RIP VAN WINKLE by Washington Irving  &    PLATO'S REPUBLIC of Magnesia

Rip Van Winkle is a short story by Washington Irving published in 1819, as well as the name of the story's fictional protagonist. It was part of a collection of stories entitled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon.

A villager of Dutch descent escapes his nagging wife by wandering up Kaaterskill Clove near his home town of Palenville, New York in the Catskill Mountains. After various adventures (in one version of the tale, he encounters the spirits of Henry Hudson and his crew playing ninepins at the top of Kaaterskill Falls), he settles down under a shady tree and falls asleep.

He wakes up 20 years later and returns to his village. He finds out that his wife is dead and his close friends have died in a war or gone somewhere else. He immediately gets into trouble when he hails himself a loyal subject of George III, not knowing that in the meantime the American Revolution has taken place and he is not supposed to be a loyal subject of any Hanoverian any longer.

The story has become a part of cultural mythology: even for those who have never read the original story, "Rip Van Winkle" means a person who is inexplicably (perhaps even blissfully) unaware of current events.  That describes Edward Bellamy fans and other modern socialists.

In 1888, this 38-year-old New Englander published Looking Backward: 2000–1887, a Rip Van Winkle–esque novel promoting a national socialist dogma that Bellamy called "military socialism."

Edward's cousin Francis Bellamy aided and abetted Edward by authoring the Pledge of Allegiance, the origin of the stiff-arm salute adopted later by the National Socialist German Workers Party.  Both Bellamys influenced the National Socialist German Workers Party and its dogma, symbols and rituals.
If the Bellamys had awakened in the year 2000, he would have discovered that millions were dead in the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part): ~60 million slaughtered under the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; ~50 million under the Peoples Republic of China; ~20 million under the National Socialist German Workers Party.

Instead, Sam Walton of Wal-mart and other capitalists had fed, clothed and sheltered the poor of the world, while socialism had expanded the number of poor and killed millions of them.

If, in the year 2000,  Bellamy hailed himself a loyal subject of socialism, not knowing that in the meantime the socialist Wholecaust had taken place, he would have committed a foolish error that continues to be committed by many American who were educated in government schools (socialist schools).

Rip Van Winkle, Washington Irving, Edward Bellamy, Plato's Republic, Magnesia

The predominant view, until fairly recently, holds that the Republic is Plato's statement of what the ideally best city is; the Laws, on the other hand, describes the city that would be best, given less optimistic assumptions about what human nature is capable of. This position has two variants, depending on one's view of whether Plato at the time of the Republic thought that its political program was compatible with human nature.

 The Social and Political Institutions of Magnesia

This section provides a brief overview of the basic social and political institutions of Magnesia. Magnesia will be located in a part of Crete that has been left empty by an ancient migration and is about ten miles from the sea. The site is basically self-sufficient in resources without having much excess to export. Plato sees this unsuitability for active commerce and distance from the sea as advantages: they discourage the maritime and commercial activities that corrupt cities by fostering a love of money-making in the citizens and by allowing close contact with foreigners who bring innovation and have not received the good ethical education afforded to Magnesians.

The city will be relatively populous: its number of households is to remain permanently at 5, 040.[10] Immigration and emigration policies are designed to avoid population excess and deficiency. Each household will have an allotment consisting of two plots of land: one nearer the city's center and one nearer its borders. Each household's allotment is intended to be equally productive (Laws 737CE, 745CD) and to support a comfortable, although not luxurious life for the household's members. The households and land are not owned or farmed in common, but each shareholder must consider his share to be at the same time the common property of the whole city (Laws 740A3-6). Part of the sense in which the lot is in common is that it is inalienable and cannot be divided or aggregated: the assignment of the lot to a household is intended to support the household throughout the generations. (There are also restrictions on the use of the land.[11] ) Further, each household will help, out of its own resources, to fund Magnesia's system of common meals.[12] Plato establishes four property classes: the members of the top or first class have assets worth between three and four times the value of the lot (and the tools and animals needed to farm it), the second class between two and three times this value and so on.[13] Anything accumulated over the highest amount will be confiscated by the city (Laws 744D-745A). Such assets do not include gold and silver, since these may be possessed only by the city; there will be only a token currency (Laws 742AB).

Many of Magnesia's inhabitants are not citizens. There is a considerable slave population (including both public and private slaves) and they, of course, are not citizens. Also found within the city are transient foreigners and resident foreigners (metics) who may stay for twenty years. Slaves and foreigners are an economic necessity for the city for they will carry on the trading, manufacturing and menial occupations that are barred to citizens. The lot holders or heads of households are citizens, but citizenship is not restricted to them and owning land is not a necessary condition of citizenship. The sons and heirs of lot holders are called “citizens” and are liable to military service at age 20, can participate in elections at that age and can serve in office at 30.[14] They will not inherit the household lot, however, until their father dies. What of women? In Magnesia, the private family is not abolished. Although women lack an independent right to own property, they are liable to military training and service and attend their own common meals (Laws 780D). The Athenian holds that they can attain the four cardinal virtues and for this reason requires that they be educated (Laws 804D-805A). For Aristotle, women are not citizens of the ideal city, since they are excluded from political office. But in Magnesia, women can participate in elections and hold political office and the Athenian explicitly counts them as citizens (Laws 814C2-4).[15]

Let us turn to the political system or constitution (politeia) of Magnesia. Magnesia has a rich variety of offices, but the main ones are: the Assembly (koinos sullogos, ekklêsia), the Council (boulê), the magistrates, especially the guardians of the laws (nomophulakes), the courts and the Nocturnal Council (nukterinos sullogos). The Nocturnal Council is discussed in more detail below in section 4.

The Assembly is the main electoral authority in the city; it is composed of all citizens, or more precisely, all those who have served or are serving in the military. The Assembly is responsible for the election of most of the city's officers and magistrates. The other functions explicitly given to it are

   1. a role in judging offenses against the public,
   2. making awards of merit,
   3. extending the term of residence for metics, and
   4. passing on proposed changes in the laws, at least those regarding dances and sacrifices.

It may also have other responsibilities in connection with foreign affairs.[16]

The Council is composed of 90 members chosen by election from each property class for a total of 360 members. Men are eligible for office at age 30, women at age 40. Members serve one-year terms. The Council exercises ordinary administrative powers, such as calling and dissolving the Assembly, receiving foreign ambassadors, supervising elections and so on.

The guardians of the laws (nomophulakes) are composed of 37 citizens, at least fifty years of age who serve from the time of their election until age 70 (Laws 755A). There are four ways in which the nomophulakes guard the laws:[17]

   1. Although they do not seem to have the authority to discipline other magistrates, they are assigned the general task of supervising them and are expected to bring appropriate cases to the attention of the proper officials.
   2. They exercise wide supervisory powers over citizens in general and, for example, are charged with fining those who spend excessively, granting permission to travel abroad and overseeing the care of orphans.
   3. They possess various judicial functions and are in charge of especially important or difficult cases involving the family, property and the abuse of laws.
   4. Perhaps their most important task is the revision and supplementation of the existing laws, although the extent of revision possible is controversial.[18]

Finally, there is an extensive system of courts in Magnesia, both public and private. One of Plato's major innovations, compared with Athenian law, is the elaborate structure of appeals in judicial cases. It is worth noting that Plato holds that citizens, in virtue of their standing in the political community, may legitimately expect to have a share in the administration of justice (Laws 767E9-768B3).

Rip Van Winkle pictures Plato's Republic of Magnesia
Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving, Plato's Republic of Magnesia
Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving Edward Bellamy

Francis Bellamy wrote the pledge and he was touting the same national socialism as his cousin Edward Bellamy, an author of socialist novels. The Pledge was the origin of the stiff-arm salute adopted later by the National Socialist German Workers Party toward their flags/leaders (mimicking American socialist behavior) and, by the way, their flag's symbol they called a Hakenkreuz (hooked cross), not a swastika, and they used it to symbolize crossed S-letters for "Socialism" under the National Socialist German Workers Party. All of the above are part of the discoveries of the symbologist Dr. Rex Curry.