From an article entitled “Wise Men Bearing Gifts,” by F. R. Duplantier, appearing in the publication of The New American on December 22, 1986.

By the grace of God, human intermediaries had visions of a better world, and they dedicated their lives to the formulation of precepts and comprehensive systems by which their fellow men might improve the quality of their lives.

The products of these visions of a better world, are guidelines for right living, systems of government by which the individual may exercise mastery over himself and by which a community of individuals may establish peace and unity among themselves. 

According to Plato, the qualities of the true philosopher that we must look for in our leaders include the following:

  • “a constant passion for any knowledge that will reveal to them something of that reality which endures for ever”;
  • “a love of truth and a hatred of falsehood that will not tolerate untruth in any form”;
  • the renunciation of “those pleasures of which the body is the instrument”;
  • freedom from “the love of money, meanness, pretentiousness, and cowardice”;
  • fair-mindedness, gentleness, and sociability;
  • a quick mind, a good memory; and
  • a sense of proportion.

In short, the king who is a philosopher will be “quick to learn and to remember, magnanimous and gracious, the friend and kinsman of truth, justice, courage, temperance.”

That a community or a nation should be led by its wisest and ablest men would seem to be a principle that could be taken for granted. Yet, if we look about the world today, we will find that in those few countries in which the citizenry have any say in the choice of leaders, little if any consideration is given to the intellectual and moral qualifications of the candidates.  Mere popularity is the deciding factor, and this a function of the positions that a candidate takes and the promises he makes, [and the lies that he tells, promoted by leftist media] which for the most part he has purposely selected in an effort to pander to a constituency and thereby maximize popularity. The equality of opportunity reflected in the belief that any American child can grow up to be president is a fine thing, if we can assume that by the time he becomes a candidate for our highest office he is no longer equal but superior to his countrymen in his possession of the wisdom necessary to govern.

Our educational system not only fails to produce philosopher-kings—or any distant approximation of such ideal beings—but it also inculcates in the mass of people a dissatisfaction with their lot in life that in turn leads to presumption and contentiousness. We have become an intemperate people [ripe for socialist picking].

F. R. Duplantier, “Wise Men Bearing Gifts,” The New American, December 22, 1986.

~ David Norris

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