Friendship Vs Friendship

Decent Essays

We all fear the idea of being alone, of not having anyone to rely on. According to Plato, this fear is a very vivid reality for anyone living in a tyranny due to the selfishness and isolation that is produced. De Waal correctly modifies Plato’s theory that tyranny isolates citizens by looking at alliances as well as gender dynamics.
Plato believes that isolation is the true evil of any city. He claims that citizens of tyranny, “bent on private pleasures..., are self seeking strangers who cannot experience friendship” (42). It is each person’s selfishness that isolates him or her from others. Because all the people are focused on what they can do to hang on to their desires, there is no part of anyone that wants to give a little to others. Everything belongs to them and them alone, isolating each citizen from others. This holds up in De Waal’s research as well; everyone wants power because “high rank generally translates into [benefits] for the females... for the males” (4). This need for worldly things keeps each individual focused on his or her end goal, never looking up from the need for better food and better mates.
However, there is a difference between a friendship and an alliance. Friendships are personal, deep bonds that do not rely on outward results or benefits. Alliances are strategic partnerships that aim to produce some goal or outcome. Although there cannot be true friendship in tyranny, De Waal correctly shows that alliances are not only common but necessary.

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