We can love only concrete reals; this because to love is to will the good of another, and we cannot do anything good for an irreal idea, but only for a real being characterized by that idea. You can’t benefit autonomy per se. You can however benefit people, by granting them autonomy; and while that will lead to an increase in the quantity of autonomy present in a people, it will not benefit the notion of autonomy itself.
We can love only things, and ideas only insofar as they are in things. To the extent then that we do love an idea, we love it only insofar as it concretely characterizes reals that we experience. We love ideas because they are properties of concrete things that we love.
So we cannot be loyal to a mere idea, or pledge fealty to a mere proposition, nor by the same token to any system of notions, howsoever noble and beautiful they be. We can be loyal only to concrete reals and their characters: to places, works, objects, persons, or to congeries thereof. Of such objects is the nation that is the object of patriotic devotion constituted.
I say that we cannot love mere ideas, “howsoever noble or beautiful.” But then, nor is it possible for an idea to be holy, beautiful, good, or true except in respect to its implementation as a concrete character of some concrete real. Ideas can have moral, aesthetic, veridical or sacred valence, i.e., only insofar as, being instantiated concretely, they could have effects. Only what is concrete can have effect. Ideas are then good, holy, just, right, proper, elegant, and so forth, only insofar as they are concretely realized, and then known.
We have the impression that we love mere ideas, but this is due only to the fact that we have somehow encountered them in a real that we have loved, or that has loved us.
So likewise also then for the existence of an idea. Ideas can’t have themselves. If they are to be had by anyone, they must first have been had by someone.
So the Platonic Realm is a character of some concrete real. Indeed, because all truths cohere – this being the basis of their agreement and mutual entailment – all of the Platonic Realm is implicit in any instance of any part thereof, so that at least by logical implication, any real is a synecdoche of the whole of it.
But the ideas are eternal; so then is their Original subject.