Are we living in the cave of Plato?

Are we living in the cave of Plato? Here is an interpretation of
the Allegory of the Cave of Plato,which is specifically
relevant to our own society and to the present time(from
the book:From Socrates to Sartre,by T.Z. LAVINE):
(1) The Allegory of the Cave may be viewed as a
devastating criticism of our everyday lives as being in bondage
to the superficialities,to the shadow rather than to subsance.
Truth is taken to be whatever is known by the senses.
A good life is taken to be one in which we satisfy our desires.
We are unaware that we are living with illusion,superficial
knowledge,and false and conflicting ideals.Our lives are
dominated by the shadow-play on the wall of our cave made
by newspaper headlines ,by radio broadcasts,by the endlessly
moving shadows on the television screen,by the echoing voices
of opinion makers.
(2) The Allegory of the Cave may be taken as
an equally devastating criticism of much of the science of
our time,with its emphasis upon that which is known by the
senses.Science,too,is chained so that it can see only shadows.
Its basis is in sensory observation.Its conclusions are only
in the form of correlations of observation.It does not venture
into true causes or into long-range consequences.The empirical
scientist is not so different from the winner on TV quiz shows
who knows the dates of all Humphrey Bogart films,or from
the prisoners in the cave who excel in identifying the sequence
of shadows on the wall .It is criticism also of our scientific
technology and industry,developing and producing to meet superficial
needs,without regard for our true needs or for moral or environmental
(3)It is of course a political allegory .The life in the
cave is the life of politics.Both the leaders and the public
are ignorant and corrupt,without true knowledge of themselves
or of the world,motivated by greed,power and self-gratification.
They are chained in bondage to ignorance and passions,to mob
hysteria for or against fleeting issues,believing in current
ideologies which are the illusions,the shadows of the moment
on the walls of the cave.
(4)It is an allegory of the philosopher-king.The liberated
one,having made the ascent to know the truth and the good,
has a mission: to return to the cave,to bring enlightenment,
to bring the good news ,even though he may be killed for
his services.Plato was thinking of Socrates;we think of Jesus.



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