Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Plato's "Crito": A Summary

Crito: "Good morning, Socrates. Look, there's no time to waste - we have to get you the fuck out of here before you're executed tomorrow. Don't worry about imposing on your friends, we're more than happy to support you, and I know a bunch of people who will gladly take you in in exile. I bribed the guard, I have a boat waiting, it's time to go."


Socrates: "Calm down. They won't execute me for at least three days. But I'm not going anywhere. I will go through with the execution as scheduled."


Crito: "Um, what? Socrates, this city fucked you over and condemned you to die when you did nothing. Look, if you won't leave for your sake, leave for our sake. Seriously, your friends are going to look like complete assholes if it looks like we didn't at least try to get you the fuck out of here - and since we're rich as balls, anything less than success will look like that. Besides, who will raise your sons?"



Socrates: "Okay, Crito, slow the fuck down for a second. First of all, my sons will be fine whether I'm dead or in exile - I wouldn't take them with me to live in fear. Second, you shouldn't care what the average man says about justice any more than what the average man thinks about sickness. If a doctor tells you you're sick and everyone else tell you you look fine, who are you going to believe? Fuck popular opinion, bro. My friends should know better than to be swayed by the masses by now. The only question is, is leaving just? If so, then I'm out of here. Otherwise, chillin'. I have no interest in living if I have to live unjustly - I've spent my whole goddamn life saying that the just life is the good life, and I'll be damned if I'm going to blow it out of fear."


Crito: "I was hoping you'd say that. You're helping them commit an injustice. You're as guilty as them if you don't leave! HA! FINALLY! I win one!"


Socrates: "Okay, easy there, champ. That's a bold claim. The laws exist for a reason, and my whole life I've given my word to be bound by them. Now, they have condemned me to die - it is my responsibility to see that through, rather than break the law. What if people went around invalidating a law whenever it benefited them? FUCKING. CHAOS. We must either accept the laws as a whole, or get the fuck out. We don't get to pick and choose which laws are convenient for us, which laws we like, especially when there's a perfectly good way to change bad laws. Remember that law that said, "No one can have sex"? Yeah, me neither, because that's a fucking terrible idea and if someone tried that we would overturn it in a heartbeat. I had my chance to change the laws my whole life, and I never did because I thought they were good laws, including the law that says, 'A man shall be bound by the punishment given to him by a jury after he has a fair trial.' Sounds fair to me even now.  It's not the Law that has hurt me, it is the people - but they didn't break the Law. I can't hurt the Law because the people fucked it up. That would be like me punching Plato, my favorite student, because you fucked up a drink he taught you to make for me.


"Besides, think of all the good the Law has done. It married my parents, it provided for my education, it paid for me to learn music, it kept peace, it allows trade - all in all, we've made some pretty sweet laws, bro. The Law has provided for me like a parent. We all made a deal to be bound by these laws, everyone in Athens, and that let us make it fucking rain prosperity. Now, are you telling me it's fair that I stayed in Athens and benefited for my entire life because everyone followed the laws, but now I should break them because I'm special or exempt or something?"


Crito: "I, uh- that is to say-"


Socrates: "I mean bro, I was just a kid when all that happened. And for all that, I still could have left whenever I damn well pleased with no hard feelings. Did I? No. I stayed, because I think Athens is the tits. In fact, I not only stayed, I spent my whole life telling everyone how fucking awesome Athenian Democracy and justice in general are. At my trial, I said I love my city enough to die rather than leave. I meant that."


Crito: "Yeah, but..."


Socrates: "So here are my options: Die in accord with the laws that I have for so long cherished and benefited from. Or, leave now, go back on my word, and watch from afar as my friends are punished for helping me, my children are mocked for being sons of an exile, and my entire life's work is washed away in a tidal wave of hypocrisy. And then when I die, I'll get to the underworld and they'll be like, 'Didn't you break a promise to an entire city? I hope you like rolling boulders.' Yeah, fuck that noise. If the people have unjustly convicted me, they have done so as justly as possible, Crito, and I'm staying. I trust my friends will bring up my sons proudly - I myself have no regrets."


Crito: "Goddamn it, I hate it when you're right, Socrates. Fuck. So that's it, then, huh?"


Socrates: "Yes, Crito, that's it. I made a promise to follow a Law that has benefited me much - I must pay my dues and live in accord with the promise I made, even unto death."


--


"The Crito" is online at Wikisource for your viewing pleasure. 

27 comments:

  1. Bro, that shit was dope!

    Keep it comin', dude.

    Word.

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  2. Yo PB,

    Haven't read this yet, so I dunno if that reference to Sysiphus was yours or Plato's, but cool. You never fail to impress me with your summarizing skillz bro.

    Keep that shit up.

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  3. As always good stuff. You used live instead of life a couple time though.

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  4. some would argue he was rebrohensible

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  5. PhilBro, i think this was your best one yet. Seems like you rock out the dialogues (the cave was also pretty epic), it would be monster if you did more. awesome, bro.

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  6. I agree with ML. All your posts are great, but your two Plato dialogues are outstanding.

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  7. I think PhilosophyBro deserves a book deal! I'm spreading the word imperceptibly on Facebook bro!

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  8. SO awesome! I'd love it if you did a series of Dialogues...

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  9. This one is my favorite. I agree with Sam... other Dialogues would be wonderful

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  10. I wish I had this when I had to write an argument paper for my damn class on Political Theory. FML for finding it 6 months too late.

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  11. This. Is. Awesome.

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  12. Good shit, I'd read more. Please write more Dialogues.

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  13. Sick bruv, you knock out some BIG easy reading philosophy, funny as too. Standard!

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  14. I consider the discovery of your website to be one of the greatest things to have ever happened to me. Not only has it saved me a ton of reading time, but it gets the point across just as well as the originals, and with (in my opinion)better wording. What you're doing with this stuff is tits. Legit. This is the way philosophy should be discussed. Like the bad ass shit it is.

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  15. It would be great if you could analyze the apology.

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  16. I just got assigned this reading today in class. I get on stumbleupon afterwards and this website comes up...it was fate bro, fucking fate. You're the shit.

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  17. Oh, HELL yes. You have no idea how much you just saved me from the inferno of last minute homework this morning.

    Also, this makes me want to have a few beers with Socrates so badly.

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  18. This definitely helped. love it. thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  19. oooo...cool. can you do a digression from Phaedrus now? This shit's fun.

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  20. haha Athens is the tits.. hilarious. I may have missed it in your summary, but didn't Socrates also say that the city council would be hindering their souls as well if they executed him??

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  21. thanks dude! read this for my final tomorrow, helped clarify some things!

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  22. fucking awesome. i love it. legitimately laughed outloud

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  23. this is unreal, i actually understand it now

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