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Blackpill [Theory][Discussion]Does might make right?

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Does Might Make Right?​

The idea that might makes right was certainly not new in Socrates’ time. The early poet Hesiod expressed this attitude in a parable:

Now I will tell a fable to kings who have understanding:

Once a hawk addressed a nightingale with colorful neck

carrying her high in the clouds clutched tight in his talons:

and she wept pitifully, grasped in his crooked claws.

He spoke to her imperiously:

“My fine lady, why do you cry? Your superior has got you,

and you must go wherever I take you, even if you are a gifted songbird.

I shall make a meal of you, as I will, or let you go.

Only a fool tries to resist the stronger.

He loses the victory and suffers pain in addition to shame.”

Thus spoke the swift-winged hawk with outstretched wing.[10]

Hesiod goes on to say that humans should not act like hawks, for the gods will punish injustice. But in the time of Socrates there were sophists who made the ideology of power into a respectable theory. Most notable is Antiphon the Sophist.

Antiphon, whom Xenophon reports as confronting Socrates in the street on two occasions (above, chapter 16*), criticized the barefoot philosopher for his poverty and mocked him for not charging fees for his wisdom. Antiphon the Sophist may be identical with Antiphon of Rhamnous—scholarly opinion is divided on this question—in which case he was a leader of the oligarchic coup that installed the Four Hundred in 411 BC.[11] After that regime was overthrown, this Antiphon stayed in Athens to defend himself, perhaps trusting his gifts as an orator and teacher of oratory. Despite his intellectual advantages and a brilliant speech, he was condemned.[12] Socrates’ friend Agathon the poet praised him for his defense speech.[13]

In any case, Antiphon the Sophist made a strong distinction between convention or law (nomos) and nature (phusis). On that basis he called for a radical rethinking of justice.

“Justice,” he observes, “is not to transgress the laws of the city in which one is a citizen. Thus a man would use justice in a way most advantageous to himself if, in the presence of witnesses, he held the laws in esteem, whereas when he was alone, the works of nature. For the works of law are factitious, whereas those of nature are necessary; and the works of law, being conventional, are not natural, while those of nature, being natural, are not conventional. Thus one who transgresses the laws, if he eludes those who agreed on them, also escapes shame and punishment, but if not, he does not. But if he undertakes to violate what is possible of things innate in nature, even if he eludes all men, the evil that results is no less; even if all observe, it is no more. For he is harmed, not because of opinion, but in truth.” In other words, if someone is looking, obey the law; if not, do what is to your own advantage. Human laws compel us only insofar as they can be enforced, whereas the laws of nature apply everywhere and without exception.

“This inquiry,” Antiphon continues, “is meant to show precisely this, that most of the things that are just by law are hostile to nature. For laws have been imposed on the eyes, what they should see and what they should not; and on the ears, what they should hear and what they should not; and on the tongue, what it should say and what it should not; and on the hands, what they should do and what they should not; and on the feet, where they should go and where they should not; and on the mind, what it should desire and what it should not. Now the actions which the laws try to discourage are no more congenial or appropriate to nature than those which they try to encourage; but life and death are the concern of nature; and life comes to people from what is advantageous, and death from what is not advantageous. The advantages accruing from laws are chains upon nature, but those from nature are free.” He goes farther to say that most human laws enjoin actions that run contrary to our natural advantage.

“Now if some help accrued from the laws to those who submit to such things, and some loss accrued to those who did not submit but opposed them, to obey the laws would not be without benefit. But in fact it is plain that justice based on law is not adequate to help those who submit to such things.”[14]

Being law-abiding, Antiphon observes, brings no protection to the citizen. For in the courtroom the wrongdoer has just as much chance of winning a case as the victim. As we have noted earlier, in Athens there was no regular police force or district attorney; every citizen was on his own to bring charges against any other for alleged wrongdoing. There was no department or office of justice that worked to protect the innocent or prosecute the guilty. Antiphon draws the conclusion that one is better off following the law of nature—do unto others before they do it unto you—than the laws of the state. The laws offer only conditional advantages, which are “chains upon nature,” whereas nature rules absolutely. If we are prudent, we will heed nature and pay only lip service to human laws. Here the philosophy of nature pursued by early Greek philosophers seems to subvert human law and social order. Nature and human law are no longer in harmony but are irreconcilable enemies. The only valid law is the law of nature, which is the law of the jungle: kill or be killed, exploit or be exploited. Here there is a danger that the ideology of Athenian imperialism might win a theoretical justification and become a respectable doctrine rather than a secret rationalization for the exercise of power in Realpolitik. At the expense of social justice both in and outside of Athens.


Does it?

 
in theory no, in practice yes
 
Might makes right is only true and morally correct when incels manage to consolidate enough power to change soyciety. Which will probably never happen.
 
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No, I would be unsatisfied being enslaved by aliens solely due to their superiority. Likewise I wouldn't want to be killed by a man using this pretext. Just because you're powerful doesn't mean it dictates your morality. Look no further than those that are currently in charge, whether in government or the social ladder. Clearly morality and power are mutually exclusive.
 
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nah

it's just conflating different things for no reason.

often when people wield 'might,' it's informed by their own religious or moral priorities. plenty of regimes have been theocratic, or enforced laws like the mosaic or islamic law which are basically religious in nature. not to mention communist fanatics, the religious right, etc., who all tried to use power in order to perpetuate their favoured beliefs.

'might' rarely decides much in a developed society anyway. plus people make hay from victimhood all the time, from jews after the shoah to 'oppressed' faggots to christians who worship a crucified guy.
 
If "might makes right" is truly so great, then why did we introduce "codes of conduct" to begin with? Case in point, many of the conveniences we enjoy in the modern era are surely a consequence of civilization, which is in turn surely a product of codes of conduct.
 

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