Monthly Archives: June, 2009

Eustace Mullins – The Magical Money Machine Florida 1993 on the Bobby Lee Show

The full screen video is free to watch on Blip


Source: News with, June 29, 2009
By Joan Veon

BASEL, SWITZERLAND -The power base of the world has shifted…it is no longer in London, New York City, Washington D. C., or Tokyo. Neither is it in Beijing or Moscow. It is Basel, Switzerland. In 1930, the Bank for International Settlements-BIS was set up as a result of the Young Plan which was named after the man who presided over the Allied Reparation Committee, Owen D Young.

Basel was chosen as its location because everyone could get on a train from anywhere in Europe to attend its meetings. When you walk out of the main train station, the BIS is within easy walking distance of one block. A modern 18 story high building belies the power it extends globally. There is nothing about the building that calls anyone’s attention to it other than the plaque near the glass front doors that basically says it is private property. The world’s power brokers walk to the BIS without fanfare and are set apart from the citizenry by their business suit and ID pass.

Yet within its walls the world’s monetary system is being designing and directed by many illuminated and brilliant people from inside and from without, those who visit regularly from all over the world include: central bank ministers, treasury secretaries, regulators, insurance supervisors, deposit insurers and accountants. Truly the BIS is all powerful. Dr. Carroll Quigley in his book, Tragedy and Hope, wrote that,

The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalistic fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreement, arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland (pp. 324-25).

If this power was not evident before, it is in the process of becoming greater and more immense. While the BIS has always been the focal point of central bank activity globally, it now is finalizing the structure Dr. Quigley wrote about. Bi-monthly, the Group of Ten central bankers, along with those from majoring developing nations come together to discuss global monetary policy, among other things. Over the years it has expanded to the point that every aspect of banking, finance, insurance, deposit insurance, and regulation now constitute its core workings.

In the mid-1990s the word “globalization” came into our vocabularies as we were faced with naming the process whereby the barriers between the countries of the world started to fall. Beginning with the establishment of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in 1944, the financial barriers between countries fell; with the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, the political barriers fell; with the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1994, the trade barriers fell; with the establishment of the International Criminal Court in 1998, the legal barriers fell; and with the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, the military and intelligence barriers fell.

Similarly, during the 1990s, the Bank for International Settlements started to set up its own level of globalization. In1998, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors was set up and is comprised of insurance supervisors from all over the world. In 1999, the Financial Stability Forum was set up which was comprised of the Group of Seven treasury secretaries, central bankers, and regulatory agencies. Recently this organization was expanded to include the Group of Twenty. Then in 2002 the International Association of Deposit Insurers was set up. This organization is comprised of the “FDICs” of the world. Another organization which was set up in 1973 and then reconfigured in 1984 is the International Organization of Security Commissions-IOSCO which is basically a global “security and exchange” commission which has facilitated a global stock exchange.

What the 2008 Credit Crisis has provided is an opportunity to further enhance and empower these organizations which will and are in the process of transferring respective responsibilities from the national level to the global level, thus completing the process of banking, insurance, auditing, accounting, and regulatory globalization. It should be mentioned that in order for the United States to play its role in this process, the Obama Administration will have to set up a single national regulator over our seven different regulators that currently work independently. This is so important a step that the Financial Times recently ran an editorial on June 20 that warned America,

The need for thorough regulatory reform is still pressing. One concern stands out: the risk of the whole financial system breaking down, as it did last autumn. Those who want to give central banks the power and responsibility to monitor systemic risks are right. They include the US Treasury, whose proposals this week seek to turn the Federal Reserve into a systemic super-regulator. These proposals are contested. They should not be; the alternatives are worse. Reforms to rein in systemic risk must not now fall prey to politics. They must be enacted before the memory of last autumn fades.

Let us examine what the first paragraph of the Bank for International Settlements 79th Annual Report stated with regard to the credit crisis:

How could this happen? No one thought that the financial system could collapse. Sufficient safeguards were in place. There was a safety net: central banks that would lend when needed, deposit insurance and investor protections that freed individuals from worrying about the security of their wealth, regulators and supervisors to watch over individual institutions and keep managers and owners from taking on too much risk. Since August 2007, the financial system has experienced a sequence of critical failures.

While it provides their assessment of what went wrong, the report summarizes the problem and the solution this way:

In summary, financial regulators, fiscal authorities, and central bankers face enormous risks. Building a perfect, fail-safe financial system—one capable of maintaining its normal state of operations in the event of a failure—is impossible. Standing in the way are both innovation and the limits of human understanding, especially regarding the complexity of the decentralized financial world. We have no choice but to take up the challenge of first repairing and then reforming the international financial system.

Their recommendations include the BIS standard-setting committees (the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the Central Bank Governance Forum, the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems, and the Markets Committee) and the Financial Stability Board. For our purposes we will discuss the newly centralized power of the Financial Stability Board.

First it should be noted that with this kind of total economic and monetary failure, the entire system should be scrapped and perhaps we should go back to being individual nation-states, but you see for their purposes, they are expanding and empowering another level of control which will move the assets of the entire world into their domain. No physical war, no guns, no bullets—electronic financial warfare.

The Financial Stability Board was originally the Financial Stability Forum-FSF. When it was set up in 1999, I interviewed its Secretary-General, Svein Andresen who told me that there was no guarantee that it would be able to protect the global system from problems. However, it was believed that if you brought the central bank ministers together with the treasury secretaries and the regulatory agencies from the Group of Seven countries that it would provide a framework to protect the global financial system. Obviously they failed in their mission. The alternative instead of liquidating the FSF was to expand and empower it. When I asked FSB Chairman Mario Draghi about the role and input of the international bankers like Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, he replied,

We are in contact with various –say bankers association, market association—banks, hedge funds, securities fora and lots of other bodies. We look at what they do and then we make up our own mind. So it is an interesting context but in the end, ours is a forum where you have the regulators—banking regulators, market regulators, financial ministries and international organization and institutions and standard setters. So it is our own mind in the end which we look at.

It is important to note that the internationalization or globalization of the financial system is here. It constitutes tearing down the final barrier between the countries of the world. It has been almost fully operational for at least 10 years. At this point in the game, the integration between a handful of international organizations is apparent.

The need to coordinate international accounting through the International Accounting Standards Board with the American counterpart, Financial Accounting Standards Board- FASB with the FSB and G20 is already happening. IOSCO is working with the BIS Joint Forum and FSB. In order to develop high quality international standards for auditing, assurance, ethics and education for professional accountants, the Monitoring Group was set up and a Charter was put in place in 2008 by Memorandum of Understanding. Those participating include: IOSCO, the Basel Committee of Banking Supervision, the European Commission, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, the World Bank, the Financial Stability Board and the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators.

There are so many working groups which now comprise a new level of regulatory oversight operating internationally that it is almost impossible to go back to the power of the individual nation-state. The number and the oversight of these groups will make your head spin. Can we go back? Any country who would dare say no would be completely destroyed—ask the 5 Asian countries that chose to say no to the WTO Financial Services Agreement in the mid-1990s. It is now the Financial Stability Board which is now empowered with becoming the “United Nations of Financial and Regulatory Control” over countries.

© 2009 Joan Veon – All Rights Reserved

Order Joan Veon’s book “The United Nations’ Global Straitjacket”

Joan Veon is a businesswoman and international reporter, who has covered over 100 Global meetings around the world since 1994. Please visit her website: To get a copy of her WTO report, send $10.00 to The Women’s International Media Group, Inc. P. O. Box 77, Middletown, MD 21769. For an information packet, please call 301-371-0541


The UN, Eugenics and the Mass Media

Source: Infowars, May 8, 2009
By: Jurriaan Maessen

A March 2009 policy brief by the United Nations Population Division reveals that the long-term plan for worldwide population reduction is not going fast enough, not by a long shot. Under the desperate headline ‘What would it take to accelerate fertility decline in the least developed countries?’ the policy brief gives an overview of the progress made by developing countries in regards to the globalists set goal of reducing population and proposes several ways of speeding up the death. Richly draped with graphic illustrations on the state of global population and the progress made by the UN to bring back fertility to ‘acceptable’ levels, the policy brief advises an increased effort on the part of governments to commit to a strict family planning- policy and other measures designed to bring a halt to life.

United NationsIn New York in December 1994, the United Nations’ participants came up with some practical solutions to the ‘population problem’ — one of which is the integration of population issues with matters of ‘environment’ and ‘human development.’

‘The persistence of high fertility in the majority of the least developed countries and the slow fertility reductions observed among them are associated with high levels of unmet need for family planning.(…) The reduction of fertility could be accelerated if effective measures were taken to satisfy the existing unmet need for family planning.’

After these recommendations, the authors plunge into a long, wailing lament about the slow progress of the desired reducing of the population. They also point the finger to a lack of commitment of the governments concerned and, as expected, the need for a global intervention in order to avoid certain destruction.

This recent policy brief was just one update out of many in regards to the long-term plan by the elite to significantly bring down the numbers of the existing earth population. From the moment the Rockefeller funded ‘family planning’-machine was widely kicked off in the 1960s and 70s, numerous meetings have been held in the last couple of decades where various strategies were discussed to implement population-reduction on as large a scale as possible. The strategies in question were especially directed towards the third world as the globalists had virtual carte blanche in the impoverished developing countries. The famous 1994 population conference in Cairo outlined some of the proposed strategies to be implemented. Then Secretary-General of the UN, Boutros Boutros-Ghali in his opening statement on the International Conference on Population and Development, stated that: ‘I am not exaggerating when I say that not only does the future of the human society depend on this Conference but also the efficacy of the economic order of the planet on which we live.’

During a follow-up-meeting held in New York on December 1994, the United Nations’ participants came up with some practical solutions to the ‘population problem’ – one of which is the integration of population issues with matters of ‘environment’ and ‘human development.’ Another part of the agenda of pressing people to cut down on the number of children was to combine the issue of family-planning with environmental issues:

Several priority areas were identified that needed immediate action by the participants. These included creation of awareness of the interrelationships between environment, population and development; advocacy; education; training; population management; gender concerns; monitoring and evaluation; and information dissemination and networking.’

Under the headline: ‘Youth NGOs Agree to Integrate Environment and Population Issues in their Activities’ were mentioned the following activities to brainwash young NGO’s into the right mindset by, again, mixing in environmental issues with population issues:
‘To cooperatively address development problems from the youth perspective, which will ensure their maximum participation, a Working Group of the Regional Consultation of Youth NGOs in Asia and the Pacific was organized in 1994 to mobilize a network of youth NGOs in the region. Among the current issues identified by the Working Group as requiring priority attention were the problems dealing with population, environment and sustainable development. Hence, a Working Group Meeting of the Regional Consultation of Youth NGOs in Asia and the Pacific was held from 19-21 April 1995 at the UNESCO PROAP to discuss and shape a plan of action integrating issues on environment, population and development for consideration by the youth NGOs. (…) To help them develop a relevant plan of action, the participants were exposed and sensitized to the current policies and programmes adopted by FAO, UNEP, UNFPA, and UNESCO in the areas of population, environment and development.

Further on the use of mass-media is being proposed as effective ‘carriers of population-information’ to hammer dehumanization into the collective consciousness:
‘With more than 2 billion radios in the world, roughly one for every three people, and growing number of televisions, the electronic media plays an increasingly important and influential role in building awareness of population and other development issues.’

The report continues with a prime example of predictive programming: ‘Radio and television soap operas featuring family planning themes, popular songs on population-related issues, and phone-in question-and-answer sessions have all had an impact in different countries. The use of such media can be very important where literacy is low or where written information is not widely circulated. A TV soap opera series is credited with bringing thousands to family planning clinics in Mexico, and night-time drama series integrating family planning themes have proved successful in Egypt, Nigeria and Turkey.

In a January 1994 preparation meeting for the Cairo conference called ‘Family Planning Communications Strategies Examined’ the issue was discussed how best to use the media to create tolerance among the general public and ‘how attitudes and beliefs could be changed through the innovative use of traditional and mass media.’

The meeting featured case studies and presentations by communication practitioners and covered a wide range of subjects, such as: the use of folk tradition and drama to organize community action in Egypt; the use of micro-communications to encourage acceptance of family planning in the Philippines; the use of traditional and modern media in Ghana; and the use of songs to propagate family planning messages in Latin America. The success in India and Mexico of radio and television soap operas and films on family planning subjects was also discussed.’

During the meeting the Executive Coordinator of the ICPD, Jyoti Shankar Singh, stressed the importance of using mass media to ‘convey family planning and reproductive health messages’:

Electronic media, print media (and) interpersonal interventions were all part of the kind of comprehensive information, education and communication (IEC) strategies we need in pursuit of population goals.’

In another technical report (‘Guidelines on Basic Education with special attention to Gender Disparities for the UN Resident Coordinator System’) the message is repeatedly conveyed that:

It is important that information be disseminated through various channels including traditional means and packaged in various forms to allow both literate and illiterate persons to understand the key messages.’

In 1997 the UNFPA organized a ‘Regional Media Seminar on Population and Development’ for the role of the mass media in (euphemistically called) ‘Information Repackaging’ for the Pacific islands. The UN officials boasted on the success of the seminar:

The seminar brought together journalists in the print and radio media from 9 countries of the South Pacific to explore both the role and potential of mass media as a vehicle for population advocacy, information, education and communication. (…) The seminar explored the role of the media in developing and packaging population materials for identified target groups. The meeting also provided development partners with an opportunity to forge networks with media personnel and develop effective strategies to better address population and development goals and accelerate the implementation of the ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) Programme of Action.’

In other words: every possible resource should be utilized for propagandizing different target audiences. But the people burdened with designing and implement population education on a large scale emphasized the need for a common tongue and sequence of arguments with which the different UN-divisions sell the people on the idea of dehumanization.

Mr. Michael Vlassoff, Senior Technical Officer, Technical and Evaluation Division, UNFPA, introduced the work of the Working Group on Policy-Related Issues. He explained that the Working Group had decided to address the “common advocacy” concern by drawing up a Statement of Commitment that would then be issued by all agencies and organizations involved in the IATF. The aim of such a statement would be to ensure that all UN agencies and organizations use the same language regarding population and development issues.’

The report goes on to list these arguments with which populations worldwide should be lured into embracing modern-day eugenics as a sensible policy:

The “Statement of Commitment on Population and Development by the United Nations System”, drafted by the Working Group, is divided into three sections: a general introduction stressing the commitment by the UN agencies and organizations to implement ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development); a section on the linkages between population issues and other development issues; and a concluding section calling for global partnership in addressing these interrelated issues.’

In short- a great part of the 1990s were occupied with a great mobilization of mass media for propaganda purposes by the global elite, a test case so to speak, before implementing the same strategies worldwide in the first decade of the 21st century. And lo and behold! The great global warming swindle arrives just in time as an environmental as well as a development issue to attach the basic message to: there are too many of us- and our numbers should be reduced before the planet is destroyed. Because the warming is global, the response should be so as well. However eloquently the message may be presented by hopelessly compliant media outlets, it is the tyrant’s voice we discern amidst the chatter- and all with ears to hear should educate their neighbor in this all-out information war. Let’s not forget what the elite who have funded the UN from the moment of its very conception have always aspired. In the words of the aristocratic fiend Prince Philip:

‘If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.’


World Government Enforcing Global Carbon Taxes – In Plain English That’s Your Breathing Licence Fees

Source:, June 24, 2009


By Cliff Kincaid

While our media sleep, the United Nations is proceeding, with President Obama’s acquiescence, to implement a global plan to create a new international socialist order financed by global taxes on the American people.
The Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development that begins on Wednesday will consider adoption of a document calling for “new voluntary and innovative sources of financing initiatives to provide additional stable sources of development finance…” This is U.N.-speak for global taxes. They are anything but “voluntary” for the people forced to pay them. [Read Cliff’s book: “Global Bondage: The UN Plan to Rule The World“]
The most “popular” proposals, which could generate tens of billions of dollars in revenue for global purposes, involve taxes on greenhouse gas emissions and financial transactions such as stock trades.
The document was agreed to at an informal meeting of expert “facilitators” and was made available on Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. It is doubtful that any changes will be made to it.

The conference was postponed from June 1-3 and will now take place June 24-26 at the U.N. in New York. While the “outcome document” has been watered down somewhat from the previous version, it still reaffirms attainment of the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals, which would require the payment of $845 billion from U.S. taxpayers. A commitment to the MDGs was a stated objective of the Global Poverty Act, which Barack Obama had introduced as a U.S. senator. It requires the U.S. to devote 0.7 percent of Gross National Income to foreign aid.
Now, as President, Obama can bypass the Congress and simply direct his Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to approve the U.N. conference document. Then the pressure will be increased on Congress to come up with the money and satisfy our “international commitments.”
This is the pattern that he followed in regard to more money for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). After agreeing at the G-20 summit to provide more money for the IMF, the Obama White House slipped the cash and credit into the recently passed emergency war funding bill. The Obama White House had added billions in cash, as well as a $100 billion line of credit, for the IMF.
Rep. Mike Pence commented, “This legislation, which includes $108 billion in loan authorizations for a global bailout, for the International Monetary Fund—at a time when this government has run up a $2 trillion annual deficit—I believe does a disservice to taxpayers and to those that defend us. Passing a $108 billion global bailout on the backs of our soldiers is just not right.”

The U.N. conference document explains where all of this is leading—the destruction of the American dollar as the world’s reserve currency and the build-up of global institutions such as the IMF and the U.N.
It declares that “We acknowledge the calls by many states for further study of the feasibility and advisability of a more efficient reserve system, including the possible function of SDRs in any such system and the complementary roles that could be played by various regional arrangements.” SDRs are Special Drawing Rights, a form of international currency that enables global institutions like the International Monetary Fund to provide more foreign aid to the rest of the world. The U.S. pays for SDRs through its financial contributions to the IMF.
If implemented, the document would officially mark the end of the United States as the world’s leading economic power.
Urging socialism as the solution to the crisis, the document states that “Insufficient emphasis on equitable human development has contributed to significant inequalities among countries and peoples. Other weaknesses of a systemic nature also contributed to the unfolding crisis, which has demonstrated the need for more effective government involvement to ensure an appropriate balance between the market and public interest.”
The nerve center of this emerging new international socialist system will be the United Nations, a body that has developed a reputation for corruption and incompetence and whose “peacekeepers” have been implicated in sexual abuse and other human rights violations.

“The United Nations, on the basis of its universal membership and legitimacy, is well positioned to participate in various reform processes aimed at improving and strengthening the effective functioning of the international financial system and architecture,” the document says.

“This United Nations Conference is part of our collective effort towards recovery,” it adds.
The Obama Administration’s unofficial point man in U.N. deliberations has been economist Joseph Stiglitz, who has been coordinating a “Commission of Experts” that has reported to U.N. General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto, the notorious Communist Catholic Priest who received the Lenin Peace Prize from the old Soviet Union.
Stiglitz produced his own document which called for “the issuance of additional SDRs,” “additional sources of funding” for global institutions, a new global reserve currency, and a new global credit facility. Key recommendations have been incorporated into the official U.N. conference document but Stiglitz and his “experts” provide far more details about them.
In terms of new funding sources, the document calls for “innovative sources of financing such as emission rights trading and financial transactions taxes…” The concept of “emissions trading” enables corporations to avoid limits on greenhouse gas emissions if they pay taxes to government. It is part of the “cap and trade” legislation that the liberals are now pushing on Capitol Hill.
Chapter Five of this document, “International Financial Innovations,” goes into detail, declaring that “For some time, the difficulty in meeting the UN official assistance target of 0.7 percent of Gross National Income of developed industrial countries as official development assistance, as well as the need for adequate funding for the provision of global and regional public goods (peace building, fighting global health pandemics, combating climate change and sustaining the global environment more generally) has generated proposals on how to guarantee a more reliable and stable source of financing for these objectives.”

The document notes that an international airline ticket tax is now in effect, as a result of the actions of the “Leading Group on Solidarity Levies” that now involves close to 60 countries and major international organizations. This money is going to fight global diseases.
The term “Solidarity Levies” is U.N.-speak for global taxes.
The Stiglitz document explains, “Some of the initiatives that have been proposed encompass ‘solidarity levies’ or, more generally, taxation for global objectives. Some countries have already decreed solidarity levies on airline tickets but there is a larger set of proposals. There have also been suggestions to auction global natural resources—such as ocean fishing rights and pollution emission permits—for global environmental programs.”

It goes on to say, “The suggestion of taxes that could be earmarked for global objectives has a long history. To avert their being perceived as encroachments on participating countries’ fiscal sovereignty, it has been agreed that these taxes should be nationally imposed, but internationally coordinated.”
So the nations of the world, including the U.S., will collect the taxes but then turn them over to institutions such as the U.N. The world body will function, in effect, like a global IRS.

Is it too much to ask that our media take some time off from talking about the girl with star tattoos on her face, “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” and Perez Hilton, to examine what is going on at the United Nations?
© 2009 Cliff Kincaid – All Rights Reserved

The Georgia Guidestones -The Stonehenge of Georgia


The Georgia Guidestones

On one of the highest hilltops in Elbert County, Georgia stands a huge granite monument. Engraved in eight different languages on the four giant stones that support the common capstone are 10 Guides, or commandments. That monument is alternately referred to as The Georgia Guidestones, or the American Stonehenge. Though relatively unknown to most people, it is an important link to the Occult Hierarchy that dominates the world in which we live.The origin of that strange monument is shrouded in mystery because no one knows the true identity of the man, or men, who commissioned its construction. All that is known for certain is that in June 1979, a well-dressed, articulate stranger visited the office of the Elberton Granite Finishing Company and announced that he wanted to build an edifice to transmit a message to mankind. He identified himself as R. C. Christian, but it soon became apparent that was not his real name. He said that he represented a group of men who wanted to offer direction to humanity, but to date, almost two decades later, no one knows who R. C. Christian really was, or the names of those he represented. Several things are apparent. The messages engraved on the Georgia Guidestones deal with four major fields: (1) Governance and the establishment of a world government, (2) Population and reproduction control, (3) The environment and man’s relationship to nature, and (4) Spirituality.

In the public library in Elberton, I found a book written by the man who called himself R.C. Christian. I discovered that the monument he commissioned had been erected in recognition of Thomas Paine and the occult philosophy he espoused. Indeed, the Georgia Guidestones are used for occult ceremonies and mystic celebrations to this very day. Tragically, only one religious leader in the area had the courage to speak out against the American Stonehenge, and he has recently relocated his ministry.


1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion – faith – tradition – and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth – beauty – love – seeking harmony with the infinite.
10.Be not a cancer on the earth – Leave room for nature – Leave room for nature.

Limiting the population of the earth to 500 million will require the extermination of nine-tenths of the world’s people. The American Stonehenge’s reference to establishing a world court foreshadows the current move to create an International Criminal Court and a world government. The Guidestones’ emphasis on preserving nature anticipates the environmental movement of the 1990s, and the reference to “seeking harmony with the infinite” reflects the current effort to replace Judeo-Christian beliefs with a new spirituality.

The message of the American Stonehenge also foreshadowed the current drive for Sustainable Development. Any time you hear the phrase “Sustainable Development” used, you should substitute the term “socialism” to be able to understand what is intended. Later in this syllabus you will read the full text of the Earth Charter which was compiled under the direction of Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong. In that document you will find an emphasis on the same basic issues: control of reproduction, world governance, the importance of nature and the environment, and a new spirituality. The similarity between the ideas engraved on the Georgia Guidestones and those espoused in the Earth Charter reflect the common origins of both.

Yoko Ono, the widow of John Lennon, was recently quoted as referring to the American Stonehenge, saying:

“I want people to know about the stones … We’re headed toward a world where we might blow ourselves up and maybe the globe will not exist … it’s a nice time to reaffirm ourselves, knowing all the beautiful things that are in this country and the Georgia Stones symbolize that. ” (1)

What is the true significance of the American Stonehenge, and why is its covert message important? Because it confirms the fact that there was a covert group intent on

(1) Dramatically reducing the population of the world.
(2) Promoting environmentalism.
(3) Establishing a world government.
(4) Promoting a new spirituality.

Certainly the group that commissioned the Georgia Guidestones is one of many similar groups working together toward a New World Order, a new world economic system, and a new world spirituality. Behind those groups, however, are dark spiritual forces. Without understanding the nature of those dark forces it is impossible to understand the unfolding of world events.

The fact that most Americans have never heard of the Georgia Guidestones or their message to humanity reflects the degree of control that exists today over what the American people think. We ignore that message at our peril.

Copies are available for researchers from Radio Liberty.

The Age of Reason was a book written by Thomas Paine. Its intent was to destroy the Judeo-Christian beliefs upon which our Republic was founded.

The hole that you see in the stone was drilled in the Center Stone so that the North Star could be visualized through it at any moment. This was one of several requirements stipulated by R.C.Christian for the building of the American Stonehenge and reflects his obsession with the alignment of the stars, the sun, and the moon. Occultists often worship the alignment and movement of heavenly bodies as part of their religious ceremonies.
Source: Radio Liberty

  • – – – – – – – – –

The Georgia Guidestones, supposedly financed by a mysterious R.C. Christian, are known as “the Stonehenge of Georgia.” They are the new ten commandments for humanity, carved in stone (granite) for those with eyes to see in Elbert County, Georgia. They are set atop a hill,four standing tablets, capped by a fifth.

Maintain humanity under 500,000,000
in perpetual balance with nature.
Guide reproduction wisely –
improving fitness and diversity.
Unite humanity with a living
new language.

Rule passion – faith – tradition –
and all things
with tempered reason.
Protect people and nations
with fair laws and just courts.

Let all nations rule internally
resolving external disputes
in a world court.
Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
Balance personal rights with social duties.
Prize truth – beauty – love –
seeking harmony with the infinite.
Be not a cancer on the earth –
Leave room for nature.
Source: Alan Watt Cutting through the

Viruses & Leukemia

Source:, Apr. 11, 1960

Cancer causing vaccines administered in the 60s haunt tested areas worldwide today

The theory that viruses are to blame for some forms of human cancer, especially leukemia, was strengthened last week by striking evidence gained from experiments with human volunteers. Most notable: the tests gave reason for increased hope that it may be possible to prevent leukemia with a vaccine.

That viruses cause some forms of mouse leukemia has long been accepted, but years of the most exacting research failed to turn up viruses in human victims of a similar disease, acute leukemia. Probably, reasoned Dr. Steven O. Schwartz of Chicago’s Hektoen Institute, this was because the virus was somehow modified in the patient’s body.

The Choice. The problem was to get the virus in its original state from tissues where the modification did not take place. Dr. Schwartz’s choice: the human brain. He took fluid from the brains of patients who had died of leukemia, removed the cells, injected what was left into mice. Many, even in strains that seldom get the disease spontaneously, developed leukemia (TIME, July 27). But rabbits seemed to make antibodies to neutralize the virus. Could the human species do as well?

Yes, Dr. Schwartz told an American Cancer Society meeting in Louisville last week. To get his evidence, he appealed to inmates of Cook County Jail, got 14 volunteers. “Since we are trying to find the answers to human leukemia, we must make tests in man,” said Dr. Schwartz. “And we believed there was a minimum of risk to the prisoners.” His research teams injected a leukemia victim’s fluid into the prisoners’ forearm four times, and twice took a pint of their blood.

Then the researchers took batches of identical mice. Into one group they injected the leukemic brain fluid. Virtually all of these developed leukemia. But a second group got an injection of purified serum from the prisoners’ blood before the leukemic brain fluid. Only half of these got leukemia. Dr. Schwartz’s conclusion: the prisoners, being healthy and not predisposed to leukemia, had reacted the way most normal human beings do, and had made antibodies against the leukemia virus in the brain fluid. These antibodies made their serum work like a crude vaccine, which protected half the mice.

The Hope. Other cancer experts at the meeting were impressed because, if Dr. Schwartz’s work can be duplicated and confirmed, it would mark a giant stride against a disease that now kills 12,000 Americans (most of them children) annually. But Dr. Schwartz agreed that the relationship of virus to disease in leukemia must be far more complex than in common illnesses such as smallpox, influenza, measles and polio; for one thing, leukemia is not infectious. Inherited susceptibility is essential, he believes, while hormones and X rays may be important controlling factors. So, he emphasized, a vaccine against human leukemia is still far in the future.

Obama Claims CIA Involvement In Iran “Patently False”

Source: Prison, Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Despite the fact that the U.S. government publicly approved a CIA destabilization campaign in Iran two years ago Obama Claims CIA Involvement In Iran Patently False

By: Paul Joseph Watson

President Barack Obama was forced to address accusations that the CIA was involved in fomenting the post-election riots in Iran during his White House press conference yesterday, claiming the allegations were “patently false,” despite the fact that the U.S. government publicly gave the CIA approval to undertake a destabilization campaign in Iran more than two years ago.

“There are reports suggesting that the CIA is behind all this – all of which is patently false but it gives you a sense of the narrative that the Iranian government would love to play into,” said Obama.

CIA involvement in Iran is not a “narrative” manufactured by the Iranian government, as Obama well knows.

As we highlighted in our report earlier this week, evidence of U.S. intelligence meddling in Iran is widespread, which is no surprise considering the fact that the U.S. all but announced they would pursue a destabilization campaign in Iran years ago.

In May 2007, the London Telegraph and others revealed that President George W. Bush had “Given the CIA approval to launch covert “black” operations to achieve regime change in Iran.”

On May 23, 2007, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito reported on ABC News: “The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell ABC News.”

The plan set in motion CIA propaganda and disinformation campaigns “intended to destabilise, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs”.

It also released funds to bankroll the militant Jundullah organization, an Al-Qaeda offshoot formerly headed by the alleged mastermind of 9/11 Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The group has been blamed for a number of bombings inside Iran aimed at destabilizing Ahmadinejad’s government.

It is widely suspected that the well known right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq, once run by Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence services, is now also working exclusively for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and carrying out bombings in Iran. A large number of Mujahedeen-e Khalq members were arrested following riots last week, according to a Press TV report. The article claims that the men were “extensively trained in Iraq’s camp Ashraf to create post-election mayhem in the country”.

As part of CIA destabilization efforts in Iran, former Pakistani Army General Mirza Aslam Beig last week claimed that the Agency had distributed 400 million dollars inside Iran to evoke a revolution. Beig cited documents that prove “the CIA spent 400 million dollars inside Iran to prop up a colorful-hollow revolution following the election.”

The CIA program approved by Bush also included funding opposition groups and providing them with communications equipment that would bypass Internet censorship and allow demonstrators to communicate.

Twitter and other social networking websites have played a key role in the demonstrations. The U.S. State Department, which routinely demonizes the Internet as a tool of extremists and terrorists when it is used to criticize U.S. foreign policy, took the unprecedented step last week of requesting that “delay planned maintenance work so that Iranian protesters can continue to use it to post images and reports of unrest,” according to a London Times report.

According to several different reports, the CIA and Mossad has been creating fake Twitter feeds and flooding Iranians with SMS messages inspiring them to riot.

According to author Thierry Meyssan, Iranians received messages before the election votes had even been counted telling them that the Iranian Guardian Council had declared Mir-Hossein Mousavi to be the winner. When the official announcement of Ahmadinejad’s victory was later broadcast, the sentiment that fraud had took place was therefore amplified.

Meyssan also charges that the CIA and Mossad used Twitter feeds to put out fake reports of gun fights and deaths that were never confirmed, rousing Iranians to riot in the belief that their fellow countrymen were being brutally suppressed by the authorities.

Another website clearly documents the fact that the main Twitter accounts used to send out hundreds of alerts during the protests were only recently created and had not send out any alerts whatsoever before the protests began.

Top Neo-Cons with deep ties to the U.S. military-industrial complex like John Bolton and Henry Kissinger have been calling for the CIA to fund a ‘color revolution’ in Iran for years as a gateway to regime change.

Lest we forget that it was a violent CIA coup that led to the overthrow of the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 under Operation Ajax. The ousting was achieved by means of staged bombings and shootings which were blamed on the Iranian government in order to antagonize the population and enable the coup. During the coup, the CIA also bribed Iranian government officials, businessmen, and reporters, and paid Iranians to demonstrate in the streets.

Given this history, allied with the U.S. government’s own public program to instigate a destabilization campaign in Iran through the CIA, Obama’s claim that CIA involvement is “patently false” is clearly contradicted by the facts. The only thing that’s “patently false” is Obama’s statement itself.

Human Rights? Privacy? No no no .. Fight against terror must mean the end of ordinary people’s privacy, says ex-security chief

Farewell privacy: Sir David Omand says the Government needs Big Brother powers

Source: Mail, 25th February 2009

By: Tamara Cohen

Sir David OmandPersonal data of innocent citizens must be made available to the Government to combat terrorism, according to an influential former security chief.

Sir David Omand, Whitehall’s former and security and intelligence coordinator, called for unprecedented Big Brother powers to allow access to private details – including phone records, emails and travel information – to be given to the intelligence services.

Setting out a hugely controversial blueprint for the future of national security he said ‘moral rules’ about individual privacy would have to be broken.

His 17-page report calls for the creation of a vast state database to gather information about terrorist groups which are increasingly recruiting and operating online.

But he argued that a citizen’s right to privacy would have to be sacrificed to allow ‘intrusive’ intelligence techniques.

‘Finding out other people’s secrets is going to involve breaking everyday moral rules’, he wrote.

‘This is personal information about individuals that resides in databases, such as advance passenger information, airline bookings and other travel data, passport and biometric data, immigration, identity and border records, criminal records,and other governmental and private sector data, including financial and telephone and other communications records.’

‘Modern intelligence access will often involve intrusive methods of surveillance and investigation, accepting that, in some respects, this may have to be at the expense of some aspects of privacy rights.’


The paper ‘National Security Strategy and Implication for the UK Intelligence Community’ was published last week by the influential New Labour think tank, the Institute of Public Policy Research.

Sir Omand left the senior civil service in 2005 but his views still hold great sway in the corridors of power.

He added: ‘This is a hard choice and goes against current calls to curb the so-called surveillance society – but it is greatly preferable to tinkering with the rule of law, or derogating from fundamental human rights.

‘Being able to demonstrate proper legal authorisation and appropriate oversight of the use of such intrusive intelligence activity may become a major future issue for the intelligence community, if the public at large is to be convinced of the desirability of such intelligence capability’

Sir Omand said such information maybe held in national records,covered by Data Protection legislation, but it might also be held offshore by other nations or by global companies.

‘Access to such information…might well be the key to effective pre-emption in future terrorist cases.

‘Such sources have always been accessible to traditional law enforcement seeking evidence against a named suspect already justified by reasonable suspicion of having committed a crime.’

‘However, application of modern data mining and processing techniques does involve examination of the innocent as well as the suspect to identify patterns of interest for further investigation’

Plato – Socrates’ Apology in Greek and English Η ΑΠΟΛΟΓΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΣΩΚΡΑΤΗ


By Plato

Translated by Benjamin Jowett

Socrates’ Defense

How you have felt, O men of Athens, at hearing the speeches of my accusers, I cannot tell; but I know that their persuasive words almost made me forget who I was – such was the effect of them; and yet they have hardly spoken a word of truth. But many as their falsehoods were, there was one of them which quite amazed me; – I mean when they told you to be upon your guard, and not to let yourselves be deceived by the force of my eloquence. They ought to have been ashamed of saying this, because they were sure to be detected as soon as I opened my lips and displayed my deficiency; they certainly did appear to be most shameless in saying this, unless by the force of eloquence they mean the force of truth; for then I do indeed admit that I am eloquent. But in how different a way from theirs! Well, as I was saying, they have hardly uttered a word, or not more than a word, of truth; but you shall hear from me the whole truth: not, however, delivered after their manner, in a set oration duly ornamented with words and phrases. No indeed! but I shall use the words and arguments which occur to me at the moment; for I am certain that this is right, and that at my time of life I ought not to be appearing before you, O men of Athens, in the character of a juvenile orator – let no one expect this of me. And I must beg of you to grant me one favor, which is this – If you hear me using the same words in my defence which I have been in the habit of using, and which most of you may have heard in the agora, and at the tables of the money-changers, or anywhere else, I would ask you not to be surprised at this, and not to interrupt me. For I am more than seventy years of age, and this is the first time that I have ever appeared in a court of law, and I am quite a stranger to the ways of the place; and therefore I would have you regard me as if I were really a stranger, whom you would excuse if he spoke in his native tongue, and after the fashion of his country; – that I think is not an unfair request. Never mind the manner, which may or may not be good; but think only of the justice of my cause, and give heed to that: let the judge decide justly and the speaker speak truly.

And first, I have to reply to the older charges and to my first accusers, and then I will go to the later ones. For I have had many accusers, who accused me of old, and their false charges have continued during many years; and I am more afraid of them than of Anytus and his associates, who are dangerous, too, in their own way. But far more dangerous are these, who began when you were children, and took possession of your minds with their falsehoods, telling of one Socrates, a wise man, who speculated about the heaven above, and searched into the earth beneath, and made the worse appear the better cause. These are the accusers whom I dread; for they are the circulators of this rumor, and their hearers are too apt to fancy that speculators of this sort do not believe in the gods. And they are many, and their charges against me are of ancient date, and they made them in days when you were impressible – in childhood, or perhaps in youth – and the cause when heard went by default, for there was none to answer. And, hardest of all, their names I do not know and cannot tell; unless in the chance of a comic poet. But the main body of these slanderers who from envy and malice have wrought upon you – and there are some of them who are convinced themselves, and impart their convictions to others – all these, I say, are most difficult to deal with; for I cannot have them up here, and examine them, and therefore I must simply fight with shadows in my own defence, and examine when there is no one who answers. I will ask you then to assume with me, as I was saying, that my opponents are of two kinds – one recent, the other ancient; and I hope that you will see the propriety of my answering the latter first, for these accusations you heard long before the others, and much oftener.

Well, then, I will make my defence, and I will endeavor in the short time which is allowed to do away with this evil opinion of me which you have held for such a long time; and I hope I may succeed, if this be well for you and me, and that my words may find favor with you. But I know that to accomplish this is not easy – I quite see the nature of the task. Let the event be as God wills: in obedience to the law I make my defence.

I will begin at the beginning, and ask what the accusation is which has given rise to this slander of me, and which has encouraged Meletus to proceed against me. What do the slanderers say? They shall be my prosecutors, and I will sum up their words in an affidavit. “Socrates is an evil-doer, and a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better cause; and he teaches the aforesaid doctrines to others.” That is the nature of the accusation, and that is what you have seen yourselves in the comedy of Aristophanes; who has introduced a man whom he calls Socrates, going about and saying that he can walk in the air, and talking a deal of nonsense concerning matters of which I do not pretend to know either much or little – not that I mean to say anything disparaging of anyone who is a student of natural philosophy. I should be very sorry if Meletus could lay that to my charge. But the simple truth is, O Athenians, that I have nothing to do with these studies. Very many of those here present are witnesses to the truth of this, and to them I appeal. Speak then, you who have heard me, and tell your neighbors whether any of you have ever known me hold forth in few words or in many upon matters of this sort. … You hear their answer. And from what they say of this you will be able to judge of the truth of the rest.

As little foundation is there for the report that I am a teacher, and take money; that is no more true than the other. Although, if a man is able to teach, I honor him for being paid. There is Gorgias of Leontium, and Prodicus of Ceos, and Hippias of Elis, who go the round of the cities, and are able to persuade the young men to leave their own citizens, by whom they might be taught for nothing, and come to them, whom they not only pay, but are thankful if they may be allowed to pay them. There is actually a Parian philosopher residing in Athens, of whom I have heard; and I came to hear of him in this way: – I met a man who has spent a world of money on the Sophists, Callias the son of Hipponicus, and knowing that he had sons, I asked him: “Callias,” I said, “if your two sons were foals or calves, there would be no difficulty in finding someone to put over them; we should hire a trainer of horses or a farmer probably who would improve and perfect them in their own proper virtue and excellence; but as they are human beings, whom are you thinking of placing over them? Is there anyone who understands human and political virtue? You must have thought about this as you have sons; is there anyone?” “There is,” he said. “Who is he?” said I, “and of what country? and what does he charge?” “Evenus the Parian,” he replied; “he is the man, and his charge is five minae.” Happy is Evenus, I said to myself, if he really has this wisdom, and teaches at such a modest charge. Had I the same, I should have been very proud and conceited; but the truth is that I have no knowledge of the kind.

I dare say, Athenians, that someone among you will reply, “Why is this, Socrates, and what is the origin of these accusations of you: for there must have been something strange which you have been doing? All this great fame and talk about you would never have arisen if you had been like other men: tell us, then, why this is, as we should be sorry to judge hastily of you.” Now I regard this as a fair challenge, and I will endeavor to explain to you the origin of this name of “wise,” and of this evil fame. Please to attend then. And although some of you may think I am joking, I declare that I will tell you the entire truth. Men of Athens, this reputation of mine has come of a certain sort of wisdom which I possess. If you ask me what kind of wisdom, I reply, such wisdom as is attainable by man, for to that extent I am inclined to believe that I am wise; whereas the persons of whom I was speaking have a superhuman wisdom, which I may fail to describe, because I have it not myself; and he who says that I have, speaks falsely, and is taking away my character. And here, O men of Athens, I must beg you not to interrupt me, even if I seem to say something extravagant. For the word which I will speak is not mine. I will refer you to a witness who is worthy of credit, and will tell you about my wisdom – whether I have any, and of what sort – and that witness shall be the god of Delphi. You must have known Chaerephon; he was early a friend of mine, and also a friend of yours, for he shared in the exile of the people, and returned with you. Well, Chaerephon, as you know, was very impetuous in all his doings, and he went to Delphi and boldly asked the oracle to tell him whether – as I was saying, I must beg you not to interrupt – he asked the oracle to tell him whether there was anyone wiser than I was, and the Pythian prophetess answered that there was no man wiser. Chaerephon is dead himself, but his brother, who is in court, will confirm the truth of this story.

Why do I mention this? Because I am going to explain to you why I have such an evil name. When I heard the answer, I said to myself, What can the god mean? and what is the interpretation of this riddle? for I know that I have no wisdom, small or great. What can he mean when he says that I am the wisest of men? And yet he is a god and cannot lie; that would be against his nature. After a long consideration, I at last thought of a method of trying the question. I reflected that if I could only find a man wiser than myself, then I might go to the god with a refutation in my hand. I should say to him, “Here is a man who is wiser than I am; but you said that I was the wisest.” Accordingly I went to one who had the reputation of wisdom, and observed to him – his name I need not mention; he was a politician whom I selected for examination – and the result was as follows: When I began to talk with him, I could not help thinking that he was not really wise, although he was thought wise by many, and wiser still by himself; and I went and tried to explain to him that he thought himself wise, but was not really wise; and the consequence was that he hated me, and his enmity was shared by several who were present and heard me. So I left him, saying to myself, as I went away: Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is – for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him. Then I went to another, who had still higher philosophical pretensions, and my conclusion was exactly the same. I made another enemy of him, and of many others besides him.

After this I went to one man after another, being not unconscious of the enmity which I provoked, and I lamented and feared this: but necessity was laid upon me – the word of God, I thought, ought to be considered first. And I said to myself, Go I must to all who appear to know, and find out the meaning of the oracle. And I swear to you, Athenians, by the dog I swear! – for I must tell you the truth – the result of my mission was just this: I found that the men most in repute were all but the most foolish; and that some inferior men were really wiser and better. I will tell you the tale of my wanderings and of the “Herculean” labors, as I may call them, which I endured only to find at last the oracle irrefutable. When I left the politicians, I went to the poets; tragic, dithyrambic, and all sorts. And there, I said to myself, you will be detected; now you will find out that you are more ignorant than they are. Accordingly, I took them some of the most elaborate passages in their own writings, and asked what was the meaning of them – thinking that they would teach me something. Will you believe me? I am almost ashamed to speak of this, but still I must say that there is hardly a person present who would not have talked better about their poetry than they did themselves. That showed me in an instant that not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration; they are like diviners or soothsayers who also say many fine things, but do not understand the meaning of them. And the poets appeared to me to be much in the same case; and I further observed that upon the strength of their poetry they believed themselves to be the wisest of men in other things in which they were not wise. So I departed, conceiving myself to be superior to them for the same reason that I was superior to the politicians.

At last I went to the artisans, for I was conscious that I knew nothing at all, as I may say, and I was sure that they knew many fine things; and in this I was not mistaken, for they did know many things of which I was ignorant, and in this they certainly were wiser than I was. But I observed that even the good artisans fell into the same error as the poets; because they were good workmen they thought that they also knew all sorts of high matters, and this defect in them overshadowed their wisdom – therefore I asked myself on behalf of the oracle, whether I would like to be as I was, neither having their knowledge nor their ignorance, or like them in both; and I made answer to myself and the oracle that I was better off as I was.

This investigation has led to my having many enemies of the worst and most dangerous kind, and has given occasion also to many calumnies, and I am called wise, for my hearers always imagine that I myself possess the wisdom which I find wanting in others: but the truth is, O men of Athens, that God only is wise; and in this oracle he means to say that the wisdom of men is little or nothing; he is not speaking of Socrates, he is only using my name as an illustration, as if he said, He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing. And so I go my way, obedient to the god, and make inquisition into the wisdom of anyone, whether citizen or stranger, who appears to be wise; and if he is not wise, then in vindication of the oracle I show him that he is not wise; and this occupation quite absorbs me, and I have no time to give either to any public matter of interest or to any concern of my own, but I am in utter poverty by reason of my devotion to the god.

There is another thing: – young men of the richer classes, who have not much to do, come about me of their own accord; they like to hear the pretenders examined, and they often imitate me, and examine others themselves; there are plenty of persons, as they soon enough discover, who think that they know something, but really know little or nothing: and then those who are examined by them instead of being angry with themselves are angry with me: This confounded Socrates, they say; this villainous misleader of youth! – and then if somebody asks them, Why, what evil does he practise or teach? they do not know, and cannot tell; but in order that they may not appear to be at a loss, they repeat the ready-made charges which are used against all philosophers about teaching things up in the clouds and under the earth, and having no gods, and making the worse appear the better cause; for they do not like to confess that their pretence of knowledge has been detected – which is the truth: and as they are numerous and ambitious and energetic, and are all in battle array and have persuasive tongues, they have filled your ears with their loud and inveterate calumnies. And this is the reason why my three accusers, Meletus and Anytus and Lycon, have set upon me; Meletus, who has a quarrel with me on behalf of the poets; Anytus, on behalf of the craftsmen; Lycon, on behalf of the rhetoricians: and as I said at the beginning, I cannot expect to get rid of this mass of calumny all in a moment. And this, O men of Athens, is the truth and the whole truth; I have concealed nothing, I have dissembled nothing. And yet I know that this plainness of speech makes them hate me, and what is their hatred but a proof that I am speaking the truth? – this is the occasion and reason of their slander of me, as you will find out either in this or in any future inquiry.

I have said enough in my defence against the first class of my accusers; I turn to the second class, who are headed by Meletus, that good and patriotic man, as he calls himself. And now I will try to defend myself against them: these new accusers must also have their affidavit read. What do they say? Something of this sort: – That Socrates is a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the state, and has other new divinities of his own. That is the sort of charge; and now let us examine the particular counts. He says that I am a doer of evil, who corrupt the youth; but I say, O men of Athens, that Meletus is a doer of evil, and the evil is that he makes a joke of a serious matter, and is too ready at bringing other men to trial from a pretended zeal and interest about matters in which he really never had the smallest interest. And the truth of this I will endeavor to prove.

Come hither, Meletus, and let me ask a question of you. You think a great deal about the improvement of youth?

Yes, I do.

Tell the judges, then, who is their improver; for you must know, as you have taken the pains to discover their corrupter, and are citing and accusing me before them. Speak, then, and tell the judges who their improver is. Observe, Meletus, that you are silent, and have nothing to say. But is not this rather disgraceful, and a very considerable proof of what I was saying, that you have no interest in the matter? Speak up, friend, and tell us who their improver is.

The laws.

But that, my good sir, is not my meaning. I want to know who the person is, who, in the first place, knows the laws.

The judges, Socrates, who are present in court.

What do you mean to say, Meletus, that they are able to instruct and improve youth?

Certainly they are.

What, all of them, or some only and not others?

All of them.

By the goddess Here, that is good news! There are plenty of improvers, then. And what do you say of the audience, – do they improve them?

Yes, they do.

And the senators?

Yes, the senators improve them.

But perhaps the members of the citizen assembly corrupt them? – or do they too improve them?

They improve them.

Then every Athenian improves and elevates them; all with the exception of myself; and I alone am their corrupter? Is that what you affirm?

That is what I stoutly affirm.

I am very unfortunate if that is true. But suppose I ask you a question: Would you say that this also holds true in the case of horses? Does one man do them harm and all the world good? Is not the exact opposite of this true? One man is able to do them good, or at least not many; – the trainer of horses, that is to say, does them good, and others who have to do with them rather injure them? Is not that true, Meletus, of horses, or any other animals? Yes, certainly. Whether you and Anytus say yes or no, that is no matter. Happy indeed would be the condition of youth if they had one corrupter only, and all the rest of the world were their improvers. And you, Meletus, have sufficiently shown that you never had a thought about the young: your carelessness is seen in your not caring about matters spoken of in this very indictment.

And now, Meletus, I must ask you another question: Which is better, to live among bad citizens, or among good ones? Answer, friend, I say; for that is a question which may be easily answered. Do not the good do their neighbors good, and the bad do them evil?


And is there anyone who would rather be injured than benefited by those who live with him? Answer, my good friend; the law requires you to answer – does anyone like to be injured?

Certainly not.

And when you accuse me of corrupting and deteriorating the youth, do you allege that I corrupt them intentionally or unintentionally?

Intentionally, I say.

But you have just admitted that the good do their neighbors good, and the evil do them evil. Now is that a truth which your superior wisdom has recognized thus early in life, and am I, at my age, in such darkness and ignorance as not to know that if a man with whom I have to live is corrupted by me, I am very likely to be harmed by him, and yet I corrupt him, and intentionally, too; – that is what you are saying, and of that you will never persuade me or any other human being. But either I do not corrupt them, or I corrupt them unintentionally, so that on either view of the case you lie. If my offence is unintentional, the law has no cognizance of unintentional offences: you ought to have taken me privately, and warned and admonished me; for if I had been better advised, I should have left off doing what I only did unintentionally – no doubt I should; whereas you hated to converse with me or teach me, but you indicted me in this court, which is a place not of instruction, but of punishment.

I have shown, Athenians, as I was saying, that Meletus has no care at all, great or small, about the matter. But still I should like to know, Meletus, in what I am affirmed to corrupt the young. I suppose you mean, as I infer from your indictment, that I teach them not to acknowledge the gods which the state acknowledges, but some other new divinities or spiritual agencies in their stead. These are the lessons which corrupt the youth, as you say.

Yes, that I say emphatically.

Then, by the gods, Meletus, of whom we are speaking, tell me and the court, in somewhat plainer terms, what you mean! for I do not as yet understand whether you affirm that I teach others to acknowledge some gods, and therefore do believe in gods and am not an entire atheist – this you do not lay to my charge; but only that they are not the same gods which the city recognizes – the charge is that they are different gods. Or, do you mean to say that I am an atheist simply, and a teacher of atheism?

I mean the latter – that you are a complete atheist.

That is an extraordinary statement, Meletus. Why do you say that? Do you mean that I do not believe in the godhead of the sun or moon, which is the common creed of all men?

I assure you, judges, that he does not believe in them; for he says that the sun is stone, and the moon earth.

Friend Meletus, you think that you are accusing Anaxagoras; and you have but a bad opinion of the judges, if you fancy them ignorant to such a degree as not to know that those doctrines are found in the books of Anaxagoras the Clazomenian, who is full of them. And these are the doctrines which the youth are said to learn of Socrates, when there are not unfrequently exhibitions of them at the theatre (price of admission one drachma at the most); and they might cheaply purchase them, and laugh at Socrates if he pretends to father such eccentricities. And so, Meletus, you really think that I do not believe in any god?

I swear by Zeus that you believe absolutely in none at all.

You are a liar, Meletus, not believed even by yourself. For I cannot help thinking, O men of Athens, that Meletus is reckless and impudent, and that he has written this indictment in a spirit of mere wantonness and youthful bravado. Has he not compounded a riddle, thinking to try me? He said to himself: – I shall see whether this wise Socrates will discover my ingenious contradiction, or whether I shall be able to deceive him and the rest of them. For he certainly does appear to me to contradict himself in the indictment as much as if he said that Socrates is guilty of not believing in the gods, and yet of believing in them – but this surely is a piece of fun.

I should like you, O men of Athens, to join me in examining what I conceive to be his inconsistency; and do you, Meletus, answer. And I must remind you that you are not to interrupt me if I speak in my accustomed manner.

Did ever man, Meletus, believe in the existence of human things, and not of human beings? … I wish, men of Athens, that he would answer, and not be always trying to get up an interruption. Did ever any man believe in horsemanship, and not in horses? or in flute-playing, and not in flute-players? No, my friend; I will answer to you and to the court, as you refuse to answer for yourself. There is no man who ever did. But now please to answer the next question: Can a man believe in spiritual and divine agencies, and not in spirits or demigods?

He cannot.

I am glad that I have extracted that answer, by the assistance of the court; nevertheless you swear in the indictment that I teach and believe in divine or spiritual agencies (new or old, no matter for that); at any rate, I believe in spiritual agencies, as you say and swear in the affidavit; but if I believe in divine beings, I must believe in spirits or demigods; – is not that true? Yes, that is true, for I may assume that your silence gives assent to that. Now what are spirits or demigods? are they not either gods or the sons of gods? Is that true?

Yes, that is true.

But this is just the ingenious riddle of which I was speaking: the demigods or spirits are gods, and you say first that I don’t believe in gods, and then again that I do believe in gods; that is, if I believe in demigods. For if the demigods are the illegitimate sons of gods, whether by the Nymphs or by any other mothers, as is thought, that, as all men will allow, necessarily implies the existence of their parents. You might as well affirm the existence of mules, and deny that of horses and asses. Such nonsense, Meletus, could only have been intended by you as a trial of me. You have put this into the indictment because you had nothing real of which to accuse me. But no one who has a particle of understanding will ever be convinced by you that the same man can believe in divine and superhuman things, and yet not believe that there are gods and demigods and heroes.

I have said enough in answer to the charge of Meletus: any elaborate defence is unnecessary; but as I was saying before, I certainly have many enemies, and this is what will be my destruction if I am destroyed; of that I am certain; – not Meletus, nor yet Anytus, but the envy and detraction of the world, which has been the death of many good men, and will probably be the death of many more; there is no danger of my being the last of them.

Someone will say: And are you not ashamed, Socrates, of a course of life which is likely to bring you to an untimely end? To him I may fairly answer: There you are mistaken: a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong – acting the part of a good man or of a bad. Whereas, according to your view, the heroes who fell at Troy were not good for much, and the son of Thetis above all, who altogether despised danger in comparison with disgrace; and when his goddess mother said to him, in his eagerness to slay Hector, that if he avenged his companion Patroclus, and slew Hector, he would die himself – “Fate,” as she said, “waits upon you next after Hector”; he, hearing this, utterly despised danger and death, and instead of fearing them, feared rather to live in dishonor, and not to avenge his friend. “Let me die next,” he replies, “and be avenged of my enemy, rather than abide here by the beaked ships, a scorn and a burden of the earth.” Had Achilles any thought of death and danger? For wherever a man’s place is, whether the place which he has chosen or that in which he has been placed by a commander, there he ought to remain in the hour of danger; he should not think of death or of anything, but of disgrace. And this, O men of Athens, is a true saying.

Strange, indeed, would be my conduct, O men of Athens, if I who, when I was ordered by the generals whom you chose to command me at Potidaea and Amphipolis and Delium, remained where they placed me, like any other man, facing death; if, I say, now, when, as I conceive and imagine, God orders me to fulfil the philosopher’s mission of searching into myself and other men, I were to desert my post through fear of death, or any other fear; that would indeed be strange, and I might justly be arraigned in court for denying the existence of the gods, if I disobeyed the oracle because I was afraid of death: then I should be fancying that I was wise when I was not wise. For this fear of death is indeed the pretence of wisdom, and not real wisdom, being the appearance of knowing the unknown; since no one knows whether death, which they in their fear apprehend to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good. Is there not here conceit of knowledge, which is a disgraceful sort of ignorance? And this is the point in which, as I think, I am superior to men in general, and in which I might perhaps fancy myself wiser than other men, – that whereas I know but little of the world below, I do not suppose that I know: but I do know that injustice and disobedience to a better, whether God or man, is evil and dishonorable, and I will never fear or avoid a possible good rather than a certain evil. And therefore if you let me go now, and reject the counsels of Anytus, who said that if I were not put to death I ought not to have been prosecuted, and that if I escape now, your sons will all be utterly ruined by listening to my words – if you say to me, Socrates, this time we will not mind Anytus, and will let you off, but upon one condition, that are to inquire and speculate in this way any more, and that if you are caught doing this again you shall die; – if this was the condition on which you let me go, I should reply: Men of Athens, I honor and love you; but I shall obey God rather than you, and while I have life and strength I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy, exhorting anyone whom I meet after my manner, and convincing him, saying: O my friend, why do you who are a citizen of the great and mighty and wise city of Athens, care so much about laying up the greatest amount of money and honor and reputation, and so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul, which you never regard or heed at all? Are you not ashamed of this? And if the person with whom I am arguing says: Yes, but I do care; I do not depart or let him go at once; I interrogate and examine and cross-examine him, and if I think that he has no virtue, but only says that he has, I reproach him with undervaluing the greater, and overvaluing the less. And this I should say to everyone whom I meet, young and old, citizen and alien, but especially to the citizens, inasmuch as they are my brethren. For this is the command of God, as I would have you know; and I believe that to this day no greater good has ever happened in the state than my service to the God. For I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons and your properties, but first and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue come money and every other good of man, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, my influence is ruinous indeed. But if anyone says that this is not my teaching, he is speaking an untruth. Wherefore, O men of Athens, I say to you, do as Anytus bids or not as Anytus bids, and either acquit me or not; but whatever you do, know that I shall never alter my ways, not even if I have to die many times.

Men of Athens, do not interrupt, but hear me; there was an agreement between us that you should hear me out. And I think that what I am going to say will do you good: for I have something more to say, at which you may be inclined to cry out; but I beg that you will not do this. I would have you know that, if you kill such a one as I am, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me. Meletus and Anytus will not injure me: they cannot; for it is not in the nature of things that a bad man should injure a better than himself. I do not deny that he may, perhaps, kill him, or drive him into exile, or deprive him of civil rights; and he may imagine, and others may imagine, that he is doing him a great injury: but in that I do not agree with him; for the evil of doing as Anytus is doing – of unjustly taking away another man’s life – is greater far. And now, Athenians, I am not going to argue for my own sake, as you may think, but for yours, that you may not sin against the God, or lightly reject his boon by condemning me. For if you kill me you will not easily find another like me, who, if I may use such a ludicrous figure of speech, am a sort of gadfly, given to the state by the God; and the state is like a great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life. I am that gadfly which God has given the state and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you. And as you will not easily find another like me, I would advise you to spare me. I dare say that you may feel irritated at being suddenly awakened when you are caught napping; and you may think that if you were to strike me dead, as Anytus advises, which you easily might, then you would sleep on for the remainder of your lives, unless God in his care of you gives you another gadfly. And that I am given to you by God is proved by this: – that if I had been like other men, I should not have neglected all my own concerns, or patiently seen the neglect of them during all these years, and have been doing yours, coming to you individually, like a father or elder brother, exhorting you to regard virtue; this I say, would not be like human nature. And had I gained anything, or if my exhortations had been paid, there would have been some sense in that: but now, as you will perceive, not even the impudence of my accusers dares to say that I have ever exacted or sought pay of anyone; they have no witness of that. And I have a witness of the truth of what I say; my poverty is a sufficient witness.

Someone may wonder why I go about in private, giving advice and busying myself with the concerns of others, but do not venture to come forward in public and advise the state. I will tell you the reason of this. You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me, and is the divinity which Meletus ridicules in the indictment. This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician. And rightly, as I think. For I am certain, O men of Athens, that if I had engaged in politics, I should have perished long ago and done no good either to you or to myself. And don’t be offended at my telling you the truth: for the truth is that no man who goes to war with you or any other multitude, honestly struggling against the commission of unrighteousness and wrong in the state, will save his life; he who will really fight for the right, if he would live even for a little while, must have a private station and not a public one.

I can give you as proofs of this, not words only, but deeds, which you value more than words. Let me tell you a passage of my own life, which will prove to you that I should never have yielded to injustice from any fear of death, and that if I had not yielded I should have died at once. I will tell you a story – tasteless, perhaps, and commonplace, but nevertheless true. The only office of state which I ever held, O men of Athens, was that of senator; the tribe Antiochis, which is my tribe, had the presidency at the trial of the generals who had not taken up the bodies of the slain after the battle of Arginusae; and you proposed to try them all together, which was illegal, as you all thought afterwards; but at the time I was the only one of the Prytanes who was opposed to the illegality, and I gave my vote against you; and when the orators threatened to impeach and arrest me, and have me taken away, and you called and shouted, I made up my mind that I would run the risk, having law and justice with me, rather than take part in your injustice because I feared imprisonment and death. This happened in the days of the democracy. But when the oligarchy of the Thirty was in power, they sent for me and four others into the rotunda, and bade us bring Leon the Salaminian from Salamis, as they wanted to execute him. This was a specimen of the sort of commands which they were always giving with the view of implicating as many as possible in their crimes; and then I showed, not in words only, but in deed, that, if I may be allowed to use such an expression, I cared not a straw for death, and that my only fear was the fear of doing an unrighteous or unholy thing. For the strong arm of that oppressive power did not frighten me into doing wrong; and when we came out of the rotunda the other four went to Salamis and fetched Leon, but I went quietly home. For which I might have lost my life, had not the power of the Thirty shortly afterwards come to an end. And to this many will witness.

Now do you really imagine that I could have survived all these years, if I had led a public life, supposing that like a good man I had always supported the right and had made justice, as I ought, the first thing? No, indeed, men of Athens, neither I nor any other. But I have been always the same in all my actions, public as well as private, and never have I yielded any base compliance to those who are slanderously termed my disciples or to any other. For the truth is that I have no regular disciples: but if anyone likes to come and hear me while I am pursuing my mission, whether he be young or old, he may freely come. Nor do I converse with those who pay only, and not with those who do not pay; but anyone, whether he be rich or poor, may ask and answer me and listen to my words; and whether he turns out to be a bad man or a good one, that cannot be justly laid to my charge, as I never taught him anything. And if anyone says that he has ever learned or heard anything from me in private which all the world has not heard, I should like you to know that he is speaking an untruth.

But I shall be asked, Why do people delight in continually conversing with you? I have told you already, Athenians, the whole truth about this: they like to hear the cross-examination of the pretenders to wisdom; there is amusement in this. And this is a duty which the God has imposed upon me, as I am assured by oracles, visions, and in every sort of way in which the will of divine power was ever signified to anyone. This is true, O Athenians; or, if not true, would be soon refuted. For if I am really corrupting the youth, and have corrupted some of them already, those of them who have grown up and have become sensible that I gave them bad advice in the days of their youth should come forward as accusers and take their revenge; and if they do not like to come themselves, some of their relatives, fathers, brothers, or other kinsmen, should say what evil their families suffered at my hands. Now is their time. Many of them I see in the court. There is Crito, who is of the same age and of the same deme with myself; and there is Critobulus his son, whom I also see. Then again there is Lysanias of Sphettus, who is the father of Aeschines – he is present; and also there is Antiphon of Cephisus, who is the father of Epignes; and there are the brothers of several who have associated with me. There is Nicostratus the son of Theosdotides, and the brother of Theodotus (now Theodotus himself is dead, and therefore he, at any rate, will not seek to stop him); and there is Paralus the son of Demodocus, who had a brother Theages; and Adeimantus the son of Ariston, whose brother Plato is present; and Aeantodorus, who is the brother of Apollodorus, whom I also see. I might mention a great many others, any of whom Meletus should have produced as witnesses in the course of his speech; and let him still produce them, if he has forgotten – I will make way for him. And let him say, if he has any testimony of the sort which he can produce. Nay, Athenians, the very opposite is the truth. For all these are ready to witness on behalf of the corrupter, of the destroyer of their kindred, as Meletus and Anytus call me; not the corrupted youth only – there might have been a motive for that – but their uncorrupted elder relatives. Why should they too support me with their testimony? Why, indeed, except for the sake of truth and justice, and because they know that I am speaking the truth, and that Meletus is lying.

Well, Athenians, this and the like of this is nearly all the defence which I have to offer. Yet a word more. Perhaps there may be someone who is offended at me, when he calls to mind how he himself, on a similar or even a less serious occasion, had recourse to prayers and supplications with many tears, and how he produced his children in court, which was a moving spectacle, together with a posse of his relations and friends; whereas I, who am probably in danger of my life, will do none of these things. Perhaps this may come into his mind, and he may be set against me, and vote in anger because he is displeased at this. Now if there be such a person among you, which I am far from affirming, I may fairly reply to him: My friend, I am a man, and like other men, a creature of flesh and blood, and not of wood or stone, as Homer says; and I have a family, yes, and sons. O Athenians, three in number, one of whom is growing up, and the two others are still young; and yet I will not bring any of them hither in order to petition you for an acquittal. And why not? Not from any self-will or disregard of you. Whether I am or am not afraid of death is another question, of which I will not now speak. But my reason simply is that I feel such conduct to be discreditable to myself, and you, and the whole state. One who has reached my years, and who has a name for wisdom, whether deserved or not, ought not to debase himself. At any rate, the world has decided that Socrates is in some way superior to other men. And if those among you who are said to be superior in wisdom and courage, and any other virtue, demean themselves in this way, how shameful is their conduct! I have seen men of reputation, when they have been condemned, behaving in the strangest manner: they seemed to fancy that they were going to suffer something dreadful if they died, and that they could be immortal if you only allowed them to live; and I think that they were a dishonor to the state, and that any stranger coming in would say of them that the most eminent men of Athens, to whom the Athenians themselves give honor and command, are no better than women. And I say that these things ought not to be done by those of us who are of reputation; and if they are done, you ought not to permit them; you ought rather to show that you are more inclined to condemn, not the man who is quiet, but the man who gets up a doleful scene, and makes the city ridiculous.

But, setting aside the question of dishonor, there seems to be something wrong in petitioning a judge, and thus procuring an acquittal instead of informing and convincing him. For his duty is, not to make a present of justice, but to give judgment; and he has sworn that he will judge according to the laws, and not according to his own good pleasure; and neither he nor we should get into the habit of perjuring ourselves – there can be no piety in that. Do not then require me to do what I consider dishonorable and impious and wrong, especially now, when I am being tried for impiety on the indictment of Meletus. For if, O men of Athens, by force of persuasion and entreaty, I could overpower your oaths, then I should be teaching you to believe that there are no gods, and convict myself, in my own defence, of not believing in them. But that is not the case; for I do believe that there are gods, and in a far higher sense than that in which any of my accusers believe in them. And to you and to God I commit my cause, to be determined by you as is best for you and me.

The jury finds Socrates guilty.

Socrates’ Proposal for his Sentence

There are many reasons why I am not grieved, O men of Athens, at the vote of condemnation. I expected it, and am only surprised that the votes are so nearly equal; for I had thought that the majority against me would have been far larger; but now, had thirty votes gone over to the other side, I should have been acquitted. And I may say that I have escaped Meletus. And I may say more; for without the assistance of Anytus and Lycon, he would not have had a fifth part of the votes, as the law requires, in which case he would have incurred a fine of a thousand drachmae, as is evident.

And so he proposes death as the penalty. And what shall I propose on my part, O men of Athens? Clearly that which is my due. And what is that which I ought to pay or to receive? What shall be done to the man who has never had the wit to be idle during his whole life; but has been careless of what the many care about – wealth, and family interests, and military offices, and speaking in the assembly, and magistracies, and plots, and parties. Reflecting that I was really too honest a man to follow in this way and live, I did not go where I could do no good to you or to myself; but where I could do the greatest good privately to everyone of you, thither I went, and sought to persuade every man among you that he must look to himself, and seek virtue and wisdom before he looks to his private interests, and look to the state before he looks to the interests of the state; and that this should be the order which he observes in all his actions. What shall be done to such a one? Doubtless some good thing, O men of Athens, if he has his reward; and the good should be of a kind suitable to him. What would be a reward suitable to a poor man who is your benefactor, who desires leisure that he may instruct you? There can be no more fitting reward than maintenance in the Prytaneum, O men of Athens, a reward which he deserves far more than the citizen who has won the prize at Olympia in the horse or chariot race, whether the chariots were drawn by two horses or by many. For I am in want, and he has enough; and he only gives you the appearance of happiness, and I give you the reality. And if I am to estimate the penalty justly, I say that maintenance in the Prytaneum is the just return.

Perhaps you may think that I am braving you in saying this, as in what I said before about the tears and prayers. But that is not the case. I speak rather because I am convinced that I never intentionally wronged anyone, although I cannot convince you of that – for we have had a short conversation only; but if there were a law at Athens, such as there is in other cities, that a capital cause should not be decided in one day, then I believe that I should have convinced you; but now the time is too short. I cannot in a moment refute great slanders; and, as I am convinced that I never wronged another, I will assuredly not wrong myself. I will not say of myself that I deserve any evil, or propose any penalty. Why should I? Because I am afraid of the penalty of death which Meletus proposes? When I do not know whether death is a good or an evil, why should I propose a penalty which would certainly be an evil? Shall I say imprisonment? And why should I live in prison, and be the slave of the magistrates of the year – of the Eleven? Or shall the penalty be a fine, and imprisonment until the fine is paid? There is the same objection. I should have to lie in prison, for money I have none, and I cannot pay. And if I say exile (and this may possibly be the penalty which you will affix), I must indeed be blinded by the love of life if I were to consider that when you, who are my own citizens, cannot endure my discourses and words, and have found them so grievous and odious that you would fain have done with them, others are likely to endure me. No, indeed, men of Athens, that is not very likely. And what a life should I lead, at my age, wandering from city to city, living in ever-changing exile, and always being driven out! For I am quite sure that into whatever place I go, as here so also there, the young men will come to me; and if I drive them away, their elders will drive me out at their desire: and if I let them come, their fathers and friends will drive me out for their sakes.

Someone will say: Yes, Socrates, but cannot you hold your tongue, and then you may go into a foreign city, and no one will interfere with you? Now I have great difficulty in making you understand my answer to this. For if I tell you that this would be a disobedience to a divine command, and therefore that I cannot hold my tongue, you will not believe that I am serious; and if I say again that the greatest good of man is daily to converse about virtue, and all that concerning which you hear me examining myself and others, and that the life which is unexamined is not worth living – that you are still less likely to believe. And yet what I say is true, although a thing of which it is hard for me to persuade you. Moreover, I am not accustomed to think that I deserve any punishment. Had I money I might have proposed to give you what I had, and have been none the worse. But you see that I have none, and can only ask you to proportion the fine to my means. However, I think that I could afford a minae, and therefore I propose that penalty; Plato, Crito, Critobulus, and Apollodorus, my friends here, bid me say thirty minae, and they will be the sureties. Well then, say thirty minae, let that be the penalty; for that they will be ample security to you.

The jury condemns Socrates to death.

Socrates’ Comments on his Sentence

Not much time will be gained, O Athenians, in return for the evil name which you will get from the detractors of the city, who will say that you killed Socrates, a wise man; for they will call me wise even although I am not wise when they want to reproach you. If you had waited a little while, your desire would have been fulfilled in the course of nature. For I am far advanced in years, as you may perceive, and not far from death. I am speaking now only to those of you who have condemned me to death. And I have another thing to say to them: You think that I was convicted through deficiency of words – I mean, that if I had thought fit to leave nothing undone, nothing unsaid, I might have gained an acquittal. Not so; the deficiency which led to my conviction was not of words – certainly not. But I had not the boldness or impudence or inclination to address you as you would have liked me to address you, weeping and wailing and lamenting, and saying and doing many things which you have been accustomed to hear from others, and which, as I say, are unworthy of me. But I thought that I ought not to do anything common or mean in the hour of danger: nor do I now repent of the manner of my defence, and I would rather die having spoken after my manner, than speak in your manner and live. For neither in war nor yet at law ought any man to use every way of escaping death. For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death; and in other dangers there are other ways of escaping death, if a man is willing to say and do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death. I am old and move slowly, and the slower runner has overtaken me, and my accusers are keen and quick, and the faster runner, who is unrighteousness, has overtaken them. And now I depart hence condemned by you to suffer the penalty of death, and they, too, go their ways condemned by the truth to suffer the penalty of villainy and wrong; and I must abide by my award – let them abide by theirs. I suppose that these things may be regarded as fated, – and I think that they are well.

And now, O men who have condemned me, I would fain prophesy to you; for I am about to die, and that is the hour in which men are gifted with prophetic power. And I prophesy to you who are my murderers, that immediately after my death punishment far heavier than you have inflicted on me will surely await you. Me you have killed because you wanted to escape the accuser, and not to give an account of your lives. But that will not be as you suppose: far otherwise. For I say that there will be more accusers of you than there are now; accusers whom hitherto I have restrained: and as they are younger they will be more severe with you, and you will be more offended at them. For if you think that by killing men you can avoid the accuser censuring your lives, you are mistaken; that is not a way of escape which is either possible or honorable; the easiest and noblest way is not to be crushing others, but to be improving yourselves. This is the prophecy which I utter before my departure, to the judges who have condemned me.

Friends, who would have acquitted me, I would like also to talk with you about this thing which has happened, while the magistrates are busy, and before I go to the place at which I must die. Stay then awhile, for we may as well talk with one another while there is time. You are my friends, and I should like to show you the meaning of this event which has happened to me. O my judges – for you I may truly call judges – I should like to tell you of a wonderful circumstance. Hitherto the familiar oracle within me has constantly been in the habit of opposing me even about trifles, if I was going to make a slip or error about anything; and now as you see there has come upon me that which may be thought, and is generally believed to be, the last and worst evil. But the oracle made no sign of opposition, either as I was leaving my house and going out in the morning, or when I was going up into this court, or while I was speaking, at anything which I was going to say; and yet I have often been stopped in the middle of a speech; but now in nothing I either said or did touching this matter has the oracle opposed me. What do I take to be the explanation of this? I will tell you. I regard this as a proof that what has happened to me is a good, and that those of us who think that death is an evil are in error. This is a great proof to me of what I am saying, for the customary sign would surely have opposed me had I been going to evil and not to good.

Let us reflect in another way, and we shall see that there is great reason to hope that death is a good, for one of two things: – either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. Now if you suppose that there is no consciousness, but a sleep like the sleep of him who is undisturbed even by the sight of dreams, death will be an unspeakable gain. For if a person were to select the night in which his sleep was undisturbed even by dreams, and were to compare with this the other days and nights of his life, and then were to tell us how many days and nights he had passed in the course of his life better and more pleasantly than this one, I think that any man, I will not say a private man, but even the great king, will not find many such days or nights, when compared with the others. Now if death is like this, I say that to die is gain; for eternity is then only a single night. But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the dead are, what good, O my friends and judges, can be greater than this? If indeed when the pilgrim arrives in the world below, he is delivered from the professors of justice in this world, and finds the true judges who are said to give judgment there, Minos and Rhadamanthus and Aeacus and Triptolemus, and other sons of God who were righteous in their own life, that pilgrimage will be worth making. What would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and Musaeus and Hesiod and Homer? Nay, if this be true, let me die again and again. I, too, shall have a wonderful interest in a place where I can converse with Palamedes, and Ajax the son of Telamon, and other heroes of old, who have suffered death through an unjust judgment; and there will be no small pleasure, as I think, in comparing my own sufferings with theirs. Above all, I shall be able to continue my search into true and false knowledge; as in this world, so also in that; I shall find out who is wise, and who pretends to be wise, and is not. What would not a man give, O judges, to be able to examine the leader of the great Trojan expedition; or Odysseus or Sisyphus, or numberless others, men and women too! What infinite delight would there be in conversing with them and asking them questions! For in that world they do not put a man to death for this; certainly not. For besides being happier in that world than in this, they will be immortal, if what is said is true.

Wherefore, O judges, be of good cheer about death, and know this of a truth – that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death. He and his are not neglected by the gods; nor has my own approaching end happened by mere chance. But I see clearly that to die and be released was better for me; and therefore the oracle gave no sign. For which reason also, I am not angry with my accusers, or my condemners; they have done me no harm, although neither of them meant to do me any good; and for this I may gently blame them.

Still I have a favor to ask of them. When my sons are grown up, I would ask you, O my friends, to punish them; and I would have you trouble them, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing, – then reprove them, as I have reproved you, for not caring about that for which they ought to care, and thinking that they are something when they are really nothing. And if you do this, I and my sons will have received justice at your hands.

The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways – I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.




Δεν ξέρω, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, αν οι κατήγοροί μου σας επηρέασαν. Γιατί κι εμένα, λίγο ακόμα και θα με έκαναν να ξεχάσω ποιος είμαι. Τόσο πειστικά μιλούσαν. Αν και, εδώ που τα λέμε, δεν είπαν τίποτα το αληθινό. Πιο μεγάλη εντύπωση όμως από όλα τα ψέματα που είπαν μου έκανε αυτό: που έλεγαν ότι πρέπει να με προσέχετε, για να μην σας εξαπατήσω επειδή είμαι τάχα δεινός ρήτορας.

Αυτό μου φάνηκε το πιο αδιάντροπο ψέμα, γιατί είναι βέβαιο ότι θα διαψευσθούν ευθύς αμέσως έμπρακτα, καθώς θα αποδειχθεί ότι δεν είμαι τρομερός στο να μιλάω, εκτός αν αυτοί λένε δεινό ρήτορα όποιον λέει την αλήθεια. Αν λοιπόν θέλουν να πουν αυτό θα συμφωνούσα πως είμαι ρήτορας, αλλά όχι με τον τρόπο το δικό τους. Έτσι λοιπόν σας λέω, αυτοί είπαν, ελάχιστα ή και καθόλου, την αλήθεια, εσείς όμως από εμένα θα την ακούσετε ολόκληρη. Όχι, μα το Δία, άνδρες Αθηναίοι με δημηγορίες σαν τις δικές τους, ούτε καλλωπισμένα λόγια με κομψές φράσεις και λέξεις.

Αλλά θα ακούσετε τα σωστά λόγια, όπως μου έρθουν στο μυαλό, γιατί πιστεύω ότι είναι δίκαια όσα λέγω. Και κανείς σας να μην περιμένει τίποτε άλλο. Γιατί δεν είναι σωστό, άνδρες, σε αυτήν την ηλικία που βρίσκομαι, να έρθω σε σας πλάθοντας όμορφα λόγια σαν να ήμουν νεαρός. Και πρέπει να σας ζητήσω, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, μια χάρη από εσάς. Αν με ακούσετε να μιλάω με τα ίδια λόγια που έχω συνηθίσει να μιλάω και στην αγορά και στα τραπέζια, να μην απορήσετε και να μην θορυβηθείτε.

Γιατί συμβαίνει αυτό: Αν και είμαι εβδομήντα χρονών για πρώτη φορά ανεβαίνω σε βήμα δικαστηρίου. Δεν ξέρω λοιπόν την τέχνη της γλώσσας που χρησιμοποιείτε εδώ. Έτσι λοιπόν, όπως εάν πραγματικά ήμουν ξένος θα μου συγχωρούσατε το ότι θα μίλαγα με τη γλώσσα και με τον τρόπο που θα είχα ανατραφεί, έτσι και τώρα αυτό ακριβώς σας ζητώ, γιατί αυτό είναι δίκαιο, να με αφήσετε να εκφραστώ με τον τρόπο που θέλω, ίσως ωραία, ίσως άσχημα, όμως εσείς τούτο να προσέχετε και να έχετε στο νου σας, αν μιλάω δίκαια ή όχι. Γιατί αυτή είναι του δικαστή η αρετή, του ρήτορα δε είναι να λέγει τα αληθινά. Πρώτα λοιπόν είναι σωστό να απολογηθώ, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, για τις παλιότερες κατηγορίες που είπαν για μένα άδικα οι πρώτοι μου κατήγοροι, και μετά για τις επόμενες και τους επόμενους κατηγόρους.

Γιατί πολλοί κατήγοροί μου ήρθαν σε σας και στα περασμένα χρόνια, χωρίς να λένε τίποτα το αληθινό, και τους οποίους εγώ φοβάμαι περισσότερο παρά αυτούς που βρίσκονται τώρα γύρω από τον Άνυτο, αν και αυτοί εδώ είναι αρκετά επικίνδυνοι με τον τρόπο τους. Αλλά εκείνοι, οι παλιοί, είναι φοβερότεροι, άνδρες, οι οποίοι αφού παρέλαβαν πολλούς από εσάς από παιδιά ακόμη, σας έπειθαν και με κατηγορούσαν χωρίς να λένε καμιά αλήθεια, ότι τάχα υπάρχει κάποιος Σωκράτης, σοφός άνδρας, που ασχολείται με τα ουράνια φαινόμενα και έχει ψάξει όλα όσα βρίσκονται κάτω από τη γη, και κάνει τα άδικα λόγια να φαίνονται δίκαια.

Αυτοί, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, που έχουν διαδώσει αυτή τη φήμη, αυτοί είναι οι πιο φοβεροί μου κατήγοροι. Γιατί όσοι τους ακούνε νομίζουν ότι αυτοί που αναζητούν αυτά τα πράγματα δεν πιστεύουν ότι υπάρχουν θεοί. Έπειτα αυτοί οι κατήγοροι είναι πολλοί και με κατηγορούν επί πολλά χρόνια, και ακόμη αυτά τα έλεγαν σε σας όταν ήσασταν σε μια ηλικία που εύκολα τους πιστεύατε, επειδή πολλοί από εσάς ήσασταν παιδιά, και μάλιστα μερικοί μωρά. Και κατηγορούσαν έναν απόντα που δεν μπορούσε να απολογηθεί για καμιά κατηγορία. Το πιο παράλογο από όλα είναι ότι ούτε τα ονόματά τους δεν γνωρίζω να πω εκτός από κάποιον ποιητή κωμωδιών. Όσοι δε με έχουν διαβάλλει από φθόνο και σας έπειθαν, και όσοι έχοντας οι ίδιοι πεισθεί μετά έπειθαν κι άλλους, αυτοί είναι πολύ δύσκολο να αντιμετωπισθούν. Γιατί δεν μπορώ ούτε να φέρω εδώ κανέναν από αυτούς ούτε να τον ελέγξω αλλά πρέπει να απολογούμαι σαν να παλεύω με σκιές και να κάνω ερωτήσεις χωρίς να παίρνω απάντηση. Θεωρήστε λοιπόν κι εσείς, σαν δεδομενο, αυτό που λέω κι εγώ, ότι οι κατήγοροί μου είναι δυο ειδών, αυτοί που με κατηγόρησαν τώρα τελευταία, κι εκείνοι που με κατηγορούν από παλιά, για τους οποίους σας μίλησα πριν λίγο.

Και να καταλάβετε ότι για εκείνους πρώτα πρέπει να απολογηθώ, γιατί κι εσείς εκείνους είχατε ακούσει πρώτα να με κατηγορούν, και μάλιστα για πολύ περισσότερο καιρό, απ’ ότι αυτοί εδώ οι πρόσφατοι. Ας είναι. Πρέπει λοιπόν, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, να απολογηθώ και να επιχειρήσω να εξαφανίσω την ψεύτικη κατηγορία που τόσο πολύ χρόνο ακούγατε για μένα, μέσα σε τόσο λίγο χρόνο που έχω στη διάθεσή μου.

Θα ήθελα λοιπόν να γίνει έτσι, αν το θεωρείτε σωστό και για σας και για μένα, και να απολογηθώ με επιτυχία. Ξέρω όμως ότι είναι δύσκολο και βλέπω αρκετά καλά γιατί. Ας γίνει όμως όπως θέλει ο θεός. Εγώ πρέπει να υπακούσω στο νόμο και να απολογηθώ. Ας εξετάσουμε λοιπόν από την αρχή ποια είναι η κατηγορία από την οποία ξεκίνησε η διαβολή εναντίον μου, στην οποία πιστεύοντας ο Μέλητος έκανε αυτή την καταγγελία. Ας δούμε τι έλεγαν οι κατήγοροί μου εκείνοι. Πρέπει λοιπόν, σαν να ήταν αληθινοί κατήγοροι, να σας διαβάσω το κατηγορητήριό τους. “Ο Σωκράτης είναι ένοχος και ερευνά ψάχνοντας αυτά που βρίσκονται κάτω από τη γη και στον ουρανό, επίσης κάνει τον άδικο λόγο να φαίνεται δίκαιος, και αυτά τα διδάσκει και σε άλλους”.

Κάπως έτσι είναι. Γιατί αυτά βλέπετε και σεις οι ίδιοι στην κωμωδία του Αριστοφάνη, δηλαδή κάποιον Σωκράτη να περιφέρεται εκεί, να συζητά, να αεροβατεί και να φλυαρεί, πράγματα για τα οποία εγώ δεν έχω την παραμικρή ιδέα. Και δεν τα λέω αυτά για να υποτιμήσω την επιστήμη αυτή, αν κάποιος είναι σοφός σε τέτοια ζητήματα – ούτε βέβαια για να αποφύγω αυτές τις κατηγορίες του Μελήτου – αλλά επειδή εγώ, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, δεν έχω καμιά σχέση με αυτά.

Έχω για μάρτυρες τους περισσότερους από εσάς, και σας παρακαλώ να πληροφορήσετε ο ένας τον άλλον και να μιλήσουν όσοι με άκουσαν ποτέ να συζητάω. Και υπάρχουν πολλοί ανάμεσά σας τέτοιοι. Πείτε λοιπόν μεταξύ σας, αν κανείς από σας με άκουσε να συζητάω ποτέ, έστω και για λίγο, γι’ αυτά τα θέματα. Και απ’ αυτό θα καταλάβετε ότι τέτοιου είδους είναι και τα άλλα που λέει για μένα ο κόσμος. Τίποτα όμως από αυτά δεν είναι αλήθεια ούτε και αυτό αν το ακούσατε είναι αληθινό, ότι δηλαδή εγώ εκπαιδεύω ανθρώπους και παίρνω χρήματα γι’ αυτή τη δουλειά.

Παρόλο που και αυτό μου φαίνεται ότι είναι καλό, αν δηλαδή κάποιος είναι ικανός να εκπαιδεύσει ανθρώπους, όπως ο Γοργίας, ο Λεοντίνος και ο Πρόδικος ο Κείος και ο Ιππίας ο Ηλείος. Γιατί ο καθένας από αυτούς άνδρες Αθηναίοι, μπορεί, πηγαίνοντας από πόλη σε πόλη, να πείθει τους νέους – οι οποίοι έχουν την δυνατότητα, χωρίς να πληρώσουν τίποτα να συναναστρέφονται οποιονδήποτε θέλουν από τους συμπολίτες τους – να αφήνουν τις παρέες τους για να συναναστρέφονται αυτούς, πληρώνοντας χρήματα, και να τους χρωστούν από πάνω και ευγνωμοσύνη.

Επίσης υπάρχει κι ένας άλλος άνδρας σοφός εδώ, από την Πάρο καταγόμενος, που έμαθα ότι βρίσκεται στην πόλη μας. Έτυχε κάποτε να συναντήσω κάποιον άνθρωπο που έχει πληρώσει στους σοφιστές πολύ περισσότερα χρήματα από όσα όλοι οι άλλοι μαζί, τον Καλλία του Ιππονίκου. Τον ρώτησα λοιπόν – επειδή έχει και δυο γιους – : “Καλλία, αν αντί για τους δυο γιους σου είχες δυο πουλάρια ή δυο μοσχαράκια, δεν θα ήταν δύσκολο να βρούμε σε ποιον να τα εμπιστευτούμε και ποιον να μισθώσουμε για να μεγαλώσουν με τον καλύτερο δυνατό τρόπο. Θα ήταν κάποιος εκπαιδευτής αλόγων ή κάποιος κτηματίας. Τώρα όμως που πρόκειται για ανθρώπους, σε ποιον πρόκειται να τους εμπιστευτείς; Ποιος είναι γνώστης αυτής της αρετής, που ταιριάζει στον άνθρωπο και στον πολίτη; Φαντάζομαι ότι θα έχεις σκεφτεί, αφού έχεις παιδιά. Υπάρχει κάποιος κατάλληλος ή όχι;

– Και βέβαια, μου είπε.

– Ποιος είναι, του είπα. Από πού κατάγεται; Και με πόσα χρήματα διδάσκει;

– Ο Εύηνος, απάντησε, Σωκράτη, από την Πάρο, με πέντε μνες.

Κι εγώ μακάρισα τον Εύηνο, αν όντως κατέχει αυτήν την τέχνη και διδάσκει τόσο καλά. Εγώ ο ίδιος θα υπερηφανευόμουν πολύ αν είχα δεξιότητες και γνώσεις τέτοιου είδους. Αλλά δεν έχω, άνδρες Αθηναίοι. Θα με ρωτούσε ίσως κάποιος από σας: “Μα Σωκράτη, εσύ με τι ασχολείσαι; Πως γεννήθηκαν αυτές οι κατηγορίες εναντίον σου; Γιατί βέβαια αν δεν σε απασχολούσαν πράγματα που δεν απασχολούν άλλους δεν θα δημιουργούσες τόση φήμη, ούτε θα γινόταν τόσος λόγος για σένα, αν δεν έκανες πράγματα που οι πολλοί δεν τα κάνουν. Πες μας λοιπόν τι είναι αυτό, για να μην υποθέτουμε εμείς διάφορα πράγματα για σένα”.

Μου φαίνεται ότι σωστά θα μιλούσε όποιος έλεγε αυτά, και θα προσπαθήσω κι εγώ να βρω τι είναι αυτό που δημιούργησε τη φήμη μου και τις εναντίον μου κατηγορίες. Ακούτε λοιπόν προσεκτικά. Ίσως φανεί σε μερικούς από εσάς ότι αστειεύομαι. Να ξέρετε καλά όμως ότι θα σας πω όλη την αλήθεια. Εγώ λοιπόν, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, απέκτησα αυτό το όνομα απ’ τη σοφία μου και μόνο. Και ποια είναι αυτή η σοφία; Αυτή που είναι, νομίζω, η ανθρώπινη σοφία. Πράγματι ίσως να την κατέχω αυτή τη σοφία. Ενώ αυτοί, για τους οποίους μιλούσα πριν λίγο, είναι σοφοί με μια σοφία ανώτερη από την ανθρώπινη, αλλιώς δεν ξέρω τι να πω.

Γιατί εγώ δεν τη γνωρίζω αυτή τη σοφία, τη δική τους, και όποιος ισχυρίζεται το αντίθετο λέει ψέματα και το κάνει για να με διαβάλει. Και μην διαμαρτυρηθείτε με φωνές, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, αν σας φανεί ότι σας λέω κάτι υπερβολικό. Γιατί δεν είναι δικά μου τα λόγια που θα πω αλλά κάποιου πολύ αξιόπιστου. Γιατί της δικής μου σοφίας, αν έχω κάποια σοφία, όποια κι αν είναι, θα παρουσιάσω για μάρτυρα τον θεό των Δελφών. Γνωρίζετε βέβαια τον Χαιρεφώντα.

Αυτός ήταν παιδικός μου φίλος και ήταν και δικός σας φίλος, του λαού, και είχε εξοριστεί τότε μαζί σας, και ξαναγύρισε μαζί σας εδώ. Και ξέρετε βέβαια τι χαρακτήρα είχε ο Χαιρεφώντας, πόσο υπερβολικός ήταν σε ό,τι έκανε. Κάποτε λοιπόν που πήγε στους Δελφούς, τόλμησε να ρωτήσει το μαντείο το εξής: – γι’ αυτό που θα πω μην βάλετε τις φωνές, άνδρες – ρώτησε λοιπόν αν υπάρχει κάποιος σοφότερος από μένα. Απάντησε τότε η Πυθία ότι κανένας δεν είναι σοφότερος. Και γι’ αυτά τα πράγματα είναι μάρτυρας αυτός εδώ, ο αδελφός του, γιατί εκείνος έχει πεθάνει.

Προσέξτε τώρα γιατί σας τα λέω αυτά. Γιατί πρόκειται να σας εξηγήσω πως γεννήθηκε η ψεύτικη κατηγορία εναντίον μου. Όταν τα άκουσα λοιπόν αυτά, σκέφτηκα έτσι: “Τι είναι αυτά που λέει ο θεός και τι να εννοεί; Γιατί εγώ ξέρω πως δεν είμαι καθόλου σοφός. Τι λέει λοιπόν πως είμαι πιο σοφός απ’ όλους; Δεν μπορεί βέβαια να λέει ψέματα. Δεν είναι δυνατόν αυτό”. Και για πολύν καιρό απορούσα τι ήθελε να πει. Πολύ αργότερα άρχισα να εξετάζω το ζήτημα με τον τρόπο που θα σας πω. Πήγα σε κάποιον απ’ αυτούς που θεωρούνται σοφοί, γιατί ίσως εκεί θα μπορούσα να ελέγξω το μαντείο και να πω στον χρησμό: “Αυτός εδώ είναι σοφότερος από μένα, ενώ εσύ είπες ότι εγώ είμαι”. Εξετάζοντάς τον λοιπόν σε βάθος αυτόν – δεν χρειάζεται να πω το όνομά του, – ήταν κάποιος από τους πολιτικούς – εξετάζοντάς τον λοιπόν και συζητώντας μαζί του, έπαθα το εξής, άνδρες Αθηναίοι: μου φάνηκε ότι αυτός ο άνδρας φαινόταν σοφός και σε πολλούς άλλους ανθρώπους και προπαντός στον εαυτό του, ενώ δεν ήταν. Και έπειτα προσπαθούσα να του αποδείξω ότι νόμιζε πως ήταν σοφός, ενώ δεν ήταν. Μ’ αυτόν τον τρόπο όμως με αντιπάθησε και αυτός και πολλοί από τους παρόντες.

Εγώ λοιπόν καθώς έφευγα σκεφτόμουν ότι: “Απ’ αυτόν τον άνθρωπο εγώ είμαι σοφότερος. Γιατί, όπως φαίνεται, κανένας από τους δύο μας δεν γνωρίζει τίποτα σπουδαίο. Όμως αυτός νομίζει ότι γνωρίζει ενώ δεν γνωρίζει. Ενώ εγώ δεν γνωρίζω βέβαια τίποτα, αλλά ούτε και νομίζω ότι γνωρίζω. Φαίνεται ότι από εκείνον, γι’ αυτόν ακριβώς το λόγο, είμαι λίγο σοφότερος, γιατί εκείνα που δεν γνωρίζω δεν νομίζω ότι τα γνωρίζω. Μετά πήγα σε κάποιον άλλον, από εκείνους που θεωρούνται σοφότεροι απ’ αυτόν, και κατάλαβα ότι συμβαίνει και μ’ αυτόν ακριβώς το ίδιο. Έτσι με αντιπάθησε κι εκείνος και πολλοί άλλοι.

Μετά απ’ αυτά συνέχισα να πηγαίνω και σε άλλους, παρ’ όλο που ένιωθα – και λυπόμουν και φοβόμουν – πως γινόμουν μισητός, ωστόσο μου φαινόταν ότι ήταν αναγκαίο να προτιμήσω να ερευνήσω τα λόγια του θεού. Έπρεπε λοιπόν να πάω, εξετάζοντας τι θέλει να πει ο χρησμός, σε όλους που θεωρούνταν ότι γνωρίζουν κάτι.

Και μα τον κύνα, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, – γιατί πρέπει να σας πω την αλήθεια – να τι μου συνέβη: Οι πιο φημισμένοι μου φάνηκαν να ξέρουν σχεδόν τα λιγότερα, όταν τους εξέταζα σύμφωνα με τα λόγια του θεού, ενώ άλλοι, που φαίνονταν κατώτεροι, ήταν πιο συνετοί άνδρες. Πρέπει λοιπόν αυτή την περιπλάνησή μου να σας τη διηγηθώ, σαν άθλους που κατόρθωσα να πραγματοποιήσω, για να μην αφήσω ανεπιβεβαίωτο το χρησμό. Μετά λοιπόν από τους πολιτικούς, πήγα στους ποιητές, κι εκείνους των τραγωδιών κι εκείνους των διθυράμβων και τους άλλους, με σκοπό να πιάσω εδώ τον εαυτό μου να είμαι αμαθέστερος απ’ αυτούς. Φέρνοντας λοιπόν μαζί μου εκείνα από τα ποιήματά τους που μου φαινόταν ότι τα έχουν δουλέψει περισσότερο, τους ζητούσα να μου εξηγήσουν τι λένε, για να μάθω ταυτόχρονα και κάτι απ’ αυτούς. Ντρέπομαι λοιπόν να σας πω, άνδρες, την αλήθεια. Πρέπει όμως να σας την πω. Με λίγα λόγια, σχεδόν όλοι όσοι είναι παρόντες θα μπορούσαν να μιλήσουν καλύτερα για τα έργα τους απ’ αυτούς τους ίδιους. Δεν άργησα να αντιληφθώ ότι και για τους ποιητές ισχύει αυτό εδώ, ότι δηλαδή δεν δημιουργούν με τη σοφία, αλλά με κάποιο φυσικό χάρισμα, με κάποια έμπνευση ανάλογη μ’ εκείνη των μάντεων και των χρησμωδών.

Γιατί πράγματι αυτοί λένε πολλά και καλά, αλλά δεν γνωρίζουν τίποτα γι’ αυτά που λένε. Αυτό μου φαίνεται ότι έχουν πάθει και οι ποιητές. Και ταυτόχρονα κατάλαβα ότι εξαιτίας του ποιητικού τους ταλέντου νομίζουν ότι και στα άλλα είναι οι πιο σοφοί από τους ανθρώπους, ενώ δεν είναι. Έφυγα λοιπόν και από εκεί με τη σκέψη ότι έχω το ίδιο πλεονέκτημα απέναντί τους, όπως και με τους πολιτικούς. Στο τέλος πήγα στους χειροτέχνες. Γιατί ήξερα ότι εγώ δεν γνωρίζω τίποτα, ήξερα όμως ότι αυτούς θα τους εύρισκα να γνωρίζουν πολλά και καλά. Και σ’ αυτό δεν διαψεύστηκα, γιατί γνώριζαν αυτά που εγώ δεν γνώριζα και ως προς αυτά ήταν σοφότεροι από εμένα. Αλλά, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, μου φάνηκαν να έχουν το ίδιο ελάττωμα με τους ποιητές και οι καλοί καλλιτέχνες. Επειδή ασκούσε καλά την τέχνη του ο καθένας απ’ αυτούς, νόμιζε ότι και στα άλλα είναι πάρα πολύ σοφός, και αυτό το σφάλμα τους σκίαζε κι εκείνη τη σοφία που πράγματι κατείχαν.

Έτσι λοιπόν κατέληξα να αναρωτιέμαι – για να δικαιώσω το χρησμό – τι από τα δύο θα προτιμούσα, να είμαι όπως είμαι, δηλαδή να μην είμαι ούτε σοφός με τη δικιά τους σοφία αλλά ούτε και αμαθής με τη δικιά τους αμάθεια, ή να είμαι και σοφός και αμαθής όπως εκείνοι. Απαντούσα λοιπόν και στον εαυτό μου και στον χρησμό ότι είναι καλύτερα να είμαι όπως είμαι. Από αυτήν τη συνήθεια, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, γεννήθηκαν πολλές έχθρες εναντίον μου και μάλιστα τόσο δυσάρεστες και βαριές, ώστε να γεννηθούν απ’ αυτές πολλές συκοφαντίες και να μου βγει η φήμη ότι είμαι σοφός. Γιατί κάθε φορά που αποδεικνύω την άγνοια κάποιου, νομίζουν οι παρόντες ότι είμαι σοφός σ’ αυτά που εκείνος δεν γνωρίζει. Όπως φαίνεται όμως, άνδρες, ο θεός μόνο είναι πράγματι σοφός και μ’ αυτόν το χρησμό αυτό λέει, ότι η ανθρώπινη σοφία έχει μικρή αξία, ίσως και καμία. Και πιθανόν να υποδεικνύει τον Σωκράτη, και να χρησιμοποιεί το όνομά μου φέροντάς με για παράδειγμα, σα να ήθελε να πει: “Εκείνος από σας είναι, άνθρωποι, ο σοφότερος που, σαν το Σωκράτη, γνωρίζει ότι στην πραγματικότητα δεν μπορεί να είναι διόλου σοφός”. Όλα αυτά λοιπόν εγώ ακόμα και τώρα τα στριφογυρίζω στο μυαλό μου, τα εξετάζω και τα ερευνώ, ακολουθώντας τα λόγια του θεού, κάθε φορά που νομίσω ότι κάποιος είναι σοφός, είτε συμπολίτης μας είτε ξένος. Και όταν έχω την αίσθηση ότι δεν είναι σοφός, βοηθώ τον θεό αποδεικνύοντάς το. Έτσι, όντας απασχολημένος μ’ αυτό το έργο δεν ευκαιρώ ούτε για την πόλη να κάνω τίποτα αξιόλογο ούτε για την οικογένειά μου, αλλά βρίσκομαι σε φοβερή φτώχεια υπηρετώντας το θεό.

Εκτός από αυτά όμως οι νέοι που με ακολουθούν με τη θέλησή τους – και είναι εκείνοι που έχουν τον περισσότερο χρόνο διαθέσιμο, οι πιο πλούσιοι – ευχαριστιούνται να με ακούνε να εξετάζω τους ανθρώπους και πολλές φορές με μιμούνται κι αυτοί. Προσπαθούν έπειτα, να εξετάσουν και οι ίδιοι, άλλους. Και βρίσκουν, όπως φαίνεται, μεγάλη αφθονία από ανθρώπους που νομίζουν ότι γνωρίζουν κάτι, ενώ λίγα πράγματα μόνο γνωρίζουν ή ακόμα και τίποτα. Τότε όσοι εξετάζονται εξοργίζονται με εμένα αλλά όχι μ’ εκείνους. Λένε μάλιστα ότι υπάρχει κάποιος άθλιος Σωκράτης που διαφθείρει τους νέους.

Και όταν τους ρωτάει κανείς τι κάνει και τι διδάσκει για να πετυχαίνει κάτι τέτοιο, δεν έχουν τι να απαντήσουν γιατί δεν το ξέρουν. Για να μη φανεί όμως ότι δεν έχουν τι να πουν, λένε ό,τι έχουν πρόχειρο εναντίον των φιλοσόφων γενικώς, “πως ερευνά ό,τι συμβαίνει στον ουρανό και κάτω από τη γη”, “ότι δεν πιστεύει σους θεούς” και “ότι κάνει αυτό που είναι λάθος να φαίνεται για σωστό”. Γιατί την αλήθεια νομίζω, δεν θα ήθελαν να πουν, ότι δηλαδή προσποιούνται ότι γνωρίζουν, ενώ τίποτα δεν γνωρίζουν. Καθώς είναι λοιπόν φιλόδοξοι και φανατικοί και πολλοί, και μιλάνε όλοι μαζί και πειστικά για μένα, έχουν γεμίσει τα αυτιά σας και από παλιά και τώρα συκοφαντώντας με άγρια. Απ’ αυτούς είναι και ο Μέλητος και ο Άνυτος και ο Λύκων που μου επιτέθηκαν, ο Μέλητος οργιζόμενος για λογαριασμό των ποιητών, ο Άνυτος υπερασπιζόμενος τους πολιτικούς και ο Λύκων τους ρήτορες.

Ώστε, όπως έλεγα στην αρχή, θα απορούσα αν κατόρθωνα να βγάλω από το μυαλό σας σε τόσο λίγο χρόνο αυτές τις συκοφαντίες που έχουν συσσωρευτεί. Αυτή είναι, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, η αλήθεια, και σας τη λέω χωρίς να σας κρύψω τίποτα απολύτως και χωρίς να παραποιήσω τίποτα. Παρ’ όλο που ξέρω ότι για τον ίδιο λόγο σας γίνομαι μισητός. Αυτό άλλωστε είναι απόδειξη ότι λέω την αλήθεια και ότι από εδώ ξεκινούν οι συκοφαντίες και ότι αυτές είναι οι αιτίες τους.

Και είτε τώρα είτε άλλοτε να εξετάσετε αυτά, θα βρείτε ότι έτσι είναι. Για όσα λοιπόν με κατηγορούσαν οι πρώτοι μου κατήγοροι, αρκεί για σας αυτή μου η απολογία. Στον Μέλητο τώρα, τον καλό και αφοσιωμένο στην πόλη, όπως λένε, και στους πρόσφατους κατηγόρους μου, θα προσπαθήσω να απολογηθώ. Πάλι λοιπόν, επειδή πρόκειται για διαφορετικούς κατηγόρους, ας ακούσουμε το κατηγορητήριό τους. Λέει λοιπόν περίπου τα εξής: Λένε ότι ο Σωκράτης είναι ένοχος επειδή διαφθείρει τους νέους και δεν πιστεύει στους θεούς της πόλης, αλλά σε άλλες καινούργιες θεότητες.

Αυτή λοιπόν είναι η κατηγορία. Ας την εξετάσουμε λεπτομερώς. Λέει λοιπόν ότι είμαι ένοχος επειδή διαφθείρω τους νέους. Εγώ όμως, λέω, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, ότι είναι ένοχος ο Μέλητος, επειδή αστειεύεται σοβαρά, σέρνοντας με μεγάλη επιπολαιότητα ανθρώπους στα δικαστήρια, προσποιούμενος ότι ενδιαφέρεται και φροντίζει για πράγματα για τα οποία ποτέ δε νοιάστηκε. Και θα προσπαθήσω να σας αποδείξω ότι πράγματι έτσι είναι. Έλα λοιπόν, Μέλητε, και πες μας: Υπάρχει τίποτα άλλο που να σε ενδιαφέρει πιο πολύ από τη βελτίωση των νέων;

– Όχι βέβαια. Έλα λοιπόν, πες σ’ αυτούς εδώ, ποιος τους κάνει καλύτερους; Γιατί είναι φανερό ότι το ξέρεις, αφού ενδιαφέρεσαι. Έχοντας βρει εκείνον που τους διαφθείρει, όπως λες, με φέρνεις εδώ ενώπιον των δικαστών και με κατηγορείς. Έλα, πες μας τώρα, ποιος τους κάνει καλύτερους. Φανέρωσέ τον σ’ όσους μας ακούν.

Βλέπεις, Μέλητε, ότι σιωπάς, ότι δεν έχεις τι να πεις; Δεν νομίζεις ότι η σιωπή σου είναι ντροπή, ότι αποτελεί αρκετή απόδειξη για τον ισχυρισμό μου, ότι δε νοιάζεσαι καθόλου γι’ αυτό το ζήτημα; Αλλά πες μας, φίλε μου, ποιος κάνει τους νέους καλύτερους;

– Οι νόμοι.

– Μα δεν ρωτάω αυτό, αγαπητέ μου, αλλά ποιος άνθρωπος, ο οποίος βέβαια θα έχει πρώτα μάθει και τους νόμους.

– Αυτοί, Σωκράτη, οι δικαστές.

– Τι λες, Μέλητε; Αυτοί εδώ είναι ικανοί να μορφώνουν τους νέους και να τους κάνουν καλύτερους;

– Ασφαλώς.

– Όλοι γενικά ή μόνο μερικοί απ’ αυτούς;

– Όλοι γενικά.

– Καλά τα λες, μα την Ήρα. Μεγάλη έχουμε αφθονία από ωφέλιμους ανθρώπους. Και αυτοί εδώ οι ακροατές τους κάνουν καλύτερους ή όχι;

– Και αυτοί.

– Και οι βουλευτές;

– Και οι βουλευτές.

– Μήπως τότε, Μέλητε, τα μέλη της εκκλησίας του δήμου, οι εκκλησιαστές, διαφθείρουν τους νεότερους; Ή κι εκείνοι, όλοι γενικά, τους κάνουν καλύτερους;

– Κι εκείνοι.

– Όλοι λοιπόν, όπως φαίνεται, οι Αθηναίοι τους κάνουν καλούς και άξιους εκτός από μένα, και μόνον εγώ τους διαφθείρω. Έτσι λες;

– Έτσι ακριβώς.

– Πόσο δυστυχισμένο με θεωρείς! Απάντησέ μου όμως: νομίζεις ότι και με τα άλογα συμβαίνει το ίδιο ; Όλοι οι άνθρωποι μπορούν να τα κάνουν καλύτερα, και μόνο ένας είναι που τα χαλάει;

Ή συμβαίνει εντελώς το αντίθετο, και μόνο ένας μπορεί να τα κάνει καλύτερα, ή πολύ λίγοι μόνο, οι ιπποκόμοι; Ενώ οι άλλοι, οι πολλοί, όταν ασχολούνται με άλογα και τα χρησιμοποιούν, τα χαλάνε; Δεν ισχύει αυτό, Μέλητε, και για τα άλογα και για όλα τα άλλα ζώα; Ισχύει, είτε το παραδεχτείτε εσύ κι ο Άνυτος είτε όχι. Θα ήταν λοιπόν πολύ ευτυχισμένοι οι νέοι αν ένας μόνο τους διέφθειρε και όλοι οι άλλοι τους ωφελούσαν.

Αλλά όμως, Μέλητε, είναι ολοφάνερο πως ποτέ δεν φρόντισες για τους νέους και απέδειξες καθαρά την αμέλειά σου, ότι ποτέ δεν ενδιαφέρθηκες για τα πράγματα για τα οποία με κατηγορείς. Πες μας ακόμα, στο όνομα του Δία, Μέλητε, τι είναι καλύτερο, να ζεις ανάμεσα σε καλούς πολίτες ή σε κακούς; Έλα φίλε μου, απάντησε. Δεν σε ρωτάω τίποτα δύσκολο. Οι κακοί δεν βλάπτουν πάντοτε εκείνους που βρίσκονται κοντά τους, και οι καλοί δεν τους ωφελούν;

– Ασφαλώς.

– Υπάρχει λοιπόν κανένας που θα ήθελε να βλάπτεται από τους δικούς του, και όχι να ωφελείται; Απάντησε, αγαπητέ μου. Ο νόμος προστάζει να απαντήσεις. Υπάρχει κανένας που θα ήθελε να βλάπτεται;

– Όχι βέβαια.

– Έλα λοιπόν, πες μας, με κατηγορείς εδώ ότι διαφθείρω τους νέους και τους κάνω κακούς; Γίνεται αυτό με τη θέλησή μου ή χωρίς τη θέλησή μου;

– Με τη θέλησή σου βέβαια.

– Τι είναι αυτά που λες, Μέλητε; Είσαι τόσο σοφότερος εσύ από μένα, παρ’ όλο που είσαι τόσο νεότερός μου, ώστε ενώ ξέρεις ότι οι κακοί βλάπτουν πάντοτε εκείνους που βρίσκονται κοντά τους και οι καλοί τους ωφελούν, λες ότι εγώ έχω φτάσει σε τέτοιο σημείο αμάθειας που με το να μην με ενδιαφέρει αν κάνω κάποιον από τους γύρω μου να γίνει κακός, μπαίνω κι εγώ ο ίδιος στον κίνδυνο να μου κάνει κάτι κακό; Και αυτό το τόσο μεγάλο κακό το κάνω, όπως λες, με τη θέλησή μου; Δεν με πείθεις γι’ αυτό, Μέλητε, και θαρρώ πως κανέναν άλλον δεν πείθεις. Αλλά ή δεν τους διαφθείρω, ή, αν τους διαφθείρω, το κάνω χωρίς να το θέλω. Πάντως εσύ και στις δύο περιπτώσεις λες ψέματα.

Αν όμως τους διαφθείρω χωρίς τη θέλησή μου, για τέτοια αθέλητα σφάλματα ο νόμος δεν ορίζει να με φέρεις στο δικαστήριο, αλλά να με πάρεις ιδιαιτέρως, και να με συμβουλεύσεις και να με νουθετήσεις. Γιατί είναι φανερό ότι, αφού το καταλάβω, θα πάψω να κάνω ό,τι έκανα ακούσια. Εσύ όμως απέφυγες να το κάνεις αυτό και δεν θέλησες να έρθεις να με βρεις και να με νουθετήσεις. Και με φέρνεις σ’ αυτό το δικαστήριο, όπου ο νόμος ορίζει να φέρνουν εκείνους που χρειάζονται τιμωρία και όχι εκείνους που χρειάζονται νουθεσία. Αλλά, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, είναι πια φανερό εκείνο που ήδη έλεγα, ότι δηλαδή ο Μέλητος δε νοιάστηκε ποτέ στο ελάχιστο γι’ αυτά. Όμως πες μας: Με ποιον τρόπο Μέλητε, λες ότι διαφθείρω τους νεότερους; Όπως φαίνεται και από την καταγγελία σου, διδάσκοντάς τους να μην πιστεύουν στους θεούς που πιστεύει η πόλη, αλλά σε άλλους καινούργιους δαίμονες; Δεν λες ότι διδάσκοντας αυτά τους διαφθείρω;

– Ακριβώς αυτά λέω.

– Στο όνομα λοιπόν αυτών των θεών για τους οποίους γίνεται τώρα λόγος, Μέλητε, εξήγησέ μας με μεγαλύτερη σαφήνεια και σε μένα και σ’ αυτούς εδώ τους άνδρες, γιατί εγώ δεν καταλαβαίνω τι ακριβώς θέλεις να πεις. Λες ότι διδάσκω να πιστεύουν ότι υπάρχουν μερικοί θεοί – άρα και εγώ πιστεύω ότι υπάρχουν θεοί και δεν είμαι εντελώς άθεος και δεν μπορώ να κατηγορηθώ γι’ αυτό – αλλά ότι δεν είναι αυτοί της πόλης, αλλά άλλοι, και γι’ αυτό ακριβώς με κατηγορείς, επειδή είναι άλλοι; Ή ισχυρίζεσαι ότι δεν έχω πίστη στους θεούς, πράγμα που διδάσκω και στους άλλους;

– Ακριβώς, λέω ότι δεν πιστεύεις καθόλου στους θεούς.

– Καλέ μου Μέλητε, πως τα λες αυτά;

Δεν πιστεύω λοιπόν ούτε για τον ήλιο ούτε για τη σελήνη ότι είναι θεοί, όπως οι άλλοι άνθρωποι;

– Μα τον Δία, άνδρες δικαστές, για τον ήλιο λεει ότι είναι πέτρα και για τη σελήνη ότι είναι γη.

– Τον Αναξαγόρα νομίζεις ότι κατηγορείς, αγαπητέ μου Μέλητε. Και τόσο μικρή ιδέα έχεις γι’ αυτούς εδώ, τους θεωρείς τόσο αγράμματους, ώστε να μη γνωρίζουν ότι τα βιβλία του Αναξαγόρα του Κλαζομένιου είναι γεμάτα από τέτοια λόγια; Από εμένα θα τα μάθαιναν αυτά οι νέοι, ενώ θα μπορούσαν, όποτε ήθελαν, να αγοράσουν τα βιβλία αυτά από την ορχήστρα του θεάτρου με μια δραχμή, και να κοροϊδεύουν το Σωκράτη, αν υποστηρίζει ότι είναι δικά του, πράγματα μάλιστα τόσο περίεργα. Αλλά, στο όνομα του Δία, έτσι σου φαίνομαι; Ότι δεν πιστεύω σε κανένα θεό;

– Όχι, μα το Δία, σε κανέναν απολύτως.

– Ούτε τον εαυτό σου, Μέλητε, μου φαίνεται ότι δεν πιστεύεις πια. Αυτός εδώ μου φαίνεται, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, ότι σας περιφρονεί πολύ και ότι είναι τελείως αναίσχυντος, και ότι έκανε αυτή την καταγγελία από αλαζονεία και αναισχυντία και νεανική επιπολαιότητα. Φαίνεται σα να έχει φτιάξει ένα γρίφο για να με δοκιμάσει:

“Θα καταλάβει άραγε ο Σωκράτης ο σοφός ότι αστειεύομαι και ότι αντιφάσκω ή θα τον εξαπατήσω και αυτόν και τους άλλους που με ακούνε;” Γιατί νομίζω πως είναι φανερό ότι ο ίδιος αντιφάσκει στην καταγγελία του και είναι σαν να έλεγε: “Ο Σωκράτης είναι ένοχος επειδή δεν πιστεύει στους θεούς, πιστεύοντας όμως στους θεούς”. Μα είναι αστείο. Εξετάστε κι εσείς μαζί μου, άνδρες, πως αντιλαμβάνομαι αυτά που λέει. Κι εσύ απάντησέ μας, Μέλητε. Όσο για σας, θυμηθείτε αυτό που σας ζήτησα από την αρχή, και μη διαμαρτύρεσθε όταν μιλάω με το συνηθισμένο μου τρόπο.

Είναι κανένας, Μέλητε, από τους ανθρώπους που να πιστεύει ότι υπάρχουν ανθρώπινα πράγματα και να μην πιστεύει ότι υπάρχουν άνθρωποι; Ας μου απαντήσει, άνδρες, και ας μη διαμαρτύρεται λέγοντας άλλα αντί άλλων. Είναι κανένας που να μην πιστεύει ότι υπάρχουν άλογα, αλλά να πιστεύει ότι υπάρχει ιππασία; Ή που ενώ δεν πιστεύει ότι υπάρχουν αυλητές, πιστεύει ότι υπάρχει αυλητική τέχνη; Δεν είναι δυνατόν αυτό, φίλε μου. Κι αν εσύ δεν θέλεις να απαντήσεις, στο λέω εγώ, και σ’ εσένα και σ’ αυτούς εδώ. Απάντησέ μου όμως τουλάχιστον σ’ αυτό που σε ρωτάω τώρα: είναι κανείς που να πιστεύει στη δύναμη των θεοτήτων και να μην πιστεύει ότι υπάρχουν θεότητες;

– Δεν είναι δυνατόν αυτό.

– Με βοηθάς απαντώντας έτσι, έστω και με το ζόρι, επειδή αναγκάζεσαι απ’ αυτούς εδώ να το κάνεις. Λες λοιπόν ότι και πιστεύω στη δύναμη των θεοτήτων, και διδάσκω ότι υπάρχουν, είτε πρόκειται για καινούργιες είτε για παλιες, αλλά πάντως πιστεύω στη δύναμη των θεοτήτων, σύμφωνα με τα λόγια σου, και μάλιστα αυτό το αναφέρεις και στην ένορκη καταγγελία σου. Αλλά αν πιστεύω στη δύναμή τους, είναι απολύτως αναγκαίο να πιστεύω ότι υπάρχουν θεότητες. Δεν είναι έτσι; Ασφαλώς. Σε βάζω να συμφωνείς μαζί μου, επειδή δεν απαντάς. Τις θεότητες λοιπόν δεν τις θεωρούμε είτε θεούς είτε παιδιά των θεών; Συμφωνείς ή όχι;

– Βέβαια.

– Αν λοιπόν πιστεύω στις θεότητες, όπως λες εσύ, αν μεν είναι κάποιοι θεοί οι δαίμονες, τότε δεν ισχύει ο ισχυρισμός μου, ότι μιλάς με γρίφους και μας κοροϊδεύεις; Γιατί λες ότι εγώ δεν πιστεύω στους θεούς αλλά ταυτόχρονα και ότι πιστεύω, εφόσον πιστεύω στις θεότητες. Αν πάλι οι θεότητες είναι παιδιά θεών, είτε νόθα είτε από νύμφες είτε από άλλες μητέρες, όπως λένε, ποιος από τους ανθρώπους θα πίστευε ότι ενώ υπάρχουν παιδιά των θεών, δεν υπάρχουν θεοί;

Το ίδιο παράλογο θα ήταν να πίστευε κανείς ότι υπάρχουν παιδιά των αλόγων και των γαϊδουριών, τα μουλάρια, αλλά να μην πίστευε ότι υπάρχουν άλογα και γαϊδούρια. Όχι, Μέλητε, δεν είναι δυνατόν να τα έγραψες αυτά στην καταγγελία σου για άλλο λόγο παρά μόνο γιατί δεν έβρισκες κανένα αληθινό αδίκημα για να με κατηγορήσεις. Αλλά δεν υπάρχει κανένας τρόπος να πείσεις κάποιον άνθρωπο, ακόμα κι αν έχει ελάχιστη νοημοσύνη, ότι μπορεί κάποιος που πιστεύει στη δύναμη των θεοτήτων να μην πιστεύει στη δύναμη των θεών, ή το αντίθετο, ότι μπορεί κάποιος που δεν πιστεύει σε θεότητες να πιστεύει είτε στους θεούς είτε στους ήρωες.

Αλλά, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, νομίζω ότι δεν χρειάζεται να αποδείξω με περισσότερα επιχειρήματα ότι δεν ευσταθεί η κατηγορία του Μέλητου. Αρκούν αυτά που είπα. Εκείνο όμως που έλεγα προηγουμένως, ότι προκάλεσα τη μεγάλη εχθρότητα πολλών ανθρώπων, είναι απολύτως αληθινό. Και αυτό είναι που θα με καταστρέψει, αν με καταστρέψει: δεν θα είναι ούτε ο Μέλητος ούτε ο Άνυτος, αλλά οι συκοφαντίες και ο φθόνος των πολλών. Αυτά στ’ αλήθεια κατέστρεψαν και νομίζω θα καταστρέψουν στο μέλλον πολλούς άλλους δίκαιους ανθρώπους.

Γιατί δεν πιστεύω ότι θα σταματήσει σ’ εμένα το κακό.

Θα μπορούσε όμως να πει κανείς: “Δεν ντρέπεσαι, Σωκράτη, που έχεις κάνει τέτοια πράγματα ώστε τώρα να κινδυνεύεις να πεθάνεις;” Κι εγώ τότε θα του έδινα τη σωστή απάντηση, λέγοντας ότι: “Κάνεις λάθος, άνθρωπε, αν νομίζεις πως ένας άνδρας που θέλει να ωφελήσει έστω και λίγο τους άλλους πρέπει να υπολογίζει τον κίνδυνο αν θα ζήσει ή αν θα πεθάνει. Ενώ το μόνο που πρέπει να σκέφτεται, όταν ενεργεί, είναι αν ενεργεί δίκαια ή άδικα και αν η συμπεριφορά του είναι καλού ή κακού ανθρώπου.

Γιατί τότε θα ήταν ανάξιοι, σύμφωνα με τα λεγόμενά σου, όσοι από τους ημίθεους σκοτώθηκαν στην Τροία, και όλοι οι άλλοι, και ο γιος της Θέτιδας. Αυτός τόσο πολύ περιφρονούσε τον κίνδυνο, μπροστά στο ενδεχόμενο να ντροπιαστεί, ώστε, όταν του είπε η μητέρα του, που ήταν θεά, τότε που ήθελε να σκοτώσει τον Έκτορα, τα εξής παρακάτω – αν θυμάμαι καλά – λόγια: “Παιδί μου, αν εκδικηθείς το φόνο του φίλου σου του Πατρόκλου και σκοτώσεις τον Έκτορα, θα πεθάνεις κι εσύ. Γιατί αμέσως μετά τον Έκτορα θα έρθει και το δικό σου τέλος”, εκείνος – ενώ τα άκουσε αυτά – αδιαφόρησε για τον θάνατο και τον κίνδυνο, και πιο πολύ φοβήθηκε να ζήσει σαν δειλός που εκδίκηση δεν παίρνει για τους φίλους του.

“Ας πεθάνω αμέσως, είπε, φτάνει να τιμωρήσω εκείνον που έφταιξε και να μη μένω πια εδώ ντροπιασμένος, κοντά στα καμπυλόπρυμνα καράβια, βάρος της γης”. Νομίζεις ότι νοιάστηκε αυτός για τον θάνατο και τον κίνδυνο; Και πράγματι, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, έτσι είναι. Εκεί που θα ταχθεί κανείς, είτε από μόνος του, επειδή πιστεύει ότι πράττει το καλύτερο, είτε από κάποιον άρχοντα, εκεί οφείλει, θαρρώ, να παραμείνει, διακινδυνεύοντας και χωρίς να λογαριάζει ούτε θάνατο ούτε τίποτα άλλο, μπροστά στην ατίμωση. Θα είχα λοιπόν κάνει πολύ άσχημα, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, αν όταν με διέταξαν οι άρχοντες που εσείς εκλέξατε, να πολεμήσω στην Ποτίδαια, στην Αμφίπολη, στο Δήλιο, έμενα τότε στο καθήκον που μου όριζαν, όπως και οι άλλοι, και έβαζα σε κίνδυνο τη ζωή μου, και όταν μου όριζε ο θεός – κατά τη δική μου πάντα αντίληψη – ότι πρέπει να ζω φιλοσοφώντας και εξετάζοντας τον εαυτό μου και τους άλλους, να φοβόμουν είτε το θάνατο είτε οτιδήποτε άλλο, και να εγκατέλειπα τη θέση μου

Θα ήταν φοβερό, και πράγματι τότε θα ήταν δίκαιο να με φέρει κανείς στο δικαστήριο με την κατηγορία ότι δεν πιστεύω στους θεούς και ότι δεν υπακούω στον χρησμό, και ότι φοβάμαι τον θάνατο και ότι νομίζω πως είμαι σοφός ενώ δεν είμαι. Γιατί το να φοβάται κανείς τον θάνατο, άνδρες, δεν είναι τίποτα άλλο από το να νομίζει κανείς ότι είναι σοφός χωρίς να είναι. Να νομίζει ότι γνωρίζει αυτά που δε γνωρίζει. Γιατί κανείς δεν γνωρίζει τον θάνατο, ούτε αν συμβαίνει να είναι το μεγαλύτερο αγαθό για τον άνθρωπο, κι όμως τον φοβούνται σα να ξέρουν καλά ότι είναι το μεγαλύτερο κακό.

Και δεν είναι αμάθεια αυτό επονείδιστη, το να νομίζει κανείς ότι γνωρίζει εκείνα που δεν γνωρίζει; Εγώ όμως, άνδρες, σ’ αυτό ακριβώς διαφέρω ίσως από τους περισσότερους και αν λέω ότι είμαι σε κάτι σοφότερος από κάποιον άλλον είναι σ’ αυτό το σημείο, ότι μη γνωρίζοντας αρκετά για τον Άδη, παραδέχομαι την άγνοιά μου. Γνωρίζω όμως ότι είναι κακό και ντροπή να βλάπτει κανείς έναν καλύτερο και να μην υπακούει σ’ αυτόν, είτε θεός είναι είτε άνθρωπος Έτσι λοιπόν ποτέ δεν θα φοβηθώ και δεν θα αποφύγω να κάνω κάτι, διαπράττοντας κακές πράξεις που γνωρίζω ότι είναι κακές, για να επιτύχω άλλες που δεν γνωρίζω αν είναι πράγματι καλές.

Ώστε ακόμα κι αν με αφήνατε τώρα ελεύθερο, μη πιστεύοντας στον Άνυτο, ο οποίος σας είπε ότι είτε από την αρχή δεν έπρεπε καθόλου να δικαστώ, ή, αφού δικάζομαι, δεν είναι δυνατόν να μη με καταδικάσετε σε θάνατο. Γιατί, πρόσθεσε, αν γλιτώσει, οι γιοι σας, που ήδη κάνουν ό,τι τους διδάσκει ο Σωκράτης, θα καταστραφούν όλοι εντελώς. Αν λοιπόν, παρ’ όλα αυτά, μου λέγατε: “Σωκράτη, εμείς δεν θα πιστέψουμε τον Άνυτο και θα σε αφήσουμε ελεύθερο, με τον εξής όμως όρο, ότι δεν θα περνάς πια την ώρα σου εξετάζοντας έτσι τους ανθρώπους και φιλοσοφώντας. Κι αν πιαστείς να το κάνεις αυτό το πράγμα, θα πεθάνεις”. Αν λοιπόν, όπως είπα, μ’ αυτόν τον όρο μ’ αφήνατε ελεύθερο, θα σας έλεγα ότι: “Εγώ, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, σας εκτιμώ και σας αγαπώ, αλλά θα υπακούσω στον θεό κι όχι σε σας, και όσο αναπνέω και μπορώ, δεν θα πάψω να φιλοσοφώ και να σας συμβουλεύω και να νουθετώ οποιονδήποτε από σας τυχαίνει κάθε φορά να συναντώ, λέγοντάς του αυτά ακριβώς που συνήθιζα να λέω, ότι: “Πως εσύ, αγαπητέ μου, όντας Αθηναίος πολίτης της πιο μεγάλης και της πιο φημισμένης για τη σοφία της και τη δύναμή της πόλης, δεν ντρέπεσαι να φροντίζεις για τα χρήματα, πως θα αποκτήσεις περισσότερα, και για τη δόξα και τις τιμές, και να μην ενδιαφέρεσαι ούτε να νοιάζεσαι για τη φρόνηση και την αλήθεια και την ψυχή σου;” Και αν κάποιος από σας αμφισβητεί τα λόγια μου και πει ότι φροντίζει και γι’ αυτά, δεν θα τον αφήσω αμέσως ούτε θα φύγω, αλλά θα του υποβάλλω ερωτήσεις και θα τον εξετάσω και θα τον ελέγξω, και αν μου φανεί ότι δεν κατέχει την αρετή, παρ’ όλο που ισχυρίζεται το αντίθετο, θα τον επιπλήξω που νοιάζεται τόσο λίγο για τα πιο σημαντικά και τόσο πολύ για τα πιο ασήμαντα. Αυτά θα τα κάνω σε όποιον τύχει να συναντήσω, είτε είναι νεότερος είτε μεγαλύτερος, είτε ξένος είτε συμπολίτης μας, και κυρίως στους συμπολίτες μας, που είναι πιο δικοί μου. Γιατί αυτά με προστάζει ο θεός καταλάβετέ το καλά. Και εγώ πιστεύω ότι μέχρι τώρα δεν έχει υπάρξει μεγαλύτερο αγαθό για σας και για την πόλη από αυτήν την υπηρεσία μου που προσφέρω στον θεό. Γιατί περιφέρομαι μη κάνοντας τίποτα άλλο από το να πείθω τους νεότερους και τους πιο ηλικιωμένους ανάμεσά σας να μην φροντίζουν ούτε για τα σώματά τους ούτε για τα χρήματά τους με τόσο πάθος, παρά μόνο για την ψυχή τους, πως θα γίνει καλύτερη, λέγοντας τους ότι η αρετή δεν γίνεται από τα χρήματα, αλλά τα χρήματα και όλα τα άλλα ανθρώπινα αγαθά, και τα ιδιωτικά και τα δημόσια, από την αρετή. Αν τα λόγια μου αυτά διαφθείρουν τους νέους, τότε είναι βλαβερά. Κι αν κάποιος ισχυρίζεται ότι εγώ άλλα λέω και όχι ό,τι σας είπα, δεν λέει την αλήθεια. Ως προς αυτά, θα έλεγα, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, ή να ακούσετε τον Άνυτο ή να μην τον ακούσετε, και ή να μ’ αφήσετε ελεύθερο ή να μη μ’ αφήσετε, γιατί εγώ δεν πρόκειται να αλλάξω σε ό,τι κάνω, ακόμα κι αν πρόκειται να πεθάνω πολλές φορές.

Μη διαμαρτύρεσθε, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, κάντε ό,τι σας παρακάλεσα. Μην διαμαρτύρεσθε για ό,τι λέω, αλλά ακούτε. Γιατί πιστεύω ότι ακούγοντάς με θα ωφεληθείτε. Γι’ αυτά τα άλλα που πρόκειται να σας πω θα βάλετε ίσως τις φωνές, αλλά να μην το κάνετε. Να ξέρετε καλά όμως, ότι αν με θανατώσετε, και είμαι πράγματι αυτός που λέω εγώ, δεν θα βλάψετε τόσο εμένα όσο θα βλάψετε τους εαυτούς σας. Γιατί εμένα σε τίποτε δεν μπορούν να με βλάψουν ούτε ο Μέλητος ούτε ο Άνυτος. Δεν θα είχαν τη δυνατότητα, γιατί πιστεύω ότι δεν γίνεται ο χειρότερος άνθρωπος να βλάψει έναν καλύτερο.

Θα μπορούσε βέβαια να με σκοτώσει ίσως ή να με εξορίσει ή και να μου στερήσει τα πολιτικά μου δικαιώματα. Αυτά τα πράγματα ίσως αυτός ή κάποιος άλλος να τα θεωρεί μεγάλο κακό. Όχι όμως εγώ. Θεωρώ πολύ χειρότερο να κάνει κανείς ό,τι κάνει αυτός τώρα, προσπαθώντας να σκοτώσει άδικα έναν άνθρωπο. Τώρα λοιπόν, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, δεν απολογούμαι καθόλου για χάρη του εαυτού μου, όπως θα νόμιζε κανείς, αλλά για χάρη σας, για να μην αμαρτήσετε προς τον θεό, καταδικάζοντάς με, περιφρονώντας αυτό που σας έδωσε.

Γιατί αν με σκοτώσετε, άλλον σαν κι εμένα δεν θα βρείτε – για να το πω απλά αλλά κι αστεία – που να τον έχει ορίσει ο θεός να βρίσκεται κοντά στην πόλη, η οποία λόγω μεγέθους μοιάζει νωθρό μεγάλο άλογο ράτσας και χρειάζεται αλογόμυγα να την ξυπνάει. Νομίζω ότι σαν τέτοια με έχει βάλει στην πόλη ο θεός, να μη σταματώ όλη τη μέρα να σας ξυπνώ, να σας πείθω και τον καθένα χωριστά να επικρίνω τριγυρίζοντας παντού.

Δεν θα βρεθεί λοιπόν εύκολα άλλος τέτοιος για σας, άνδρες, και αν με πιστεύετε, πρέπει να με αθωώσετε. Ίσως όμως να βαρεθείτε γρήγορα, όπως όσοι ξυπνάνε νυσταγμένοι, και, έχοντας πειστεί από τον Άνυτο, με ένα χτύπημα να με σκοτώσετε εύκολα. Και έπειτα θα περάσετε την υπόλοιπη ζωή σας κοιμώμενοι, αν δεν σας φροντίσει ο θεός και δεν σας στείλει κάποιον άλλον. Το ότι πράγματι εγώ είμαι εκείνος που έδωσε ο θεός στην πόλη γι’ αυτόν τον σκοπό, μπορείτε να το καταλάβετε εύκολα: γιατί δεν φαίνεται ανθρώπινο να έχω παραμελήσει όλες τις υποθέσεις μου και να ανέχομαι να είναι τόσα χρόνια παραμελημένοι οι δικοί μου, για να φροντίζω εσάς, πλησιάζοντας τον καθένα χωριστά, σαν να ήμουν πατέρας σας ή μεγαλύτερος αδελφός σας, για να σας πείθω να ασχοληθείτε με την αρετή. Αν βέβαια είχα κάποιο όφελος απ’ αυτό και σας παρακινούσα να το κάνετε παίρνοντας αμοιβή, θα είχα κάποιο λόγο να το κάνω. Τώρα όμως, βλέπετε οι ίδιοι, ότι οι κατήγοροι, ενώ για όλα τα άλλα τόσο αναίσχυντα με κατηγορούν, γι’ αυτό δεν τόλμησαν να με κατηγορήσουν και να βρουν κάποιον μάρτυρα, πως εγώ είτε πήρα ποτέ αμοιβή είτε ζήτησα.

Κι αυτό γιατί, όπως νομίζω, διαθέτω έναν αρκετά αξιόπιστο μάρτυρα, την φτώχεια μου. Ίσως λοιπόν να σας φαίνεται παράξενο που, ενώ τριγυρνώντας ανάμεσά σας σας συμβουλεύω ιδιαιτέρως και μιλώ για πολλά πράγματα, δημόσια δεν τολμώ να ανεβώ στο βήμα και μιλώντας στο πλήθος να συμβουλεύσω την πόλη. Αιτία αυτού του πράγματος είναι εκείνο που πολλές φορές ήδη και σε πολλά μέρη με έχετε ακούσει να λέω, ότι υπάρχει μέσα μου κάτι θεϊκό και δαιμόνιο, μια φωνή, αυτό το έγραψε και στην καταγγελία του διακωμωδώντας το ο Μέλητος.

Σε μένα λοιπόν αυτό άρχισε να υπάρχει από τότε που ήμουνα παιδί, είναι μια φωνή που ακούω, η οποία, όποτε την ακούω, πάντοτε με αποτρέπει από κάτι που πρόκειται να κάνω, και ποτέ δεν με προτρέπει σε τίποτα. Αυτή είναι που με εμποδίζει να ασχοληθώ με την πολιτική. Και μου φαίνεται ότι κάνει πάρα πολύ καλά που με εμποδίζει. Γιατί να το ξέρετε καλά, άνδρες Αθηναίοι. Αν εγώ από παλιά είχα επιχειρήσει να ασχοληθώ με την πολιτική, από παλιά θα είχα αφανισθεί και ούτε εσάς θα είχα ωφελήσει σε τίποτα ούτε τον εαυτό μου.

Και μη μου θυμώνετε που λέω την αλήθεια. Γιατί δεν υπάρχει άνθρωπος που να μπορεί να διασωθεί, είτε από σας είτε από οποιοδήποτε άλλο πλήθος, όταν εναντιώνεται με ειλικρίνεια και εμποδίζει να γίνονται στην πόλη πολλά άδικα πράγματα και παράνομα. Αλλά είναι αναγκαίο εκείνος που πράγματι μάχεται για το δίκαιο, αν πρέπει να διασωθεί για λίγο χρονικό διάστημα, να παραμείνει ιδιώτης και να μην συμμετέχει στη δημόσια ζωή. Και θα σας δώσω μεγάλες αποδείξεις γι’ αυτό, όχι λόγια, αλλά εκείνα που εσείς εκτιμάτε περισσότερο, έργα. Ακούστε λοιπόν αυτά που μου συνέβησαν, για να δείτε ότι δεν υποχωρώ σε τίποτα που να είναι αντίθετο στο δίκαιο από το φόβο του θανάτου, ακόμα κι αν μη υποχωρώντας θα πέθαινα. Θα σας μιλήσω και με λόγια κοινά και με τη γλώσσα των δικαστηρίων, αλλά θα σας πω την αλήθεια. Εγώ λοιπόν, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, δεν κατέλαβα ποτέ κανένα άλλο αξίωμα στην πόλη, διετέλεσα όμως κάποτε βουλευτής και έτυχε να πρυτανεύει η δική μας η φυλή, η Αντιοχίς, τότε που εσείς, τους δέκα στρατηγούς που δεν μάζεψαν τους ναυαγούς μετά τη ναυμαχία, θέλατε να τους δικάσετε όλους μαζί, παράνομα, όπως αργότερα το καταλάβατε όλοι σας. Τότε, μόνος από όλους τους πρυτάνεις σας εναντιώθηκα, υποστηρίζοντας ότι δεν πρέπει να κάνετε τίποτα αντίθετο προς τους νόμους, και ψήφισα ενάντια στη θέλησή σας. Και ενώ ήταν έτοιμοι οι ρήτορες να με καταγγείλουν και να στείλουν να με συλλάβουν, και εσείς τους παροτρύνατε με φωνές, έκρινα ότι είναι προτιμότερο να διακινδυνεύσω όντας με την πλευρά του νόμου και του δικαίου, παρά να είμαι με το μέρος το δικό σας, που δεν σκεφτόσαστε δίκαια, από φόβο μήπως φυλακισθώ ή θανατωθώ. Και αυτά συνέβαιναν ενώ ακόμα υπήρχε δημοκρατία στην πόλη. Αλλά και όταν έγινε ολιγαρχία, οι τριάκοντα πάλι, αφού με κάλεσαν μαζί με τους άλλους τέσσερις στη Θόλο, μας διέταξαν να πάμε να φέρουμε από τη Σαλαμίνα τον Λέοντα τον Σαλαμίνιο, για να τον σκοτώσουν. Τέτοιες διαταγές έδιναν συχνά και σε πολλούς άλλους, επειδή ήθελαν να εμπλέξουν στα εγκλήματά τους όσο το δυνατόν περισσότερους. Τότε λοιπόν εγώ, όχι με τα λόγια, αλλά έμπρακτα, απέδειξα πάλι ότι εμένα – για να μιλήσω πιο καθαρά – δεν με ενδιαφέρει διόλου ο θάνατος. Το μόνο που με ενδιαφέρει είναι να μη διαπράξω κάτι άδικο κι ανόσιο. Γιατί εμένα εκείνο το καθεστώς, παρά την ισχύ του, δεν με φόβισε τόσο ώστε να αναγκαστώ να κάνω κάτι άδικο. Αλλά αφού βγήκαμε από τη Θόλο, ενώ οι τέσσερις πήγαν στη Σαλαμίνα και έφεραν τον Λέοντα, εγώ έφυγα και πήγα στο σπίτι μου. Και ίσως να είχα πεθάνει γι’ αυτή μου την πράξη, αν δεν είχε καταλυθεί σύντομα η εξουσία τους. Γι’ αυτά μπορούν να σας μιλήσουν πολλοί μάρτυρες.

Νομίζετε λοιπόν ότι θα είχα φτάσει σ’ αυτήν την ηλικία, αν είχα ασχοληθεί με την πολιτική και αν πράττοντας ως τίμιος άνθρωπος υποστήριζα το δίκαιο και αν, όπως πρέπει, φρόντιζα γι’ αυτό περισσότερο απ’ όλα; Κάθε άλλο, άνδρες Αθηναίοι. Ούτε και κανένας άλλος άνθρωπος.
Αλλά εγώ σε όλη μου τη ζωή, και όταν έπραξα κάτι δημόσια τέτοιος αποδείχτηκα, και το ίδιο και στην ιδιωτική μου ζωή : ποτέ δεν έκανα καμιά υποχώρηση σε κανέναν μπροστά στο δίκαιο, ούτε σε κάποιον άλλον ούτε και σε κανέναν απ’ αυτούς που εκείνοι που με κατηγορούν λένε ότι είναι μαθητές μου. Άλλωστε εγώ δεν υπήρξα ποτέ δάσκαλος κανενός. Κι αν κάποιος όταν μιλάω και όταν λέω τα δικά μου επιθυμούσε να με ακούει, είτε νεότερος είναι είτε μεγαλύτερος, δεν το αρνήθηκα ποτέ σε κανέναν. Ούτε μιλάω μονάχα όταν παίρνω χρήματα, και όταν δεν παίρνω δεν μιλάω, αλλά προσφέρομαι το ίδιο και σε πλούσιους και σε φτωχούς, να με ρωτάνε, ή αν θέλει κανείς απαντώντας μου να ακούει αυτά που λέω. Και γι’ αυτούς εγώ, είτε κάποιος τους γίνει καλός είτε όχι, είναι άδικο να κατηγορούμαι, γιατί ποτέ δεν υποσχέθηκα σε κανέναν τίποτα, ούτε δίδαξα κανένα μάθημα. Και αν κάποιος ισχυρίζεται ότι από εμένα ποτέ είτε έμαθε είτε άκουσε κάτι ιδιαιτέρως, που δεν το άκουσαν και όλοι οι άλλοι, να ξέρετε καλά ότι δεν λέει την αλήθεια. Αλλά γιατί τότε μερικοί ευχαριστιούνται να περνούν πολύ χρόνο μαζί μου;

Το ακούσατε, άνδρες Αθηναίοι. Σας είπα όλη την αλήθεια, ότι ευχαριστιούνται να με ακούνε να εξετάζω εκείνους που νομίζουν ότι είναι σοφοί, ενώ δεν είναι. Δεν είναι κι άσχημο αυτό. Εμένα λοιπόν αυτό, σας το βεβαιώνω, μου το έχει ορίσει ο θεός να το κάνω και με χρησμούς και με όνειρα και με κάθε τρόπο, με τον οποίο κάθε θεϊκή ύπαρξη ορίζει οτιδήποτε στους ανθρώπους να πράττουν. Αυτά, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, και αληθινά είναι και εύκολα να ελεγχθούν. Αν όμως εγώ άλλους από τους νέους διαφθείρω και άλλους τους έχω ήδη διαφθείρει, πρέπει βέβαια μερικοί απ’ αυτούς, αφού μεγάλωσαν και κατάλαβαν ότι όταν ήταν νέοι τους είχα δώσει εγώ κάποτε κακές συμβουλές, να ανεβούν τώρα στο βήμα και να με κατηγορήσουν και να με τιμωρήσουν. Και αν δεν το ήθελαν οι ίδιοι, όποιος θέλει από τους δικούς τους, είτε πατέρες είτε αδερφοί είτε και άλλοι συγγενείς, αν έπαθαν οι δικοί τους κάποιο κακό από μένα, να το θυμηθούν τώρα και να με τιμωρήσουν. Πάντως είναι παρόντες εδώ πολλοί απ’ αυτούς, τους οποίους εγώ τώρα βλέπω, πρώτον απ’ όλους αυτόν εδώ τον Κρίτωνα, που είναι συνομήλικός μου και συνδημότης μου και πατέρας του Κριτόβουλου, που κι αυτός είναι παρών.

Έπειτα κι ο Λυσανίας ο Σφήττιος, ο πατέρας αυτού εδώ του Αισχίνη. Ακόμα και αυτός εδώ ο Αντιφώντας από την Κηφισιά, ο πατέρας του Επιγένη. Και άλλοι είναι εδώ που οι αδερφοί τους σύχναζαν κοντά μου, ο Νικόστρατος του Θεοζοτίδου, ο αδερφός του Θεοδότου – ο Θεόδοτος έχει πεθάνει, κι έτσι δεν μπορεί να τον εμποδίσει με τα παρακάλια του – κι ο Πάραλος του Δημοδόκου, που ήταν αδερφός του ο Θεάνης. Να και ο Αδείμαντος του Αρίστωνος, που αδελφός του είναι αυτός ο Πλάτων, και ο Αιαντόδωρος, που αδερφός του είναι ο Απολλόδωρος.

Και άλλους πολλούς μπορώ να σας αναφέρω, και κάποιον απ’ αυτούς έπρεπε να ορίσει ο Μέλητος για μάρτυρα στην κατηγορία του. Κι αν το ξέχασε τότε, ας τον ορίσει τώρα, εγώ το αφήνω, και ας μας το πει αν έχει κανέναν. Αλλά θα τους βρείτε όλους τελείως αντίθετους, άνδρες, όλοι τους είναι πρόθυμοι να βοηθήσουν εμένα που διαφθείρω τους δικούς τους και τους βλάπτω, όπως λένε ο Μέλητος και ο Άνυτος.

Και εκείνοι που έχουν διαφθαρεί ίσως θα είχαν κάποιον λόγο να με βοηθήσουν. Εκείνοι όμως που δεν έχουν διαφθαρεί, και που είναι ήδη ώριμοι άνδρες, οι συγγενείς τους, ποιον άλλον λόγο έχουν να με βοηθούν, εκτός από το να υποστηρίζουν το σωστό και το δίκαιο, επειδή ξέρουν ότι ο Μέλητος λέει ψέματα, ενώ εγώ την αλήθεια. Αρκετά, άνδρες Αθηναίοι. Είπα ό,τι είχα να πω για ν’ απολογηθώ, ίσως θα μπορούσα να προσθέσω κι άλλα παρόμοια.

Δεν αποκλείεται όμως να αγανακτήσει κανείς από σας αν σκεφτεί τον εαυτό του, που και σε μικρότερης σημασίας δίκη απ’ αυτήν εδώ θα παρακαλούσε και θα ικέτευε τους δικαστές με πολλά δάκρυα, φέρνοντας στο βήμα και τα παιδιά του, για να τον λυπηθούν όσο το δυνατόν περισσότερο, και άλλους πολλούς συγγενείς και φίλους, ενώ εγώ δεν θα κάνω τίποτα απ’ όλα αυτά, παρ’ όλο που διατρέχω, όπως φαίνεται, τον μεγαλύτερο κίνδυνο. Ίσως λοιπόν κανείς, αν αναλογιστεί αυτά τα πράγματα, να γίνει πιο σκληρός απέναντί μου και να οργιστεί γι’ αυτά και να δώσει με οργή την ψήφο του.

Αν λοιπόν κάποιος από σας αισθάνεται έτσι – πράγμα που δεν θέλω να το πιστέψω – αν συμβαίνει κάτι τέτοιο, θα μπορούσα νομίζω να του πω ότι: “Κι εγώ, αγαπητέ μου, έχω κάποιους συγγενείς. Γιατί ισχύει και για μένα εκείνο που είπε ο Όμηρος, “δεν γεννήθηκα ούτε από καμιά βελανιδιά ούτε από καμιά πέτρα”, αλλά από ανθρώπους, ώστε να έχω και συγγενείς, και γιους, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, τρεις, ο ένας είναι ήδη έφηβος, οι άλλοι δύο παιδιά. Αλλά όμως κανέναν απ’ αυτούς δεν ανέβασα στο βήμα για να σας παρακαλέσω να με αθωώσετε. Γιατί λοιπόν δεν κάνω τίποτα απ’ αυτά;

Όχι από υπεροψία, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, ούτε για να σας ντροπιάσω. Αν αντιμετωπίζω τον θάνατο θαρραλέα, είναι άλλη υπόθεση. Για τη φήμη όμως, και τη δική μου και τη δική σας κι ολόκληρης της πόλης, δεν νομίζω ότι είναι πρέπον να κάνω τέτοια πράγματα. Δεν είναι πρέπον στην ηλικία μου αλλά και στο όνομα που έχω αποκτήσει, αληθινό ή ψεύτικο. Γιατί, υπάρχει η γνώμη ότι ο Σωκράτης σε κάτι διαφέρει από το πλήθος των ανθρώπων.

Θα είναι ντροπή να αποδειχθούν κατώτεροι της φήμης τους όσοι από σας θεωρείται πως διαφέρουν στη σοφία, την ανδρεία ή οποιαδήποτε άλλη αρετή. Πολλές φορές έχω δει ανθρώπους, που όταν δικάζονται, ενώ πριν φαίνονταν σπουδαίοι, κάνουν πράγματα ανάρμοστα, σα να θεωρούν ότι θα πάθουν κάτι φοβερό αν πεθάνουν, ως εάν επρόκειτο να είναι αθάνατοι αν δεν τους σκοτώνατε εσείς. Τέτοιοι άνθρωποι μου φαίνεται πως ντροπιάζουν την πόλη, γιατί θα μπορούσαν να κάνουν έναν ξένο να νομίσει ότι όσοι Αθηναίοι διακρίνονται για την αρετή τους, και εκλέγονται από τους συμπολίτες τους για αξιώματα και τιμητικές διακρίσεις, σε τίποτα δεν διαφέρουν από τις γυναίκες. Άνδρες Αθηναίοι, εμείς που έχουμε κάποιο όνομα δεν πρέπει να κάνουμε τέτοια πράγματα αλλά κι αν τα κάνουμε, εσείς δεν πρέπει να το επιτρέπετε. Αντίθετα πρέπει να δείξετε ότι είστε αποφασισμένοι να καταψηφίσετε όποιον παίζει αυτά τα ελεεινά δράματα μπροστά σας γελοιοποιώντας την πόλη αλλά όχι όποιον φέρεται με αξιοπρέπεια.

Αλλά και εκτός από το θέμα της φήμης, άνδρες, δεν μου φαίνεται ότι είναι δίκαιο να παρακαλεί κανείς τον δικαστή, ούτε παρακαλώντας τον να αθωώνεται, αλλά εξηγώντας του και πείθοντάς τον. Γιατί δεν βρίσκεται για το σκοπό αυτό σ’ αυτή τη θέση ο δικαστής, για να απονέμει τη δικαιοσύνη κάνοντας χάρες, αλλά για να κρίνει. Και έχει ορκιστεί να μην κάνει χάρες σ’ όποιον του αρέσει, αλλά να δικάζει σύμφωνα με τους νόμους. Δεν πρέπει λοιπόν, ούτε εμείς να σας εθίζουμε στην επιορκία ούτε κι εσείς να τη συνηθίζετε. Γιατί τότε κανένας μας δεν θα έπραττε σύμφωνα με τη θέληση των θεών. Μην έχετε λοιπόν την αξίωση, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, να συμπεριφέρομαι απέναντί σας με τρόπο που ούτε εγώ θεωρώ ότι είναι σωστός ή δίκαιος ή αρεστός στους θεούς, και μάλιστα, μα τον Δία, τη στιγμή που κατηγορούμαι απ’ αυτόν εδώ τον Μέλητο για ασέβεια προς τους θεούς.

Γιατί είναι φανερό ότι, αν σας έπειθα παρακαλώντας σας, θα σας έκανα να παραβείτε τον όρκο σας, και θα ήταν σα να σας δίδασκα να μην πιστεύετε ότι υπάρχουν θεοί. Και απολογούμενος μ’ αυτόν τον τρόπο θα ήταν σαν να κατηγορούσα τον εαυτό μου ότι δεν πιστεύω στους θεούς. Αλλά κάθε άλλο παρά αυτό συμβαίνει. Γιατί πιστεύω, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, όσο κανείς από τους κατηγόρους μου, και επαφίεμαι σ’ εσάς και στον θεό για να αποφασίσετε αυτό που είναι το καλύτερο και για μένα και για σας.

( Η απόφαση βγαίνει, ο Σωκράτης κρίνεται ένοχος )

Ο Σωκράτης κάνει προτάσεις για την ποινή που μπορεί να του επιβληθεί

Το ότι δεν αγανακτώ, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, για το γεγονός ότι με κρίνατε ένοχο, οφείλεται σε πολλούς λόγους και στο ότι είναι κάτι που το περίμενα. Εκείνο όμως που με κάνει να απορώ είναι ο αριθμός των ψήφων και από τις δυο μεριές. Γιατί δεν πίστευα ότι θα καταδικαζόμουν με τόσο μικρή πλειοψηφία, αλλά με πολύ μεγαλύτερη. Τώρα όμως, όπως φαίνεται, αν τριάντα μόνο ψήφοι είχαν πέσει αλλιώς, θα είχα αθωωθεί Όσον αφορά την κατηγορία του Μέλητου, νομίζω ότι έχει ήδη αποδειχθεί η αθωότητά μου. Και όχι μόνο έχει αποδειχθεί η αθωότητά μου, αλλά είναι σ’ όλους φανερό ότι, αν δεν είχαν παρουσιαστεί για να με κατηγορήσουν ο Άνυτος και ο Λύκων, θα χρώσταγε και χίλιες δραχμές πρόστιμο, επειδή δεν θα έπαιρνε ούτε το ένα πέμπτο των ψήφων.

Προτείνει λοιπόν αυτός ο άνθρωπος να με καταδικάσετε σε θάνατο. Ας είναι. Κι εγώ τι θα σας αντιπροτείνω, άνδρες Αθηναίοι; Προφανώς αυτό που μου αξίζει. Τι είναι λοιπόν αυτό; Τι πρέπει να πάθω, ποια ποινή πρέπει να μου επιβληθεί, επειδή έκρινα ότι πρέπει να παραιτηθώ από την ήσυχη ζωή και να παραμελήσω όλα εκείνα για τα οποία φροντίζουν οι περισσότεροι άνθρωποι, χρήματα, οικονομικά συμφέροντα, στρατηγίες, δημόσιες αγορεύσεις, και όλα τα άλλα αξιώματα και τις πολιτικές συμμαχίες και φατρίες; Επειδή πιστεύοντας ότι μπορούσα να κάνω κάτι καλύτερο από το να εξασφαλιστώ ασχολούμενος με τέτοια πράγματα, δεν ασχολήθηκα μ’ αυτά – που άμα το έκανα ούτε εσάς ούτε τον εαυτό μου θα ωφελούσα καθόλου αλλά πηγαίνοντας σε κάθε ένα χωριστά του χάριζα τη μεγαλύτερη, κατά τη γνώμη μου, ευεργεσία; Ερχόμουν κοντά του κι επιχειρούσα να τον πείσω να μη φροντίσει για καμιά άλλη υπόθεσή του πριν φροντίσει τον εαυτό του, πως θα γίνει δηλαδή καλύτερος και συνετότερος, ούτε για τις υποθέσεις της πόλης. Αλλά για την ίδια την πόλη, και για όλα τα άλλα να φροντίζει με αυτόν τον τρόπο.

Τι μου αξίζει λοιπόν για αυτό που είμαι; Κάτι καλό, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, αν πρέπει στ’ αλήθεια να τιμηθώ σύμφωνα με την αξία μου. Και να είναι βέβαια καλό που να μου ταιριάζει. Τι ταιριάζει σ’ ένα φτωχό άνθρωπο που σας έχει ευεργετήσει και χρειάζεται να έχει χρόνο ελεύθερο για να σας παροτρύνει; Τίποτα άλλο, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, από τη δωρεάν σίτιση στο Πρυτανείο, και μάλιστα σε τέτοιον άνδρα αυτό αρμόζει πιο πολύ παρά σε κάποιον από εσάς που νίκησε στην Ολυμπία σε ιπποδρομίες ή σε αρματοδρομίες με δυο ή με τέσσερα άλογα. Γιατί αυτός σας κάνει να φαίνεστε ευτυχείς, ενώ εγώ σας κάνω ευτυχείς. Άλλωστε εκείνος δεν έχει ανάγκη να τον τρέφουν, ενώ εγώ έχω.

Εφόσον λοιπόν, πρέπει με δικαιοσύνη να μου αποδώσετε ό,τι μου αξίζει, σας προτείνω τη σίτισή μου στο Πρυτανείο.

Ίσως να νομίσετε ότι αυτά, και τα άλλα περί οίκτου και ικεσιών, τα λέω από αλαζονεία. Όμως δεν είναι αυτό, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, αλλά το εξής: είμαι βέβαιος ότι κανέναν άνθρωπο δεν έχω αδικήσει με τη θέλησή μου, ωστόσο δεν μπορώ να σας πείσω γι’ αυτό. Ο λόγος είναι ότι μου δόθηκε λίγος χρόνος να σας μιλήσω. Αν ο νόμος όριζε, όπως σε άλλες πόλεις, σε περίπτωση θανάτου, να μην κρατάει η κρίση μόνο μια μέρα αλλά πολλές, νομίζω ότι θα είχατε πειστεί.

Τώρα όμως δεν είναι εύκολο σε λίγο χρόνο να διαλύσει κανείς μεγάλες συκοφαντίες. Όντας βέβαιος ότι δεν έχω αδικήσει κανέναν, δεν πρόκειται φυσικά να αδικήσω και τον εαυτό μου. Δεν πρόκειται να μιλήσω εναντίον του και να πω ότι μου αξίζει να πάθω κάτι κακό προτείνοντας μάλιστα κάποια ποινή. Τι έχω να φοβηθώ; Μην πάθω εκείνο που προτείνει ο Μέλητος και που δεν ξέρω καλά καλά, όπως είπα, αν είναι καλό ή κακό; Αντ’ αυτού να προτιμήσω πράγματα τα οποία ξέρω ότι είναι κακά και να τα προτείνω; Μήπως τη φυλακή;

Και τι θα με ωφελούσε να ζω μέσα στη φυλακή όντας δούλος εκείνων που θα ορίζονταν κάθε φορά να με φυλάνε, των Έντεκα; Μήπως χρηματική ποινή, και να βρίσκομαι στη φυλακή μέχρι να τα πληρώσω όλα; Αλλά και πάλι καταλήγουμε στα ίδια που σας έλεγα πριν από λίγο. Δεν έχω χρήματα για να πληρώσω. Μήπως τότε να προτείνω εξορία; Ίσως να δεχόσαστε να με καταδικάσετε σε εξορία. Θα έπρεπε να αγαπάω πάρα πολύ τη ζωή μου, για να είμαι τόσο ασυλλόγιστος ώστε να μην μπορώ να σκεφτώ ότι ενώ εσείς που είσαστε συμπολίτες μου δεν μπορέσατε να υποφέρετε τον τρόπο ζωής μου και τα λόγια μου, και δυσανασχετήσατε και οργισθήκατε ώστε να ζητάτε τώρα να απαλλαγείτε από αυτά, θα υπήρχαν άλλοι που θα που θα μπορούσαν να τα ανεχτούν ευχαρίστως. Συμβαίνει ακριβώς το αντίθετο, άνδρες Αθηναίοι. Τι ωραία, αλήθεια, θα ήταν η ζωή μου, αν άνθρωπος σ’ αυτήν την ηλικία έφευγα από εδώ και ζούσα πηγαίνοντας από πόλη σε πόλη, διωγμένος από παντού! Γιατί ξέρω καλά ότι, όπου κι αν πάω, άμα μιλάω θα με ακούνε οι νέοι όπως και εδώ. Κι αν προσπαθήσω να τους απομακρύνω, αυτοί οι ίδιοι θα με διώξουν πείθοντας τους πιο ηλικιωμένους. Κι αν δεν τους απομακρύνω, θα το κάνουν γι’ αυτούς οι πατέρες τους και οι συγγενείς τους.

Θα μπορούσε ίσως να μου πει κανείς: “Δεν μπορείς, Σωκράτη, να φύγεις από εδώ και να ζήσεις ήσυχα σωπαίνοντας;” Αυτό ακριβώς είναι πολύ δύσκολο να το εξηγήσω σε μερικούς από σας. Γιατί αν σας πω ότι αυτό είναι σα να παρακούω τον θεό και για το λόγο αυτόν είναι αδύνατο να ζω ήσυχος, δεν θα με πιστέψετε νομίζοντας ότι σας ειρωνεύομαι.

Αν πάλι σας πω ότι είναι πολύ μεγάλο αγαθό για τον άνθρωπο το να μιλάει κάθε μέρα για την αρετή και για τα άλλα για τα οποία με ακούτε να συζητάω εξετάζοντας τον εαυτό μου και τους άλλους, και ότι η ζωή χωρίς να τα εξετάζει κανείς αυτά είναι ζωή που δεν αξίζει να τη ζει ο άνθρωπος, τότε θα με πιστέψετε ακόμα λιγότερο. Ωστόσο έτσι είναι, όπως σας τα λέω, άνδρες, και να σας πείσω δεν είναι εύκολο. Εγώ πάντως δεν θεώρησα ποτέ τον εαυτό μου άξιο για οποιαδήποτε ποινή.

Αν είχα βέβαια χρήματα, θα πρότεινα να δώσω ένα χρηματικό ποσό που θα μπορούσα να το πληρώσω. Αυτό δεν θα με έβλαπτε καθόλου. Τώρα όμως δεν έχω. Αν πάντως θέλετε να μου ορίσετε ένα πρόστιμο που θα μπορούσα να το πληρώσω, θα μπορούσα ίσως να σας πληρώσω μια ασημένια μνα. Τόσο λοιπόν προτείνω. Αυτός εδώ ο Πλάτων, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, και ο Κρίτων και ο Κριτόβουλος και ο Απολλόδωρος με προτρέπουν να προτείνω τριάντα μνες, και θα εγγυηθούν αυτοί. Προτείνω λοιπόν αυτό το ποσό. Και εγγυητές για τα χρήματα θα είναι αυτοί οι αξιόπιστοι άνθρωποι.

(Το δικαστήριο επιβάλλει την ποινή του θανάτου στον Σωκράτη)

Ο Σωκράτης σχολιάζει την ποινή του

Επειδή δεν κάνατε λίγο καιρό ακόμα υπομονή, άνδρες Αθηναίοι, θα φορτωθείτε το κακό όνομα και τη μομφή εκείνων που θέλουν να κατηγορήσουν την πόλη πως θανάτωσε τον Σωκράτη, άνδρα σοφό. Γιατί θα πουν ότι είμαι σοφός, ακόμα κι αν δεν είμαι, εκείνοι που θέλουν να σας κακολογήσουν. Αν περιμένατε όμως λίγο καιρό, από μόνο του θα είχε γίνει αυτό. Γιατί βλέπετε την ηλικία μου, ότι βρίσκομαι ήδη μακριά από τη ζωή και κοντά στο θάνατο. Δεν απευθύνομαι σε όλους σας, αλλά σ’ εκείνους που με καταδίκασαν σε θάνατο.

Στους ίδιους έχω να πω και το εξής: θα νομίζατε ίσως, άνδρες, ότι καταδικάστηκα επειδή δεν μπόρεσα να σας πω τα λόγια που χρειάζονταν για να σας πείσω, εφόσον πίστευα ότι πρέπει να πω και να κάνω τα πάντα για να αποφύγω την καταδίκη. Κάθε άλλο. Καταδικάστηκα όχι επειδή δεν μπόρεσα να σας πω τα κατάλληλα λόγια, αλλά επειδή δεν μπόρεσα να φανώ θρασύς και αναιδής, και επειδή δεν θέλησα να σας πω πράγματα που θα τα ακούγατε πολύ ευχαρίστως, να κλαίω και να οδύρομαι, να πράττω και να λέω πολλά άλλα, κατά τη γνώμη μου ανάξιά μου, σαν αυτά που έχετε συνηθίσει να ακούτε από άλλους.

Αλλά ούτε τότε πίστεψα ότι έπρεπε λόγω του κινδύνου να πράξω κάτι ανάρμοστο, για ελεύθερο άνθρωπο, ούτε και τώρα μετανιώνω, για τον τρόπο που απολογήθηκα. Προτιμώ να πεθάνω, έχοντας απολογηθεί όπως το έκανα, παρά να ζω αλλιώς. Γιατί ούτε σε δίκη ούτε σε πόλεμο ούτε σε οποιαδήποτε άλλη περίπτωση πρέπει εγώ ή άλλος κανένας να μηχανεύεται πως, με κάθε μέσο, θα αποφύγει το θάνατο.

Γιατί και στις μάχες, πολλές φορές γίνεται φανερό ότι μπορεί κανείς να αποφύγει το θάνατο εγκαταλείποντας τα όπλα του και ικετεύοντας τους εχθρούς. Υπάρχουν σ’ όλες τις επικίνδυνες καταστάσεις, πολλοί άλλοι τρόποι, για να ξεφύγει κανείς από το θάνατο, αν έχει το θράσος να πει και να πράξει οτιδήποτε. Δεν είναι λοιπόν κάτι το δύσκολο, άνδρες, το να αποφύγει κανείς το θάνατο, είναι όμως πολύ δυσκολότερο να αποφύγει το κακό. Γιατί το κακό τρέχει γρηγορότερα από το θάνατο.

Εμένα τώρα, αργό και γέροντα, με έχει προφτάσει το πιο αργό απ’ τα δύο. Τους κατηγόρους μου όμως, που είναι φοβεροί και γρήγοροι, το χειρότερο, η κακία. Εγώ λοιπόν φεύγω έχοντας καταδικαστεί από σας σε θάνατο, αλλά εκείνοι από την αλήθεια, σε μοχθηρία και αδικία. Φυσικά, εγώ θα υπομείνω την ποινή μου, το ίδιο κι εκείνοι. Ίσως έτσι να έπρεπε να γίνει και νομίζω ότι καλώς έγινε ό,τι έγινε.

Θέλω όμως σε σας που με καταψηφίσατε, να δώσω κι έναν χρησμό για το μέλλον. Γιατί ήδη βρίσκομαι στο σημείο που οι άνθρωποι – σαν πρόκειται να πεθάνουν – αποκτούν τη δυνατότητα να προλέγουν καλύτερα. Λέω λοιπόν, σε όσους από σας, άνδρες, με σκοτώσατε, ότι αμέσως μετά το θάνατό μου θα τιμωρηθείτε πολύ χειρότερα, μα τον Δία, απ’ όσο με τιμωρείτε σκοτώνοντάς με. Γιατί τώρα με την πράξη σας αυτή νομίζετε ότι θα απαλλαγείτε από το να δίνετε λόγο για τη ζωή σας. Αλλά ακριβώς το αντίθετο θα συμβεί, όπως εγώ σας τα λέω.

Γιατί, πλέον, θα αυξηθούν εκείνοι που θα σας ελέγχουν, τους οποίους εγώ μέχρι τώρα, χωρίς να το καταλαβαίνετε, εμπόδιζα. Και όσο πιο νέοι είναι τόσο πιο ενοχλητικοί θα σας γίνονται, κι εσείς πιο πολύ θα αγανακτήσετε. Γιατί αν νομίζετε ότι σκοτώνοντας ανθρώπους θα γλιτώσετε από τις επικρίσεις του τρόπου ζωής σας, δεν σκέφτεστε σωστά. Η μέθοδος αυτή απαλλαγής δεν είναι ούτε πολύ αποτελεσματική ούτε καλή. Εκείνη που είναι καλύτερη και ευκολότερη είναι να μην εμποδίζετε τους άλλους να σας επικρίνουν, αλλά να προετοιμάζετε τον εαυτό σας ώστε να γίνει όσο το δυνατόν καλύτερος. Προλέγοντας αυτά για όσους από σας με καταδικάσατε, σας χαιρετώ.

Όσο γι’ αυτούς που με αθώωσαν, ευχαρίστως θα μιλούσα μαζί τους για ό,τι συνέβη, ενώ οι άρχοντες θα είναι απασχολημένοι και μέχρι να πάω στον τόπο όπου πρέπει να πεθάνω. Γι’ αυτό, άνδρες, μείνετε λίγο χρόνο ακόμα μαζί μου. Γιατί τίποτα δεν μας εμποδίζει, όσο είναι δυνατόν, να μιλάμε μεταξύ μας. Θέλω λοιπόν σε σας, που είσαστε φίλοι μου, να εξηγήσω τι σημαίνει αυτό που μου συνέβη.

Σ’ εμένα λοιπόν, άνδρες δικαστές – και ονομάζοντάς σας δικαστές πολύ σωστά σας ονομάζω έτσι – συνέβη κάτι θαυμαστό. Η συνηθισμένη μου μαντική ικανότητα, του δαιμονίου, άλλοτε εμφανιζόταν πολύ συχνά, και ακόμα και για μικρά πράγματα με εμπόδιζε, αν επρόκειτο να πράξω κάτι που δεν ήταν σωστό. Τώρα όμως μου συνέβη αυτό εδώ που βλέπετε κι εσείς οι ίδιοι, που θα το νόμιζε κανείς το χειρότερο από τα κακά, και τέτοιο θεωρείται.

Εμένα όμως ούτε το πρωί που έφυγα από το σπίτι μου δεν με εμπόδισε το σημείο του θεού, ούτε όταν ερχόμουν εδώ στο δικαστήριο, ούτε κατά τη διάρκεια της ομιλίας μου για κάτι που επρόκειτο να πω. Ενώ σε άλλες ομιλίες μου πολλές στιγμές με σταμάτησε καθώς μιλούσα. Τώρα όμως, σ’ αυτήν την υπόθεση, πουθενά δεν με εμπόδισε, ούτε σε κάποια πράξη ούτε σε κάποιο λόγο. Που το αποδίδω αυτό; Θα σας πω. Γιατί φαίνεται πως ό,τι μου συνέβη εδώ είναι για μένα καλό και δεν είναι όπως το νομίζουμε όσοι θεωρούμε ότι είναι κακό να πεθάνει κανείς.

Και έχω την καλύτερη απόδειξη γι’ αυτό: Γιατί δεν είναι δυνατόν να μη με είχε εμποδίσει το οικείο αυτό θείο σημείο, αν επρόκειτο να κάνω κάτι που δεν είναι καλό. Ας κατανοήσουμε λοιπόν ότι υπάρχει μεγάλη ελπίδα ό,τι έγινε να είναι καλό. Γιατί ένα από τα δύο είναι ο θάνατος: ή δεν είναι τίποτα και όποιος πεθαίνει δεν έχει καμία συναίσθηση, ή, όπως λένε, συμβαίνει κάποια μεταβολή και μετοίκηση της ψυχής από τον εδώ τόπο σε έναν άλλον. Και είτε δεν υπάρχει καμιά αίσθηση, αλλά είναι σαν ύπνος, κι αν είναι σαν να κοιμάται κανείς χωρίς να βλέπει ούτε όνειρο, τι θαυμάσιο όφελος που θα ήταν ο θάνατος!

Εγώ λοιπόν νομίζω ότι αν κάποιος έπρεπε να διαλέξει ανάμεσα σε μια νύχτα που κοιμήθηκε χωρίς να δει ούτε ένα όνειρο, και τις άλλες νύχτες και μέρες της ζωής του, αν έπρεπε να τις αντιπαραβάλλει με τη νύχτα εκείνη και να σκεφτεί και να πει πόσα καλύτερα και πιο ευχάριστα μερόνυχτα έχει ζήσει στη ζωή του απ’ αυτή τη νύχτα, νομίζω ότι όχι μόνο ο τυχαίος ιδιώτης αλλά κι ο μεγαλύτερος βασιλιάς θα τα έβρισκε πολύ λίγα σε σχέση με τη νύχτα εκείνη.

Αν κάτι τέτοιο είναι ο θάνατος, εγώ τουλάχιστον νομίζω ότι είναι όφελος. Γιατί έτσι η αιωνιότητα όλη δεν φαίνεται παρά σαν μια νύχτα. Αν πάλι ο θάνατος είναι αναχώρηση από εδώ για έναν άλλον τόπο κι είναι αλήθεια τα λεγόμενα ότι εκεί βρίσκονται όλοι όσοι έχουν πεθάνει, τι μεγαλύτερο καλό θα υπήρχε από αυτό, άνδρες δικαστές;

Αν κάποιος φτάνοντας στον Άδη, έχοντας απαλλαγεί απ’ αυτούς εδώ που ισχυρίζονται ότι είναι δικαστές, θα βρει τους αληθινούς δικαστές που λένε ότι δικάζουν εκεί, τον Μίνωα και τον Ραδάμανθο, τον Αιακό και τον Τριπτόλεμο και τους άλλους από τους ημίθεους που υπήρξαν δίκαιοι στη ζωή τους; Θα ήταν μήπως άσχημη αυτή η αναχώρηση; Ή πάλι, και ποιος από σας δεν θα έδινε οτιδήποτε για να βρεθεί με τον Ορφέα, τον Μουσαίο, τον Ησίοδο και τον Όμηρο; Εγώ πάντως πολλές φορές θα ήθελα να πεθάνω αν όλα αυτά αληθεύουν, γιατί σ’ εμένα τουλάχιστον, φαίνεται θαυμαστή η παραμονή σε μέρος που θα μπορούσα να συναντήσω τον Παλαμήδη, τον Αίαντα του Τελαμώνα κι όσους άλλους από τους παλιούς πέθαναν από άδικη κρίση, και να συγκρίνω τα παθήματά μου με τα δικά τους. Νομίζω πως κάθε άλλο παρά δυσάρεστα θα μου ήταν όλα αυτά. Και μάλιστα, το σπουδαιότερο, να εξετάζω και να ερευνώ, όπως κάνω και για τους εδώ, ποιος απ’ αυτούς είναι σοφός και ποιος νομίζει ότι είναι αλλά δεν είναι. Και πόσα δεν θα έδινε κανείς, άνδρες δικαστές, για να μπορέσει να εξετάσει εκείνον που ηγήθηκε της μεγάλης στρατιάς της Τροίας ή τον Οδυσσέα ή τον Σίσσυφο – ή και χιλιάδες άλλους που θα μπορούσε να αναφέρει κανείς, άνδρες και γυναίκες – να μιλάει μ’ αυτούς και να βρίσκεται μαζί τους και να τους εξετάζει; Δεν θα ήταν όλα αυτά ανείπωτη ευτυχία; Πάντως, για τέτοιες αιτίες, όσοι βρίσκονται εκεί δεν θανατώνουν. Εκείνοι, είναι και για πολλά άλλα πιο ευτυχισμένοι απ’ τους εδώ, για το λόγο ακόμα ότι τον υπόλοιπο χρόνο μένουν αθάνατοι, αν φυσικά όσα λέγονται είναι αλήθεια. Αλλά κι εσείς πρέπει, άνδρες δικαστές, να σκέφτεστε με ελπίδα τον θάνατο και να καταλάβετε ότι η αλήθεια είναι μόνο μία: Ότι δεν υπάρχει για τον καλόν άνθρωπο κανένα κακό, ούτε όταν ζει ούτε όταν πεθάνει, και ότι δεν αμελούν οι θεοί να φροντίζουν για τις υποθέσεις του. Και ούτε τα δικά μου τώρα συνέβησαν από μόνα τους, αλλά μου είναι φανερό ότι για μένα πια το να πεθάνω και το να απαλλαγώ από τα πράγματα αυτά είναι το καλύτερο. Γι’ αυτό και το σημείο του θεού δεν με απέτρεψε καθόλου, και εγώ σ’ εκείνους που με καταδίκασαν και στους κατηγόρους μου δεν κρατάω καμία κακία. Παρ’ όλο που δεν με καταδίκασαν και δεν με κατηγόρησαν μ’ αυτήν τη σκέψη, αλλά επειδή πίστευαν ότι έτσι θα με έβλαπταν. Για το λόγο αυτό είναι αξιοκατάκριτοι.

Απ’ εκείνους ένα μόνο ζητώ: τους γιους μου, όταν γίνουν έφηβοι, να τους τιμωρήσετε, άνδρες, στεναχωρώντας τους μ’ εκείνα που σας στεναχώρησα κι εγώ, αν σας φανούν ότι νοιάζονται πιο πολύ για τα χρήματα ή για κάποιο άλλο πράγμα απ’ ό,τι για την αρετή. Και αν νομίζουν ότι είναι κάτι ενώ δεν είναι, να τους επικρίνετε, όπως κι εγώ εσάς, που δεν φροντίζουν για εκείνα που πρέπει και που νομίζουν ότι είναι κάτι ενώ δεν αξίζουν. Έτσι να πράξετε, κι ότι πάθω εγώ και οι γιοι μου από εσάς θα το έχω πάθει δίκαια.

Αλλά τώρα πια είναι ώρα να φύγουμε, εγώ για να πεθάνω, κι εσείς για να ζήσετε. Ποιο από τα δύο είναι το καλύτερο, είναι άγνωστο σε μας. Μόνο ο Θεός το γνωρίζει.

Call for public inquiry into 7/7 from former head of counter-terrorism

Souce: The Times, June 20, 2009
By: Sean O’Neill, Crime and Security Editor

An independent public inquiry should be held into how suicide terrorists were able to carry out the July 7 bombings, Scotland Yard’s former head of counter-terrorism says.

Andy Hayman, who was Assistant Commissioner for Special Operations at the time of the bombings in 2005, is the first figure from the security establishment to break ranks and call for an open inquiry.

Almost four years after Mohammad Sidique Khan and his Leeds-based cell carried out the bombings, Mr Hayman says that he is “uncomfortable” with the official position that an inquiry would divert resources from the fight against terrorism. In his book, The Terrorist Hunters, extracts from which are published in The Times today, Mr Hayman says: “Incidents of less gravity have attracted the status of a public inquiry — train crashes, a death in custody, and even other terrorist attacks. How can there not be a full, independent public inquiry into the deaths of 52 commuters on London’s transport system?

“There has been no overview, no pulling together of each strand of review, no one can be sure if key issues have been missed.”

Related Links


Survivors of the July 7 bombings and families of the victims are taking High Court action over the refusal to grant them an independent inquiry.

The key issue for any inquiry would be why Khan, 30, who had been photographed, followed and bugged by surveillance officers because of his links with known terrorists, was left free to carry out the attacks.

A report last month by the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) said that MI5’s decision not to make Khan a priority target was “understandable and reasonable”. But that report, prepared by a committee that was appointed by the Prime Minister and took evidence in secret, has been heavily criticised.

It reveals that one MI5 team had begun an operation to identify a suspect known as “Ibrahim”, who was later revealed to be Khan. At the same time, others in MI5 knew where Khan lived but had decided that he was not a key suspect. Critics say that the ISC does not appear to have inquired how the mismatch happened.

In his book, Mr Hayman paints a vivid picture from inside Scotland Yard of the day the bombers struck and admits that the attacks were “a bolt from nowhere”.

He was called to a meeting of Cobra, the Government’s emergency meeting, within an hour of the first explosions, and had to admit that he did not know what was happening.

Mr Hayman writes: “Imagine what it’s like to tell the Commissioner or the Secretary of State, as I would have to, ‘I don’t know what’s going on’.”

Rachel North, a survivor of the Piccadilly Line bomb at King’s Cross, welcomed his support for an inquiry. “It is not to blame or have a witch-hunt but. . . to learn the lessons of how 7/7 happened and whether it could have been prevented.”

• Sir Ian Blair, who as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was in charge at the time of the London bombings, has received a substantial payoff. He was paid £580,000 during his final eight months in office, more than doubling his annual salary, and stands to benefit from a pension pot of £3.5 million.

Bertrand Russell: A eugenicist scumbag’s quotes

BERTRAND RUSSELL— AO says: Please, send in any quotes you may have via the comments section below this post.

Almost all will be normal, happy, healthy boys or girls. Their diet will not be left to the caprices of parents, but will be such as the best biochemists recommend. They will spend much time in the open air, and will be given no more book-learning than is absolutely necessary. Upon the temperament so formed, docility will be imposed by the methods of the drill-sergeant, or perhaps by the softer methods employed upon Boy Scouts. All the boys and girls will learn from an early age to be what is called “co-operative,” i.e. to do exactly what everybody is doing. Initiative will be discouraged in these children, and insubordination, without being punished, will be scientifically trained out of them.”
— Bertrand Russell, The Scientific Outlook (p. 182)


From a letter to Gilbert Murray … “I have been merely oppressed by the weariness, tedium and vanity of things lately, nothing seems worth doing or having done. The only thing that I strongly feel worthwhile would Continue reading →

Tony Blair still Free but for How Long? Fake faith and epic crimes

Source: John, 1 Apr 2009

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes a worldwide movement that is ‘challenging the once-sacrosanct notion that imperial politicians can destroy countless lives and retain an immunity from justice’. In Tony Blair’s case, justice inches closer.

These are extraordinary times. With the United States and Britain on the verge of bankruptcy and committing to an endless colonial war, pressure is building for their crimes to be prosecuted at a tribunal similar to that which tried the Nazis at Nuremberg. This defined rapacious invasion as “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”. International law would be mere farce, said the chief US chief prosecutor at Nuremberg, Supreme Court justice Robert Jackson, “if, in future, we do not apply its principles to ourselves”.

That is now happening. Spain, Germany, Belgium, France and Britain have long had “universal jurisdiction” statutes, which allow their national courts to pursue and prosecute prima facie war criminals. What has changed is an unspoken rule never to use international law against “ourselves”, or “our” allies or clients. In 1998, Spain, supported by France, Switzerland and Belgium, indicted the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, client and executioner of the West, and sought his extradition from Britain, where he happened to be at the time. Had he been sent for trial he almost certainly would have implicated at least one British prime minister and two US presidents in crimes against humanity. Home Secretary Jack Straw let him escape back to Chile.

The Pinochet case was the ignition. On 19 January last, the George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley compared the status of George W. Bush with that of Pinochet. “Outside [the United States] there is not the ambiguity about what to do about a war crime,” he said. “So if you try to travel, most people abroad are going to view you not as ‘former President George Bush’ [but] as a current war criminal.” For this reason, Bush’s former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who demanded an invasion of Iraq in 2001 and personally approved torture techniques in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay, no longer travels. Rumsfeld has twice been indicted for war crimes in Germany. On 26 January, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, said, “We have clear evidence that Mr. Rumsfeld knew what he was doing but nevertheless he ordered torture.”

The Spanish high court is currently investigating a former Israeli defence minister and six other top Israeli officials for their role in the killing of civilians, mostly children, in Gaza. Henry Kissinger, who was largely responsible for bombing to death 600,000 peasants in Cambodia in 1969-73, is wanted for questioning in France, Chile and Argentina. Yet, on 8 February, as if demonstrating the continuity of American power, President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, James Jones, said, “I take my daily orders from Dr. Kissinger.”

Like them, Tony Blair may soon be a fugitive. The International Criminal Court, to which Britain is a signatory, has received a record number of petitions related to Blair’s wars. Spain’s celebrated Judge Baltasar Garzon, who indicted Pinochet and the leaders of the Argentinian military junta, has called for George W. Bush, Blair and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar to be prosecuted for the invasion of Iraq – “one of the most sordid and unjustifiable episodes in recent human history: a devastating attack on the rule of law” that had left the UN “in tatters”. He said, “There is enough of an argument in 650,000 deaths for this investigation to start without delay.”

This is not to say Blair is about to be collared and marched to The Hague, where Serbs and Sudanese dictators are far more likely to face a political court set up by the West. However, an international agenda is forming and a process has begun which is as much about legitimacy as the letter of the law, and a reminder from history that the powerful lose wars and empires when legitimacy evaporates. This can happen quickly, as in the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of apartheid South Africa – the latter a spectre for apartheid Israel.

Today, the unreported “good news” is that a worldwide movement is challenging the once sacrosanct notion that imperial politicians can destroy countless lives in the cause of an ancient piracy, often at remove in distance and culture, and retain their respectability and immunity from justice. In his masterly Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde R.L. Stevenson writes in the character of Jekyll: “Men have before hired bravos to transact their crimes, while their own person and reputation sat under shelter … I could thus plod in the public eye with a load of genial respectability, and, in a moment, like a schoolboy, strip off these lendings and spring headlong into the sea of liberty. But for me, in my impenetrable mantle, the safety was complete.”

Blair, too, is safe – but for how long? He and his collaborators face a new determination on the part of tenacious non-government bodies that are amassing “an impressive documentary record as to criminal charges”, according to international law authority Richard Falk, who cites the World Tribunal on Iraq, held in Istanbul in 2005, which heard evidence from 54 witnesses and published rigorous indictments against Blair, Bush and others. Currently, the Brussels War Crimes Tribunal and the newly established Blair War Crimes Foundation are building a case for Blair’s prosecution under the Nuremberg Principle and the 1949 Geneva Convention. In a separate indictment, former Judge of the New Zealand Supreme Court E.W. Thomas wrote: “My pre-disposition was to believe that Mr. Blair was deluded, but sincere in his belief. After considerable reading and much reflection, however, my final conclusion is that Mr. Blair deliberately ands repeatedly misled Cabinet, the British Labour Party and the people in a number of respects. It is not possible to hold that he was simply deluded but sincere: a victim of his own self-deception. His deception was deliberate.”

Protected by the fake sinecure of Middle East Envoy for the Quartet (the US, EU, UN and Russia), Blair operates largely from a small fortress in the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, where he is an apologist for the US in the Middle East and Israel, a difficult task following the bloodbath in Gaza. To assist his mortgages, he recently received an Israeli “peace prize” worth a million dollars. He, too, is careful where he travels; and it is instructive to watch how he now uses the media. Having concentrated his post-Downing Street apologetics on a BBC series of obsequious interviews with David Aaronovitch, Blair has all but slipped from view in Britain, where polls have long revealed a remarkable loathing for a former prime minister – a sentiment now shared by those in the liberal media elite whose previous promotion of his “project” and crimes is an embarrassment and preferably forgotten.

On 8 February, Andrew Rawnsley, the Observer’s former leading Blair fan, declared that “this shameful period will not be so smoothly and simply buried”. He demanded, “Did Blair never ask what was going on?”. This is an excellent question made relevant with a slight word change: “Did the Andrew Rawnsleys never ask what was going on?”. In 2001, Rawnsley alerted his readers to Iraq’s “contribution to international terrorism” and Saddam Hussein’s “frightening appetite to possess weapons of mass destruction”. Both assertions were false and echoed official Anglo-American propaganda. In 2003, when the destruction of Iraq was launched, Rawnsley described it as a “point of principle” for Blair who, he later wrote, was “fated to be right”. He lamented, “Yes, too many people died in the war. Too many people always die in war. War is nasty and brutish, but at least this conflict was mercifully short.” In the subsequent six years at least a million people have been killed. According to the Red Cross, Iraq is now a country of widows and orphans. Yes, war is nasty and brutish, but never for the Blairs and the Rawnsleys.

Far from the carping turncoats at home, Blair has lately found a safe media harbour – in Australia, the original murdochracy. His interviewers exude an unction reminiscent of the promoters of the “mystical” Blair in the Guardian of than a decade ago, though they also bring to mind Geoffrey Dawson, editor of The Times during the 1930s, who wrote of his infamous groveling to the Nazis: “I spend my nights taking out anything which will hurt their susceptibilities and dropping in little things which are intended to sooth them.”

With his words as a citation, the finalists for the Geoffrey Dawson Prize for Journalism (Antipodes) are announced. On 8 February, in an interview on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Geraldine Doogue described Blair as “a man who brought religion into power and is now bringing power to religion”. She asked him: “What would the perception be that faith would bring towards a greater stability… [sic]?”. A bemused and clearly delighted Blair was allowed to waffle about “values”. Doogue said to him that “it was the bifurcation about right and wrong that what I thought the British found really hard” [sic], to which Blair replied that “in relation to Iraq I tried every other option [to invasion] there was”. It was his classic lie, which passed unchallenged.

However, the clear winner of the Geoffrey Dawson Prize is Ginny Dougary of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Times. Dougary recently accompanied Blair on what she described as his “James Bondish-ish Gulfstream” where she was privy to his “bionic energy levels”. She wrote, “I ask him the childlike question: does he want to save the world?”. Blair replied, well, more or less, aw shucks, yes. The murderous assault on Gaza, which was under way during the interview, was mentioned in passing. “That is war, I’m afraid,” said Blair, “and war is horrible”. No counter came that Gaza was not a war but a massacre by any measure. As for the Palestinians, noted Dougary, it was Blair’s task to “prepare them for statehood”. The Palestinians will be surprised to hear that. But enough gravitas; her man “has the glow of the newly-in-love: in love with the world and, for the most part, the feeling is reciprocated”. The evidence she offered for this absurdity was that “women from both sides of politics have confessed to me to having the hots for him”.

These are extraordinary times. Blair, a perpetrator of the epic crime of the 21st century, shares a “prayer breakfast” with President Obama, the yes-we-can-man now launching more war. “We pray,” said Blair, “that in acting we do God’s work and follow God’s will.” To decent people, such pronouncements about Blair’s “faith” represent a contortion of morality and intellect that is a profanation on the basic teachings of Christianity. Those who aided and abetted his great crime and now wish the rest of us to forget their part – or, like Alistair Campbell, his “communications director”, offer their bloody notoriety for the vicarious pleasure of some – might read the first indictment proposed by the Blair War Crimes Foundation: “Deceit and conspiracy for war, and providing false news to incite passions for war, causing in the order of one million deaths, 4 million refugees, countless maiming and traumas.”

These are indeed extraordinary times.

%d bloggers like this: