If Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates lived in the US today, he would be “canceled,” GOP state representative Anthony Sabatini tweeted, sending “Socrates” trending and prompting Twitter to helpfully explain how he was executed.
One of the greatest thinkers of Athens, Socrates is credited with being one of the founders of Western philosophy. He infamously met his demise due to the cutthroat politics of his time. A critic of his city’s policies who commended the ways of rival power Sparta, he was tried for being disrespectful to established gods of his polis and for corrupting the minds of young people. In 399 BC, Socrates was executed by ingestion of a poisonous hemlock brewage.
The story, which was made famous by Socrates’ student Plato, is very reminiscent of how modern cancel culture operates – at least that seems to have been the suggestion made by Anthony Sabatini. The Republican Florida state representative wrote that, in modern America, Socrates would have been “canceled real quick.”
If Socrates was out philosophizing in American society today, he would be cancelled real quick
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) May 20, 2021
Users of the platform found the thought quite engaging, with Socrates’ name soon starting to trend on Twitter. However, many commenters apparently decided that Sabatini was ignorant of Socrates’ trial and death, and “pointed out” the presumed slight in their comments – as Twitter helpfully explained in the trend’s description.
someone tell this man what happened to socrates https://t.co/09tYGsQHbZ
— babaylan mandirigma (@EGH0ULS) May 21, 2021
Rep. Sabatini earned bachelor's degrees in Philosophy and History from the University of Florida in 2012, and a J.D. degree from UF in 2017. So he probably knows what happened to Socrates, and this is demagoguery, not ignorance. https://t.co/uJiz4ZXVM3
— Jeffrey Bergman (@JeffRWLawyer) May 21, 2021
People are proving his point
If Socrates got cancelled back then we sure as hell would get cancelled now pic.twitter.com/Yy1H7k9cTd
— Drip Lord Jeff Hregly (@CHregly) May 21, 2021
Others saw it as an opportunity to make jokes mixing modern culture with the realities of Ancient Greece.
— Ship of Theses (@postclassics) May 21, 2021
I would also like to submit Socrates at a rap battle teaching his opponent as they respond to his sick bars with Plato as his hype man.
— Stephen (@FlyingLandLeech) May 21, 2021
Hate to tell you what the Make Athens Great Again folks did to old Socrates…
— Fuzzy Dunlop (@AngryBingo) May 21, 2021
The Socrates trial came amid a period of rapid deterioration in Athenian society, which followed the loss in the Peloponnesian War with Sparta. There were two bloody oligarchic coups, the second of which brought to power a brutal government dubbed the ‘Thirty Tyrants’. It was headed by Critias, a former pupil of the philosopher.
Sources friendly to Socrates, who was in his 70s at the time of the coup, claim that he lived in non-violent opposition to the regime. But it’s been suggested that the trial, which happened five years after the dictatorship was ousted, was meant to hold Socrates accountable for teaching an anti-democratic ideology that helped Critias and his co-tyrants grasp power and unleash their reign of terror.
Also on bisnisheboh.com
Plato’s account of the trial is a condemnation of democracy – or the rule of the mob in his terms – that unjustly killed a great man for his ideas. One can only wonder what the political affiliations of Socrates and his students would be in modern day America.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!