Culture Philosophy

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave & Its Connection to the Present

by Sean Dempsey

Plato’s allegory of the cave is one of the greatest stories of philosophy. It allows us to understand how the Greek philosophers once perceived the world.

The tale involves a metaphorical explanation in which a human is faced with raw knowledge and unfiltered Truth.

In his allegory, Plato explains how the existence of the two worlds can be captured—namely through the sensible world (which is the one known through the senses) and the intelligible world (which is perceived through knowledge without the intervention of the senses).

In his allegory of the cave, Plato describes a group of men who remain chained to the depths of a cave from birth; their condition is such that they can only look towards the wall in front of them since they are chained and unable to move.

Just behind the prisoners at a certain distance and above their heads, a bonfire illuminates the wall. In the middle, there is a corridor in which men circulate with various objects that, thanks to the illumination of the bonfire, project their shadows so the prisoners can see.

The prisoners consider the shadows of the objects that are projected to be real since they know nothing of what is happening behind their backs. However, if one of the men were to break free from the chains and look back, he would only be confused and annoyed by reality!

The firelight would cause him to look away, and the blurred figures he could see would seem less real to him than the shadows he had seen all his life.

Similarly, if someone were to force this person to walk in the direction of the fire and past it until they were outside of the cave, the sunlight would prove more bothersome to him, and he would want to return to the dark.

The allegory ends, however, with the prisoner entering the cave once again to “free” his former companions in chains.

When this prisoner tries to untie and raise his former companions towards the light, Plato believes them to be capable of killing him; he is sure they would take his life if given the opportunity.

This entire story is an allusion to Socrates‘ effort to help men to reach the truth and their failure in doing so, only to be ultimately condemned to death himself.

The Allegory of the Cave Today

Today, 2450 years following Plato, his message still resonates — perhaps even more strongly than ever. The postmodernists have besieged society, and in doing so have waged utter war on Logic, Truth, and Reality.

In Plato’s timeperiod the plurality of people outright rejected reason, logic, and commonsense for the “warm blanket” of religious dogma. In 2020-2024, that dogma has simply changed form: into a hegemony of society monopolized by zealots and propagandists. However, this time, with centuries of supposed “progress” under its belt, humanity has far less of an excuse for its ignorance.

For tactile evidence, one merely need look to the myriad fools still parading cloth masks in the grocery store as a shield against Covid infection. The “Science” is on their side!—despite a mountain of peer-reviewed evidence showing the ineffectiveness of their religious fanaticism.

And do remember that just a short while ago the world ignored all reason and combined a *therapeutic* (disguising itself as a “vaccine”) along with other faith-based practices such as ‘social distancing’ and lockdowns to pretend man could take full control over nature.

For Man, with his inexorable hubris, could surely fight back the sea itself if given enough raw faith and mass-delusion of the faithful! We are Man—we are surely capable of moving mountains and convincing others of our strength as long as our audience is commanded to shut fast their eyes and believe strong enough thoughts.

Yet, sadly, the future looks even more bleak than this!

One does not have to use their imagination to envision a not-so-distant world when the mass hysteria of beguiled humanity rejects even the truth of basic biological reality: preferring the shadows on the cave (“gender fluidity”) to the simple and straightforward Truth that sex and gender are both identical and binary.

The current iteration of Plato’s cave allegory is thus perhaps even more nefarious. Many of those in the cave are aware of the sun and of the real world figures, but instead of choosing to share this knowledge, would prefer to chain their fellow citizens in the cave and feed them shadows instead.

The shadows and the ability to project them, therefore, are power!

When one can control something, it awards him power. When one can control the rhetoric and share “truth” like water from a poisoned well, then its very dissemination is a controlled commodity.

In this way, today’s cave is a cave of subjugation and control. Man controls man. The chains were forged by the selfsame prisoners who make it up.

And at some point the jailors will even forget why or how they began their control-fueled mission of subjugation — for they will begin to believe their own lies and propaganda! For man is even more stupid than he is wicked.

For ultimately even if the jailors knew the truth of the sun or felt its brightness upon their face, they would be blinded by it! And they would happily and willingly kill anyone who dared to show them any hint of truth beyond the shadows upon the wall they themselves had chained themselves to.

Sean Dempsey
Sean Dempsey moved to New Hampshire as one of the first 100 ‘Free Staters.’ He unabashedly believes in the US Constitution and the message and principles enshrined by its founders. Sean believes the country in which we live needs to re-examine what Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, and Adams believed (and were willing to die for). The message of freedom is not a tag line or something to be embarrassed by, but is sacrosanct and more important than ever!

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