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The Lowell Institute cooperative broadcasting Council was established in the poll of nine hundred forty six with seven member institutions the Lowell Institute Boston College Law University Harvard University the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Northeastern University and Tufts University. Since then the council has grown and seven more institutions have become members. The Boston Symphony Orchestra Brandeis University the Museum of Fine Arts. I mean as IOM of science the New England Conservatory of Music. Simmons College and Yale University. At first the activities of the Council were confined to preparing adult educational radio programmes for broadcast by commercial stations in the Boston area. And on February 3rd 1947 twenty years ago today the Lowell Institute cooperative broadcasting Council inaugurated its first day of broadcasting. If you happen to be listening to radio station WHDH at 9:45 p.m. on February 3rd 1947 you heard the distinguished poet and scholar
Richards Now professor emeritus at Harvard in the first program of a new series entitled your ideas and where they come from. Professor Richard subsequently recreated this program at the Bush writing museum at a later date. And this recording itself let's keep the disastrous fire which struck the WGBH studios in 1981. Here it is presenting the persons and words first heard 20 years ago today. Do you think that education could stop war. Why your ideas. Where did you get them. Many of them have come from the great books of the past. Your ideas and the great books from which they came will be discussed on a new series of transcribed radio conversations presented by the institute in cooperation with Boston College Boston University Harvard University as it uses its Institute of Technology Northeastern University and Tufts college
to talk with you this evening about your ideas and where they came from. Is Dr. Richards of Harvard University. Why listen to Plato's views are the kind of questions the tepees and I think is very simple. He helps you to see down through the fog of detail to the A central. Plato was one of the most intelligent men if not the most intelligent man whose thinking is in the record. He thought and wrote about almost everything for a living. Clearly he's not a man with a system. Nonetheless he believed that you can only get towards truth by taking as far as possible everything together by seeing each thing in its connection so far as you can with everything else. That is what being intelligent is he thought. They tout out what you're going to hear tonight about four hundred twelve the see that some 23 and a half
centuries ago and the wealth he wrote about was in many ways extremely different from ours. But at bottom in the most important things it was astonishing then as you'll agree after listening to these specimens of this thinking about it. Now if the essentials are the same the very fact that the accidental things are very different helps us to see what the essentials are and that's the whole aim of these talks on the problems of all man at all times as seen through Plato's eyes. We begin with what is perhaps the chief problem. Why do we have was what follows comes from the Republic book too. You may be interested to know that two hundred thousand copies of a pocket edition of this book the Republic in a simplified form of English were distributed among the
armed forces overseas. Socrates has just been challenged by Plato's two brothers God canon and I meant us to work out with them what justice really is. Listen now to their discussion. SOCRATES. This is no easy matter and we need sharp eyes as we're not clever people. How would it be to do as though we had to read something written in small letters at a distance and someone told us that the same thing was written up large in another direction on a poster. Wouldn't that be a godsend wouldn't we read the large letters first and then see if the smaller letters were the same. And I meant us. Yes but where's the parallel. SOCRATES. It's like this. There is the justice which makes a man just and justice which makes a state just and as a state is a larger thing
than a man. What justice is may be easier to discover there. We can compare them afterwards and I mean to us a good suggestion. SOCRATES Now why does a state come into being. Isn't it because no one of us has enough in himself. Every man is dependent on another man. We have many different needs so a number of men come together in a common living place one helping the others in one way and another in another way. And this group of men form a state and then enters. Yes Socrates. Let's build it up now in our imaginations. But what builds it up rarely will be human needs. And I mentors certain Socrates office needed food and then come houses and clothing and so on. Adventists that so Socrates we will have to have quite a number of
people each man doing what he can do best. We're not all equally good at everything our way. So different people will do different things for his own good and for the good of all. And I mean this I see. One man one trade. SOCRATES Yes. So does there have to be someone to make the farmers plow for him to make us carpenters and so on and shepherds do and lever work us. And I mean to us this state won't be very small if it's to be so well supplied. SOCRATES. No. And it will probably need goods from outside. So there have to be traders too and if the trade goes overseas shipment as well and storekeepers and more people to make goods in exchange for these things which come in from outside. They turned how these simple people living in this simplest sort of a state stretched out on beds of Myrtle
boughs and Bryony with garlands on their heads eating their food off fresh leaves. They would have wine and meal to make cakes with happily will a feast there with their children sipping their wine afterwards and singing hymns to the gods and they will be careful not to have too many children for fear of poverty or war. Nothing to feast on but dry bread. SOCRATES Well let them have salt and olives and teas and onions and bellies and a call comes. SOCRATES If you were founding a society of Pigs that's just what you'd give them. SOCRATES Well what would you have. The outcome the ordinary decent standards
of living. SOCRATES I see. This is to be a state which does itself well. Maybe our right. Maybe we will see better how justice and injustice come in. I think myself the healthiest state is the simple I am. But you want to see one which is suffering from inflammation so be it. Well we'll have to have lots of other things and people to supply them every sort of often artists actors dancers and producers cosmetics and theft rooms and court systems of all kinds. Nurses and hairdressers male and female cooks confection us and doctors do expect certain. SOCRATES Then the land which was enough to support the simple sort of state won't be enough now.
No Socrates. If we're to get enough living space we should have to take a slice from our neighbors get a tray and they will want to do the same to us. If they also are not content with necessities that are out after unlimited wealth. It has to be so. Socrates Socrates then the next thing will be war. We will have to go to war. Isn't that so. We will go to war. SOCRATES let's not say at present if war does good or harm but only that we have now seen its root cause its root cause is in those very same disaster which are responsible for most of the evils which come to man and states. Plato you see is a literary artist first and last. He's interested in the drama of the
argument throughout. Did you notice how Glau Khan coming suddenly into the discussion doesn't take up the terrible fundamental question which Socrates has raised with the words and they will be careful not to have too many children for fear of poverty or war. No Lao Khan is interested instead in what these simple needed people will get to eat. SOCRATES humors him by adding a few tastier things to their diet just enough car bombs to produce a further outburst from black on black car is a lover of what are called the good things of life. It meant that so simply he suggests there would be little better off than pigs. Now no play to it MASN is proud of his brothers. He has just given them magnificent speeches on the theme of justice. In the opening part of Book
2 he has made Socrates quote a polite description of them. Happily did the poet right when you had distinguished yourselves at the Battle of Megara sons about a star children divine of a famous father. They were fine soldiers as well as a very attentive audience to Socrates. The best audience any man ever had Socrates was a soldier himself. A Congressional Medal of Honor sort of soldier as you see in the symposium. They all knew war well in the field and in its affects at home. Plato had seen Athens come to ruin through warlike megalomania springing from what Socrates here calls inflammation. This is unlimited for wealth and power. All this is in the background when Socrates points to expansions of population as the root cause of war
states complaining of insufficient resources though half their energies perhaps go to the production of needless things living space and the dreadful question still not squarely faced. What sorts of people my sort or some other sort are to occupy most of the earth in the future. These are what Plato's thinking led him to as beneath and behind everything else the root causes of war. That these are truly the same trolls still to be faced of the problem of war is to be adequately tackled appears from current population figures the population of the US has tripled in the last hundred years as far as good guesses as we can make of the numbers of people there will probably be in about 40 years time. United States of America one hundred sixty million u
s s to 85 million. China. 500 million and 500 million. Indonesia 100 million. Australia say 10 million. If you want to read these passages from Plato you can find them easily enough if you've got a republic in almost all editions the page numbers of an early edition are given in the margin. What I've read tonight comes from pages 360 8 to 3 7 to 5 in book 2 of Plato's Republic. Thank you Dr. Richards. Here are what Socrates and Plato wrote about the control of the armed forces. We invite you to join Dr. Richards again tomorrow night at 9:45. When Again you can hear your ideas and
This record is featured in “Documenting and Celebrating Public Broadcasting Station Histories.”
Recreation of First Broadcast on Lowell Institute's 20th Anniversary
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On the event of the Lowell Institute's 20th Anniversary, Ivor A. Richards reads from Plato?s Republic recreating first Lowell Institute broadcast from February 3, 1947.
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Speaker: Richards, I. A. (Ivor Armstrong), 1893-1979
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Identifier: 0000157991 (WGBH Barcode)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Generation: Original
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Chicago: “Recreation of First Broadcast on Lowell Institute's 20th Anniversary,” 1967-02-03, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 22, 2019,
MLA: “Recreation of First Broadcast on Lowell Institute's 20th Anniversary.” 1967-02-03. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 22, 2019. <>.
APA: Recreation of First Broadcast on Lowell Institute's 20th Anniversary. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from