The difficulty of virtue

​I am reading an interesting philosophical treaties by Plato. You know the Athenian who roamed the world 2500 years ago. 

In this specific treaties, he discusses the development of a nation or a polis. The sophist of his discourse claims, that it is possible to teach virtue, and by doing that, create the basis of the nation. 

The point is, that, as Heraclitus says, the law is not an external thing, it is an internal thing. The nation only works, if the citizens are all on a certain level in regards to virtue. 

Yes we do have the police and justice system to punish those who are not virtuous, and breaks the rules. But these measures are only secondary, it is for the exception. A nation should have most of its citizens to follow the law. 

This point, though coming from a sophist, that is a person usually not liked in platonic dialogues, seems right to me. And it points to some of the problems that we meet in the West these days. 

The policy of open borders has the consequence, that we mix people of different backgrounds with very different ideas when it comes to virtue. 

In most cases this can, by teaching be solved, but in some cases the opposite effect is seen. As in the case with all the rapists of the migrants. Obviously, this is unvirtous. This is wrong, and they do it because they are, basically, bad men. 

The problem in our public discourse however, is that in most liberal definitions, migrants, or refugees are virtuous when they come. They are seen as poor, good people, fleeing a devastating war. 

This is often the case, but sometimes the opposite is the fact. They are not poor, but bad men, IS fighters, hiding in the refugee stream. Rapists and so on. 

This clash of understanding virtue is where we are truly divided, some people see all refugees as good, some see all refugees as evil. 

The truth however is in between. There are some good, and some bad. What we need to do, is to be able to make a division. Not be naive in this situation, and take care that the bad men do not get into our countries, but the good men are helped. 

That is difficult, but any politicians with any kind of ambition in the West, should master this process. 

G-d bless the will to be honest and humane in a difficult situation.

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