A little bit of philosophy

In this letter I want to clarify what the difference is between idealistic and materialistic thinking, and by that point out what bourgeois and socialist politics really are. I will do that on the basis of the following serious philosophical problem: What should one say, "fork and knife" or "knife and fork"? That is the question.

The thoughts of Plato and Aristotle, both Greeks, who both lived three to four hundred years before Christ, are what we need to discern when we will clarify the issue. Plato believed that the fork comes before the knife. Aristotle believed that the fork comes after the knife.

Plato distinguished between the world of ideas and the world as it actually is and thought ideas are governing. The world is perfectly comprehensible by ideas, Plato argued, by realizing them. If, said Plato, we want to know what something is, then we must go to the idea of the thing. The fork determines what the work of the knife is. Plato distinguished between "form" and "substance" and believed the form is given by the fork, by the knife made substantial. The idea of the piece of food is given by the fork, and the knife brings it forth. The fork gives impulse to the operations of the knife. By the fork, the task of the knife is provided. The purpose of the knife is in any respect given by the fork. Thus, the fork comes before the knife.

Aristotle, at one time a student at Plato's Academy, totally disagreed. He would not understand what Plato meant. Aristotle also distinguished between "form" and "substance", but he said the substance is the plate with food on. Then the substance undergoes a movement, a development, given by the work of the knife, before the form appears as what the fork puts to the mouth. Thus, by the form the substance has reached its destination. On the fork, it has reached the end, the thing being formed. In this perspective, there are three, not two, elements of being, namely substance, development and form. And in this perspective, the knife comes before the fork.

Plato and Aristotle totally disagreed about what comes first of the fork and the knife. I am sure they beat each other in the heads with the napkins.

In the West, later thinkers have agreed with Plato or they have agreed with Aristotle, or they have tried to unify their philosophies. Or they have, as in our days, not understood a thing. In our days it is so, obviously, that those who call themselves philosophers only eat pizza and hot dogs. I wonder if they know what fork and knife is.

But we will not go back in history very far to find a time where the issue was relevant. In the 19th century, Plato's view was in the West upheld by the so-called "German idealists" in particular, and they had great influence. Those in opposition were called "materialists". Karl Marx was in opposition. He rejected the idealist’s ideas and believed that the knife comes before the fork. Actually, he shared Aristotle's view, saying the plate is the means of production, the knife is the mode of production and the relations of production, and the fork is the awareness created. And then he said, the mode of production and the relations of production precede consciousness, which is the idea. Marx rejected the idealist’s view of the ideas governing and regulating, and called it nonsense. And he stated that when the ways of production is intolerable, that is when the work of the knife is unbearable, an awareness, an idea, will arise as the fork piece which will trigger a revolution. That is so, he said, because the knife comes before the fork.

But the theory of Marx can not escape criticism. If it is true that the actual mode and ways of production creates an awareness that triggers a revolution, then the idea comes before the material world of things. For it is the consciousness that triggers the revolution, a father would say.

Idealists and materialists do absolutely disagree. And we will let them do so. But most pleasant it is when the father and mother agree. And they agree if by The Son. The Daughter is the left hand work. The Son is the love we show, and The Daughter is the conscience we show. The Son is his father's idea and The Son is the purpose of his mother. And Jesus Christ was He. "Me is given all power in heaven and on earth," Christ Jesus said.