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Key Philosopher
Statue of Plato

Plato was not the first fascist, but he was the first to put fascist ideals to paper. Fascism is not new. It is quite ancient. Mussolini may have coined the term, but the core concepts of fascism are all there in Plato's Philosophy.

Among these concepts:

  • an Ideal state
  • Eugenics
  • Meritocracy
  • Individualism without hurting society
  • a position for everybody
  • Societal unity
  • A leader who is also a philosopher
  • Nationalism
  • Justice.

Plato is likely the most influential philosopher to have ever lived. As A.N. Whitehead said about Plato: "The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." Which is incredible, bearing in mind that Plato lived some 2,400 years ago, yet is still so relevant. Plato's thought serves as testament to the existence of truly perennial ideas that transcend time and space and to the idea that if some is, it always is no matter when and where.


Plato was an ethnic Greek born in Ancient Greece, either in 428 or 427 BC; more specifically, he was born in Athens, where he would go on to live, work and die. He was the son of Ariston - his father - and Perictone - his mother. He was born in the local aristocracy, which granted him an education under the mentorship of Socrates.

There is some evidence that he traveled later on in life, following the death of Socrates, in Italy, Egypt and possibly even modern day Libya, though this claim is controversial.

He died in either 348 or 347, at 81 years of age, though it's uncertain; generally, the figure is no less than 80 years and no more than 85.

Plato's Philosophy

Oswald Spengler makes the case that ancient Greece is a separate civilization from the West. He therefore also makes the case that the Athens during Plato’s time was undergoing its own version of modernity, just like how the West is now in the midst of advanced modernity. And given who Plato is responding to, combined with the democratic state of Athens, Spengler might actually be onto something here.

However, Spengler makes one crucial mistake, perhaps because of his influence by Nietzsche: he attributes decadence to a people embracing Being rather than Becoming. This means he views Plato as someone who “goes with the flow of time” of ancient Greek civilization, so to speak. However, if this crucial error is corrected, and instead we say that decadence is caused by a people embracing Becoming over Being, Plato must now be viewed in a very different light. Plato under this correction must be viewed as someone who is “against” time and as one of the heroes in Evola’s Age of Heroes. With this understanding, Platonism can be viewed as Plato mounting an intellectual defence of Tradition against then-modern forces like relativism.

Plato’s Metaphysics

To better understand Plato’s whole thought, it is perhaps best to start from first principles. What better place to start than his metaphysics and Plato’s explanation of the nature of reality itself? First off: Theory of Forms.


To better understand what Plato is doing, it may perhaps be beneficial to outline some context, the historical setting that Plato was operating in when he formulated his explanation of reality. Some might think that Plato began philosophy, but the truth of the matter is that before Plato, there were other philosophers who attempted to explain the nature of reality. There are obviously several others, but the two most noteworthy ones to bear in mind for now are Parmenides and Heraclitus. In short, Parmenides says reality consists of the unchanging One, whereas Heraclitus says reality is always in flux, always changing. This is what would be in Plato’s mind when he was formulating his concepts.

Theory of Forms


Plato’s Theory of Forms is easily one of the most famous, yet heavily misunderstood philosophical concepts.

The response obtained from most people when asked about what are Plato’s Theory of Forms, assuming they know anything about it, is that there are two worlds: one imperfect, material, visible world of apparent objects and another perfect, immaterial, invisible world of Forms. Yet, this is an incoherent account of Plato’s conception of reality [1].

Using the word “reality” implies that there is only one reality. Yet, to say there are two worlds heavily implies there are two realities. Additionally, Plato throughout his other works outside of Republic references the material world as essentially misleading, which lends heavier weight to the thesis that the two-worlds interpretation of his Theory of Forms is incorrect; how can there be two worlds and two realities if one of them is not really real? And if this is not enough, a theme that persists throughout many of Plato’s works is how the many end up being united in the One. With this in mind, the two-worlds interpretation must be regarded as unsound.

With this in mind, Plato with his Forms must be saying the following: reality is ultimately consciousness or has a mind-like quality to it, just like Brahman in Hinduism.

The Problem of Universals

To better demonstrate Plato’s Forms, it may be much more beneficial to use an example.

Say you have several guns: a Glock 17, a MP5, an AKM, a M4A1, a PKM and a Remington M870. they are all quite different from each other, yet we all call them guns. The reason for this, according to Plato, is that they all have a certain common “look”, a certain “blueprint”, certain attributes that allow you to assign a universal to them all in this case; for this case, we shall assign the attribute of “gun-ness” to all of these guns.

Additionally, these different objects are distinct from gun-ness, which is logical, given that it has already been established that these different objects are not gun-ness, but instances of gun-ness. In other words, these distinct objects must partake in gun-ness without being gun-ness; these distinct objects retain their individuality even as they partake in the universal of gun-ness (a Glock 17 is still a Glock 17, it's not the same as the abstract concept of a gun or gun-ness). Yet, these distinct objects must be in a way subservient to the universal of gun-ness, for according to Plato, it is only through this possession of gun-ness that these distinct objects are intelligibly identifiable as guns [2].

Bearing in mind the context outlined, the significance of Plato’s work becomes very clear. He has just managed to explain why universals exist in a world that is ultimately populated by particular objects.

The Idea of the Good, or the One

All men by nature desire what they perceive as good, and good men desire knowledge, possession of true being. Therefore, true being must be good. Additionally, what is bad for a thing is ultimately destructive to it, therefore what is good for a thing must be ultimately constructive or unifying. Given that to be an intelligible thing at all implies one-ness and therefore unity, therefore being must also be good. This means one-ness and unity must at least not be divorced from good-ness. Additionally, even Plato's Ideas themselves are not yet the innermost core of reality. The Ideas cannot yet be absolute unity, as shown in Plato's Parmenides, because the Ideas themselves are quite different from their particular instances and are still not yet only one; even being itself is one and many. So there must be a "third man" that is able to unite the two and resolve their differences. This "third man", or the ultimate cause of all unity and therefore all substantial existence, is the One.

To better understand the nature of the One, the reader may recall that Plato in his Republic uses the analogy of sight, the seen and the sun to describe his ideas: sight and what is seen ultimately owe their existence to the light of the sun. Additionally, what is seen is seen because of sight, and sight itself becomes possible because of what is seen, for to see suggests that you are seeing something; there must be something there for you to see, else you see nothing and there is no sight at all [3].

Now, substitute your sight for your thought, your eye for your mind, what is seen for things out in the world, the light of the sun for true being, and the sun itself for the Idea of the Good, or the One. In other words, the One is somewhat apart from true being, yet true being is never really apart from the One. Since unity or one-ness is a basic prerequisite for the existence of anything at all, therefore true being cannot be separated from the One and is in the One, since if true being is separated from the One and is therefore devoid of any unity or one-ness, true being will become nothing and there would therefore be no reality, only nothing. However, the One must also be apart from true being, because the One is ultimately the cause and source of being. If the One is somehow the same as true being, this leaves the cause of true being unexplained, which is unsatisfactory. However, this also means that the One is outside and above reality and is not a definite thing, for anything that is must be within true being, yet any one particular thing that is owes it to true being in the first place to even be. So, to say the One is one particular thing would make the One dependent on true being when it should be the other way around, since the One is truly and purely one (or more accurately, wholly devoid of the many) while true being is still one and many. The One is therefore in a sense unreal and ineffable. Recall that in the introduction, Plato believes that true reality is mind-like - in other words, reality is co-extensive with the mind. Since the One is outside of (intelligible) reality, the One must therefore be outside of the mind, hence it is ineffable. And since it is outside all reality, the One is also beyond even a name. In this sense, the One very strongly resembles the Godhead of St. Gregory of Nyssa, who says that the Christian Godhead is absolutely unlimited, and is not bound even by name.

Now, since the One is beyond even thought, it follows that for someone to achieve henosis, or the mystical union with the One, thought would only be a hindrance, just as how sense-perception becomes a hindrance if one wishes to directly perceive the intelligible. Yet there is no action that could be higher than thought. This is also why the Neo-Platonists like Proclus and Plotinus teach about a sort of mystical silence, a type of negative theology, that requires the student to discard absolutely everything, including even thought, for any action by the student can only add something that is foreign to the One.

The Limited and the Unlimited

After the One comes two principles that are opposed to each other, the limited and the unlimited. Since true being is one and many, it stands to reason that the limited and the unlimited are in between the One and true being. The different interactions between these two principles will then produce everything else in reality. For example, true being must itself partake of the limited, for if true being and therefore reality is wholly unlimited, it will be unknowable by the mind, since reality, being only unlimited, will only be infinite and therefore be indeterminate. And to be indeterminate is to be unknowable, since there cannot be any solid knowledge of anything that is always shifting. At the same time however, since true being is universal to all things that are, true being must also partake of the unlimited. Now, as true being itself is perfect knowledge and is in all things, therefore both the limited and the unlimited are very strong in true being itself. Therefore, it can also be deduced that the further something is from the One, the weaker the presence of both the limited and the unlimited. Take for example a material object. It is less intelligible than the intelligible things, so the effect of the limited is far weaker when compared to being itself. However, such material objects have less power, being far away from the One (yet not really wholly separate from it), therefore even the effect of the unlimited is weakened.

The Demiurge

The Platonic demiurge is best understood as the Divine Mind, the pure universal mind that has power that is beyond human comprehension that is somehow able to think all things simultaneously.

In case anyone scoffs at such the idea, the reader should be reminded of the double-slit experiment, which by itself decisively refuted materialism and at a deeper level proves the existence of a Divine Mind that penetrates all things in reality. Bear in mind that the act of observation alone is enough to collapse the probability wave function. But the very act of observation and perception involves the mind. So at a basic level, the experiment says that mind and reality are connected. However, the experiment also shows that the active participation of the observer is required. This also means the active participation of the observer's mind is needed to bring these electrons out of indeterminacy. But if active participation of mind is needed to bring even very small particles into determinacy and therefore reality, the kind of mind that would be needed to maintain the whole of reality must be immensely powerful, one that is beyond human comprehension. Additionally, if there is an intelligible structure to reality, it stands to reason that there is some divine intellect behind it[4]. And since even material reality depends on the active participation of the mind, therefore it follows that the mind, or consciousness, precedes matter and not the other way around as is popularly conceived by most moderns. Thus, it is thought, pure Intellect [5] that shapes matter, not that thought is an emergent property of matter.

It is very important to note that the demiurge is not the One. The One, as previously mentioned, is already above true being. Since the demiurge is pure Intellect and true being is co-extensive with the mind, therefore the One is above the demiurge. Additionally, since the One is beyond all reality, the One is also beyond any action that we know of. Additionally, there is a distinction between the knower and the known, and therefore between Intellect and true being. For while both Intellect and true being are intricately tied together and there is no subject-object distinction in the sense that there is an object outside of the subject (since mind and reality are co-extensive, so anything that is known must be within the mind), to know is to know something, and this something must be distinct from the knower. Or else the knower cannot really know anything other than itself.

Plato on Matter

To Plato, sensible things are less real than intelligible things. Sense-perception to Plato is an adumbration of thought. Since sensible things, unlike their intelligible counterparts, are also made of matter, therefore it can be inferred that pure matter to Plato is unreal. In fact, this is the conclusion Plotinus, the father of Neo-Platonism (and in the author's opinion, the first of those who truly understood Plato after those who have received personal instruction from Plato on the One have passed) came to. It should now be noted that pure matter is not the One, despite both being unreal. Pure matter is unreal in a different sense from the One. For example, thought and being cannot have emerged from pure matter, since pure matter is completely sterile. Pure matter is simply the absence of form and reality whereas the One is the source of all reality and form. Pure matter, being devoid of any reality, is thus indeterminate, undefined and cannot be grasped by thought.

If the reader finds this incredulous, the reader will simply be reminded of the double-slit experiment, which has proven that the fired electrons have an indeterminate existence without the active participation of the mind.

Plato’s Epistemology

To better demonstrate this, another example shall be used.

Say we have two wooden sticks that are both 30cm in length and put them side by side. Why is it that our minds manage to draw the conclusion that both sticks are equal in length when we see both sticks; in other words, we know them as equal? Why do we not just go “I don’t actually see two sticks that are equal in length, I just see stick A that is 30cm in length and stick B that is 30cm in length”?

The answer therefore is that knowledge of things cannot just be limited to sense-perception [6]. Anything that you obtain from sense-perception is the equivalent of raw data, sense-perception cannot give you the intelligibility that you need in order to make sense of this raw data. Therefore, at the very least, some things must be accessible only to thought.

However, to even be able to make sense of this raw data, it goes without saying that you must possess knowledge that is prior to sense-perception and experience. This is exactly why Plato refers to knowledge as recollection several times throughout his works [7][8]. This is in stark contrast to the common popular understanding of man as being born as a clean slate, a tabula rasa.

Therefore, if objective reality exists and objective knowledge is at all possible, intellectual apprehension of anything must not be the act of an autonomous independent subject viewing a certain object as though you’re absorbing thought content into yourself with the possibility of you taking liberties with said thought content. Rather, intellectual apprehension of anything must be the linking of consciousness with being, with intelligible reality.

Note that Plato does not actually say that knowledge is not at all possible with the senses and that the material world is sheer illusion; that is more of the rationalist position. Rather, Plato is saying that the material world is misleading. While this might sound semantical, the distinction is useful because to say that the material world is sheer illusion is to suggest that the material world, the world perceived through the senses is non-being. This is however not at all Plato's position however: while he does say the material world is "illusory", he also suggests in his works that the material is somewhere between being and non-being, which means to say the material world partially participates in being. This must mean that Plato is saying that the material world has a tendency to mislead, not that it is sheer illusion and therefore complete non-being. In other words, Plato is saying that the senses have a highly imperfect access to ultimate reality, and you still need thought itself, unfettered by other things, to access it.

Plato on Transcendence

Plato does not make explicit mention of this and mostly makes references of it through his famous cave metaphor, however one can still gain insights on his thought on transcendence if the cave metaphor is placed in context.

The best phrase to describe it would be “immanent transcendence”. At first glance, this sounds contradictory, but if you consider what has been said about ultimate reality previously, it is implied that ultimate reality is not separate from us, but with us, for ultimate reality is how we make sense of anything at all. Therefore, transcendence to Plato has more to do with the ascent of the soul, from halfway between being and non-being and dwelling in the realm of opinion (as represented by the prisoners looking at the shadows) to that of being, of ultimate reality, in the realm of knowledge (represented by the prisoner breaking free and apprehending how he actually looks like)[9][10]. In a way, this sort of transcendence is like leaving for another world, for you are no longer living at the level of mere animal existence, but you are living at the level of what Julius Evola may call a “superlife”, a life that is more than life, a type of life where your self has achieved unity with ultimate reality.

Through this, heaven on earth is achieved, in a sense, hence the term “immanent transcendence”.

Virtue Ethics

Plato does not actually discuss that much about virtue ethics; his student Aristotle would be the one to talk much more about it. As it appears, Plato seems to be more interested in discussing the nature of things in his works.

However, some things regarding Plato's view on ethics can be gleaned from his work, and it is safe to say that Plato believed in some type of virtue ethics. Exactly how his ethical system is like does not seem to be elaborated upon in significant detail, but he frequently makes mention of how a good man must necessarily do good things. Additionally, he in Meno also says how virtue is a sort of unconscious behaviour that a good man will naturally do since it is in his nature; such statements can only have been made by someone who believes in virtue ethics, for it is really only the category of virtue ethics that focuses much more on the agent and the source of action - the other two major categories of ethical systems (deontology and consequentialism) deal much more with things not within the agent like the action he is making and the consequences said action provides.

Plato’s Politics

The Ideal State

If there exists some intelligible structure to reality, all things must have their own place within said structure, including humans. Hence, the telos of a person is born as well as the idea of an objective function that humans are supposed to perform.

Additionally, since reality has intelligible structure and the forms are ultimately universals that unite particulars while still allowing said particulars to retain their individuality, it stands to reason that the ideal state for Plato would be a type of caste system ruled by a philosopher-king, as described in his Republic. For the ideal state must ultimately be an image of reality, His most perfect creation.

In this caste system then, every man, despite being different from his fellow citizens, are ultimately united under the universal that is the state while still retaining his individuality in the form of his caste, his objective functional role that he is to serve in.

The Guardians

Plato’s guardian as outlined in his Republic is, if not very close, to what he would deem as the perfect man.

This perfect man then would not only be a warrior, but also a philosopher. Recall that man in the classical understanding is ultimately made of 3 parts: mind, soul and body. The perfect man must therefore have the perfect unity of all 3 parts that are also at perfect condition. If all material things derive their intelligibility from the immaterial and therefore are subservient to the immaterial, it then stands to reason that in the perfect man, the mind must command the body through the soul. If the guardian has the warrior aspect but not that of the philosopher, his mind is defective while his body is perfect and his temperament gets the better of him; likewise, if he is a philosopher but not a warrior, his mind is perfect but his body is defective and he lets meekness get to him. Therefore, his guardians must be both philosophers and warriors.

Consequently, because of how close these guardians are to the universal ideal of the state, it stands to reason that they will have little to no property that they can own. Now, it should be emphasized that this applies only to the guardians and is therefore only for people of a certain spiritual disposition, not unlike that of the Teutonic Knights. This is very different from actual communism that is motivated by sheer hatred from a people’s Untouchables.

The Philosopher-King

The philosopher-king can be seen as essentially the Platonic version of the Brahmin caste in traditional Hindu society. His nature would actually not be that different from the guardians as previously outlined. Law is understood by Plato to be an instrument of the ruler and not the ruler itself; he explicitly makes this point in his Statesman. Additionally, the law is not eternal, which makes sense, considering that Platonic metaphysics must necessarily allow for change-ness within the ranks of being. However, the philosopher-king, while having essentially unlimited power, is also expected not to arbitrarily violate laws that were written by wise kings before him, if he is to violate these established laws, he will only be motivated by a very good reason to do it for it is virtue that guides and prevents him from acting arbitrarily.

Additionally, since not that much emphasis is placed on law, it stands to reason that Plato will allow the philosopher-king to lie; virtue ethics allows a good person to lie provided it is the correct situation. However, lying will be kept to a minimum as much as possible because again, the philosopher-king is ultimately motivated by virtue and will therefore have little desire to keep lying.

Art and Artists

Plato thought of artists as ultimately imitators and essentially image-makers, which is why he did not think very highly of them and was of the opinion to largely ban them from his Republic, if not heavily restrict them so that art portrays the truth accurately.

On the Decline of Polities and the Course of History

Plato here would be guilty of yet another thoughtcrime (as though he does not already have enough as previously shown); he dares to believe that polities do not continuously progress upwards, but on the contrary steadily decline. His portrayal of history is actually at least broadly similar to Traditionalists like Evola in that he believes that as time progresses, decay sets in, entirely contrary to the now-popular idea of continuous upwards progress towards the end of history; this is actually hinted at in Plato's Timaeus, where the things that were created were perfect if not near-perfect, with later creations declining in quality.

As for the history of polities, Plato believes that they go through the following types of government: from aristocracy (basically a kingdom in all but name) to a timocracy, from a timocracy to an oligarchy, from an oligarchy to a democracy and finally from democracy to tyranny. To better understand this, perhaps it would be most useful to first explain what an aristocracy is.

Think back to Plato's ideal state and the philosopher-king. The philosopher-king is essentially the Brahmin priest of Hindu society; the perfect combination of both temporal and spiritual authority. In other words, temporal and spiritual authority, despite being very different from each other, are fused into one being.

Timocracy arises from aristocracy when a fracture sets in between temporal and spiritual authority, and since spiritual authority requires temporal authority to "actualize", temporal authority eventually dominates, hence a society that becomes heavily militaristic; Plato equates such a society to that of a simple-minded yet physically strong brute. A timocracy then degenerates into oligarchy because the anchor for the traditional virtues that were so cherished (the aforementioned spiritual authority) is now gone, which means the polity now turns to worshipping money instead. Readers may be able to recognize this as the worship of Mammon, the capitalism stage. An oligarchy then degenerates into democracy because the worship of Mammon leads to parasitic practices like usury, which sucks up all the wealth and creates widespread poverty. This leads to a very large class of poor and angry people, who will inevitably demand power, hence democracy, for democracy is rule by the people, by the masses. Plato's description of democracy is very relevant for the West that is now in advanced modernity, especially with how he notes that in a democracy, people can essentially be anything they want; he compares the acquisition of ideologies and philosophies in a democracy to buying and selling products in a bazaar. In Plato's democracy, nothing ever is and people are constantly in a state of becoming. Finally, democracy degenerates into tyranny in a way that almost resembles the communist revolutions in the early 20th century; Marxist demagoguery incites class warfare between the bourgeoisie and proletariat and eventually the proletariat wins. In fact, Plato's description of communism is eerily similar to Cecil Tormay's first-hand account of life in the Hungarian Soviet Republic.

What is the relevance of Plato to fascism?

Perhaps Plato is not specifically a fascist, but Platonism should be of great interest to any fascist. In many ways, Platonism is the "third way" in philosophy the same way Italian fascism represents a sort of "third way" in political ideology: Platonism cuts through absolute particularism and universalism, through absolute being and absolute not-being whereas fascism cuts through atomising radical individualism and Marxist collectivism. Additionally, Platonism provides a very strong philosophical foundation for any fascist and member of the Counter-Revolution.

For one, Platonism is Innatist, anti-materialist and anti-empiricist; on the contrary, it affirms that ultimate reality is spirit and it affirms that not all knowledge can be accessed by the senses; at least some things can only be known by thought. Additionally, by saying that man has always possessed knowledge of the forms in some way within him and therefore possesses a priori knowledge, not tabula rasa. Platonism essentially defies blank slate theory and therefore also the infinite perfectibility of man. Additionally, Platonism manages to explain the existence of universals in a way that still acknowledges that particular instances must exist in some form; this is very useful in creating a sort of state that is authoritarian but does not regard the lives of its citizens as mere playthings. With Plato's conception of reality as being essentially ordered, layered and hierarchical, Plato is also giving justification for hierarchy and therefore authoritarianism and order: for reality must be good, therefore order and hierarchy must be good, therefore the state, which must try to be an image of the most perfect things possible, must also be ordered and hierarchical. Additionally, proving the existence of universals is to give further justification to nationalism, especially nationalism of the kind Evola speaks glowingly about, for nationalism of any sane kind must be a sort of unifying identity that is universal to all of its adherents.

Additionally, the fact that Platonic metaphysics is in a way a blend of both universalism and particularism also allows for individuality within the state and provides the basis for fascist corporatism; fascist corporatism, with its division of the state into several functional classes, requires the belief that both particulars and the universal exists: the particulars in this case are the functional classes and the universal is the State. And finally, virtue ethics solves the perceived problem of tyranny that authoritarianism may have, for virtue ethics, with its affirmation that there are good men and bad men, also must say that good men behave completely different from bad men in the same scenario. Therefore, a good man with wide powers (Such as George Washington or Adolf Hitler)would use that power very differently from a bad man with the same power.

Law of Decay

Plato delineates “the law of decay”, the first iteration of the modern "Law of Entropy" (now an established Law of Physics) that he believed underpinned all human societies: a temporarily ideal society inevitably first morphs into a timocracy, where personal honor forms virtuous society; the timocracy which will then result in democracy, where all pursuits are honored equally and the state is at the mercy of relentless tribal conflict. This devenerates into oligopoly, where the avarice of an enriched minority will rule the day; this fiduciary perversion and strife will eventually give rise to authoritarianism or possibly even tyranny, where a strong leader will correct the society, hopefully with love, but possibly ruling without temperance or virtue. To escape this degenerate cycle, Plato argued that society needed the guidance of philosopher-kings, whose biology and education would uniquely equip him to maintain the true Form of the Kallipolis fascism, and stave off the otherwise inevitable societal decay.


Perl, E. (2014). Thinking Being — Introduction to Metaphysics in the Classical Tradition (Vol. 17). Brill.

Plato. (n.d.). The Dialogues of Plato (B. Jowett, Trans.).


  1. Perl, Thinking Being - Introduction to Metaphysics in the Classical Tradition, pg. 24
  2. Ibid., pp.27-31
  3. Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, pp. 1389-1390
  4. Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, pg. 1858
  5. Perl, Thinking Being - Introduction to Metaphysics in the Classical Tradition, pg. 61
  6. Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, pg. 1027
  7. Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, pp. 906-907
  8. Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, pp. 1168-1169
  9. Perl, Thinking Being - Introduction to Metaphysics in the Classical Tradition, pp.38-42
  10. Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, pg. 1394