Plato was a mentor of Aristotle lending ideas to his student about composition and operation of citizens, city state, and political regimes. Although Aristotle criticized Plato’s notion of ranking democracy at a fourth position out of five competing systems of government, he agreed with Plato that democracy is the corrupt form of government as it violates justice of proportionality. The concept of justice of proportionality is to answer who is the most deserving. This is explained in an analogy of whoever deserves the best flute. A rich or a handsome man have no business with the flute, but the best flute player does. Similarly, in political competition, according to Plato, the man most deserving to rule is the either a philosophers king or for Aristotle, the most educated man in the field of politics.
Plato continually attempted to enter the world of politics, but after being let down time after time and seeing the execution of his beloved mentor Socrates, Plato criticized the regime of his time (Athenian democracy). He sought to draft his own representation of the ideal constitution, outlined and explained in his work Republic. Plato’s critique of democracy is expected since democracy embodies the opposite of his ideal regime: A government controlled and ruled by the uneducated masses that easily slips into chaos and tyranny. According to Plato, democracy cannot function efficiently due to its unnatural, weak leaders, disordered functionality, and its appetitive citizens. He defines his conception of democracy through its deviation
In The Republic by Plato, Plato constructed an ideal city where Philosophers would rule. Governed by an aristocratic form of government, it took away some of the most basic rights a normal citizen should deserve, freedom of choice, worship, and assembly were distressed. Though the idea of philosopher kings is good on paper, fundamental flaws of the human kind even described by Plato himself prevent it from being truly successful. The idea of an ideal democratic government like what our founding fathers had envisioned is the most successful and best political form which will ensure individual freedom and keep power struggle to a minimum.
After reading The Republic there are three main points that Plato had touched on. The first of these three points is that Plato is disheartened with democracy. It was due to Socrates’ untimely death during Athens’ democracy that led to his perception of the ideal state as referred to in The Republic. Plato perceived that the material greed was one of the many evils of politics; in Plato’s eyes greed was one of the worst evils of political life. Thus economic power must be separated from political power; he came to this conclusion due to an experience that filled him with a hatred for mob mentality. He concluded that a democracy must be replaced with a government ruled by the wisest and the greatest people fit for the job; the people that would be fit for the job would be called Philosopher-Kings; which I will touch on later. Plato feels that democracy is a form of political organization that is exceptionally inferior as compared to other types of political organizations such as a monarchy and aristocracy. He came to this notion because of the fact that in his eyes the average man and woman would be inclined to make improper decisions for the society based on greed. Plato viewed all forms of government as being corrupt; the key components in an ideal society are morality and justice. The forms of government that Plato thought were corrupt was timocracy, which would ultimately fall and crumble into an oligarchy which then turns into a democracy, then last but not least turns
"Unless," I said, "the philosophers rule as kings or those now called kings and chiefs genuinely and adequately philosophize, and political power and philosophy coincide in the same place, while the many natures now making their way to either apart from the other are by necessity excluded, there is no rest from ills for the cities, my dear Glaucon, nor I think for human kind, nor will the regime we have now described in speech ever come forth from nature, insofar as possible, and see the light of the sun."(THE REPUBLIC OF PLATO By Allan B- 473d - 473e)
Plato is primarily supportive of a Guardian (a military trained, and naturally wise man), becoming the leader of a nation. On the surface, it seems reasonable to propose that the best or the wisest, should rule. However, our democratic system doesn’t see it just that one individual person is in complete control, and takes on the burden of solely governing a country. Canadian democracy trashes the idea that one is “naturally” suited to rule, or even that political power is held by a supreme ruler. Plato’s supportiveness of the guardians whose purpose is to use military force to preserve a state is alarming because a democratic government shouldn’t be based of military rule, and
In The Republic of Plato, Plato, in addition to sharing his views on justice, shares his views on democracy using a fictionalized Socrates to outline the most pressing issues. Plato’s views on democracy are negative; he believes democracy to be bred from a response to inequality of wealth and to heighten all of humanities worst traits. Plato believes democracy leads to unequipped leaders who hold offices and power without the necessary traits and preparation.
Democracy is often referred to as the rule of the many, but Aristotle called this definition incomplete. In his book “Politics”, he explained that in a city if the majorities are aristocrats and if they have political authority, then it is an aristocracy not a democracy. He therefore defined democracy as when “free people have authority and Oligarchy as when the wealthy have it” (1290b). Plato viewed Democracy as a flawed system with too much inefficiency that would make any implementation of a true democracy not worth it. While Aristotle viewed democracy as a system that could work if it is limited to certain restrictions and if it is the regime that best fits the culture of the people to be governed. In this essay it will be argued that Plato’s view on democracy as a flawed system is more prevalent or more compelling if the current political arena around the world is observed.
In short, it outlines the problem that there can be no correct leadership in a democracy. The leader elected by the people must act accordingly to secure and maintain his position, as a result the leader cannot act in the best interest of the society, only in the interests of the ‘mob.’ Secondly, Plato argues that within a democracy there will always be factions or a group of people that believe they are right, these factions gain power and support through their wealth and property. This problem creates conflicts and a breakdown of society which Plato believes could lead to civil war. Thirdly, Plato suggests that a proper society maintains itself by stability and authority. Stability is maintained by looking towards the future rather than short term, when authority is lost the people lose sight of what is best for them, thus losing stability. Finally, considering points two and three Plato argues that with a breakdown of authority and stability combined with factions, this would result in violence creating the inevitability of civil war. As a consequence, tyranny is formed to end violence in the interest of the many for the power of the one. These four problems present the inevitability that democracy is destined for ruin.
To sum up, we recognize that Plato’s ideal city is differs from our modern societies. While in today’s modern state private life separated from the governing authority, in Kallipolis there is a totalitarian regime. However, as a reader I disagree some points which were made by Plato about his ideal city, it is worth to read the Republic and imagine his just city where philosophical kings rule workers and warriors because their rational soul dominate appetitive and spiritual part of their
This is where we get into the meat of the argument. Take note that there might be some consideration as to whether or not, particularly with regard to the Socratic dialogues, the criticism of democracy’s properties originated from Socrates or Plato. But with regards to this essay, such a consideration is irrelevant, as it is not incorrect to say that Plato did indeed have some problems with democracy, especially with regard to the Athenian model.
to be equally educated in a well rounded fashion in order to promote a just
In the Republic, Plato places Socrates as the main ‘character’ to express his philosophical views on the world. Plato lived in Athens and as such his criticism of democracy can mainly be applied to Athenian democracy and is fundamentally different from the democratic systems we have nowadays. In order to understand Plato’s position on democracy, the essay will use the Republic as main source to point the wrongs of democracy according to Plato. This essay will detail in four parts the elements that support Plato’s points against democracy. These points will be given in context to Plato’s time and will be both based on the historical context of his life. The first part will explore Plato’s sense of justice and what justice should be. Using his perspective on virtue and justice, this part will explain how Plato perceived a just world and as such this part will demonstrate how democracy is not compatible with his views on justice. The second part will explain how Plato defends the idea that philosophers should rule as an alternative, not only to democracy, but most ruling systems. This part aims to provide information on what Plato thought was wrong with democracy by
Plato had some views that seemed realistic to society while others to me seemed to be unjust for the people. According to Plato everyone by nature has their own function and in order to make an ideal state they each need to serve that role and only that. They are not permitted to do more than one thing or venture off of what they are suited best to do. These roles are people that are motivated by three