celibacy than [115] one would like to believe first. For for now the political reasons of both institutions are the same: just as Plato forbids his “guards” to found a family so that they belong entirely and exclusively to the state, so Gregory forced celibacy on the reluctant clergy so that they belong to the church without being divided should. In addition, in Plato's women's community it is by no means a matter of giving personal inclination, or even sensual desire, more leeway to relieve them of the shackles of marriage; On the contrary, personal desires should be eliminated, citizens in their sexual functions, as in everything, should be made organs of the state, marriage should not be a matter of inclination or interest, but only a duty: children are to be produce when the state needs them, and they are to be produced with those whom the state allocates to the individual in order to obtain a strong offspring. Plato therefore demands of his citizens a self-denial, a submission to the common interest, from which to complete abstinence was only one step; he would have had no hesitation in demanding this, too, if his state could do without marriage and if the asceticism of the later centuries had already been his business.

But these are not mere analogies, as they may also occur between widely spaced phenomena as a result of a chance coincidence, but there is a real connection, an effect of the earlier on the later. For as wrong as it would be to ascribe to the Platonic process a direct decisive influence on the formation of the Christian church and state, on the other hand it is not possible to misjudge a relationship between the two, for which we can still largely demonstrate the intermediate links through which it is mediated . The Platonic doctrine is one of the most important of the educational elements of later classical antiquity, a spiritual power whose effects go far beyond the circle of the Platonic school. Among the following systems, not only the Aristotelian, but also the Stoic, has absorbed their spirit, and the latter in particular has for its morality the Platonic [116] Ethics owe a tremendous amount. In the last centuries before Christ, however, philosophy had taken the place of religion for all educated people, as far as the Greek language and literature went, in the East and in the West, or it had so permeated their conception of religion that of the old myths barely left the shell; Its essential results, and above all its moral principles, had passed into general education and become a world religion. One did not need to be a philosopher by profession to participate in them: whoever felt the need for higher instruction at all, attended the schools of the philosophers and read their writings; but also the grammarians, the rhetors, the historians, even the law teachers and the physicians used to lean on philosophical doctrines and assume their knowledge. These spread in a hundred ways, and however much they lost in scientific rigor and purity, their practical effect was increased unpredictably. Even the developing Christianity could not escape this influence; and it is not just the Platonic theologians of the Greco-Oriental countries or the Gnostic sects who introduced him into the Church: Greek philosophy had long before made its contribution to the emergence of Christianity, and it prevailed for centuries, like Hellenism in general, the noblest fruits of which they united in themselves, from the most varied of sides into the new religion.Even pre-Christian Judaism in Hellenistic circles was deeply saturated with Greek education and science; Millions of Jews, the greater part of the Jewish nation, lived in countries which had been under the spiritual rule of Greece since Alexander, and which as a rule were also politically ruled by Greeks or half-Greeks; and even the intercourse of daily life, even the Greek language, with which most of the people gradually exchanged those of their fathers, in which they only knew how to read their holy scriptures, imperceptibly had to circulate an infinite number of Greek ideas with them, mostly of course, of course in the capitals of Greek education inhabited by Jews, like Alexandria, like Tarsus, this seat of a famous school of philosophers and rhetoricians, [117] as in later times Rome, not to mention others. Soon, however, the times began to concern themselves with Greek science as such: a Jewish-Greek philosophy arose, which endeavored to fill Jewish theology with the ideas of the Greek philosophers and to bring them into harmony with them; The writings of Philo, the Alexandrian, show how far one had already progressed on this way around the beginning of the Christian era, how much Platonic, Pythagorean, Stoic and Peripatetic teachings this unbelieving Judaism had absorbed in itself, show the writings of Philo, the Alexandrian, who, however, is only the most important representative of one has been widespread thinking. The main seat of this school was Alexandria, that great junction for the crossing and amalgamation of Greek and Oriental education; but it was not confined to this city and not to Egypt; on the contrary, it had numerous followers among all Greek-speaking Jews, and its influence must even have extended to Palestine and the eastern countries. In close connection with this theological school stands the Jewish sect of the Essenes, which initially appeared to have arisen in the second century BC as a result of the influence of the Pythagorean mysteries and the associated asceticism, but which then, with the gradual formation of a New Pythagorean school of philosophy , also took part in this speculation, which is even more Platonic than Pythagorean. This sect, which was also widespread in Palestine, was after all one of the most important of the channels through which Greek education, and thus also the ethical and religious views of the Greek philosophers, flowed into Judaism. From the Platonic ideal of the state we find, among other things, the community of property in which the Essenes, as predecessors of the Christian monks, lived together in monastic associations. Essaism in particular seems to have played a decisive role in the development of Christian doctrine from the beginning: the Ebjonite party, which we encounter later as the only guardian of the original Jewish Christianity, bears all the features of Essaism and is only different from it faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Even the man who first gave Christianity its position as a world religion [118] the apostle Paul, had no doubt been affected, at least indirectly, by the influence of Greek education even before his own relocation to the Hellenic world; for it can hardly be imagined that he was able to completely withdraw himself from this in his native city of Tarsus, and a keener eye will not hide his traces in the apostle's letters either. But when, largely through him, the Christian community was opened to the heathen, and first of all to the Hellenes, when they crowded in en masse and the number of national Jews within them soon outweighed many times over, it was quite inevitable that Greek views would also be there found more and more entrance here. The newcomers, who were not instructed in Christianity as children, but won over to it in more mature years, could of course only grasp it from their point of view, only to tie in with the ideas which they had previously established; And even though many of them may have passed through the school of Jewish proselytism beforehand, there may be only a few more highly educated among them for a long time: the influence of Greek science could indeed be weakened by this, but it could not be eliminated for a long time, and more and more afterwards People with a scientific education joined the new faith, the more sustainable and comprehensive it had to be. So we actually find not a few among the oldest Christian writings, even among the spokesmen of the Church in the second century, who are closely related to the half-Greek Alexandrian school; and even among our New Testament writings, several, such as the Epistle to the Hebrews and the fourth Gospel, cannot deny their influence, and thus indirectly also that of Greek philosophy. It is well known how significantly this influenced the formation of Christian doctrine and morals. The whole philosophy of the Church Fathers and a large part of their theology, the whole of Scholasticism, is nothing other than a magnificent attempt, continued for centuries, to use Greek philosophy for the continued operation and understanding of Christian doctrine. [119]

One must visualize these relationships if one wants to make clear the significance of Platonism for Christianity, and thus also the connection between Platonic politics and that which is analogous to it on Christian soil. After all, it was precisely Platonism which, partly as such, partly in its connection with the Stoic and New Pythagorean philosophy, played a prominent role in that great educational process from which the Christian Church and its dogmatics also emerged, and which for centuries played the most important roles paid homage to the Christian doctors of the church, who, because of his elective affinity with Christianity, was ideally suited to mediate between him and Hellenism. Plato is the first author, or at least the most important representative of that spiritualism, which was originally alien not only to the Greeks, but also to the Jews, in the last centuries before Christ gradually took control of the mind, and through Christianity has gained dominion in large circles . He first stated that the visible world was only the appearance, namely the imperfect appearance, of an invisible one, that man should flee from this world into the hereafter, use the present life as preparation for a future one; he established that ethical dualism, which had to serve as a scientific justification as a consequence of the asceticism that had previously existed in oriental religions and orphic mystery beings. But it is precisely this ethic which contains the chief reason for those peculiarities in which Platonic politics meet with medieval ecclesiastical and political systems. The rule of the philosophers there rests on it, here that of the priests, for if individuals and states have to seek the highest laws of their actions in a world beyond, they will have to follow the guidance of those who are in that higher world, be it by science or by revelation. From this originates in the early Christian moral doctrine the demand for that renunciation of the world, which finds its highest expression in a monastic virtue; in the Platonic the principle that man should renounce all personal purposes in order to live only for the whole, the misunderstanding of the rights which the [120] Individuality and the suppression of their freedom. Because of these ethical prerequisites, Plato set his state the same goal that the Christian Church subsequently set itself, to educate people morally and religiously, to educate them more for the hereafter than for this world. If, therefore, the two coincide in many and far-reaching features, this is most natural: the moral worldview on which the Platonic state is based has subsequently, fused with other elements, developed further in the Christian church; who could wonder that the same soil has borne fruit of the same kind? Our philosopher appears in many other respects as a forerunner of Christianity, which not only paved the way for it to spread outwardly in the Greek people, but also partially mapped out that which it had to go through in its internal development . That pure and sublime idea of ​​God z. B., which stands at the top of his system, was one of the most invasive norms of the early Christian, as it was of the Jewish-Alexandrian dogmatics; that reform of the popular religion which he urges in the republic, that elimination of unworthy ideas about the deity which he demands, has been accomplished by Christianity; it has absorbed that moral spirit in which he wants religion to be understood; that commandment to love one's enemies, which is a pearl of evangelical morality, we find before, and in this fundamental generality first in Plato, when he (in his "state") states that the righteous will never harm the enemy either, because It is not up to good to do anything other than good. Those who are accustomed to seeing only “pagans” in the Greeks may be alienated by such traits that can be easily reproduced: from a truly historical perspective they will only confirm the law of historical continuity.

The relation of Platonic politics to the present conditions of the state and society is far more distant. There can hardly be any talk of Plato's influence here, except how far the same is conveyed through his importance for the older time; the institutions of the present have essentially become independent, [121] on the basis of given needs, developed from the Middle Ages, and political speculation, taken as a whole, has a small share in it. But it is all the more strange how Plato, with some of his proposals, is basically heading towards the same thing, which the recent times have brought into life in a different way and mostly for different reasons. If Socrates, in contrast to the Athenian democracy, had demanded that only the experts should be entrusted with an office and that a voice should be given in public affairs, and if Plato, in a consistent application of this principle, wanted only the men of science to be entrusted with the leadership of the states, so is In most countries, too, scientific preparation for civil service is prescribed; the state administration has passed from the hands of the feudal and knightly nobility to the new aristocracy of the scientifically educated civil servant class. If Plato wanted to create a separate class of warriors, devoted to no other business, they too believe they could not get along without standing armies, and especially without their own professionally trained officers; and the most resounding reason for this is still the one which Plato already asserted: that the art of war is also an art that no one thoroughly understands, who has not learned it professionally and does it as a career. If Plato also, in connection with this, extended public education, going beyond the subjects traditionally taught by the Greeks, music and gymnastics, to the mathematical and philosophical subjects, in a word, to the entire science of his time, the states of today have this This need has long since been recognized by the founding of all kinds of scientific institutions. It is true that our philosopher would hardly find himself satisfied by the way his ideals are realized among us; He would have difficulty in recognizing his philosophical rulers in the population of our offices, or in our barracks the places where the warriors, as he likes, are to be preserved, above all, with a hint of commonality, to be educated in moral beauty and harmony; he would probably also be amazed at our universities if he saw some of the things that happened there [122] ask whether these are the fruits of philosophy, yes, he would have reason enough to add, where for most of them, besides the hundred specialties that fill their time, remains philosophy itself, the unity and the coherence of all science; Not to speak of the fact that from our four faculties he would delete the top three as such: for a theology that is something other than philosophy he would call mythology, and as far as jurisprudence and medicine are concerned, he is of the opinion, There would be no legal disputes in his state, and a few home remedies would suffice for the illnesses: anyone who cannot be helped with them should be safely allowed to die, as it is not worthwhile to drag on your life in the care of a sick body. But this does not add to the fact that he has already considered some of the goals which modern times, of course, of their kind and with other means, are pursuing. Plato’s provisions on the upbringing and employment of the female sex also differ far enough from our concepts and habits; For to us, of course, the demand that women should accompany state offices and take them to the field, even if only (as he once carefully adds) in the reserve; even a more rigorous scientific teaching of the same will hardly ever be introduced, in spite of all the writers and learned women we have, and if gymnastics in the female educational institutions is at least a useful subject of instruction, then we would still use the platonic assumption that it is in in the same way as in Greece among men, we are rightly offended, and we are not satisfied with Plato's information that the citizens of his state are veiled in their virtue instead of his robe. But when, as one of the first, he spoke about a careful upbringing of the female sex, its intellectual and moral education, its essential equality with the male, Plato went just as far beyond the custom and opinion of his people as he himself went to ours approximates. This, too, is quite reminiscent of modern conditions when he wants a censorship introduced for all poems, plays, pieces of music and works of art, or when he [123] proposes to the “laws” that a collection of good writings and core songs, together with melodies and dances, be organized by the state for use by the citizens, and especially for school purposes. One or the other of the kind could be taught, e.g. B. his proposals for the introduction of a more humane martial law; but there may be enough of what has been said.

On the other hand, we must not ignore the relationship between the Platonic account and those political and social poems which modern times have produced in so great numbers. All these state novels, from the Utopia of Thomas More down to Cabet's Icarien, are imitations of the Platonic republic and the writing, which was supposed to describe the state of the republic in historical form, but which was not completed by Plato, of Critias . In all of them it is political ideals which are elaborated with greater or lesser freedom, and in all of them the familiar features of the Platonic type can be recognized, sometimes more fully, sometimes less fully: in some the rule of philosophers and scholars, in others the abolition of family life and private property, the community of dwellings, meals, work, education, here and there even women. But there is one essential difference that separates them all in their innermost tendency from the Platonic state. As noted, Plato's guiding idea is the realization of morality through the state: the state should educate its citizens to virtue; it is a great educational institution that encompasses the entire life and existence of its members. All others have to subordinate themselves to this one purpose; all individual interests are ruthlessly sacrificed to him: for him it can only be about the bliss and perfection of the whole, says Plato, the individual has no more to address than is compatible with the beauty of the whole. He therefore does not have the slightest hesitation in making a box-like inequality of the classes and an unconditional self-renunciation of all citizens the basis of his state. Conversely, in modern state novels, almost without exception, it is precisely the desire [124] after general and even participation in the pleasures of life, which creates dissatisfaction with the existing conditions and evokes ideals.Plato wants to abolish private interest; his modern successors want to satisfy it; the former strives for the perfection of the whole, the latter for the happiness of the individual; the former treats the state as an end, the person as a means, this treats people as an end, the state and society as a means. Most of our socialists and communists express this openly enough: as much enjoyment as possible for the individual, and therefore the same amount of enjoyment for all is their motto. But even if the catchwords are different for individuals, the practical suggestions themselves sufficiently show what the ultimate goal is; Even if one speaks of brotherhood: if this is to exist in communism, it is obvious that it is not a question of fulfilling a duty as well as satisfying a wish; even if one may argue against the individualism of the time, like St. Simon: the rehabilitation of the flesh is not the way to control it. It is the happiness of the individual on which everything is calculated here, and the father of all this literature in modern times, Thomas More, has already expressed this; for he expressly designates pleasure as the highest end of our activity, and however much he may follow Plato in the rest, his ethical principle is more Epicurean than Platonic. Even a strict moral philosopher like Fichte knows how to justify his “closed trading state,” despite all its impracticability, perhaps the best and at least one of the most prudent of the socialist ideals of the state, only with the sentence that everyone wants to live as comfortably as possible. We are far from immediately reproaching modern theories for this: the point of view from which they proceed is fundamentally true and justified, even if it does not contain the whole truth, and has often led to much wrong by exaggeration . But whatever that may be, the worth or the unworthiness of those theories shall not be examined here, but we only refer to their more general tendency in order to illuminate their relation to the Platonic state. But this is ultimately the same as that which [125] takes place between our conception of state life and the Hellenic one. For the most radical difference between the two lies less in the constitutional norms than in the position which the state as a whole is given to individuals, their rights, and their activities. For our way of looking at things, the state is built up from below: the individuals are the first, the state arises from the fact that they come together to protect their rights and to promote their common good. For this very reason, however, the individuals remain the ultimate end of the life of the state; We demand of the state that it should give the whole of its individual members as much freedom, prosperity and education as possible, and we will never convince ourselves that it can serve the perfection of the state as a whole, or that it is permissible to defend the essential rights and interests of the individual to sacrifice to his ends. Conversely, to the Greek the state appears to be the first and most essential thing, the individual only as a part of the community; the feeling of political community is so strong in him, the idea of ​​personality, on the other hand, recedes so decisively that he can only imagine a human existence in the state; he knows no higher task than the political, no more original right than that of the whole: the state, says Aristotle, is by its nature earlier than the individual. Here, therefore, the person is only granted as much right as his position in the state entails: strictly speaking, there are no general human rights, but only civil rights, and no matter how deeply the interests of the individual may be violated by the state, if that is the case State interest demands this, they cannot complain: the state is the sole original holder of all rights, and it is not obliged to grant its members a greater share in them than its own purposes bring with it. Plato also shares this point of view; indeed, he took it to extremes in his republic. On the other hand, of course, at the same time he recognizes that true morality is only possible through free conviction, through the individual's own knowledge, that political proficiency is also perfected through thorough scientific knowledge, and that ordinary and habitual virtue is achieved through [126] Philosophy must purify and consolidate; and for this very reason the foundation stone of his state is the philosophical education of the rulers; for precisely this reason all others are excluded from any share in the administration of the state. With this that ancient Greek point of view, which Plato holds in another respect, is again abandoned; the center of gravity of state life is shifted to the individual, to their education, to their scientific convictions. But it is impossible for the philosopher to abandon himself entirely to this direction: the Hellenic spirit in him and his system is still too powerful for that. So he stands at the boundary between two times, and while he himself works with all his might to bring about a new form of education, he at the same time willingly sacrifices to the spirit of his people all the interests that modern times cannot do without. For that very reason, however, one understands it only half, if one only understands its meaning for his Keeping an eye on time; the innermost part of his being, as with all groundbreaking spirits, belongs to the future.