Golden rule

On the Golden Rule

1/ Definitions

2/ Is Golden Rule enforced?
Golden Rule is not a rule. It’s a code of conduct, even more, it’s a code of virtue.
Not written as “νομος” (law) but “κανών” (code).
A code of virtue, if enforced, loses its defining element: virtue. It’s not golden anymore. Just a rule.

3/ Is Golden Rule a contract?
The Golden Rule is NOT a contract. No equal participation of volunteers. In that respect, it expects nothing in return.
Example: The Good Samaritan didn’t sign any a contractual agreement when he provided aid to the helpless victim.

4/ Who are the “judges” of the Golden Rule?
Jesus understood context. When asked, in the context of “this world”, he refused to become a religious judge & enforce virtue. Virtue should be written in the hearts of people. This is eternal.

5/ Social Contract = Silver Rule
The modern concept of voluntary social Contract in all members of the society, as equals, is a manifestation of Silver Rule. But were was the social contract in Rome? In ancient Greece? In India? Limited in certain class, tribe or local region.

6/ Social contract developed as such: all members of the body of Christ are equal: Women & Men, Free & Slaves.
ex: Church actively secured (Golden Rule) that in all marriages the bride says “yes” w/ absence of coercive force. NOT in the muslim world, NOT in the indian world.

7/ Black Slavery: the Silver Rule between traders
Black slavery was the product of the enlightenment, the most profitable merchandise that liberals (like T. Jefferson) could buy through adverts that other liberals promoted (like B. Franklin who sold slaves in his newspapers).

8/ Anti-slavery movement was the product of Christian Golden Rule. It was urged by Quakers’ antislavery committees to actively aid the helpless slaves (Golden Rule). Some slaves, however, didn’t like the idea.
Example: black author, nostalgic on the safety of being a slave.

9/ Is Golden Rule “Lindy”?
There is only one Rule named “Golden” in all European languages. You can’t beat this level of Lindiness without, of course, erasing all European literature.

10/ Golden Rule & economy.
Those who don’t distinguish between “free markets” and “plutocracy” (like Xenophon did) are incapable to distinguish between Golden Rule and Iron Law.
Iron Law: virtue signalling (e.g. Golden Rule) in theory, oligarchic elites in reality

11/ Golden Rule & Law
In some cases UK Common Law was found unfair & counterbalanced by the Equity process, by Lord Chancellor (priest) that kept the “conscience of the King”.
The catch: plaintiffs should have “clean hands”.
“The Golden Rule of the Royal Law of Equity” 1688

12/ Golden Rule & Law (#2)
Notice that ancient legal systems focused on what you SHOULD NOT DO (silver rule) w/ simplistic reactionary punishments.
Equity introduced doctrine of G. Rule on what you SHOULD DO e.g. injunctions forcing powerful people to DO SOMETHING (RESTORE).

13/ Golden Rule & Law (#3)
Example: history is full of stories of powerful stealing family land from the weak. When justice was served they only had to pay remedies (UK Comm Law). G Rule (equity injunction) forced them to actually restore (return the land, rebuild house etc).

14/ Paradox of law
Finally we have to address the paradoxes: every law has a “text” and a “spirit” (paradox 1). Golden Rule is the ideal spirit of law, not the law. Certain slaves liked the safety of slavery (paradox 2) & equity may go beyond its spirit (Iron Law, paradox 3).

15/ Summary
📌Silver Rule: passive symmetry (a contract with peers of equal status)
📌Golden Rule: proactive symmetry (theologically: a contract with God)
🔥A “saviour complex” can lead to global abolition of slavery… or … a proactive “terror of virtue” (see Robespierre)


Individualism and civic virtue

Peterson keeps claiming individualism is key, as opposed to collectivism. It’s one of the countless things he doesn’t get: ↑↑ individualism PUSHES the wheel of ↑↑ collectivism. Our heritage is civic engagement (CIVIC VIRTUE) not individualism, even in Ecclesia (church).

Let’s elaborate: The greeks where quite accurate in their definitions. If many celebrity psychologists are idiots…. then what’s the etymology of the word “idiot”? If we don’t understand this, we can’t understand anything about CIVIC VIRTUE.

Idiot: From Old French from Latin idiota ‘ignorant person’, from Greek ΙΔΙΩΤΗΣ. ΙΔΙΩΤΗΣ: The private individual = ignorant person = absorbed in his individuality & doesn’t participate in ecclesia of demos (the gathering of people) or later in ecclesia (church).

Legal review: There isn’t such a thing as “human rights”, it’s an illusion. e.g. “the right to work” translated in communism as forced labor. Instead there is such thing as LAW that guarantees
(a) public order &
(b) certain liberties or privileges, perceived often as “rights”.

Legal review: The MAIN purpose of any modern legal system is NOT to serve justice nor “human rights” but to guarantee public ORDER. That’s why the “ultimate law” is always a separate military law, restricting liberties & rights, enforced when ORDER is in danger.

Legal review: The part of law called as “subjective law” contains all the articles that give certain liberties (freedoms) to the subjects (the people) when public order is not in danger.

Dictatorships shrink the “subjective law” e.g. the liberty of expression.

So, the legal system recognises an ASYMMETRY between the State (holding increased powers & privileges) and the subjects, the people.
The “social contract” (by Rousseau) is a tacit acceptance in a republic, a contract by the people to exchange [some] liberty for order.

In the west we talk about “politicians” today. Why? They became a separate class! How? In cultures of individualism people don’t participate in civic life, and they “de facto” [legal term] surrender the privileges of soft power & hard power to political cast (oligarchy).

For comparison, back in 1689 when “The Bill of Rights” was passed, Isaac Newton was a member of the parliament!
Newton, was NOT a politician, he was an active citizen (personal responsibility), like so many other active citizens that founded modern parliamentary republics.

INDIVIDUALITY is a privilege of parliamentary republics, guaranteed by “subjective law”. But this creates a NEGATIVE FEEDBACK LOOP:
↑ rights –> ↑ individuality –> ↑ people don’t participate in civic life (no civic virtue) –> elite hijacks institutions –> ↓ rights

To summarise all this complexity, the greeks named “individual” as “idiot”, the ultimate synonym of stupidity. When free citizens wilfully surrender [de facto] their civic rights to an elite (oligarchy) or tyrant, that consolidate their power with new laws [de jure].

Plutarch noticed that tyrants visited villages making sure people stayed occupied their PRIVATE / INDIVIDUAL businesses. Ancient tyrants promoted one thing: individuality and one-per-one negotiation. It’s ironic that Peterson teaches this as “glory” of western civilisation.

According to Plutarch Tyrants manipulate people by making “butter out of milk”. How? By manipulating individuals to blindly follow their narrow self-interest in collective outbursts (collectivism). That’s how tyrants consolidated power: ↑ individuality –> ↑ collectivism

When someone asked Demaratus, Spartan King, why the Spartans disgrace those who throw away their shields but NOT those who abandon their helmets? he answered: helmet is used for their our own safety but the shield for the safety of all [the whole line].
Plutarch, Moralia

That’s why, even today in modern times, the synonym of traitor is “ρίψασπις”, the person who drops his own shield, putting in danger the whole group. Keeping his helmet (personal, individual safety) is worthless.