Aristotle, Political Warfare, and Classical Studies
by Criton Zoakos
from the September-October 1978 issue of The Campaigner
page numbers from source included to facilitate comparison
The battleground of grand politics is the minds of men and that side wins which imposes its own qualities of intellect on the minds of the adversary. In the kind of politics that counts, no other battleground is worth more fighting for and winning than this.
This is why Aristotle's authority and influence must be destroyed.
Aristotle is the patriarch of a tribe of logicians which begins with himself and, through Saint Anselm, William of Ockham, John Locke, Francis Bacon, and John Stuart Mill, ends with Lord Bertrand Russell, Arnold Joseph Toynbee and, among the living, Mr. Bernard Lewis and Sir Karl Popper among others. These people, working through certain universities and similar academic outlets financed by the British oligarchy and its political intelligence
arms, have been using Aristotelianism and neo-Aristotelianism for purposes of political manipulation of large populations.
Destroy the undeserved authority and reputation of Aristotle, the patriarch-figure of the whole pack, and the influence of nominalist-logicians, linguisticians and computer specialists is forever terminated.
The efficient destruction of Aristotle's authority-image will have the effect of putting an end to the hegemony of Logic in intellectual life. Logic as a social convention cultivated by the Aristotelians for over two thousand years is, primarily, a powerful obstacle which prevents most people from directly replicating in their minds the concept of Reason, as Reason is defined by Plato, i.e., the power to "hypothesize the higher hypothesis."
The weapon of Aristotelianism in this form has been used extensively and deliberately for purposes of large-scale "mind control" by a coherent historical faction from the Roman Empire to our day. In the last one thousand years, this faction, composed principally of the "Black Guelph" European nobility, inclusive of the presently ruling European royal houses, has organized itself around the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.
The direct predecessor of this international social order was the alliance between the then-fallen nobility of the expired Roman Empire and the warlords of the Nordic tribes. Before that, the order consisted of the multinational banking and tax-farming nobility of the Roman Empire organized around institutions provided by the cult of Apollo -- the cult which created and disseminated Aristotelianism.
Thus Aristotle was deployed by the Roman dictator Sulla for the purpose of combatting the Platonist threat to the Roman Empire. Later, during the Patristic era of the Christian Church, Aristotelianism was used by the banking-tax-farming nobility to combat the influence of Neoplatonist Saint Augustine. The third major historical redeployment of Aristotelianism was during the thirteenth century, when Saint Thomas Aquinas, before his repentance, was attempting to stop the influence of Neoplatonist Ibn Sina, at a time when the Catholic Church was a captive of the Black Guelph nobility.
The last deployment of Aristotelianism is the one directed by the British Empire, in the form of British empiricism. As we shall see, Locke, Hume, et al., made virtually no significant addition to Aristotle's initial systemization of the empiricist world outlook. Exposing the fraud of Aristotle ipso facto takes care of the problem of having to refute his political heirs.
A professional examination of source materials and ancient records reporting on Aristotle and his times, establishes beyond reasonable doubt the following conclusions about Aristotle which are at odds with all secondary historical writings at this time:
First, Aristotle was primarily a political intelligence agent working on behalf of an oligarchical clique of Macedonian nobles allied with Babylonian-Persian financial interests and court circles.
Second, from the very beginning of his career he was deployed by this oligarchical clique against Plato and the Platonic Academy. He penetrated the Academy and remained there for twenty years for the purpose of disruption, counter-organizing and hostile recruitment.
Third, Aristotle played a key role in a palace conspiracy which organized a coup d'etat and assassinated Alexander the Great in 323 BC.
Fourth, in matters of philosophy, he was an incompetent fraud and a throwback in his own time, and he was known as such among his qualified contemporaries.
The contrary information, that he allegedly was Plato's prize pupil, a fatherly figure to Alexander the Great, and an esteemed intellectual, is the result of Stoic and Peripatetic propaganda which began being spread by the Roman dictator Sulla over two centuries after Aristotle's death. (1)
Since all the accounts of the history of antiquity are heavily biased and contaminated fabrications since the time of Clarendon and Gibbon, (2) the reader will need the following principal facts as guidelines for the history of antiquity, beginning with the first millennium before Christ, in order to be able to follow our narrative of the story of Aristotle per se:
First: The Near East-Mediterranean-centered world of antiquity was organized around the principal sovereign power of Mesopotamia. In this sense, there are no Greek, Egyptian, Phoenician, Hebrew national histories. These entities, formally dependent or semi-dependent on the principal sovereign authority of Mesopotamia, can best be studied from the standpoint of the Mesopotamian Empire's "nationalities policy," or "colonial policy."
Second: The Mesopotamian Empire, whether under Assyrian, Babylonian or Persian nominal rule, was dominated by the all-pervasive institutions of the Mesopotamian priesthood-financial caste.
Third: From the beginnings of the millennium onward, there was an irrepressible revolt of the "city-builder" factions of the western-coastal provinces and semi-provinces against the political power of the Mesopotamian priesthood. (3) The Phoenician and Ionian Grand Design of colonization, and the Ionian revolution in science and epistemology in the seventh century, were major strategic outflanking operations aimed at breaking the power of the Mesopotamian system.
Apart from these three invariants during the first millennium BC, the reader should keep in mind the following subthemes that dominate the unfolding of history: The oligarchy of the Mesopotamian priest-financiers continuously struggled to maintain its power by pitting the mindless manipulated masses of peasant populations, against both the central authority of Kings and the industry-and-commerce oriented factions of city-builders. The priesthood, having assumed, according to the social division of labor of the preceding era, the function of doing all the thinking on behalf of the rest of the brutalized population, perfected its means of social control by means of manufactured religious cults, and thus invented democracy, or the technique of managed mob rule. The central authority of Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian kings each in its time succumbed to the priesthood that had developed to perfection the craft of manipulating the popular mind. (4)
Finally, the military tribe of the Achaemenid Persians (whose dynasty was still ruling during Aristotle's time),
were installed to power by the priests of Bel-Marduk, as we have documented elsewhere, (5) for the purpose of harnessing and marshaling all the material-military resources of the Empire for a final assault against the Ionian-Phoenician faction, the archenemy of the Mesopotamian priesthood.
On the other hand, the humanist city-builders of the Ionian-Phoenician faction capitalized on the spread of science, colony-building, and epistemology, the science of perfecting the creative powers of mind, as their principal weapons of political warfare. In the course of this struggle, they produced major innovations in ship-building, navigation, military and civil engineering and the art of warfare. They also established a tradition of philosophical and scientific excellence which produced the character and personality of the people who shaped the factional lineup during the time of our story, the latter half of the fourth century BC. (6)
Thus, the time of Plato, Aristotle, and Alexander the
Great, the time of our narrative here, represents the concluding phase of a continuous, uninterrupted drama which had started around the beginning of the first millennium BC. With the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Mesopotamian priest-financiers were temporarily defeated. With Alexander's assassination, however, the oligarchical principle of government, the "Persian model" as Aristotle called it, was revived and augmented by the Macedonian oligarchs, especially the Ptolemies of Egypt who later transmitted it to their little Frankenstein monster, the disaster that was Rome. (7)
From there, the oligarchical principle of government was directly transmitted to the present British monarchy which, since the ascension to the English throne of the House of Orange, considers itself the upholder of the principle which its Guelph, Pierleoni and Hapsburg predecessors had kept alive through the medieval times.
This brings us up to date for our main subject matter.
II. The Struggle Between Aristotle And Plato
Of all the great and small things that have been written throughout the centuries about the conflict between Plato and Aristotle, the full truth had never before been made public until the recent publications, lectures and seminars on the subject by leaders and members of the U.S. Labor Party.
The full truth of this conflict, which is also the innermost secret of our three-thousand-year-old civilization, is that it was the most celebrated episode in a political war that is still going on today. (8) The two adversaries in this unfinished combat, the rival Neoplatonic and Aristotelian conspiratorial elites, have known this truth all along, The fact has been missed to the broader layers of humanity primarily for two reasons.
First, since the Treaty of Vienna (9), the British-monarchy-centered Aristotelians have increasingly managed to break up the cohesion and continuity of their rival Neoplatonic networks and, second, historically, the Neoplatonic conspiracy itself has been reluctant to come out with the full truth. As a result, that truth narrowly missed being lost forever until we rescued it.
Once more, the only real battleground in real politics is the mind of man. Thus, what ordinary people mistake as ivory-tower and ethereal philosophy, always was, is and will be the heavy artillery of political warfare. Philosophy was born out of political struggles, and was deliberately beaten into shape as a political weapon, and nothing will be understood of the last three thousand years of recorded history, unless all politics is viewed from this vantage point. If history does not make sense to
you, if it seems incoherent, it is not because it is incoherent, but because the eye of the beholder has not been trained to use the appropriate sophisticated judgment required to discern its coherence, its strict causality.
Plato and Aristotle represent two adversary and irreconcilable views of the human mind, the battleground of politics. So long as the two coexist, humanity will not be rid of its miseries. Unless Plato's side wins out on a substantial worldwide scale, humanity will be drifting between purgatory and limbo, unable to cross over from its quasi-primitive present state to the stage of human history proper. Isolated individuals will still be able to make the leap, but the large mass of humanity will keep living unfulfilled lives.
A lot of nonsense has been written by incompetent commentators and ignorant professors about Plato's own epistemology, doctrine of mind. The most incompetent among them is the so-called "theory of Forms," or "Ideas." Plato never wrote in favor of such a theory. (10) He, and the Platonists and Neoplatonists after him, like the Ionians before him, viewed the human mind as an absolutely unbounded creative power whose unique, characteristic activity is the generation of higher orders of organization of nature. This, however, is the capacity of man's mind which can come into play only through rigorous cultivation. Creativity doesn't grow on trees.
The most accurate accounts of Plato's epistemology in the modern era are contained in the recent writings of Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., especially his "The Secrets Known Only to the Inner Elites" (The Campaigner, Vol.
11, No. 3-4), "A Machiavellian Solution for Israel" (The Campaigner, Vol. 11, No. 2), and elsewhere. (11) Uwe Parpart is preparing for publication a definitive evaluation of Plato's surviving writings and of the early Academy's little-known political organizing activities with included groundbreaking contributions in this field. (12)
Since, however, this is a report on Aristotle and not Plato, we must limit ourselves to the bare essentials of this subject, not more than what is required for developing the case against Aristotle.
Plato had arrived at the conclusion that there are three broad levels on which the human mind, depending on the degree of its disciplined cultivation, operates. These three levels, corresponding to Dante's Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise, are: the level of sense certainty, the level of Understanding, and that of Reason, or Logos, or Creativity.
A man's mind that has not gone through the rigors of dialectical training of his creative powers, is like the wretch who was born inside a dark cave, was chained, at birth, to the floor of the cave and made to look, all his life, toward the cave's darkest wall. Behind him, and invisible to him, is a ramp and behind the ramp a big fire, the only light inside the cave. On the ramp, marionettes are moving around manipulated by men hidden below. All the chained wretch sees throughout his life is the shades of the marionettes on the wall. He does not know real marionettes, only their shades, and much less does he know men. He does not know real sunlight but only the reflections of the bonfire in the cave. (13)
This is the condition of men living on the level of sense certainty. The task of dialectic is to take them from there and enable them to face the sunlight. Or, as Socrates himself says in the Republic:
Then, said I, is not dialectic the only process of inquiry that advances in this manner, doing away with hypotheses, up to the first principle itself in order to find confirmation there? And it is literally true that when the eye of the soul is sunk in the barbaric slough of Orphic myth, dialectic gently draws it forth and leads it up, employing as helpers and co-operators in this conversion the studies and sciences which we enumerated, which we call sciences often from habit, though they really need some other designation, connoting more clearness than opinion and more obscurity than science. "Understanding," I believe was the term we employed. (14)
The "first principle" is Logos, the unbounded creativity- for-itself of the mind. With its attainment the actual life of humanized man just begins. Before its attainment, in the limbo of "Understanding," man hovers between humanity and bestiality, his only saving grace being his ability to recognize that such a thing as Logos, Reason, must necessarily exist, if not in himself, then in others.
Aristotle occasionally frequents the limbo of "Under- standing," but only occasionally at inconsequential moments. His proper abode is the "barbaric slough of Orphic myth," from whence he declares that Reason does not exist, for himself or for anybody else. (15)
Aristotle's view of the human mind, shared by the neo-Aristotelians, the British empiricists and the Logical Positivists, and by the Babylonian priesthood before him, is that mind is a passive receptacle of sense impressions, just like the mind of animals, with the proviso that man's mind has the added trained capacity to organize large batches of sense-impressions into memory storage.
The Aristotelian mind is unable to generate inside itself new gestalt-concepts and, therefore, does not have the raw material from which to conceptualize the cathexis of the generative power, Reason, which causes the emergence of new concepts in the mind.
Plato, in 387 BC, during the year of the infamous Persian King's Peace, at the lowest ebb of Ionian fortunes, went ahead and established his Academy for the purpose of creating a political cadre force, an elite which, relying on its mastered and cultivated powers of Reason, was designed to turn around the Persian-Babylonian tide. Twenty years later Aristotle, a young man of seventeen, was deployed by the priests of Apollo at the Temple of Delphi (16) into the Platonic Academy for an eventual career of intelligence gathering, counter-organizing, disruption and hostile recruitment.
Everything that Aristotle wrote during his stay at the Academy leaves no doubt that this indeed was his purpose. The most conclusive evidence against Aristotle, however, is not in his early works, which survive today only in fragmentary form, but his later, so-called "mature" works, which he wrote after he left the Academy and after the death of Plato, and which survive intact. (17)
I arrived at the conclusions presented in this report by using, broadly, the following procedure. First, being generally familiar with the philosophical outlook and theory of knowledge of Plato, I entered into a minute examination of Aristotle's own expositions of the subjects of mind and epistemology; then I went back to a more detailed examination of Plato's own surviving writings to review the differences between the two. At that point, it became crystal clear that the two represented absolutely irreconcilable, diametrically opposed and consciously hostile world outlooks. Once that was established with precision, then the written works of Aristotle became admitted as crucial background evidence useful for the remaining straightforward police-detective type of work required to determine his political associations and their particular significance.
The best procedure, therefore, would be for me to report to the reader the results of the preliminary, epistemological
investigation, and after that conclusion is established, to proceed to introduce the secondary types of evidence which indicate that he in fact was working for allied Macedonian-Babylonian oligarchical interests which plotted the assassination of Alexander the Great.
THE EPISTEMOLOGICAL EVIDENCE
Going past Aristotle's own abundant hostile remarks against Plato, Anaximander, Heraclitus and the other Ionians in the Corpus Aristotelicum, we focus on the three basic items that he discussed exhaustively, namely ontology, the way the world is; epistemology, the way the mind works; and, third, that crucial area of intersection between ontology and epistemology in which mind itself views itself as part of the laws of nature -- an area which Aristotle denies exists.
The problem with Aristotle's ontology is that, while cloaked in a garb of apparent rationality, it is absurd and self contradictory because, although Aristotle acknowledges
that the objects of the universe behave lawfully, he systematically rejects the principle of causality on which lawfulness rests. To take a shortcut in this complicated matter, we shall focus the examination around the concept of the Infinite. The principle of causality stands or falls on this issue.
The concept of the Infinite or, more properly, the "concrete Infinite '' was conceptualized by the Ionian Anaximander in order to complete Thales' thesis of the One. Thales' celebrated thesis was that the entire unfolding universe is coherent, susceptible to mastery by the human mind, in the sense that beyond the mere transient objects of sense-certainty the universe is one single being, an indivisible generative principle. (18)
Anaximander, to complete Thales' thesis, reasoned more or less in the following way: The fixed objects of sense-certainty which come into being and pass out of existence are merely the evidentiary raw materials of the natural investigator. Since these all too real objects of sense-certainty are endowed with existence, it follows that that which causes them to exist, their originative
principle itself, is of a superior order of existence. Apply, now, the same rigor not to the mere arrays of objects of sense certainty but to the evolutionary succession of whole arrays one after the other, to the "innumerable universes" which succeed each other in time. Since the succession of "innumerable universes" is endowed with reality, therefore the generative principle itself of this ordered succession is endowed with an existence which is concrete Infinite.
Thus, the whole thesis of the coherence of the universe fabristands or falls with the concept of the concrete Infinite. The concrete Infinite itself is the completed principle of causality. (19)
Aristotle completely repudiates the concept of the Infinite in his book on Physics. Thus, by necessity, he throws out of the window all causality. In this he is consistent with himself, since in his various works on logic he equates causality with the middle term in deductive syllogisms.
In his Physics he begins the discussion on the Infinite by attributing the concept to his predecessors, quoting here and paraphrasing there: "Some, as the Pythagoreans and Plato, make the infinite a principle in the sense of self-subsisting substance, and not as mere attribute of some other thing..." (20) "Further they identify it with
the Divine, for it is 'deathless and imperishable' as Anaximander says with the majority of the physicists." (21)
Our, hero then proceeds to betray his own pathetic ignorance of the origins of the concept:
Belief in the existence of the infinite comes mainly from five considerations:
1. From the nature of time -- for it is infinite.
2. From the division of magnitudes -- for the mathematicians also use the notion of the infinite.
3. If coming to be and passing away do not give out, it is only because that from which things come to be is infinite.
4. Because the limited always finds its limit in something so that there must be no limit, if everything is always limited by something different from itself.
5. Most of all, a reason which is peculiarly appropriate and presents the difficulty that is felt by everybody not only numbers but also mathematical magnitudes and what is outside the heaven are supposed to be infinite because they never give out in our thought. (22)
Evidently, none at all of these alleged causes for the origination of the concept that Aristotle enumerates could possibly account for it being thought of as "not a predicate" and as a "principle" and "self-subsisting substance." This enumeration serves us as crucial evidence that Aristotle does not have, inside his own mind, any actual, arrived-at concept of the Infinite. He himself actually declares, further on, at the beginning of Book V of Physics: "Now it is impossible that the infinite should be a thing which is itself infinite, separate from sensible objects."
Thus, Aristotle's ontology insists that the highest and ultimate repository of reality is the sensible object. If something does not belong to sensible objects, it is not possible for it to exist. The rest of his ontology is a description of a weird kind of causality which is a mere property of sensible objects. It should not take up our time simply because it represents a very elaborate fabrication. Aristotle's celebrated concepts of causality, i.e., "potentiality," "actuality" and "entelechy," are mere frauds because they are mere predicates of sensible objects. In his view, sensible objects generate causality, not the other way around.
This world outlook would make humanity a mere predicate of individual man; law, a mere predicate of the individual citizen; evolution an accidental property of the biosphere; and energy a predicate of material bodies. Appropriately, this is the moral content of a mind ruled by the laws of sense certainty. For the experienced investigator, the study of Aristotle's attitude toward the concept of the Infinite could be enough of a clue for reconstructing Aristotle's entire mental map.
Aristotle, however, does this for us in his epistemological
works, six books which together have been known as the Organum. These are Categoriae, De Interpretatione, Analytica Priora, Analytica Posteriora, Topica, De Sophisticis Elenchis.
The pathology emblazoned in these six books and in the Metaphysica (23) merits a long, quiet, sorrowful look. It represents one of the purest forms of a mental disease that has tormented mankind for ages. Aristotle's writings on the mind are nothing less than the agony of a man's mind which is trapped in the bestial prison of sense certainty, of animal sense certainty, and yet knows itself to be man's mind, not an animal's.
Knowing, thus, itself to be human, Aristotle's mind attempts to describe its humanity by describing the processes of its functioning. The attempt is a catastrophic disaster, and what comes out is a description not of the mind's functioning but of its pathology. A little reflection on the mental map projected on the Organum, correlated with biographical information, could give one a complete clinical diagnosis of Aristotle's mental disorder. In broad terms, it is classed as infantile obsessive object fixation.
In more formal terms, which would identify the disorder in its formal-academic predicates, what occurs in the Organum is the following:
In all six books Aristotle basically attempts to answer the fundamental question, What is knowledge, what are its criteria and how does the mind attain it. It is the same subject that Plato addresses in his celebrated dialogue, the Theaetetus. Aristotle, however, instead of answering the question, takes knowledge as axiomatically given and proceeds to describe how mind processes already given knowledge, i.e., logic!
Aristotle's crippling flaw is revealed when one scans his writings in search of any piece of evidence or clue that would indicate the existence, in his mind, of any internal point of cathexized reference associated with the experience, common in creative minds, of that turning point in mental life when a new concept is generated, in a burst of illumination, to arm the mind with simultaneous solutions to whole arrays of hitherto seemingly insoluble problems. Aristotle is completely ignorant of the art of creating new concepts and new world outlooks. His mental map is an arid wasteland, filled with the names, as he insists, of the self-evident objects that sense-certainty gives him, all the names and their concepts neatly dissected into ten irreducible Categories, and then classified in phials and shelves neatly by species, genera, classes, orders and phyla. Without exaggeration, this is the entire content of the Categoriae and De Interpretatione. This mental map is then taken to be the battleground where the fight to discover what knowledge is will take place.
The Analytica Posteriora begins with the following assertion:
All instruction given or received by way or argument proceeds from preexisting knowledge. This becomes evident upon a survey of all the species of such instruction. The mathematical sciences and all other speculative disciplines are acquired in this way, and so are the forms of dialectical reasoning, syllogistic and inductive: for each of these latter makes use of old knowledge to impart new, the syllogism assuming an audience that accepts its premises, induction exhibiting the universal as implicit in the clearly known particular. Again, the persuasion exerted by rhetorical arguments is in principle the same, since they use either example, a kind of induction, or enthymeme, a form of syllogism. (24)
The fundamental thesis of Aristotle's doctrine is that there is no possibility of new qualities of knowledge. His allowing the possibility of new knowledge by means of deduction and induction is purely deceptive, as he himself implies as the outset of Book II of Analytica Posteriora, where the question is posed, what is it that links "preexisting knowledge" with "new knowledge" or, by means of what questions do we arrive at new knowledge? Aristotle asserts:
The kinds of questions we ask are as many as the kinds of things we know. They are in fact four: (1) whether the connection of an attribute to a thing is a fact, (2) what is the reason of the connection, (3) whether a thing exists, (4) what is the nature of the thing. (25)
This is a formulation more important than funny because, upon inspection, it leads us back to what we discovered when examining Aristotle's inability to conceptualize the Infinite, and that is that Aristotle has absolutely no notion of causality. He is in fact morally dead to the notion of causality. His emphasis, in the just cited paragraph, on the connection between "attribute" and "thing," is clinically very significant. He presumably is aware that the questions people ask for the purpose of arriving at new knowledge must somehow aim at discovering new causalities. But his questions do not inquire about causality, they inquire about connection! Absolutely not accidental, and here is where we catch him by the toe.
Aristotle, as he repeatedly states on numerous occasions, defines cause to be the middle term of a deductive syllogism.
There is an extensive damning passage in the Analytica Posteriora:
We conclude that in all our inquiries we are asking whether there is a middle or what the middle is: for the middle here is precisely the cause and it is the cause that we seek in all our inquiries. Thus, 'Does the moon suffer eclipse?' means 'Is there or is there not a cause producing eclipse of the moon?' and when we have learnt that there is, our next question is 'What, then is this cause?'; for the cause
through which a thing is -- not is this or that, i.e. has this or that attribute, but without qualification is -- and the cause through which it is -- not is without qualification, but is this or that as having some essential attribute or some accident -- are both alike the middle. By that which is without qualification I mean the subject, e.g. moon or earth or sun or triangle, by that which a subject is (in the partial sense) I mean a property, e.g. eclipse, equality or unequality, interposition or non-interposition. (26)
It is clear that for Aristotle, cause equals the middle term of a syllogism. This holds not only for ordinary causes, but also for the four celebrated Aristotelian cause-categories of the Middle Ages' Scholasticism, the material cause, the formal cause, the efficient cause and the final cause. He actually states:
We think we have scientific knowledge when we know the cause, and there are four causes: (1) the definable form, (2) an antecedent which necessitates a consequent, (3) the efficient cause, (4) the final cause. Hence each of these can be the middle term of a proof, for (a) through the inference from antecedent to necessary consequent doe not hold if only one premise is assumed -- two is the minimum -- still when there are two it holds on condition that they have a single common middle term. So it is from the assumption of this single middle term that the conclusion follows necessarily. (27)
Let us now look at what disastrous results we arrive if we accept the claim that cause = middle term and what this does to the very concept of causality. Take for example the most conclusive type of Aristotelian syllogism, the so-called universal-positive deductive syllogism of the "Barbara mood" whose general form is:
If A is predicated of all B and B of all C, it is necessary for A to be predicated of all C, or:
Major Premise: All B is A
Minor Premise: All C is B
Conclusion: All C is A
"B" here is our middle term and this, in Aristotle's mind, is the cause which accounts for "all C" being "A." In a real life example, you would have something like the following:
Major Premise: All birds fly.
Minor Premise: Hawks are birds.
Conclusion: Hawks fly.
We now come to ask ourselves about the causes of this aeronautical miracle, 'What causes hawks to fly?' Our dodo bird's answer is simple and straightforward: the middle term. Or, in other words the fact that they are birds, causes them to fly. Similarly, the fact that cows are cows causes them to produce milk; the fact that roses are roses causes them to have fragrance; the fact that engines are engines causes them to produce work; and generally, all things do what they do because we have
classified them as belonging to the species and genera to which they belong. This is the entire depth of Aristotle's doctrine of causality.
The practical implications of this absurdity become even more apparent when we borrow another syllogistic example from Aristotle himself:
'Why did the Athenians become involved in the Persian war?' means 'What cause originated the waging of war against the Athenians?' and the answer is, 'Because they raided Sardis with the Eretrians,' since this originated the war. Let A be war, B unprovoked raiding, C the Athenians. Then B, unprovoked raiding, is true of C, the Athenians, and A is true of B, since men make war on the unjust aggressor. So A, having war waged upon them, is true of B, the initial aggressors, and B is true of C, the Athenians, who were the aggressors. Hence here too the cause -- in this case the efficient cause -- is the middle term. (28).
One more item remains to be reviewed before we exhaust our evaluation of Aristotle's epistemology, and that is: What is it that determines the truthfulness of the Major Premise of a syllogism? Or, how can the mind arrive at those judgments which constitute the axiomatic background of "preexisting knowledge"?
The modern form of the question, formulated by Immanuel Kant, is: "How are axiomatic a priori synthetic judgments possible?" Incredible as it may at first sound, Aristotle simply answers: "By definition." In Book I, Chapter III of the Analytica Posteriora, where he indicates that he is aware of this as the fundamental question of all knowledge, he has the following to say:
Our own doctrine is that not all knowledge is demonstrative (i.e., derived through syllogism): on the contrary, knowledge of the immediate premises [i.e., a priori synthetic judgments] is independent of demonstration. (The necessity of this is obvious; for since we must know the prior premises from which the demonstration is drawn, and since the regress must end in immediate truths, those truths must be indemonstrable.) Such, then, is our doctrine, and in addition we maintain that besides scientific knowledge there is its originative source which enables us to recognize the definitions. (29)
The final inquiry about the nature of this mysterious "originative source which enables us to recognize the definitions" produces the devastating answer: "animal sense-perception!"
We have already said that scientific knowledge through demonstration is impossible unless a man knows the primary immediate premises. But there are questions which might be raised in respect of the apprehension of these immediate premises: one might not only ask whether it is of the same kind as the apprehension of the conclusions, but also whether there is or is not scientific knowledge of both; or scientific knowledge of the latter, and of the
former a different kind of knowledge; and, further, whether the developed states of knowledge are not innate but come to be in us, or are innate but are at first unnoticed. Now it is strange if we possess them from birth; for it means that we possess apprehensions more accurate than demonstration [i.e., syllogisms] and fail to notice them. If on the other hand we acquire them and do not previously possess them, how could we apprehend and learn without a basis of preexistent knowledge? For that is impossible, as we used to find in the case of the demonstration. So, it emerges that neither can we possess them from birth, nor can they come to be in us if we are without knowledge of them to the extent of having no such developed state at all. Therefore we must possess a capacity of some sort, but not such as to rank higher in accuracy than these developed states. And this at least is an obvious characteristic of all animals, for they possess a congenital discriminative capacity which is called sense-perception. But though sense-perception is innate in all animals, in some the sense impression comes to persist, in others it does not. So animals in which this persistence does not come to be have either no knowledge at all outside the act of perceiving, or no knowledge of objects of which no impression persists; animals in which it does come into being have perception and can continue to retain the sense-impression in the soul: and when such persistence is frequently repeated a further distinction at once arises between those which out of the persistence of such sense-impressions develop a power of systematizing them and those who do not. So our sense perception comes to be what we call memory, and out of frequently repeated memories of the same thing develops experience; for a number of memories constitute a single experience. From experience again -- i.e., from the universal now stabilized in its entirety within the soul, the one beside the many which is a single identity within them all -- originates the skill of the craftsman and the knowledge of the man of science, skill in the sphere of coming to be and science in the sphere of being. (30)
With this, we end our review of the epistemological portion of the extant evidence against Aristotle. This review has conclusively established the fundamental findings that Aristotle's mental processes are confined by four pivotal, self-imposed limitations:
First: He is incapable of synthesizing in his mind the concept of concrete Infinite.
Second: He has no internal cathexized reference point that corresponds to the act of generating qualitatively new conceptual bursts: He is unaware of creative mentation.
Third: He has no conception of causality that corresponds to the actual universe.
Fourth: He asserts that no new qualities of knowledge are possible to occur.
On the basis of these four self-inflicted constraints, Aristotle draws the final, inevitable deduction from his
investigation, that the human mind is in no way different from the mind of animals, except in matter of degree; just as in the case of animals, the intellectual life of man, according to Aristotle, is a passive reception of the external stimuli that a bland, unchanging and well classified universe of discrete, uncaused objects offers.
Aristotle calls himself an animal. We merely concur.
The remaining issues discussed in the Organum are of purely tertiary interest and should in no way distract us. What they are, in fact, are a detailed elaboration of the implications of the above five pivotal points: assuming that there is no creative life in man's mind, the only remaining area for investigation is that of deductive and inductive syllogisms. Deductive and inductive syllogisms are those purely mechanical operations that the mind undergoes when it processes a concept that somebody else has given to it. In short, syllogisms, Aristotle's fatal obsession, are no more than the mind's digestive tract. Once the mental food has been placed on the table and swallowed, the digestive tract goes to work -- this is induction and deduction. How that mental food was gathered, prepared and placed at the table (how a priori synthetic judgments are created) is the work of Reason, the proper subject of any true science of mind.
But Aristotle's Organum does not touch on this subject at all. Having promised us a book on cooking, Aristotle gives us a manual on how to use a pay toilet. This is Logic, the science of deduction and induction.
ARISTOTLE'S INFILTRATION OF THE ACADEMY
When the eighteen-year-old Aristotle arrived in Plato's Academy in the year 367 BC, the bulk of Plato's life's work had already been done. (31) The Academy, established twenty years earlier, had already produced its first spectacular results and had already transformed, in perceptible ways, the intellectual, political and strategic climate of the world. Plato himself had made the transition beyond the Socratic dialogues and the Republic and, about the time of Aristotle's arrival, had been writing his celebrated epistemological dialogues, the Theaetetus, Parmenides, Sophist, and the Philebus, in which he announces the forging of new "weapons different from those of my previous arguments, though possibly some may be the same."
Plato's Academy was not a grand old school of sciences and learning, not even primarily that. It was a tough training ground bent on producing political leaders and rulers thoroughly immersed in Plato's own philosophical and political ideas. Throughout the Mediterranean world, in Cyprus, in the Propontis, in Macedonia and on the coasts of Asia Minor, the influence of the Academy was shaping political events. The Academy was also maintaining diplomatic relations and
making deals with every kind of government, dynasty and influential personality. (32)
The overt counter-deployment of Plato's enemies within Athens was the notorious School of Rhetoric of the orator and member of the Athenian Assembly Isocrates. It is evident, however, that the Isocrates deployment against Plato was merely the tip of the iceberg, only the visible part of the intelligence-network warfare capabilities arrayed against Plato. The specific assignment of the Isocrates deployment was to function as a counter-Academy for purposes of harassment, counter-recruitment of cadre and also to attempt to limit the Academy's own recruitment efforts. Because of the character of this deployment, massive amounts of public evidence have survived that give a rich picture of the frequent fights between Academy and the School of Isocrates. This is a matter of such notoriety that we need not describe it here. Further evidence shows that the containment operations against Plato were organized at three levels, of which the School of Isocrates represented only one. The other two were the "religious" networks of the Temple of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi (of which more later) and the formal intelligence service of the Persian Court whose typical representative in Athens was Demosthenes, whose records of payment in Persian gold still survive.
Isocrates maintained contacts both with the operation at Delphi and with the Persian Court. It is well documented that his closest associates among the Athenian notables were the Admirals Conon and Iphicrates, both of whom are reported by Plutarch (33) as having been Persian agents who, under the command of the satraps of Phrygia ad Hellespontum, maintained Persian naval supremacy over the eastern
Mediterranean. Isocrates's collaboration with the Temple of Apollo at Delphi became evident when he assisted Delphi in promoting Philip of Macedon into a creditable military protector of the god's Temple during the Sacred War in subsequent years.
Aristotle's entrance into the Academy is a story all by itself. It could have come out of a standard operating manual of any intelligence service.
Immediately following the infamous Congress of Delphi (of which more later) in 368 BC, and while Plato was in Sicily at the time, the Oracle of Delphi ordered the young orphan Aristotle, then under the guardianship of a citizen of Persian-occupied Phrygia ad Hellespontum, to move to Athens. (34) Once there, Aristotle immediately entered the School of Isocrates, where he stayed for about a year. This was time enough to prepare the young agent and to develop a cover story.
The following year, Plato returned to Athens and worked out a brilliant deal that completely transformed the political fortunes of the Academy. He merged his school with that of the famous mathematician and philosopher Eudoxus of Cyzicus, who transferred his entire school from Asia Minor into the Academy in Athens. Immediately afterward, Aristotle stomped out of the School of Isocrates, after a fight in which he declared that, having read Plato's Gorgias, he was in complete disagreement with Isocrates's method of teaching the art of rhetoric. (35) He immediately joined the Academy.
The episode that followed is also straight out of a classic spy scenario: Aristotle, already within the Academy, begins to agitate in favor of introducing the teaching of rhetoric into the Academy. (36) His argument was more or less as follows: "The art of oratory is not harmful per se. It is just like a neutral weapon -- its
morality is dependent on who is using it. So, why should we Platonists abandon this weapon and let our enemies, the followers of Isocrates, use it among the population against us?" He himself began to give informal classes on rhetoric.
The issue of the art of rhetoric was not unimportant for the Academy. Rather, it touched directly upon Plato's unique method of political organizing. Rhetoric, identified by Gorgias in the dialogue by the same name as "the power to convince by your words the judges in court, the senators in council, the people in the assembly, or in any other gathering of citizen body," hits directly at the fundamental political problem of what a politician in the service of Reason, a "shepherd" in the meaning of the Apostolic Church, must employ as his tools for persuading the ignorant masses, the "flock," to heed his bidding.
In the dialogue Gorgias, Plato has Socrates identify rhetoric as the art which produces "belief without knowledge" and rejects it as immoral.
How intense this destabilization operation of Aristotle's was in the beginning, after his entry into the Academy, we don't have information to tell. It was, however, a protracted affair that went on for years. (37) He would propose the introduction of rhetoric in the Academy, and at the same time he would loudly attack Isocrates's particular technique and teaching method of rhetoric. Then members of Isocrates's school would launch counterattacks and keep the commotion and debate going over an unfruitful subject for years. On occasion, Isocrates himself would join in to attack Aristotle personally, and Aristotle would retaliate in kind. His apparent zeal in picking fights with Isocrates served not only to build up his credibility among the naive, but also to waste a lot of people's energies in nonsense.
Instances of these brawls were occasionally reported. Eusebius, in his Praeparatio Evangelica reports the following little incident:
Now this Ciphesodorus, when he saw his teacher being criticized by Aristotle, was ignorant of and unfamiliar with Aristotle himself; but since he saw that Plato's views were celebrated, and since he assumed that Aristotle would be philosophizing after the manner of Plato [emphasis added], he attacked Aristotle with criticisms that applied to Plato, and argued against him beginning with the Forms and ending with the rest; about which he himself knew nothing, but merely guessed at the common opinion about them. (38)
In later years, Aristotle wrote a dialogue, the Gryllus or On Rhetoric, apparently reiterating his views and, once again, attacking Isocrates. Isocrates responded with his Antidosis. Aristotle counter-responded with his ludicrous Protrepticus. (39) And so on.
The text of Gryllus does not survive, only a very brief summary of its argument in the Roman Quintilian and in Diogenes Laertius. (40) The same problem exists for all the early writings of Aristotle during his stay in the Academy. We only have secondhand reports and fragments, which, however, are sufficiently abundant and credible to allow us to establish the judgment that every one of them was a part of some disorienting/destabilizing operation or other.
The later myth that Aristotle, during these years, was Plato's prize pupil is nonsense. Why Aristotle was tolerated in the Academy and not kicked out probably has to do with legal subtleties and intelligence "courtesy" arrangements that had to be observed in order to enable the Academy to function in Athens as a legitimate institution. Diogenes Laertius reports that Plato once made the following remark about Aristotle: "Aristotle has kicked me, as foals do their mothers when they are born." (41) Another ancient commentator, (42) obviously an admirer of Aristotle, reported that Plato would refuse to start his lectures if Aristotle were absent and would demand to find where "The Mind" was. As soon as Aristotle would show up, Plato would start remarking "We can begin, The Mind is here." Our reporter was oblivious to the obvious Attic pun with the words "Ho nous" = The Mind and "Onos" = donkey.
Thus, it turns out that Giordano Bruno was not the first to call Aristotle a donkey. (43) Old man Plato started this tradition too.
Of Aristotle's early writings, during his stay at the Academy, the following is known. Apart from the Gryllus, they were eight in number, most titled with names borrowed from Plato's own dialogues -- Statesman, Sophist, Symposium, Menexenus -- or some more original names, such as On Justice (imitating Plato's Republic), Eudemus (imitating Phaedo), On Philosophy and Protrepticus. (44)
What survives of these is brief summary descriptions or passing references in the texts of later writers, or isolated fragments. There is a silly debate raging to this day as to whether these things were "Platonic" in spirit, or "Aristotelian." (45) To anyone with minimal experience of how, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, British intelligence has manipulated political movements, especially the socialist movement, by means of so-called "ideological" controversies, the problem is very easy to solve. The technique employed by Aristotle's controllers against Plato is identical down to the last detail to the techniques used by the controllers of such British agents as Ernest Mandel, Garaudy, or earlier Eduard Bernstein et al. against the influence of Karl Marx.
The technique employed in the lost works of Aristotle is identical to the one described in the case of the controversy over rhetoric above. The facts of the matter are as follows:
All ancient and modem students and commentators on this matter agree that in all these writings, Aristotle was arguing for and arriving at the same conclusions as Plato in the equivalent dialogues, except that he was using a different method of argumentation for arriving at the same result. (46) Upon inspection of the scanty evidence, there is no reason to dispute this finding.
However, to use a different method than Plato and arrive at the same conclusion is an absurdity. In every one of Plato's dialogues, the method is the conclusion. In addition, we have the following testimony from Proclus and Plutarch in which they both concur that Aristotle of that period, in his early, dialogue-form writings, was an admired opponent of Plato's theory of knowledge.
Proclus quoted by Joannes Philoponus in De Aeternitate Mundi:
There is none of Plato's doctrines that that man [Aristotle] rejected more decidedly than the theory of knowledge [the theory of ideas]. Not only does he
call the Ideas sounds in the logical works, but in the Ethics he attacks the good-in-itself [i.e., the "highest principle" on which the "hypothesizing of the higher hypothesis" is tested], and in the physical works he denies that coming-to-be can be explained by the ideas. This he says in the work De Generatione et Corruptione; and even more so in the Metaphysics, for there he is concerned with first principles, and he makes long objections to the ideas both in the beginning and in the middle and in the end of that work. In the dialogues also he exclaims unmistakably that he cannot sympathize with this doctrine, even if he should be suspected of disagreeing out of contentiousness. (47)
This is confirmed by Plutarch:
Aristotle is always harping on the ideas, with regard to which he objects to Plato; and he raises all sorts of difficulty about them in his ethical, in his meta- physical and in his physical notes, and also by means of his exoteric dialogues, so that some
thought him contentious rather than philosophical ... these dogmas, as if he were proposing to undermine Plato's philosophy. (48)
In fact, he was thought to be much more than contentious. Early in the year 347 BC, shortly before Plato's death, he chose to flee Athens rather than face trial on charges of espionage on behalf of King Philip of Macedon. Philip had just conquered the city of Olynthus, an important Athenian ally; the sea lanes through which the Athenian fleet was carrying grain were threatened; the population was hysterical; and many suspected that Aristotle had supplied Philip with information that played a vital role in the fall of Olynthus.
(49) The orator Demosthenes filed a suit against Aristotle. The latter fled Athens and took up an assignment for Philip in Asia Minor. (50)
That a paid Persian agent such as Demosthenes accused Aristotle of espionage is highly interesting in itself. A closer examination of ancient history will explain why two well-identified Persian agents in Athens, one Demosthenes and the other Isocrates, were so desperately irreconcilable in virtually every matter of foreign policy. Most important of all, they were deadly enemies over the crucial matter of Philip of Macedon the personal friend and protector of Aristotle. (51) Demosthenes wanted Philip destroyed, Isocrates wanted him leader and unifier of all Greece. (52)
III. The Political Situation in the Time of Aristotle
Aristotle was born into a prominent family, in the Macedonian Court (53) and Macedonia, and, already during his adolescence and youth, he was becoming one of the most critical pawns in the international political struggle of the time. His father Nicomachus was killed during one of the bloody faction fights for the control of the Macedonian throne. He perished along with his personal friend, King Amyntas whom he also served as personal physician. Thus, from birth, Aristotle was cut out for the big political game.
When he was born, in the year 384 BC, Persian power reigned supreme throughout the world and throughout Greece. Athens, completely ruined by the end of the thirty-year-long Peloponnesian War in 404 BC, was now subsisting on official Persian government allowances, and governed by alternating cliques which were serving either the Persian King and his faction, or various Persian satraps of the western provinces who were collaborating with the cult of Apollo and its headquarters at the Oracle of Delphi.
Sparta, the apparent victor of the Peloponnesian War, had succumbed, three years before Aristotle's birth, to Persian authority by signing the infamous King's Peace. (54) The purpose of that treaty was to prevent any of the great old Greek cities, and most particularly Sparta, from forming any alliances that would threaten Persian power. Signed in the year 387 BC, the text of the King's Peace was as follows: "King Artaxerxes thinks it just that the cities in Asia and the islands of Clazomenae and Cyprus, shall belong to him. Further, that all the other Greek cities, small and great, shall be autonomous; except Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyrus which shall belong to Athens as aforetime. If any refuse to accept this peace, I shall make war on them, along with those who are of the same purpose, both by land and sea, with both ships
and money." This text was inscribed on large marble slabs, or stelae, which were permanently displayed in the central market place of every single Greek city, including Athens, Sparta and the town where Aristotle was to be born.
The Persian authorities also had a formidable policing force in Greece, with the assignment of enforcing the King's Peace. This force was the newly created military power of the city of Thebes which built up its power with great amounts of Persian gold, and which had been an ally of the Persian power ever since the Greek-Persian wars had started one and one-half centuries earlier. Thebes, however, was not the one who was formulating policy for the Greek cities. This was being done by the executives of a body called the Delphic Amphictyony, the council of the treaty organization, very much like the modern Atlantic Council within NATO, which at the time was run by the priests of the cult of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi.
Finally, Aristotle's own native land, Macedonia, at the time of his birth was hardly a civilized state. It was run by a few backward landed aristocrats who refused to submit to the central authority of their king who, at the time, was just one of them, and whose office was elective. The peasant population was barbaric. Youths were not allowed in the company of grown men until they had killed their first human victim. Fighting and hunting were the chief occupations. Bacchic mysteries, Dionysian orgies, sodomy and human sacrifice were rampant.
How, twenty-eight years later Macedonia emerged as the most formidable military power in the world under the stewardship of Aristotle's childhood friend Philip of Macedon, was a miracle that was worked out by the priests of Apollo and their faction in Persian Imperial polities.
THE CULT OF APOLLO
The history of antiquity has been completely misrepresented, and most otherwise honorable historians have fallen victim either to vicious fallacies or wildly banalized and simplified accounts, for the single reason that the secret of the cult of Apollo has not yet been ripped open. No history of the ancient world beginning from the eighth century BC, and including the Roman Empire can be written with any competence, unless it is written from the standpoint of the activities of the cult of Apollo, the most successful strategic intelligence operation of the Babylonian priesthood. (55)
The cult was started by Mesopotamian priests somewhere in northern Syria during the eighth century BC, and was designed to penetrate the relatively more enlightened urban centers of the then formidable Ionian-Phoenician alliance. Later myth and propaganda portray Apollo as the god who, wherever he went, brought with him culture, letters, commerce and civilization. The truth is the exact opposite. Wherever there already was culture, commerce and prosperity, there the cult of Apollo infiltrated.
The great Homer, throughout his Iliad, portrays Apollo as a dreadful, treacherous creature, the deadliest of gods whose arrival is like the sudden onrush of darkness and night. (56) He is a god whose deadly appearance only his father Zeus and his mother Leto can endure. In the Iliad, the great epic of the Ionian cities, Apollo is portrayed as an enemy god, fighting on the opposite side of the Greeks.
He kept fighting on that side throughout his history, According to the tradition, this oriental god arrived at the Temple of Delphi (i.e., his priests took over that temple) in mainland Greece, at approximately the time that the Babylonian priests of Bel-Marduk (also a sun-god), were helping the Persian Achaemenids to power in Mesopotamia. The legend, widely accepted in antiquity, attributes the following crimes to the activities of the priests of Apollo:
They played a significant role in helping the conqueror Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid dynasty, crush the kingdom of Lydia, an important strategic ally of both Ionian and Phoenician cities. (57) Later, throughout the Persian invasions into Greece, the god's Temple at Delphi was running both intelligence and destabilization-psychological warfare operations against the Greeks on behalf of the invading force. It attempted repeatedly to induce the Athenians to either surrender or abandon their city. It succeeded in disorganizing military operations as, for example, when it delayed the dispatch of a Spartan military force that was to join the Athenians in the battle of Marathon, and so forth. At the end of the Persian Wars the public outcry was great, but the priests at the temple continued these activities.
The great republican dramatist Aeschylus, a leader of the Areopagus faction in Athens, accused the cult of Apollo of treason and conducted one of the most masterful and effective propaganda campaigns in history against it. (58) Most of his plays, but particularly the profound Oresteian Trilogy, a masterpiece of psychoanalysis and political warfare, are a direct polemic against the cult of Apollo.
The priests of Apollo, however, prevailed over the faction of Aeschylus, the Areopagus, and snatched victory from the hands of Ionia by installing the treacherous Pericles in power in Athens during the year 461 BC. The event occurred while the previous Athenian government, controlled by the Areopagus, was vigorous- ly pursuing the war against Persia on all fronts from the Black Sea to Egypt. Once Pericles, head of the democratic party which was financed and controlled by the cult of Apollo, got into office, the war stopped, a peace treaty was signed, Athens was given a tax farming franchise (like any other Persian satrapy) in the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean, and Sparta was all of a sudden declared to be the greatest enemy of Athens. The great statesman Pericles, upon inspection, turns out to be a fraud and, moreover, one of the most expensively paid Persian agents in history; unlike all other Persian satraps, he was allowed not to remit to the Great King the proceeds of his tax farming license. Those proceeds, however, were centrally retained, as is well known, at the Treasury of Delos, the second largest shrine of Apollo after Delphi, under the control of the priests of Apollo. The so-called Athenian Empire was thus a hoax and no more than a Persian satrapy under the special management of the cult of Apollo.
There are numerous hints in Plato's Socratic dialogues that would lead one to suspect that the legal lynching of Socrates was an affair cooked up by Delphi. In the international political context of the time, this would make perfect sense.
The power of the cult of Apollo was threefold: money, intelligence, and mind control. The two most important shrines of the cult, Delphi and Delos, were the most important banking centers in the world west of the Euphrates river. Virtually all Greek cities had their state treasuries deposited with the cult's priest-bankers. This was money to be loaned, invested, and sometimes even granted for the needs of both individuals and states both for business and for the raising of mercenary armies, the most formidable form of military service of the period.
The cult also maintained, in the form of Oracle shrines, an extensive network of intelligence gathering listening posts and stations, which, going beyond the notorious Oracle of Delphi, covered the entire littoral of the eastern Mediterranean and extended its sphere of influence westward into Sicily and Rome.
Finally, in terms of population control capabilities,
the cult had deployed two parallel aims, the Orphic- Dionysiac orgies and other rites for the humbler layers of the population, "for women and slaves" as Aristotle once put it, and the Apollonian pseudo-intellectual rites for the middle class. Between these two social layers, the cult priests could control more souls (and deliver more votes) than any sweet talking orator and charismatic politician anywhere ill Greece.
All these weapons were used, and used ruthlessly.
The military power of Macedonia leaped up out of nowhere, to everybody's wild surprise, because of the cult of Apollo, beginning in the year 356, when Aristotle was twenty-eight years old and his friend Philip had been King for three years. The way it happened is as follows:
In 368 BC, on the initiative of the Persian satrap Ariobarzanes of Phrygia ad Hellespontum and his Athenian agents, admirals Iphicrates and Conon, the Congress of Delphi was held among representatives of all Greek cities. In the congress the King's Peace of 387 was reinterpreted to allow for the further strengthening of Thebes and the Delphic Amphictyony. The arrangement worked for twelve years until, in 356 BC, a band of determined and desperate Phocians launched a military assault against the Temple of Delphi, overwhelmed it, expelled the priests, sequestered all the funds, used them to field mercenary armies and organized most of Greece, including Athens and Sparta against the Delphic Amphictyons and Thebes. (59) Thus the little noticed Sacred War started. At its beginning, Macedonia was a primitive hinterland of no consequence.
When this war ended, or rather withered into oblivion ten years later, Macedonia was the mightiest military force in the world. Athens was suing for peace, Thebes had been humbled, Thrace had surrendered and the Persian King, Artaxerxes Ochus, signed a secret peace treaty with Philip. (60) During the same year, 346 BC, Philip triumphantly presided over the Pythian Games at Delphi. He had worked for the honor -- he had been the man who for ten years led the fight against the courageous Phocians shouting "Sacrilege!" For seven of these ten years, two important Persian leaders were guests at his court, Artabazus the former satrap of Phrygia and his brother-in-law the Rhodian mercenary general Memnon. (61) Memnon in later years was to become the Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces that the Persian Empire was arraying against Philip's son Alexander the Great.
During this brief period of ten years in which Macedonia was catapulted to the position of military supremacy, a number of boorish, backward Macedonian chieftains experienced a dizzying leap from rags to riches. These men, Antipater, Parmenio, Attalus, Amyntas and other personal friends of Aristotle, the formal war council or "General Staff" of the Macedonian army, knew that they owed their careers to the priests at Delphi. (62) Most of them were still
commanding the army when Alexander led it against Persia in 334 BC, under very different circumstances.
THE 'ISOCRATES PLAN'
Unfortunately, we shall probably never obtain the specific pieces of information that will tell us in what way the Platonic Academy influenced events around the Sacred War. The boldness and brilliance of the Phocians' ingenious, near-deadly attack against Delphi will simply leave us guessing in whose head it really originated. Plato comes to mind, but Plato had a strict policy of utter confidentiality in such matters. In one of his letters, he writes: "Consider these facts and take care lest you sometime come to repent of having now unwisely published your views. It is a very great safeguard to learn by heart instead of writing. It is impossible for what is written not to be disclosed. That is the reason why I have never written anything about these things, and why there is not and will not be any written work of Plato's own. What are now called his are the works of a Socrates embellished and modernized." (63)
It should be born in mind however, that certain activities of Plato around the time of the Phocian assault against Delphi are highly suggestive. In 362 BC, there was a general revolt of the western satraps against the Persian King. Upon the outbreak of that revolt, Plato undertook his final trip to Syracuse, and there attempted to win over the tyrant Dionysius to his plans. (64) The protracted negotiations collapsed and Plato returned to Athens to prepare the overthrow of Dionysius. (65) In Macedonia, the king was a certain Perdiccas III, a personal friend of Plato who was receiving direct advice from the Academy. (66) Two members of the Academy assassinated the Thracian King Cotys -- a neighbor of Macedonia -- an act that could only result in unleashing the dormant powers of the Macedonian kingdom. (67) Subsequently, the Academy organized a large military expeditionary force and dispatched it, under Plato's friend and pupil Dion, to Syracuse, with the objective of overthrowing Dionysius and unifying Sicily. (68)
It was at the same time that the Phocians under Philomelus successfully assaulted Delphi. The surviving records are incomplete, but overwhelmingly suggest coordination between the Academy's international deployments and the Phocian operation. Both the Academy and the Phocians had recruited troops from the same areas in the Peloponnese, where Academy politicians had previously written laws and constitutions. (69) Both Dion and Philomelus were assassinated in the same year, probably by the same opponents of the Academy.
What is indisputable is that at the time of the Sacred War, Plato and the networks of the Academy had deployed themselves as a formidable third international
power, positioned against the two rival factions of the Persian Empire, the central bureaucratic apparatus of the King and the western satrapies under the influence of the priest-financiers of Delphi. The three-way battle was being fought throughout the world, from Syracuse, Macedonia, the Dardanelles, down to Asia Minor, Rhodes, Cyprus, Phoenicia and Egypt. (70)
The King's faction had no program other than maintain the now unsalvageable status quo. The Academy's faction had a program which became apparent through the city-building policies and administrative reforms of Alexander the Great. (71)
The coalition of Delphi, western satraps and Greek puppets did also have a program, best articulated in two surviving documents; one is Aristotle's treatises, the Politics and Ethics; the second, a speech by Isocrates in the Athenian Assembly, along with a letter by the same to King Philip. Isocrates's formulation is by far the more efficient and we shall call the programmatic perspective of Delphi by his name: "The Isocrates Plan."
In his "Address to Philip," delivered in 346, the year in which Philip presided over the Phythian Games at Delphi, Isocrates first identifies the social problem at hand, which is excess population that keeps feeding social unrest both in Greek-speaking areas, and in the Persian Empire proper:
... those who now, for the lack of the daily necessities of life, are wandering from place to place and committing outrages upon whomsoever they encounter. If we do not stop these men from banding together, by providing sufficient livelihood for them. they will grow before we know it into so great a multitude as to be a terror no less to the Hellenes than to the barbarians. But we pay no heed to them; nay we shut our eyes to the fact that a terrible menace which threatens us all alike is waxing day by day. It is therefore the duty of a man who is high-minded, who is a lover of Hellas, who has a broader vision than the rest of the world, to employ these bands in a war against the barbarians, to strip from that empire all the territory that I defined a moment ago [i.e. everything west of the Sinope-Cilicia line] to deliver these wanderers from the ills by which they are afflicted and which they inflict upon others, to collect them into cities, and with these cities to fix the boundaries of Hellas, making of them buffer states to shield us all. (72)
Further, Isocrates proceeds to identify the issue of greatest concern to the priesthood, the fact that the King's court has completely degenerated and is incapable of running the Empire. Notice that he is presenting the case in a way that suggests to Philip who, among the satraps, are likely to be his allies against the King:
... this King [Artaxerxes III Ochus] is so far from exercising dominion over others that he is not in
control even of the cities which were surrendered to him; and such is the state of affairs that there is no one who is not in doubt what to believe -- whether he has given them up because of his cowardice, or whether they have learned to despise and condemn the power of the barbarians.
Consider the state of affairs in his empire. Who could hear facts and not be spurred to war against him? Egypt was, it is true, in revolt even when Cyrus made his expedition [i.e. Xenophon's Anabasis]; but her people nevertheless were living in continual fear lest the King might some day lead an army in person and overcome the natural obstacles which, thanks to the Nile, their country presents, and all their military defenses as well. But now this King has delivered them of that dread; for after he had brought together and fitted out the largest force he could possibly raise and marched against them, he retired from Egypt not only defeated, but laughed at and scorned as unfit either to be king or to command an army. Furthermore, Cyprus and Phoenicia and Cicilia, and that region from which the barbarians used to recruit their fleet, belonged at that time to the King, but now they have either revolted from him or are so involved in war and its attendant ills that none of these peoples is of any use to him; while to you, if you desire to make war upon him, they will be serviceable. And mark also that Idrieus [i.e., the satrap of Caria] who is the most prosperous of the present rulers of the mainland, must in the nature of things be more hostile to the interests of the King than are those who are making open war against him [he means the satraps of Phrygia, Armenia, et al.] verily he would be of all men the most perverse if he did not desire the dissolution of that empire which outrages his brother, which made war upon himself, and which at all times has never ceased to plot against him in its desire to be master of his person and of all his wealth. It is through fear of these things that he is now constrained to pay court to the King and to send him much tribute every year; but if you should cross over to the mainland with an army, he would greet you with joy, in the belief that you were come to his relief; and you will also induce many of the other satraps to throw off the King's power if you promise them "freedom" and scatter broadcast over Asia that word which, when sown among the Hellenes, has broken both our empire and that of the Lacedaemonians. (73)
In terms of practical preparations for the campaign, Philip is advised to do two things: unify the four largest Greek cities, and march. "I affirm that, without neglecting any of your own interests, you ought to make an effort to reconcile Argos and Lacedaemon and Thebes and Athens; for if you can bring these cities together, you will not find it hard to unite the others as well; for all the rest are under the protection of the aforesaid cities, and fly for refuge, when they are alarmed, to one or the other of these powers, and they all draw upon them for succor. So that if you can persuade four cities only to take a sane
view of things, you will deliver the others also of many evils...." (74) "... the greatest states of Hellas should resolve to put an end to their mutual quarrels and carry the war beyond our border to Asia, and should determine to wrest from the barbarians which they now think proper to get for themselves at the expense of the Hellenes." (75) "... undertake to conquer the whole empire of the King, or at any rate, to wrest from it a vast extent of territory and sever from it to use a current phrase -- 'Asia from Cilicia to Sinope'." (76)
Was this the plan of Isocrates personally, or that of the priests of the cult of Apollo? Just listen how Isocrates concludes his letter, with a promise and a warning from Apollo himself:
I think that you are not unaware in what manner the gods order the affairs of mortals; for not with their own hands do they deal out blessings and curses
that befall us; rather they inspire in each of us a state of mind that good or ill, as the case may be, is visited upon us through one another. For example, it may be that even now the gods have assigned to me the task of speech while to you they allot the task of action, considering that you will be the best master in that province, while in the field of speech I might prove least irksome to my hearers. Indeed I believe that even your past achievements would never have reached such magnitude had not one of the gods [i.e. Apollo] helped you to succeed; and I believe he did so, not that you might spend your whole life warring upon the barbarians in Europe alone, but that, having been trained and having gained experience and come to know your own powers in these campaigns, you might set your heart upon the course which I have urged upon you. It were therefore shameful, now that fortune nobly leads the way, to lag behind and refuse to follow whither she desires to lead you forward. (77)
Philip and the Macedonian General Staff followed Isocrates' proposal to the letter. Aristotle, having fled Athens, joined Philip's court in 343 BC, and was a very active participant in the preparations, having carried out numerous diplomatic and intelligence assignments. (78) Two of the Macedonian Army's most prominent generals, Antipater, (79) the gray eminence of Macedonia and the power behind the throne, and Parmenio (80) who was later executed by Alexander the Great for treason, both had developed special realtionships with Delphi. The first was chosen to preside over the Pythian Games in 342, the second led an army that attacked the city of Amphissa, a local enemy of the Delphic temple, on orders from the Amphictyons in 338 BC.
During the same year, 338, several other important events took place. Philip's armies, at the battle of Chaeroneia, smashed the last remaining opposition of the pro-Artaxerxes faction of Demosthenes in Athens. General Antipater, visiting Athens as an envoy, held a final discussion over the details of the plans with Isocrates, (81) now ninety-eight and soon to die. At the end of the year, a pan-Hellenic Congress was held in Corinth, under the presidency of Philip, which declared Sacred War against Persia for the official purpose of avenging the Greek gods. General Parmenio was
dispatched, in the beginning of the following year, 337, to Asia Minor across the Dardanelles with troops, establishing a bridgehead.
But in the year 338 BC, another important event took place the Persian King Artaxerxes III Ochus was assassinated by a conspiracy led by his Prime Minister, the eunuch Bagoas, and the Commander in Chief of Persia's western armies, the Rhodian general Mentor, a personal friend of Philip. (82)
In conclusion, a portrayal of the political map of the time would be incomplete if it did not emphasize that Aristotle was playing a central role in all these affairs. Having rejoined the Macedonian court after his flight from the Academy, he spent five years on a diplomatic intelligence assignment in the city of Atarneus in Asia Minor. (83) He undertook intelligence-research assignments on behalf of the Delphic Temple and along with his nephew Callsthenes won an award for services rendered. (84) He also maintained correspondence with general Mentor, and cultivated a special relationship with general Antipater which shaped the last phase of his life: while Alexander the Great was campaigning in Asia, Antipater was the regent in Greece and Aristotle was his intelligence chief in Athens. (85) The two men headed up the conspiracy that assassinated Alexander, as we shall see at the conclusion of this report.
IV. The Assassination of Philip of Macedon
Apollo's "Isocrates Plan" was never put to effect because Philip of Macedon was assassinated right before crossing over to lead the war in Asia, in 336 BC. He was succeeded by his son Alexander, justly surnamed "the Great,', who, after a brief and successful civil war, led a campaign for world conquest under a political program of the Platonic Academy.
Philip's assassination itself remains one of the unsolved riddles of history. The assassin, one Pausanias, was an unfortunate creature who had once been sodomically gang-raped on orders by General Attalus. In revenge, he killed the king on the day of his wedding with Attalus's daughter. It is generally acknowledged, however, that there was an extensive conspiracy behind the assassin. The assassin himself was killed within minutes of his action by two men generally believed to have been among his co-conspirators. They themselves were soon silenced. (86) After that, a chaotic political situation erupted. Alexander, just returned from exile, was challenged by no less than four contenders for the succession. He launched a bloody fight which left the contenders dead and the majority of the General Staff terrified.
Aristotle declared himself in "philosophical" disagreement with Alexander. (87) Many Macedonian nobles, including Attalus, father-in-law of the deceased, fled and joined the Persian forces or stayed and got killed. Alexander, twenty-two years old at the time, relied on a small band of personal associates who had accompanied him to his previous exile, and on the fact" that all the other contenders to the throne were dead. As Persian forces, on the Persian King's behalf, were amassing to strike a blow against Macedonia, Antipater, Parmenio and others had to think fast. They worked out a compromise in which Antipater agreed to throw his support behind Alexander's claim to the throne, and then proceed with the campaign against Persia. Antipater and the others in the general staff, including Parmenio, intended to conduct the campaign along the lines of the Isocrates plan. Alexander the Great intended otherwise.
The relationship between the new king and the Macedonian military oligarchy was always very fragile and finely balanced throughout the twelve years of the campaign across Asia. Alexander could be justly acclaimed "great" not so much for his military conquests,
but for the political dexterity that he employed to keep his Macedonian political opponents off balance throughout his life and until his assassination.
What makes Philip's assassination a significant event is the political program of Alexander, a program against which Aristotle polemicized throughout his life, and on account of which he plotted Alexander's murder.
The program of Alexander the Great had was com- posed of the following principal ten points:
First: Restoration of the ancient Ionian republican constitutions. (88)
Second: Establishment of a unified Confederation of all Ionian cities and projection of Ionian commercial power as proposed by Thales of Miletus two-and-a-half centuries earlier. (89)
Third: Disbandment of the tax-farming system of Persian satrapies and elimination of the decentralized military power of satraps. (90)
Forth: Establishment of one, central worldwide Treasury to replace the taxing-authority of the earlier tax-farming satrapies and to disburse monies for administrative costs to the former satrapies, now administrative units or "themes." (91)
Fifth: Establishment of one central imperial mint for issuing currency worldwide and elimination of the right of former satrapies and other localities to coin their own currencies. (92)
Sixth: Massive central government support for world trade expansion, including the buildup of infrastructure such as a canal between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, making the Euphrates navigable and building up Babylon into the largest port in the world for facilitating East-West trade. (93)
Seventh: An extensive program of city-building, which bequeathed to posterity scores of cities bearing the name of the conqueror, Alexandria. (94)
Eighth: A massive educational program for the rapid introduction of Greek science and culture throughout the world; to be accompanied by a program of cultural unification of all the various nationalities. (95)
Ninth: Opening up of the Western Mediterranean for rapid urbanization. (96)
Tenth: Expulsion of the oligarchic faction from Greek cities and enforcement of the republican form of local government. (97)
Across the centuries, men have never ceased marveling at the genius of Alexander, though very very few have even paid attention to or grasped his innermost soul, his driving purpose, which was this program for terminating once and for all the two-thousand-year-old obscenity of the Babylonian system in one powerful blow. Unless this program and this world outlook is understood to have been Alexander's very soul, his brief, noble life would have to be viewed as an incomprehensible, haughty miracle which, of course, it never was.
This program was inspired in him by the Platonic Academy, and it armed him with the resolution and sureness of purpose that people generally mistake for youthful daring and adventurism. This resolution and sureness of purpose was the binding force that terrified his drunken generals into submission, and that also drove them to plot his assassination. General Cassander, the eldest son of Antipater, in later life and after Alexander was long dead, would experience fright and his hair would rise every time he walked past a statue of Alexander. (98) Aristotle lived in fear that he would be executed as soon as Alexander returned home from the campaign in Asia. (99)
The record that reaches us from antiquity is distorted, fragmentary, and mostly written by either biased or poorly informed individuals -- in short incomplete and, taken by itself, unreliable. The greatest problem in evaluating completely Alexander's relationship to the Academy is the fact that for six hundred uninterrupted years after Alexander's death, the world was ruled by the deadliest enemies of both Alexander and the Academy, in whose interest it was either to destroy or distort the historical record. (100)
Completeness however is not essential in reaching a firm conclusion on the matter. The shreds of evidence that have survived contain information of decisive character.
It is reported in numerous sources that Alexander maintained correspondence with two leaders of the Academy, the Athenian General Phocion (101) and Xenocrates, (102) now the Scholarch, or head of the Academy. Xenocrates was in fact invited to join Alexander's campaign, (103) repeatedly received very substantial financial backing from Alexander for the needs of the Academy, (104) and was commissioned by Alexander to write a four volume political statement on government entitled De Monarchia, which unfortunately does not survive, but which is referred to by Plutarch on numerous occasions, by Cicero, (105) and by Diogenes Laertius. (106)
Another well-known fact is the role the Academy played in restoring the old republican constitutions of the Ionian cities and in carrying out Thales' ancient plan for the establishment of the Ionian confederation.
Immediately after the battle of Granicus, Alexander issued a proclamation in which he promised the abolition of the oligarchical regimes in the Ionian cities and the restoration of the old republican constitutions. The measure was drafted by a member of the Platonic Academy, Delius of Ephesus, who also participated in its implementation. (107) It was the first public affront to the understanding in the "Isocrates Plan," and included such additional measures as freedom of the Ionian cities from any imperial taxation, organization of a unified Ionian Commonwealth, and measures for quick expansion
of manufacturing and trade. It was as a result of these reforms, proposed by the Platonic Academy, that Ionia and its agricultural hinterland became the prized province of the Roman Empire and later, the economic, financial and administrative heart of the Byzantine Empire.
The program for the Ionian cities was not liked by the old generals of the Macedonian army, especially not by General Antipater who had stayed behind as Regent of Macedonia and Hegemon over the other Greek cities, Antipater, with the collaboration of Aristotle, had made a point of promoting the tyrannical form of government in the Greek cities, either by encouraging and strengthening existing oligarchies or by installing new ones.
Thus, even from the very beginning of the campaign, it was generally known among the broad popular layers that there were "two different and rival ways of governing cities, one Alexander's and the other Antipater's." (108)
The old chiefs of the army, however, had to swallow this programmatic measure for a very simple military reason: at the beginning of the campaign, the Macedonians had no navy, and the Persians, having complete dominance over the sea, seriously threatened their supply and communications lines. The Persians' problem, however, was that most of their navy was manned and officered by Ionian sailors and captains. The proclamation of Delius of Ephesus had the result of immediately paralyzing half of the Persian navy.
Plutarch, in passing, notes: "Plato sent Aristonymus to the Arcadians, Phormio to Elis, Menedemus to Pyrrha. Eudoxus and Aristotle wrote laws for Cnidus and Stageira. Alexander asked Xenocrates (head of the Academy) for advice about kingship; the man who was sent to Alexander by the Asiatic Greeks and did most to incite him to his war on the barbarians, was Delius of Ephesus, an associate of Plato." (109)
This little-noticed passage is of exceptional importance because it implies the following. First, Delius of Ephesus had been sent to Alexander "by the Asiatic Greeks" (i.e. the Ionians) before the spring of 334 BC, before Alexander started his campaign, else why should he have to "incite him to his war on the barbarians." Second, if Delius went to Alexander before 334, the question is how long before? Namely, before the assassination of Philip or after? There survive two tiny passages in ancient sources and that is all we have by way of hard evidence. One is Suidas's entries under Euphreaus and Leon and the other in Philostratus' Lives of Philosophers. They report "Delius of Ephesus who under Philip and Alexander was the active promoter of the expedition against the Persians." (110)
This means that Delius had been sent "by the Asiatic Greeks" while Philip was still alive. That means before
the summer of 336 BC, the time of Philip's assassination. That also means that we do not have to assume that Delius was trying to either contact, or "incite to his war on the barbarians" King Philip himself. There are two reasons. First Philip needed no "inciting" as the "Sacred War" had already been declared in 338 BC and as he had already deployed advanced troops into Asia Minor under Parmenio. Second, "under Philip" simply means "during the kingship of Philip" and need not imply any cooperation between King Philip and the Platonist Delius.
That would leave us with the assumption that Delius was "inciting" Alexander while Philip was organizing his own expedition under the Isocrates Plan. When would this be occurring? We know that while Philip and his generals were preparing their expedition, Alexander, as Crown Prince, was attempting to pursue a foreign policy hostile to Philip's and independently of Philip. In the notorious Pixodaros Affair, (111) his efforts were discovered, and they led to open fights between Philip and Alexander and resulted in the exile of Alexander and his personal supporters. The Pixodaros Affairs took place in the late part of winter 337/336, and Plutarch (112) places the exile some time after that incident. Alexander returned from exile in early 336, probably in the spring, and in July of that year, Philip was assassinated.
It must have been during this period that Delius of Ephesus was advising Alexander, and, as a result of his advice, one of two possible alternatives must have occurred. Either Alexander and his personal entourage were won over to the programmatic perspective and that made Alexander an absolutely unacceptable choice to the oligarchic Macedonian army chiefs and caused them to launch a campaign against Alexander's succession rights; or an Alexander already hostile to the chiefs found in Delius's program the appropriate rallying issue to launch his bid against the oligarchy. Either way, the result was the same. And the issue had to be resolved before the great Hellenic crusade started eastward. The issue was the succession to the throne and it was crucial. As King Philip was setting on a very uncertain military enterprise, in which there was no certainty that he would remain alive, everyone knew, including Philip and all the chiefs, that, in the labile politics of Macedonia, leaving the issue of succession unresolved was politically suicidal. The generals indicated that they considered Alexander a bastard, with no rights to succession, (113) and Philip agreed to marry the niece of General Attalus, a lady of proven fecundity who would provide a new, legitimate, crown prince who would have the advantage of being an infant, i.e., allowing the continuation of government through such devices as regency, guardianship, etc. in which all generals would share the power.
Philip's wedding had been staged-managed to be the
great pageant with which the military campaign would commence. Preparations had been made for the groom to join with his troops and sail off as soon as the wedding ceremony had formally resolved the issue of succession. Tens of thousands of Greek guests from all cities were invited at the court of Aigai to send off the troops and witness the wedding. For months, the propaganda machine of the Temple at Delphi built up a tense atmosphere of religious enthusiasm around the country: Hellas was about to avenge itself upon the Persian King. Philip sent messengers to the Delphic Oracle to obtain an appropriate prophecy for the undertaking and the god's priestess sent back: "The bull has been garlanded, the end is come, the sacrificer is at hand."
King Philip was assassinated as he was entering the temple for the wedding ceremony. Alexander immediately launched a ruthless fight that won him the
throne. Many Macedonian nobles were either killed or fled to the Persian court. Aristotle reversed views and, whereas he had for years been supporting and preparing for Philip's war on Persia, now declared himself against Alexander's war. (114) Most of the chiefs who remained determined to use Alexander as a puppet king to carry out the Isocrates plan. Alexander determined to use his generals to carry out his own plan.
We shall probably never know the details of the particular role that Delius of Ephesus, the "associate of Plato" played in this drama. From the political-economic program that he carried out in Ionia a few months later, we know him to have been a man of great insight and political depth. From the way he forced the Macedonian army chiefs to swallow that program, we know him to have been a man with an extraordinary sense of political timing and self-confident resolution.
V. The Assassination of Alexander
63 L (bottom)
As is the case, to date, with all great events in history, the Greek expedition against Persia that was launched in the spring of 334 BC meant different things to the different layers of the masses of participants. For the Macedonian soldiers of the rank-and-file, it meant that they would do what they always did, follow their king to yet another war of conquest and booty; to the soldiers of the contingents from the Greek cities, it meant a sacred war to avenge the wrongs done to them by the Persians in 490-480 BC. To most in the officer corps it meant a welcome opportunity for wealth and career. At the level of the General Staff, there was a split. Some, intimates of Alexander, shared in the king's Grand Design; others were driven by personal loyalty to him; most of the old-line oligarchs were planning conquest and plunder in which they would secure their own satrapies.
At the top, the Regent Antipater, his confidant Aristotle, and Chief of Staff Parmenio were dedicated to implement the Isocrates Plan, a balance-of-power Anscheme for stabilization of oligarchic rule both east and west of the Euphrates. Antipater and Aristotle, upon the start of the campaign, retired in Athens where they would control the Greek cities and the supplies in men and material for the advancing army. Paimenio, in Asia with Alexander, would coordinate to keep the king under control, as second-in-command.
Alexander himself, throughout the twelve-year campaign would cooperate with and confide in a very limited, select circle of trusted personal friends who shared in the Grand Design. (115) Most prominent among these men was the Chiliarch Hephaestion who was also made Alexander's Prime Minister. The Army
never learned of the full scope of Alexander's far-reaching objectives until after his death in the summer of 323, when General Perdiccas, having obtained a number of secret memoranda, the Hypomnemata, read them publicly to a hostile audience in order to have them officially repudiated. (116)
There are two characteristic political features of the twelve-year-long Campaign of Alexander. First, at each turning point of the war, Alexander would make a new programmatic statement which, invariably, resulted in generating additional political advantage for the marching army -- and also in revealing certain new features of his Grand Design hitherto not made public. Second, each time the programmatic content of the war was thus clarified by Alexander, assassination plots would be hatched against him, all of which failed except the last. In every one of all the assassination conspiracies reported, the conspirators involved were either close family relatives or trusted friends of Aristotle and Antipater.
First was the conspiracy of one Alexander of Lyncestis, brother-in-law of Antipater, who, as Arrian reports, was caught arranging with the Persian King, Darius Codomannus, for the assassination of Alexander. (117) A Macedonian noble, Amyntas, who had fled to the Persian court after Philip's assassination, was aiding in the conspiracy.
The second attempt was discovered while being hatched by General Philotas, the son of Parmenio, and Parmenio himself in the year 330 BC. after the final defeat of and death of King Darius. Philotas and Parmenio were duly tried and executed by the army. (118)
The third attempt was made by the nephew of Aristotle, Callisthenes of Olynthus, in the year 327, when Alexander and his army were returning from India. Callisthenes, according to all accounts, had organized a conspiracy among some of his homosexual liaisons in the corps of Royal Pages. It was through this group of Royal Pages that the fourth and last assassination plot was organized four years later. (119)
Until the time of the Callisthenes conspiracy, Alexander had handled his problem with the generals in a cautious way to be described below. After the Callisthenes conspiracy, he determined to crush all opposition and raise and train a non-Macedonian army
if necessary. He knew that the time had come to settle his final accounts with Antipater and Aristotle.
His first programmatic confrontation with the oligarchic chiefs was, as we saw, after his first victory over the Persians at the battle of Granicus, when he successfully pushed the program of Delius of Ephesus. His second confrontation was after his second great victory at the battle of Issus, just past the Cilician Gates. The Macedonian victory at Issus would have secured the success of the Isocrates Plan which provided for a division of spheres of influence with the Persian King retaining the area east of the Sinope-Cilicia line, and the Macedonians everything west of the line. Alexander scrapped the Isocrates
plan right then and there. This is how Arrian des- cribes the event:
While Alexander was at Marathus, envoys from Darrius came with a request for the release of his mother, wife and children. They also brought a letter from him, of which the substance is as follows:
"Philip and Artaxerxes were on terms of friendship and alliance; but upon the accession of Attaxerxes's son Arses, Philip was guilty of unprovoked aggression against him. Now since Darius's reign began, Alexander has sent no representatives to his court to confirm the former friendship and alliance between the two kingdoms; on the contrary, he has crossed into Asia with his aimed forces and done much damage to the Persians. For this reason Darius took the field in defense of his country and of his ancestral throne. The issue of the battle was as some god willed; and now Darius the King asks Alexander the King to restore from captivity his wife, his mother and his children, and is willing to make friends with him and be his ally. For this cause he urges Alexander to send to him, in company with Meniscus and Arsimas who have brought this request, representatives of his own in order that proper guarantees may be exchanged."
Alexander, having written his reply, ordered Thersippus to accompany Darius's envoys on their return, giving him strict instructions to deliver the letter to Darius but to discuss no question whatever which might arise from it. This was the letter:
"...First I defeated in battle your generals and satraps; now I have defeated yourself and the army you led. By God's help I am master of your country, and I have made myself responsible for the survivors of your army who fled to me for refuge; far from being detained by force they are serving of their own free will under my command.
"Come to me therefore, as you would come to the lord of the continent of Asia. Should you fear to suffer any indignity at my hands, then send some of your friends and I will give them the proper guarantees. Come, then, and ask me for your mother, your wife, and your children and anything else you please; for you shall have them, and whatever besides you can persuade me to give you.
ďAnd in the future let any communications you wish to make with me be addressed to the King of all Asia. Do not write to me as an equal. Everything you possess is now mine; so if you should want anything, let me know in the proper terms, or I shall take steps to deal with you as a criminal. If, on the other hand, you wish to dispute your throne, stand and fight for it and do not run away. Wherever you may hide yourself, be sure I shall seek you out." (120)
The Isocrates Plan was thus scrapped. Plutarch in his account reports some more details, including the fact that Parmenio, the Chief of Staff, tried to convince Alexander to take the deal and end the campaign right then and there:
Darius wrote him [Alexander] a letter, and sent friends to intercede with him, requesting him to accept as a ransom of his captives the sum of a thousand talents, and offering him in exchange for his amity and alliance all the countries on this side the river Euphrates, together with one of his daughters in marriage. These propositions Alexander communicated to his friends and when Parmenio told him that, for his part, if he were Alexander, he should readily embrace them, "So would I," said Alexander, "if I were Parmenio."(121)
According to Plutarch, Parmenio had also tried to undercut Alexander's decision by trying to "set him up" in a sexual liaison with a Persian lady captured at Issus, the beautiful Barsine, who was the widow of the former Persian Commander in Chief Memnon, a Rhodian mercenary, and daughter of the satrap Artabazus, both collaborators of Parmenio and Philip since 353 BC at the hatching of the "Isocrates Plan." Here is Plutarch's account:
She [Barsine] had been instructed in the Grecian learning, was of gentle temper, and by her father, Artabazus, royally descended, with good qualities, added to the solicitations and encouragement of Parmenio, as Aristobulus tells us, made Alexander the more willing to attach himself to so agreeable and illustrious a woman. (122)
This notwithstanding, Parmenio's efforts failed. Alexander's next political confrontation with the generals was after the battle at Guagamela, where Darius was defeated and fled from his throne for good. After the battle, Alexander formally proclaimed himself King of Asia, declared the purpose of the "Sacred War" of all Greece against Persia completed, and allowed those Greek troops who wanted to demobilize to do so. Moreover, he defined his objectives of further conquest eastward and declared, implicitly, his juridical independence from the Congress of Corinth, the Delphic priests' treaty organization over which Antipater, back in Greece, was still presiding. Moreover, he officially declared that he wanted the tyrannical form of city government ("Antipater's way") formally abolished in all of Greece. At the same time he introduced the practice of appointing non-Greeks to administrative posts.
This battle being thus over, seemed to put an end to the Persian Empire; and Alexander, who was now proclaimed King of Asia, returned thanks to the gods in magnificent sacrifices, and rewarded his friends and followers with great sums of money, and places, and governments of provinces. Eager to gain honor with the Greeks, he wrote to them that he would have all tyrannies abolished, that they might live free according to their own laws... (123)
This was in October of 331 BC. Toward the end of the
next year, another assassination plot was uncovered, in which most of Parmenio's family was involved. Parmenio, his son Philotas, and others were tried and executed. Alexander continued his administrative reforms and pressed his campaign eastward. Later, on his return from India, the nephew of Aristotle, Callisthenes, was caught organizing another assassination attempt in 327. He was tried and executed, and this opened the final drama of our narrative.
After this plot, Alexander declared open war on both Aristotle and Antipater, and it was evident that the final reckoning was soon to come. Plutarch reports of a warning that Alexander sent to Antipater and Aristotle:
But yet afterwards, in a letter to Antipater, he accuses Callisthenes. "The young conspirators were stoned to death by the Macedonians," he wrote, "but for the sophist [meaning Callisthenes], I will take care to punish him with them too who sent him to me, and who harbour those in their cities who conspire against my life," an unequivocal declaration against Aristotle, in whose house Callisthenes, for his relationship's sake, being his niece Hero's son, had been educated. (124)
Alexander was an old toughy and knew exactly what was coming. He was resolved to meet the menace head-on. From the evidence scattered in ancient sources, we know that his game plan was to move fast and replace the old army with a new force made up of personally trusted officers and Greek-trained Persian recruits, while at the same time dislodging Antipater from his power base in Greece by mobilizing the republican factions that Antipater had exiled. On the other hand, Antipater's network, as Alexander anticipated, mobilized to create a noose around the King, by means of mini-revolts, army mutinies, administrative destabilizations, and attrition of his trusted personal guard. While in India, Alexander faced his first army mutiny and was obliged to call off his last campaign. On the way back, sporadic mutinies broke out and the army refused to fight. The main issues of discontent were first, Alexander's eagerness to reconcile with the Persians and employ them in the kingdom's service, and, second, typical "soldier's gripes" about the length of the campaign, etc. (125)
In the midst of this tension with the army, in the summer of 324, Alexander made a bold move which opened the final act of the drama. At Susa, on his way back to Babylon, he and eighty of his top officers married women of the Persian nobility. At the same time he enrolled 30,000 newly trained Persian youths in his army, and reorganized his personally trusted cavalry under reliable officers and incorporated in it Persian riders. Finally, he demobilized 10,000 of the more troublesome Macedonian veterans and, under the command of General Craterus, sent them off back home.
But he sent them back with instructions. Craterus was to replace Antipater as Regent, and instruct Antipater to report to Alexander in Babylon; second, Craterus was to see to it that all the exiles from the Greek cities were returned home and republican forms of government restored; third, the cult of Apollo's representatives at the treaty organization of the Congress of Corinth, was to recognize him as god. (126)
It was a neat and ruthless package. The part about deification, contrary to recent gossip among modern historians, was an accepted political form of the time which Alexander was using to officially declare that he was no longer legally bound to the treaty obligations that the Macedonian throne, under Philip, had assumed toward the cult of Apollo. (127) At the time, the deification issue was understood in these terms.
Simultaneously, Alexander had his Proclamation on the Return of the Exiles read publicly at the Olympic Games of September 324 BC, where 20,000 assembled exiles heard it and received it with enthusiastic acclamation. (128)
But from that point on, Antipater's countermeasures begin to show their effect. In the late autumn of 324, Alexander's most trusted associate and childhood friend, the Chiliarch and Prime Minister Hephaestion was found dead at the age of thirty-five. (129) Craterus and the 10,000 veterans were stranded on the shores of Cilicia, and never reached Greece to replace Antipater. The news of the King's death in the summer of 323 found them still squatting in Cilicia. Antipater himself refused to go to Babylon, and instead sent his son Cassander, who organized on the spot the assassination of Alexander. Once the king was dead, General Perdiccas obtained possession of Alexander's secret plans, the Hypomnemata, and read them to the assembled army and had them voted down. The generals declared the end of war and divided up offices in the empire. Perdiccas was declared regent to the unborn child of Alexander. Antipater retained Greece and Macedonia, and other offices were distributed accordingly.
Craterus, the general who disobeyed Alexander's orders and did not move to dislodge Antipater, now married one of Antipater's daughters. Perdiccas was in the process of negotiating marriage with another of Antipater's available daughters. The next year, Perdiccas decided instead to marry Alexander's sister, and the wars of succession were on.
Now, the circumstances of the assassination itself and Aristotle's role in it. The circumstantial political evidence is overwhelmingly in support of the thesis that Alexander was indeed assassinated. Subsequent events also fit the assumption. Most importantly, the "hard evidence" is also available and reported in the ancient accounts. And yet all historians reject the thesis. This is what is called a cheap hoax, as we shall prove.
Arrian's account of Alexander's death is as follows:
According to some accounts, when he wished to leave his friends at their drinking and retire to his bedroom, he happened to meet Medius, who at the time was the companion most closely in his confidence, and Medius asked him to come and continue drinking at his own table, adding that the party would be a merry one.
The Royal Diaries confirm the fact that he drank with Medius after his first carouse. Then, the Diaries continue, he left the table, bathed, and went to sleep, after which he supped with Medius and again set to drinking, continuing till late at night. Then, once more he took a bath, ate little, and went straight to sleep with the fever already on him. (130)
Arrian then continues a long, tedious description of the account of the Royal Diaries until the point that they describe the king's expiration. Then he continues:
I am aware that much else has been written about Alexander's death: for instance, that Antipater sent him some medicine which had been tampered with and that he took it with fatal results. Aristotle is supposed to have made the drug, because he was already afraid of Alexander on account of Callisthenes' death, and Antipater's son Cassander is said to have brought it. Some accounts declare that he brought it in a mule's hoof [i.e. the poison was highly corrosive], and that it was given Alexander by Cassander's younger brother Iollas, who was his cup bearer and had been hurt by him in some way shortly before his death; others state that Medius who was Iollas' lover had a hand in it, and support the view by the fact that it was Medius who invited Alexander to the drinking party -- he felt a sharp pain after draining the cup, and left the party in consequence of it. (131)
Plutarch reports on the rumors about the poisoning in the following way:
At the time, nobody had any suspicion of his being poisoned, but upon some information given six years later, they say Olympias [Alexander's mother] put many to death, and scattered the ashes of Iollas, then dead, as if he had given him the poison. But those who affirm that Aristotle counseled Antipater to do it, and at that by his means the poison was brought, adduced one Hagnothemis as their authority, who, they say, heard King Antigonus speak of it, and tell us that the poison was water, deadly cold as ice, distilled from a rock in the district of Nonacris, which they gathered like a thin dew, and kept it in an ass's hoof; for it was so cold and penetrating that no other vessel would hold it. (132)
Both Plutarch and Arrian in their texts subsequently deny the truthfulness of the reports about poisoning, They both rely on one single source, the authority of the Royal Diaries. Now the Royal Diaries are a fraud.
First, they are a very strange document in ancient doxography. They have not survived in any form to our times; they are not referred to as historical source materials in any other sort of history written in ancient times except in these two locations in Arrian and Plutarch. All the Royal Diaries report are a sanitized version of Alexander's death. It is generally accepted that the Royal Diaries were written after the fact, for the purpose of discouraging reports that the King was assassinated. (133)
Moreover, Arrian, in a wonderful tongue-in-cheek way, while pretending to subscribe to the official version of Alexander's death (for whatever reasons of political expediency prevailing in Arrian's own time), gives us the clue that we need to discard the version of Alexander's death presented by the Royal Diaries. He says, as he quotes from them:
The Diaries say that Peitho, Attalus, Demophon and Peucestas, together with Cleomenes, Menidas, and Seleucus, spent the night in the temple of Serapis and asked the God if it would be better for Alexander to be carried into the temple himself, in order to pray there and perhaps recover; but the God forbade it, and declared it would be better for him if he stayed where he was. The God's command was made public, and soon afterwards Alexander died -- this, after all, being the "better" thing. (134)
The same day Peitho and Seleucus were dispatched to the temple of Serapis to inquire if they should bring Alexander thither, and were answered by the god that they should not remove him. On the twenty-eighth, in the evening, he died. This account is most of it word for word as it is written in the Diaries. (135)
And now the clincher: Both Plutarch and Arrian, writing fifty years apart from each other in the second century AD, knew very well that there existed no god Serapis when Alexander died. The cult of Serapis was inaugurated twelve years after Alexander's death, by General Ptolemy of Egypt. Therefore, the only reason for Arrian and Plutarch to attribute the report about the temple of Serapis to the Royal Diaries would be that they intended to warn the reader that the whole story about Alexander dying a normal death was an official fabrication.
There are some additional important features to the Serapis clue. The Serapis cult was manufactured, down to the last detail of its rites, by the Peripatetic School of Aristotle on commission by Ptolemy when he proclaimed himself King of Egypt. In Arrian's and Plutarch's accounts, it was the god of Aristotle and Ptolemy who, coldbloodedly, announced to the public that death was the "better thing" for Alexander.
Finally, all we can conclude from the available
evidence, is the following: Immediately after the King's death, the generals' junta kept matters quiet. When, in the following year, 322 BC, their deals fell through and Perdiccas refused to marry Antipater's daughter, the story about the assassination broke out with a vengeance. Perdiccas, allied with Alexander's mother Olympias and sister Cleopatra, encouraged rumors that would implicate Antipater, Cassander, and Aristotle. Later, when Antigonus joined forces with Perdiccas, he pushed rumors implicating Ptolemy of Egypt and Antipater's clan. Ptolemy responded by employing the Peripatetic School to write, under his byline, a history of the period, which used the fabrication of the ex post facto Royal Diaries to cover up the story. Antipater went about assassinating and torturing whoever in Greece would dare suggest that Alexander had been poisoned. And all Arrian and Plutarch, living under a Roman regime which had become an Empire as a result of Ptolemaic support, could safely do to discredit the Royal Diaries was to graft onto them the Serapis clue.
And what about Aristotle? Well, it seems we shall never know for sure. There exist, in the annals of history, two versions of the great Macedonian conqueror's death. One is that Antipater and Aristotle did it. The other is the version of the Royal Diaries. The version of the Royal Diaries is discredited. In the last 2301 years, no third hypothesis has been advanced.
Furthermore, there shall never be an official court verdict against Aristotle. When the news of Alexander's death arrived in Athens, there was chaos. All of Greece was in revolt and Antipater's very life was in danger. So, the School of Isocrates -- the old man being already dead -- drew up a list of complaints and sued Aristotle. A disciple of the School, Ciphesodorus (c.f. supra p. 53)
drew up the list of complaints. Timon, another disciple, accused Aristotle of dissipation and foolishness. Aristotle's accusers were Eurymedon, the High Priest of the goddess Demeter, Democrates, the nephew of Demosthenes, and Demophilus, son of the historian Ephorus, representing the School of Isocrates. Four years later, Demophilus was the prosecutor in that trial that condemned to death General Phocion, a leading member of the Platonic Academy and friend of Alexander the Great.
The charges against Aristotle were sacrilege, homosexuality and lust. He was accused of having blasphemously worshipped Hermias of Atarneus ("They held that Hermias had been his lover," Diogenes Laertius says). He was also accused of having established a religious cult of his first wife, the niece of Hermias of Atarneus. According to Diogenes Laertius, when Aristotle first possessed this lady he was so overwhelmed by lustful pleasure that he was driven to sacrifice to her in a ritual fashion that offended the goddess Demeter.
In retrospect, the Hermias affair of years back, in 341, was an intelligence assignment that Aristotle had botched up. In the midst of general disaster falling upon the world, the foolish politicians at the School of Isocrates seem to have wanted a scapegoat in the person of their queer friend Aristotle. Aristotle unfortunately, the minute he heard that Antipater had just lost a battle and that Demosthenes, the old nemesis had just returned to Athens, skipped town and never showed up for his trial. The next year he died, without a final verdict having been reached. He left a last will and testament whose text survives to this day and whose legal executor was the oligarch Lord Antipater.
VI. Summary and Conclusion
This report has established the following firm conclusions which, in the long run, will transform the way history is taught in schools:
First: Aristotle, throughout his life was an enemy of Plato.
Second: He was an enemy of Alexander the Great; this enmity was deadly.
Third: The cult of Apollo was a major political force in antiquity and represented, in Greek politics, Persian Imperial interests. It controlled Philip.
Fourth: The Platonic Academy played a crucial role in shaping Alexander the Great's program and campaign, and thus, subsequent history to this day.
So, what is the big deal? All the facts are to be found
in publicly available ancient sources. But the whole affair becomes very important because it draws an indictment of modern historiography. This is not the place to belabor the point, it should simply be made.
The field of ancient history, archeology and classical studies in the last two centuries has been completely dominated by the game-masters of British intelligence. (136) There were, it is true, some brilliant independent researches by German and French historians (and recently some Americans), but all these have not amounted to anything. Classical studies to this very day means Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Harvard and some places in New Zealand and South Africa. This is the main body of historiographical activity on the planet at
this time, and it is hegemonic. What is interesting is the way it is organized.
The top authority levels of this profession, worldwide, are Intelligence chiefs, either overt or covert, of the Royal Institute of Strategic Studies and the British Secret Intelligence Service: Hobbes, Clarendon, Gibbon, Bacon, Jowett, Toynbee, et al. Beneath them, their academic colleagues, are people who know their job is not historical truth but political management of the minds of nations through manufactured history writing. Beneath this knowledgeable layer is the great swarm of academic rats, Department heads, Distinguished Professors, Doctors of History and so forth, who furiously propitiate, footnote after footnote and acknowledgement after acknowledgement, those immediately above them. It is these who do not know that history writing is a political intelligence operation. When those among them who show they have learned to propitiate are ready to get into the political game, they
are promoted. The others stay back in the rat race of academic propitiation.
The root of academic propitiation is the Aristotelian disease, Logic. Logic is not what it is cracked up to be, it is merely the rules of propitiation: What is the prevailing academic opinion in the field (what will my peers consider "axiomatic synthetic judgment") that the propitiating academic will use as his "Major Premise" in his syllogistic outlook and research? When people in our universities learn to synthesize "a priori judgments," they will begin their way back to recovery.
But we can offer them a short cut to the cure: destroy the authority of "Aristotelian Logic", its claim to rule over intellectual life, and the patient is half cured. His clinging to the authority of Logic is the specific block which prevents therapy. Cut off the transference-cathexis of the patient to the "father image" of Aristotle, and results are assured: Balliol College will never be the same again.
1. It is well known that a substantial body of Aristotle's writings were not published until circa 80 BC by the eleventh scholarch of the Peripatetic School, Andronicus, on orders from the Roman dictator Sulla. At that time, Sulla, upon the conclusion of his Eastern campaign, brought back to Rome a mass of writings of dubious authenticity which, according to some propaganda claims of the time, had been found in the basement of a villa in Atarneus, Asia Minor, and were believed to be Aristotle's. These and the various archives and notes of the Peripatetic School were edited by Andronicus and have become today the accepted Corpus Aristotelicum, accredited, to this day, on the authority of the Roman tyrant.
2. British monarchical historiographic practice, beginning with Hobbes's translation of Thucydides in his Parisian exile away from the Cromwellian forces, has been oriented toward the practical policy objective of imitating the Roman Empire as a method of government. This tradition was augmented with the artificial elevation to prominence and authority of the pathetic Gibbon and the homosexual rape of Carlyle by John Stuart Mill. It culminates with Arnold Joseph Toynbee. See also note 136 below.
3. Henry Moss, The Secular Origins of Ionian Philosophy and Science, unpublished doctoral dissertation, Pennsylvania State University.
4. See Paul Arnest, "From Babylon to Jerusalem: The Genesis of the Old Testament," The Campaigner, Vol. 10, No. 4, Fall 1977. [Also on The Campaigner Unbound website.]
5. Ibid., p. 56, 57.
6. The unbroken string of successive powerful personalities from Thales (640-548 BC) through Anaximander, Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Cratylus, Parmenides, Zeno of Elea, Melissus, Democritus, and Socrates, to Plato and the Academy, happens to be, in fact, a political, constitutional and economic movement which much later in history, due to the shoddy practices of the French "Enlightenment," was mistaken as a mere "philosophical" tradition.
7. Unpublished studies on Rome by Uwe Parpart.
8. For a fuller identification of the nature of this 3,000-year-old secret, see Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., "The Secrets Known Only to the Inner Elites," The Campaigner, Vol 11, No. 3-4, May-June 1978. [Also on The Campaigner Unbound website.]
9. Ibid., pp. 6 ff.
10. To this very day, Oxford University's Classical Quarterly devotes prime space to Mr. Cornford's pathetic, boring and "thick" efforts to reinterpret Plato's Theaetetus in a way that might salvage his, and Oxford's, "theory of ideas." What the ancients meant by "Plato's theory of Ideas" was the theory of knowledge based on "hypothesizing the higher hypothesis up to the first principle itself," not Cornford's nominalist "theory of Ideas."
11. See Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., "The Clinical Significance of Poe's critics," New Solidarity, Vol. 9 No. 24 (May 23, 1978) and Vol. 9 No. 25 (May 25, 1978); "Draft U.S. Military Strategic Policy: The Cornerstones of U.S. World Leadership," New Solidarity, Vol. 9 No. 30 (June 13, 1978); "Poetry Must Supersede Mathematics in Physics," New Solidarity, Vol. 9 No. 33 (June 23, 1978); "Poe's Conception of Poetry," The Campaigner, Vol 11, No. 6 (August 1978); "The Long Waves in Scientific Progress," New Solidarity, Vol. 9 No. 57 (Sept. 19, 1978) and Vol. 9 No. 58 (Sept. 22, 1978).
12. Some of this material was presented by Uwe Parpart in a series of lectures from the U.S. Labor Party's Humanist Academy in March and April of 1978.
13. Plato, Republic, VII, 514.
14. lbid., VII, 533d.
I5. Aristotle's explicit confession on this matter is made the conclusion of Posterior Analytics, II, 19.
16. The story of Aristotle moving to Athens on orders from Delphi is mentioned in the following ancient vitae Aristotelis: Vita Marciana 5; Vita Vulgata 4; Vita Latina 5; Vita Syriaca 4; Ibn an-Nadin Kitab al-Fihrist 4; Ibn abi Usaibia Uyun al-Anba fi Tabaqat al-Atibba 3; all cited in the article "Aristotle and Athens: Some Comments..." by A.H. Chroust, published in Laval Theologique et Philosophique, Vol. XXII, No. 2, 1966.
17. With the reservation, of course, about the authenticity of the Corpus Aristotelicum, expressed in note 1 above.
18. Cf. Criton Zoakos, "Aristotle and the Craft of Intelligence," Part I, New Solidarity, Vol. 8 , No. 99 (Feb. 24, 1978).
19. For more developed discussions of the "concrete infinite" see Uwe Parpart, "The Concept of the Transfinite," The Campaigner, Vol. 9, Nos. 1-2 (Jan.-Feb. 1976), and L. Marcus (Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.) Dialectical Economics (Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath and Co., 1975); also most of LaRouche's writings, including those cited above and his The Case of Walter Lippmann (New York: University Editions, 1977).
20. Aristotle, Physics, III, 4, 203a, 5.
21. Ibid., III, 4, 203b, 12.
22. Ibid., II1, 4, 203b, 15-25.
23. The clue that the Metaphysics is a fraud is to be found in the observed disparity of Book Lambda from all other books of the work. In it, Aristotle attempts to fake a creditable discussion of the Platonic concept of "Prime Mover." His attempt collapses with the outpouring of incoherent rubbish in chapter eight of Book Lambda.
24. Aristotle, Analytica Posteriora, I, 1, 71a.
25. Ibid. II, 1, 89b, 21.
26. Ibid. II, 2, 90a, 5-15.
27. Ibid. II, 11 94a, 20-28.
28. Ibid. II, 11, 94a, 35, to 94b, 8.
29. Ibid. I, 3, 72b, 19-25.
30. Ibid. II, 19, 99b, 20, to 100a, 10.
31. For a highly competent more general discussion of the information contained in ancient sources on the subject of Aristotle's entry into the Academy, see A.H. Chroust, Aristotle (South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press, 1973). Chroust's evaluation suffers from the fact that he is unaware of the international factional positional of the cult of Apollo at the time.
32. For a quick survey of the Academy's political activities see Plato, Epistles; Plutarch, Dion, Phocion, Alexander, Adversus Colotem, etc.; Diogenes Laertes, Lives of the Philosophers; Aelian, Varia Historia; Athenaeus, Deitmosophistae; etc. Unfortunately, no one to date has competently pulled together the amazing wealth of bits of information about the Academy's political activities. Eduard Zeller, in the late nineteenth century, made a creditable effort, but Zeller was completely innocent of disprofessional political judgment. Uwe Parpart is preparing a forthcoming work on the subject.
33. Plutarch's Artaxerxes must be read for the breathtaking factional picture of the Persian Court that he portrays, and also because he mentions many prominent Athenian collaborators of Isocrates who were agents of the Persian King. Though other secondary sources always emphasize Isocrates's pronounced anti-King, philo-Macedonian policy, they invariably cover up the fact that Isocrates was definitely allied, personally and through his faction in Athens, with Persian oligarchical, satrap-linked interests. In short, after the assassination of Socrates, Athenian politics was dominated by two Persian factions: the "anti-Macedonians" Of Demosthenes, working for the Persian King, and the "pro-Macedonians" of Isocrates (in which Aristotle belongs) who were working for the oligarchical Persian satraps and the financiers of Apollo, against the Persian King.
34. See notes 16 and 31 above.
35. The fights between Plato's Academy and Isocrates's School are too well known to require documentation. It should be recalled that Isocrates personally had deployed one of his most important collaborators, the historian Theopompus, to the court of Philip of Macedon, on the sole assignment of slandering Plato to King Philip.
36. Diogenes Laertius (V, 1) reports this, but for a more general discussion, see Chroust, op. cit.
37. The Gryllus was named after the son of the historian Xenophon who died at the battle of Mantineia fighting against the Persian-puppets of Thebes. From circumstantial evidence, it seems that Aristotle attacks those who had done honors and heaped posthumous praise on Gryllus, hence the name of the dialogue. Since the battle of Mantineia took place in 362, it is evident that Aristotle continued his debates over rhetoric a full five years after he entered the Academy.
38. Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, XIV, 6.
39. See A.H. Chroust, op. cit., Vol. II.
40. Quintilian, lnstitutio Oratoria, II, 17, 14; Diogenes Laertius, II, 55.
41. Diogenes Laertius, V, 2.
42. Mentioned in the later Syrian and Arab biographies of Aristotle.
43. See Giordano Bruno, "The Cabala Of the Winged Horse, With the Cyllenian Ass," English translation by Nora Hamerman, The Campaigner, Vol. 11, No. 2, March 1978.
44. These titles, among others, are reported in Diogenes Laertius (V, 1) and elsewhere.
45. Werner Jaeger, the pompous, unimaginative and thoughtless "authority" on Aristotle of the 1920s and 1930s, developed a long-winded, tedious argument about the evolution of Aristotle from Platonist to "Aristotelian." Jaeger, in his Aristotle, Fundamentals of His Development, published by Oxford University Press, corners himself into arguing that the early, lost works of Aristotle are "Platonist." This, as Jaeger unconsciously admits, is an impossibility in view of the barrenness and paucity of mind of the later, published works of Aristotle. Unfortunately, the insightful and often penetrating A.H. Chroust falls into Jaeger's trap in his own unfruitful discussions of Aristotle's lost works.
46. Jaeger, op. cit., uses doxographic techniques to demonstrate that in the dialogue Eudemus, Aristotle used his own method, distinctly and consciously hostile to that of Plato. This view is generally accepted. It is valid despite the employment of doxographic techniques.
47. Quoted in Joannes Philoponus, De Aeternitate Mundi, II, 2.
48. Plutarch, Adversus Colotem, 14, 1115b,
49. A.H. Chroust, "Aristotle and Athens: Some Comments.... " in Laval Theologique et Philo- sophique, Vol. XXII, No. 2, 1966.
50. The Hermias Affair, generally reported in all original sources, ought to be studied further. It must have been a first rate intelligence botch-job, and Aristotle was the case officer in charge. Hermias of Atarneus, a local ruler in Asia Minor under Persian suzerainty, was Aristotle's host when the latter was sent there by Philip of Macedon. During Aristotle's stay Hermias was arrested by General Memnon on the Persian King's orders, interrogated, and executed on charges of treason. As a result of the affair, the Persian King broke diplomatic relations with Philip. Demosthenes, in Athens, was exuberant and claimed that now, "the Great King is going to find out about the scheming." Toward the end of his life, Aristotle's associates from the School of Isocrates sued him for having botched this affair.
51. Aristotle's family was one of the most prominent in Macedonia for four hundred years. His father, Nicomachus, was the personal physician of King Philip's father, and Philip and Aristotle were associates since childhood. Sources: Diogenes Laertius, V, 1; Vita Marciana, 1-2; Vita Vulgata, 1-2; Vita Latina, 1-2; Vita Syriaca, 1; Vita Hesychii.
52. Isocrates allied with Philip only after the Sacred War had made Philip the predominant military power. Before that, he advocated that Athens play the role ultimately played by Macedonia.
53. See note 52 above.
54. The facts on Greek history can be corroborated in standard texts, e.g., J.B. Bury, History of Greece, or the Cambridge Ancient History.
55. George Gregory, Aristotle and the Cult of Dionysus, unpublished study, Wiesbaden, 1977.
56. Homer, Iliad, I, 47.
57. This and other incidents are reported in Herodotus, Histories.
58. George Gregory, op. cit.
59. The events and details of the Sacred War are reported in standard history books.
60. On Philip's alliance with Artaxerxes III Ochus, cf. Arrian, Alexander's Anabasis, I1, 14; for interesting commentary, see Arnold Toynbee, "If Ochus and Philip had lived on" (Some Problems of Greek History, Part IV).
61. Artabazus and Memnon later returned to the Persian court at a time when Memnon's brother Mentor and the grand vizier Bagoas were the dominant powers there and were in the process of squeezing the Persian King out of effective power. Aristotle, Diogenes Laertius reports, maintained correspondence with Mentor.
62. The friendship of Aristotle and Antipater is well known. Diogenes Laertius reports that Aristotle named Antipater executor of his will, and also that Aristotle maintained voluminous correspondence with Antipater. There are nine books of such correspondence listed among the writings of Aristotle -- by far the largest entry among the various items of his correspondence.
63. Plato, Second Epistle, to Dionysius of Syracuse.
64. Plato's Epistles give a general sense of his efforts with Dionysius of Syracuse. For a historical accounting of the events, see J.B. Bury, History of Greece.
65. Plato was planning to overthrow Dionysius and have him replaced with Dion, his close friend and long-time political collaborator. Plato, in his Fourth Epistle to Dion says: "Since then all men are watching you, prepare to make Lycurgus [the lawgiver of Sparta] and Cyrus [the founder of the Persian Empire] appear but primitive, or anyone else who has ever become famous for superior character and statesmanship, especially since many, in fact all who are on the spot, say that it is quite likely that, when Dionysius has been put out of the way, our cause will be ruined by the rivalry between you and Heraclides and Theodotes and others of note...."
66. Plato, Epistle Five, to Perdiccas.
67. Reported by Eduard Zeller in his Plato und the Older Academy, 1888; the names of the assassins, Pytho and Heraclides of Aenos, are mentioned by Philostratus and in Suidas.
68. Plato's Academy provided the officer corps of this successful military expedition and much of the recruiting was done in those part of the Peloponnese where the historian Xenophon, an old friend of Socrates, had lived in exile. Plutarch reports the story fully in his biography of Dion.
69. Both the Phocians and the Academy seem to have recruited military personnel from the same geographical areas, namely, the parts of the Peloponnese in which the historian Xenophon and his collaborator King Agesilaus of Sparta, friends of Socrates, had been active during the previous generation.
70. The Academy's cadre was predominantly international rather than Athenian. According to Zeller's compilation, most of the known cadre were from Asia Minor, i.e, Ionia and the coastal cities of the Propontis and the Black Sea. Diogenes Laertius (VIII, 8, 86) has a fascinating story of the Platonist Eudoxus who, on personal recommendation from King Agesilaus, was introduced to the Egyptian King Nectanebo and the Egyptian priests, with whom he worked for a number of years, Eudoxus then established political contact with Mausolus of Caria and then settled in Athens. It is highly likely that the Academy was in close collaboration with both the priests of Amon in Egypt and with the Carian royal house. This would explain a lot of Alexander's spectacular career, because it would explain two of the major, still unresolved riddles of his life, the Pixodaros Affair (see note 111 below) and his special relation with the Temple of Amon.
71. See page 61 in text.
72. Isocrates, Address to Philip, 121.
73. Ibid., 100-104.
74. Ibid., 30-31.
75. Ibid., 9.
76. Ibid., 120.
77. Ibid., 150-152.
78. A.H. Chroust, Aristotle, Vol. I.
79. H. Berve, Das Alexanderreich aus prosopographischer Grundlagen, Munich, 1926, Vol. 2, entry no. 94.
81. Reported in J.R. Ellis, Philip II and Macedonian Imperialism (London: Thames and Hudson, 1976).
82. A whole series of assassinations and palace coups was launched with the murder of Ochus; Diodorus Sieulus (XVII, 5.3-6.3) gives an amusing report of the situation.
83. See note 50 above.
84. See A.H. Chroust, Aristotle, Vol. I.
85. Plutarch, Arrian, Curtius Rufus, Quintilian, Dio Chrysostom, Pliny, Aelian, Athenaeus and many other ancient sources describe the close relation between Antipater and Aristotle; see also note 62 above.
86. J.R. Ellis, Philip II and Macedonian Imperialism, ch. VIII, presents the facts of the assassination adequately, but his interpretation is way off.
87. A.H. Chroust, Aristotle, Vol. I, extensively discusses the well-known differences between Alexander and Aristotle on the conduct of the war.
88. W.W. Tarn, Alexander the Great, Vol. II.
90. Measure implemented after the battle of Granicus and throughout Alexander's life.
91. Measure introduced in the time between the battle of Issus and the battle at Gaugamela, and fully carried out after the death of Darius Codomannus.
92. Fully enforced after the battle at Gaugamela.
93. Policy launched as Alexander establishes contact with the Phoenician authorities of the city of Sidon around the time of the siege of Persian-controlled Tyre. Later measures included the cutting of a canal from the Red Sea to the Nile, and ordering Nearchus to promote sea exploration. Items four, five and six of the above program are variously reported in Diodorus Siculus, XVII; Curtius, 6; Justin 12; Plutarch, Alexander; Arrian, III. They are supposed to have taken full effect after Gaugamela.
94. Alexander's intensive city-building started taking off after his famous secret meeting with the temple of Amon in the oasis of Siwah, a probable outpost of Egyptian collaboration with the Platonic Academy.
95. Enforced upon Alexander's return from the Indian campaign.
96. Developed in Alexander's secret policy memoranda, the Hypomnemata, which are described thusly in Diodorus Siculus (XVIII, 4): "The following were the largest and most remarkable items of the memoranda. It was proposed to build a thousand ships, larger than triremes, in Phoenicia, Syria, Cilicia, and Cyprus for the campaign against the Carthaginians and the others who live along the coast of Libya and Iberia and the adjoining coastal region as far as Sicily; to make a road along the coast of Libya as far as the Pillars of Hercules and, as needed by so great an expedition, to construct ports and shipyards at suitable places; to erect six mostly costly temples, each at the expense of fifteen hundred talents; and finally to establish cities and to transplant populations from Asia to Europe and in the opposite direction, from Europe to Asia ... when these memoranda were read, the Macedonians ... saw that the projects were extravagant and impracticable and decided to carry out none of those that have been mentioned." But Alexander was already dead.
97. See the famous "Exiles Decree" which cost him his life, note 128 below.
98. Reported in Plutarch, Alexander.
99. Reported in Plutarch, Alexander, and elsewhere.
100. The foreign policy of Ptolemaic Egypt, a state organized on Aristotelian principles of total war against the legacy of both Alexander and the Academy, gave rise, through the gradual manipulation of both Carthage and Rome, to the final emergence of the Roman Empire, which had thus been groomed from its infancy for axiomatic hostility against the Platonic outlook.
101. Plutarch, Phocion.
102. Diogenes Laertius, IV, 14.
105. Cicero Ad Atticum, XII, 40, 2.
106 Diogenes, Laertius, IV. 14.
107. Discussed in Eduard Zeller, Plato and the Older Academy.
108. Discussed in W.W. Tarn, Alexander the Great, Vol. II.
109. Plutarch, Adversus Colotem, 32, 1126C.
110. Mentioned in Suidas's entries on Euphraeus, Leon; in Philostratus, Lives of Philosophers; discussed in Eduard Zeller's Plato and the Older Academy.
111. The notorious Pixodarus Affair, which occured in the spring of 336 BC, was the cause of Alexander and his faction's exile from Macedonia. Pixodarus, ruler of Caria and successor of the famous Mausolus, made overtures to king Philip for an alliance that would strengthen Carla's independence from Persia. Alexander -- already fighting for his right to succession -- along with his factional allies took the initiative of offering separate terms of alliance to Pixodarus in an effort that was kept secret from his father Philip. When the secret negotiations were discovered by Philip, all of Alexander's friends were sent into exile and the negotiations tell through.
112. Plutarch, Alexander.
113. Plutarch, in his Alexander, reports that General Attalus, at the wedding of his niece Cleopatra to king Philip, remarked that he "desired the Macedonians would implore the gods to give them a legitimate successor to the kingdom by his niece. This so irritated Alexander, that throwing a cup at his head 'You villain,' said he, 'what, am I then a bastard?' Then Philip, taking Attalus' part, rose up and would have run his son through." Other sources report this incident also.
114. For a discussion of Aristotle's opposition to Alexander's campaign see A.H. Chroust, Aristotle, Vol. I.
115. It is evident from all extant sources that virtually every time Alexander announced a new set of policies, there was widespread opposition in the majority of the general staff. On the other hand, we know that his inner circle of friends and advisors was mostly civilians in various capacities and that the most predominant military element was from the ranks of the top commanders of his personally led cavalry.
116. Diodorus Siculus (XVIII, 2) describes how in fact General Perdiccas, after the death of Alexander, conducted a widespread purge in the officer corps, especially in the cavalry but also in the infantry, which only months earlier had been reorganized by Alexander. The reading and repudiation of the Hypomnemata was a crucial part of the coup d'etat.
117. Arrian, I, 25.
118. Plutarch, Alexander; Arrian, III, 26-27.
119. Arrian, IV, 13-15; Plutarch, Alexander.
120. Arrian, II, 14. Diodorus Siculus in XVII, 39, 7 reports that Alexander in fact suppressed Darius's letter and substituted another "in accordance with his interests" which he put before the army commanders in order to secure their rejection of a negotiated peace. However, all sources report that Darius repeated his offer two more times, one after the fall of Tyre and again before the battle at Gaugamela, this time offering 10,000 talents and guarantees that Alexander would control the eastern Mediterranean ports.
121. Plutarch, Alexander.
125. For army mutinies and frictions between Alexander and the army, see Arrian, Books IV to VII.
126. Both Arrian and Diodorus Siculus give an adequate account of Craterus's instructions; Diodorus Siculus, however, reports in Book XVIII that Craterus was still stalling in Cilicia when the news of the king's death arrived.
127. The political implications of the issue of Alexander's "deification" are adequately discussed in W.W. Tarn's Alexander the Great.
128. Diodorus Siculus reports (XVIII, 8.3-6): "Therefore, the Olympic Games being at hand, he sent Nicanor of Stageira to Greece, giving him a decree about the restoration, which he ordered him to have proclaimed by the victorious herald to the crowds at the festival. Nicanor carried out his instructions, and the herald received and read the following message: 'King Alexander to the exiles from the Greek cities, We have not been the cause of your exile, but, save for those of you who are under a curse, we shall be the cause of your return to your native cities. We have written to Antipater about this to the end that if any cities are not willing to restore you, he may constrain them.' When the herald had announced this, the crowd showed its approval with loud applause; for those at the festival welcomed the favor of the king with cries of joy, and repaid his good deed with praises. All the exiles had come together to the festival, being more than twenty thousand in number."
129. Hephaestion's death is another one of history's unsolved riddles. It is significant that in Arrian's biography of Alexander the Great, there is one occasion in which one whole page is missing, obviously torn out of the original manuscript by a very discriminating hand. The gap is in Book VII, 12 to 13. Where the text discusses Antipater's hostilities to Alexander, it breaks off abruptly and then resumes in mid-sentence with a summary report of Hephaestion's death.
130. Arrian, VII, 25.
131. Arrian, VII, 27.
132. Plutarch, Alexander.
133. The German historian Berve in his Alexanderreich aus prosopographischer Grundlagen, characterizes the Royal Diaries in the following way: "Den einwandfreien Krankenbericht der Ephemeriden, der eine Vergiftung als Todesursache ausschliesst" -- i.e. a "cover story."
134. Arrian, VII, 26.
135. Plutarch, Alexander; but Diodorus Siculus is much more unabashed in XVII, 118: "They say that Antipater, who had been left by Alexander as viceroy in Europe, was at variance with the king's mother Olympias. At first he did not take her seriously because Alexander did not heed her complaints against him, but later, as their enmity kept growing and the king showed an anxiety to gratify his mother Antipater gave many indications of disaffection. This was bad enough, but the murder of Parmenio and Philotas struck terror into Antipater as into all of Alexander's friends, so by the hand of his own son, who was the king's cup bearer, he administered the poison to the king. After Alexander's death, Antipater held supreme authority in Europe and then his son Cassander took over the kingdom, so that many historians did not dare write about the poisoning. Cassander, however, is plainly disclosed by his own actions as a bitter enemy of Alexander's policies."
136. A study on British historiographical practices is being prepared by Labor Party researchers and historians under the supervision of Christopher R. White for publication at a later date. In the meantime, Arnold Joseph Toynbee, the dean of British historiography, will serve as an example: Toynbee, a participant at the Versailles Treaty, was the British Intelligence case officer who, in the early 1920s "solved" the "Eastern Question" that the Ottoman Empire was posing in the Balkans and the Middle East. Subsequently he was appointed chief researcher of the British Intelligence community at the Royal Institute. During World War II he headed up the combined intelligence services committee which prepared the daily intelligence summaries for the War Cabinet. Every day during the war, Winston Churchill received his intelligence briefings personally from Toynbee. See also Christopher R. White, The Noble Family.
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