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Strauss and Plato’s Occult Dictatorship
From the Chinese Communist Party to George W. Bush
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Strauss and Plato’s Occult Dictatorship
From the Chinese Communist Party to George W. Bush
By Michael Hoffman • www.RevisionistHistory.org
[Reading time about 15 minutes]
Not so long ago in the schools, colleges and universities of the West, knowledge of Plato’s writings in the original Greek was regarded as de rigeur for educated men and later, women. The classics departments of even the state colleges often included at least two faculty members, sometimes three or four, teaching Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and the Stoics. They are mostly gone. The teaching of Plato in ancient Greek is in bare survival mode at many of the Ivy League institutions that were originally founded in part on fascination with the classicism of Greco-Roman antiquity.
But while the gnosis of the Greeks is discarded in the United States in all but the most rarefied academic precincts of the patrician classes, the Chinese Community Party has for decades believed—in the words of University of Chicago Prof. Shari Bartsch in her book Plato Goes to China that—“the content of these texts and the traditions that developed from them, contributed to the West’s enviable scientific trajectory.”
Bartsch adds: “…the Chinese development is all the more curious because, in the western culture, at whose origin these Classics partly lie, there is a growing sense that the works of classical antiquity have little to say, and may not even deserve a place in the educational system. As universities in the United States are closing down their Classics departments —judging them useless, the province of the elite, or worse still, purveyors of imperialism —the Chinese are reading about Plato in party editorials.”
It is interesting to note how those who are said to be our most formidable and even deadly enemies can hold aloft a mirror in which we view our progenitors more clearly than we would without that perspective. Rev. Fr. Charles Callan makes this point in his commentary on John 9, where he states that Jesus refuted the theory that one’s personal sufferings and afflictions are always the result of one’s own sins. Our Lord taught that some afflictions are permitted in order that the glory of God may be manifested through their cure or removal, as in the case of the man born blind, and the death of Lazarus.
The power of the Chinese Communist Party is permitted by God in some instances for reasons we cannot fathom, and in other respects perhaps to provide us with the knowledge of ourselves which we would not otherwise acquire.
“…at the high school level, Chinese textbooks proclaim that western civilization descended straight from the glory days of ancient Athens… for some Chinese thinkers, learning about (Greek) antiquity has become a project aimed at outdoing the west on its own terms, the ‘key’ to absorbing and overcoming the strengths of the west.” (Bartsch, pp. 6-7).
In an examination of this subject, we would be remiss if we were to neglect to note that the term Greek antiquity is not indicative of a homogeneous tradition; the chasm between Plato and Aristotle and the historic rivalry between the two schools of thought is an example of the differences that exist. Plato is often identified by his critics as a father of totalitarianism, notwithstanding his position in the canon. Aristotle, embraced by medieval Catholic luminaries such as Thomas Aquinas and Dante Alighieri, has been viewed by the Church as comparatively benign in comparison with Plato.
In Plato’s writings we encounter a eugenics-based utopian caste system with despotic features, and most troubling of all, the concept, which would be advanced centuries later by the Florentine politician-philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, of the “Noble Lie,” about which we will have more to say.
Plato’s Totalitarian Occult Mandate Rebirthed in the Renaissance
In Europe prior to the sixteenth century, magic with its striving to manipulate nature and “create reality” by the will of the magus, had been a largely disreputable calling associated with decaying edifices, vermin and filthy sorcery. With the coming of the Renaissance the myth of a benevolent “white magic” and the scientism which would latter accompany it, grew within the bowels of the Church and Christendom at large, radiating from the city of Florence. It was not a coincidence that this ominous trend occurred in tandem with the Roman Catholic Council of Florence (1438-1439), which marked the beginning of a renewed growth in the influence of Platonism at the expense of Aristotelean beliefs, and ultimately of the gospel of Jesus.
For the supposed “good sorcery” to gain for the first time in history a foothold in the hierarchy of the Church, Thomistic scholasticism and its Greek paragon Aristotle, were targeted for gradual derogation. Aquinas was too strongly anti-occult and Aristotle hewed more often than not to the Natural Law in subservience to nature, not in ascendance over it. These were obstacles to the magical revival.
Plato’s Agent in Medici Florence: George Gemistos “Plethon”
One agent of this epochal overthrow was the high profile Byzantine occultist George Gemistos, known by his moniker “Plethon.” From Plethon, who had served as a kind of peritus (“theological expert”) at the Council of Florence, flowed the Platonic revival which Cosimo de’ Medici financed and promoted. The scholar chosen to midwife the transformation, Rev. Fr. Marsilio Ficino, translated the texts of not only Plato but his disciples, the “Neoplatonists,” who had thus far only limited success in infiltrating the Church. Later in the Renaissance Hermeticism would be united with Neoplatonism, and after that Kabbalah, the sacred text which would be popularized among the papal cognoscenti by many of the Church of Rome’s intellectuals, most notably Pico della Mirandola and Johannes Reuchlin (cf. The Occult Renaissance Church of Rome, chapter 5: “Pope Alexander’s Wizard;” and chapter 8, “Reuchlin’s Revolution”).
The propagation of Plato’s ideas in 15th century papal Italy was accompanied by growing esteem for the thaumaturgy of Pythagoras, as well as the Neoplatonist Iamblichus who preached salvation through ritual magic “(theurgy”).
The Magical Praxis of the American Left and Right
Out of the revival of enthusiasm for Plato and Neoplatonism, the magical philosophy of bending reality to suit the collective will of the occult fraternity slowly gained a central place in the humanist intellectual firmament, both within the Vatican and eventually outside of it. It has maintained its dominion ever since.
The Chinese Communists are among the most dedicated trackers of this phenomenon, which they link with Leo Strauss and the Neoconservative movement within the Republican party. Though this cabal obtained nearly full executive power under President George W. Bush, it remains influential in the Lindsey Graham/McConnell/Romney wing of the GOP, which continues to assert the alternative reality that one or more Capitol police officers were killed on January 6, 2021, when the only person who died during the riot was Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt. The hypnotic insistence on the lie about the death of policemen being true, is a work of operative magic, no matter how prosaic it may appear wrapped in the habiliments of politics.
This bending of reality is hardly unique to Republicans; the Democrats undertake the theurgy when they insist that a person possessed of XY chromosomes is actually a person who possesses XX chromosomes. The fanatical insistence on the verisimilitude of this masquerade contravenes nature and harkens to the disfigurement of the gospel of Christ by Plato’s papally approved Medici network, which is misrepresented as authentically Catholic. In both instances coercion and hypnotic suggestion are employed to impose belief in a ridiculous fraud.
Platonism and Neoplatonism’s rise in the Renaissance was an aberration vouchsafed by papal and Protestant elites. Being antithetical to the teaching of Jesus, it never had a future among the masses of the working class. The Chinese Communist researchers however, appear to be programmed to radically reduce the influence of Christianity on western development, which is a blunder that has misdirected their studies.
On the other hand, in endeavoring to analyze the source of the power that led to British victory in Queen Victoria’s opium wars and the capture of Hong Kong, the Chinese are on the right track with Plato.
The Communist scholars in China, some of whom were educated at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, MIT and Stanford, are nonetheless viewing the West through what is in many cases a mud-strewn window. They have obtained glimpses of Plato’s totalitarianism at work in masonic Britain and Neocon America—and discounted the eclipse of Plato by Aristotle’s adherents in 17th century republican England and the early American republic.
While Communist China is not cursed with a diversity, equity and inclusivity (DEI) religion as is the United States, it does have a governance model akin to many other systems that are essentially Pharaonic, which is to say esoteric (we challenge anyone to separate the Pharaohs from the Thanatos occultism in which they were immersed).
American Conservatives are given to mouthing cliches contra a “two-tiered system” of laws in our nation which privileges Democrat party activists and woke Leftists. The charge is enfeebled however, by the all too familiar conservative failure to embrace a radical search for the etiology of the disease, in this case the origin of the one-law-for-the-insiders-and-another-for-everyone-else corruption that subverts any society aspiring to freedom and fairness.
They can’t bring themselves to acknowledge the double-minded legal and ethical standard which is the legacy of the western secret societies which grew from the seeds Plethon planted at the Council of Florence, and the subsequent founding, with Medici-banker patronage in the fateful art city of Florence, of a haute monde collegium that came to be known as the Platonic academy.
Plato and Maimonides are synonyms for the esoteric system which is the means by which one entitled class—whether denominated “Holy People,” “party members” or “initiates”—rule over humanity. China’s Communist researchers have generally, with some exceptions, mistaken the system as synthesized by Leo Strauss and incarnated as Neoconservatism, as representative of the roots of America.
Because dogmatism distorts everything it surveys, intensely dogmatic Chinese Communism, like intensely dogmatic Platonism, misses the beating heart of American genius, from Thomas Jefferson and Henry David Thoreau to Rep. Thomas Massie in our time—the spirit which hallows and personifies an intractable individualism, which nonetheless rejects anarchism in favor of a vision of comity adopted by a liberty-loving community of freethinkers opposed to bureaucracy and big government.
Granted, this ideal was often traduced, degraded and parodied; nevertheless it is this spirit which time and again defied slavish Pharaonic/Platonic incentives to submit to dictatorship over the mind of man.
Dante was exiled from Florence as part of the resistance to the rise of dictatorship. Giroloma Savonarola was executed in the same city two centuries later by papal order, for resisting the esotericism of the modernizing pontiffs which, under cover of the gospel of Jesus, established a Mephistophelian Cryptocracy whose presiding spirits were Plato, Hermes and the Kabbalah of Shimon ben Yohai.
By the very nature of the principles of Chinese Communist dictatorship, its functionaries at all levels are required to genuflect before a pyramid-arrangement in which a lone king or “Emperor” Xi Jinping, squats at the top, ruling by a version of “divine right.” This false god has been at war with the freedom Jesus bestowed and which St. Paul amplified in Romans 7-9.
Plato, Ficino and the Gnosis of the Secret Societies
We glimpse the personification of Plato’s philosophy made manifest in 20th and 21st century American models of war and governance, in part as championed by the World War II refugee political scientist Leo Strauss (1899-1973), for whom Plato and Maimonides were pole stars. Strauss was the ideological éminence grise of the Neoconservative Republican administration of George W. Bush, and his successors and imitators in today’s GOP.
Until the Revelation of the Method era, the Cryptocracy was sustained mainly by deception, which of late, due to the success of the conspiracy to breakdown our dasein as God’s image-bearing (imago Dei) creatures, is not as necessary as it once was, though operational secrecy continues to be maintained in many cases.
The dissolution of our divinely-endowed being occurs in that crucible of human alchemy which was propelled institutionally in the 17th century and which effectuates the Rosicrucian “chemical wedding,” which produces a “conjunction of opposites,” during an age (our own), presided over by the androgyne/hermaphrodite. Four hundred years later this occult camarilla has risen to power protected and sustained by a self-perpetuating cadre of “experts” who “know best;” their darkness became visible during the COVID epidemic.
If these revisionist facts from the untold occult history of the West appear “too far out” to be credible, that misperception is due to academia’s wretched neglect of the intellectual history of our civilization as it arose within the gnosis and praxis of the secret societies.
The Rosicrcuian “chemical wedding”—the psychological and spiritual decay of men and women—is a process whereby nature and its reality are replaced by the will of the magician and the hallucination he or she projects as reality.
This was until very recently shrouded in mystery, yet there is nothing particularly mysterious about it. As long as the Bible, the Church Fathers who were free of Neoplatonism, Thomas Aquinas—(and for that matter Aristotle, as the Thomistic antidote to Plato)—were predominant—alchemy and sorcery could not gain a foothold.
In the West, this spiritual fort was breached first in Florence and foremost by Plato’s heirs, who reintroduced his philosophical traditions, quickly followed by those of the Hermeticists who propagated Egyptian occultism, which in turn opened the door to Kabbalism.
Plethon’s best student was the Church of Rome’s priest Marsilio Ficino. One astounding datum buried by the negligence and malfeasance of the professorial “experts,” is the fact that with the exception of his fellow Catholic intellectual giant Pico della Mirandola, under the influence of Plethon no one was more responsible for the replacement of Biblical truth by Plato and the occult entourage that swept into ecclesiastical office in the wake of his revival, than Ficino.
The flood of Platonic ideology and the esoteric doctrines that floated with it during the Renaissance, which deluged Christ’s Church and eventually western civilization itself, was due almost entirely to one intermediary, Marsilio Ficino. For example, in the late 15th century there were only three surviving copies of universa opera Platonis in uno volumine (Plato’s complete works), known to exist. Ficino was in possession of two of them! The third was in the hands of another intriguer in the papal hierarchy, Cardinal Basilios Bessarion of Greece, who had been initiated into the mysteries of thaumaturgy by Plethon.
(The two copies which Cosimo obtained for Ficino are today in Florence, in the Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, designated ms. “a” [Plut. 59.01], and “c” [Plut. 85.09]. The manuscript that had been under the control of Bessarion is in the contemporary archive of the Venice library Biblioteca Marciana, “e,” [G.R. 184]).
[For the record: the medieval Latin West did have access to fragments of Plato works, including the Republic, Timaeus, Phaedo and the Meno].
Cardinal Bessarion, a “prince of the Church” was a member of Plethon’s secret society, which originated in Mistra, in southern Greece and which would serve as a template for future “European secret orders such as the Illuminati” (cf. Francois Masai, Plethon et Platonisme de Mistra).
Have you ever before encountered these truths upon which pivoted almost the entire future theological and spiritual axis of our civilization?
Probably not. Any study even approaching the body of revolutionary knowledge we are imparting here was “properly” shamed and repudiated in 1965 by an “expert,” Richard J. Hofstadter, in his influential screed, The Paranoid Style. The so-called intelligentsia have believed “properly” ever since, and consequently the substance of our study continues to be dutifully damned as “conspiracy theory.”
Almost everything the West first came to know about Plato in the long 15th century was filtered through Cardinal Bessarion and Fr. Ficino, two papalist secret society adepts who were disciples of the diabolist Georgius Gemistus Plethon. Ficino considered Plethon “another Plato” (“quasi Platonem alterum”).
Ficino and his patron Cosimo de’ Medici idolized Plato, in part because in his work Theaetetus, the Greek propounded the dogma of man’s worship of himself, the mortal sin of self-deification, which happens to be the core theology of both the Talmud of Babylon and the Kabbalah. In Theaetetus Plato wrote, “Our flight is to become like God as much as possible.” The symbol of this aspiration is the five-sided pentagram.
Hundreds of years later, the papalist cleric Rev. Alphonse Louis Constant, who wrote under the non de plume, “Eliphas Levi,” was a supervisor at the Church of Rome’s Collége de Juilly, an aide to the Bishop of Beauvais and a preacher in parishes under the jurisdiction of the Benedictine abbey of Solesmes. He was also among the most prominent diabolists of 19th century Europe, though always protected by the French church during the pontificate of Pius IX from charges of demonic affiliation.
As part of the arcana of self-worship, in Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual, Levi identified the pentagram as “the blazing star…the sign of intellectual omnipotence and autocracy.”
It was no coincidence that four hundred years earlier the Neoplatonist Marsilio Ficino in his Philebus Commentary, valorized the “Promethean fire” that is “the blaze of human intelligence.” In his De Platonica philosophia Ficino stated that the objective of Platonism was “to become like God.”
In his Commentary on the Enneads of the Platonist known as Plotinus, which Rev. Fr. Ficino wrote at the behest of Lorenzo de’ Medici, we read “…the more lofty order of daemons acts in a much more hidden way and is constantly calling us back to intelligence in a tranquil manner.” Ficino also wrote that the “daemon” that directed the life of Plotinus was like God and that “all the most excellent daemons are like unto gods.”
Self-deification and intellectual omnipotence are, above all other descriptors, the most accurate and succinct identification of the being the Bible names ha-satan הַשָּׂטָן (I Chronicles 21:1), and Diabolos διάβολος (1 Timothy 3:11; 2 Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3). This is the door to hell that was opened by Plato the “transfigured philosopher” (as Ficino extols him in Commentary on the Phaedrus), and the “magical aesthetic” of his disciples, from Proculis to Plotinus, Pseudo Dionysus the Aeropagite et al. As for the Biblical theophany that depicts the splendor of the luminous countenance and radiance of Moses on Sinai, as well as that of Jesus during His Transfiguration, Ficino likens to that of Zoraster, Pythagoras and Plato.
The Occult Imperium of Leo Strauss as channeled by the Chinese Communist Party
Whether you believe the United States of America fell under occult tyranny beginning with Lincoln, Wilson or Franklin D. Roosevelt, it has been under the sign of the Neoplatonic pentagram for many decades, as exhibited on U.S. police badges and vehicles, as well as the “Pentagon”complex of the Department of Defense.
The canon comprised of Plato, Platonism and Neoplatonism is a huge subject. Both the Chinese Communist Party and America’s Neoconservatives have chosen the late University of Chicago Prof. Leo Strauss to explain and synthesize it. Shadi Bartsch informs us that two of the principal Straussians in China are Prof. Liu Xiaofeng, director of Classical Studies at Renmin University, and Gan Yang, who leads the department of liberal arts at Tsinghua University.
Bartsch: “…the two supervised the translation into Mandarin of practically all of Strauss’s work and many books by western Straussians…in the series Hermes: Classics and Interpretation…
“Liu himself edited a 775-page volume on the man, Strauss and Ancient Political Philosophy”…In Strauss and China…Liu argued that the mutual encounter of Strauss and China…could provide an ethical alternative to the west’s annoying ‘universal’ values, like democracy and equality…‘the reason we appropriate Leo Strauss is that…he shows us to look at the great works of antiquity and…build on it a moral system…that system should be based, not on freedom, but on virtue, and ignoring this imperative…heads indubitably to nihilism.…Chinese intellectuals need to make a crucial choice: either continue to be corrupted by western modern thoughts, or accept reeducation through Plato…” (Liu Xiaofeng, quoted by Bartsch, pp. 129,132, 134).
Prof. Gan Yang meanwhile, is “a neo-conservative very much in the Straussian school.” He was enrolled for “years in the PhD. program at the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought, a hotbed of academic Straussianism.” What these Chinese academics whose ties run to the top of the Communist ruling class found attractive in Strauss was his rejection of “philosophical freedom” and his advocacy of a return to the antiquity of Plato. In his 2010 PhD. dissertation, Plato in Modern China: A Study of Contemporary Chinese Platonists (p. 18), another academic, Lei-hua Weng wrote: “…in the reading of the Chinese Platonists, the intention of cultivating an elitist ruling class coexists with a criticism of democracy…”
It looks as though certain factions of the Chinese Communist Party wish to implant in their nation’s elite intellectual circles the alibi for ideological dictatorship which Plato propounds in the Republic: “the necessity for a strong ruler, with a strong myth behind him,” which justifies lying to the people, in that truth is not the highest ideal—the highest ideal is the ideal state, one in which the people are imbued with a religious type of obedience and piety toward the government. Plato exchanges the freedom of the citizens for stability and harmony…” (Bartsch, p. 229, note 79).
The “Noble Lie” and the Invasion of Iraq
One contribution Bartsch makes to the advancement of our knowledge is the degree to which she has parsed the candor with which the Chinese Communists analyze Plato and Strauss—free of cant and startling in the revelatory stripping of the camouflage which has rendered these tyrants respectable. For instance, in China “One major feature of the reeducation offered by Plato is the necessary endorsement of Strauss's view that the philosopher should not speak truth to society…(Prof.) Liu also pointed out sentences in the Analects showing that Confucius had said the truth was not for everyone” (pp. 137, 222).
The ideology of Strauss required significant whitewashing in order to be made presentable as a philosophical axis for the George W. Bush administration, upon which the governing of America and the making of war in faraway lands were accepted by Republicans as a continuation of “conservative American” principles. Under Strauss’s Neoconservatives, the two-faced doublespeak of the Neoplatonists is transformed into an Americanist benefaction.
Bartsch notes that Plato’s Republic “has generated more commentary in China than any other ancient western text…the establishment of the discipline of western classical studies in China in the past two decades was largely kindled, promoted, and supported by the reading of Plato in contemporary mainland China since the 1990s…The revival of Confucian philosophy enables comparisons to Plato's Republic, and also familiarizes the supreme authority of Plato's philosopher-kings.”
With regard to Plato’s principal book of statecraft, “the Republic’s description of a putatively ideal state is seen as sharing—or perhaps does share—many similarities with the ideology of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) today” (pp. 84-85). Not the least of which is normalizing the practice of the government lying to the people, which is what Plato espouses in the Republic (using Socrates as his ventriloquist’s dummy): the “Noble Lie.”
Over millennia the prestige of Plato has augmented the statecraft that idealizes an authoritarian society based on a foundational deception. Bartsch observes, “in connection to the…cult of personality surrounding Xi Jinping, the majority of recently published Chinese views on Plato’s Noble Lie are in its favor.”
“Like Plato, Strauss raised the question of whether politicians could be both truthful and effective, by implication suggesting that Noble Lies do in fact play a role in creating political cohesion among citizens” (p. 100).
Kenneth R. Moore writes, “In the course of pursuing the enlightened good of the state, the philosopher-statesman (according to Strauss), may be required to present a fictional version of events to hoi polloi in order to justify the undertaking of some action deemed necessary from their enlightened perspective.” (Cf. Moore, “Platonic Myths and Straussian Lies: The Logic of Persuasion,” in Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek and Roman Political Thought, January 2009, p. 110).
“… there are those who believe the American government did just that to the Americans under George W. Bush, whose cabinet was openly called Straussian in the press—that is, as practicing a “tell the people what they need to hear, but not the truth” approach (Bartsch, p. 173).
The Bush administration, which was replete with followers of Leo Strauss, retailed a “Noble Lie” to the American people when it delcared that Saddam Hussein possessed nuclear and chemical weapons of mass destruction and was on the verge of using them against the West, necessitating a U.S. invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq on Purim, 2003.
Plato’s Straussian Despot
In 2004 New York Times journalist Ron Suskind wrote a profile of the president in which he stated that George W. “Bush’s intolerance of doubters has, if anything, increased, and few dare to question him…A writ of infallibility…has guided the inner life of the White House…more than anything else, I heard expressions of awe at the president's preternatural certainty and wonderment about its source…This is one key feature of the faith-based presidency: open dialogue, based on facts, is not seen as something of inherent value. It may, in fact, create doubt, which undercuts faith. It could result in a loss of confidence in the decision-maker and, just as important, by the decision-maker.”
Mr. Suskind extracted a remarkable statement from Bush’s Right-wing inner circle which confirms their ambition to magically re-engineer our perception of reality, no different from the counterfeiting of biological reality by the Left’s “trans” ideology:
“…In the summer of 2002…I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush…he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend —but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
“The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off.
“That's not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.
“And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out…..”
(Cf. Ron Suskind, “Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush,” the New York Times Magazine, October 17, 2004; emphasis supplied).
George W. Bush’s amanuensis has furnished us with the sum total of that augur of viral theurgy which was unleashed upon humanity nearly five hundred years ago and which is as virulent as ever; an ominous fact about which the Communist Chinese Party is far better informed than the American people.
Copyright©2023 by Independent History and Research
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Michael Hoffman, a former reporter for the New York bureau of the Associated Press, is the author of Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare (2001), The Occult Renaissance Church of Rome (2017), Twilight Language (2021) and six other books. He hosts the podcast, Michael Hoffman’s Revisionist History® and is at work on a book-length study of unfree labor in Britain and colonial America. Michael is an independent scholar free of corporate allegiance and university affiliation.
Michael Hoffman's Revelation of the Method is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.