Plato 's Views On Democracy

845 WordsJul 11, 20164 Pages
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. The main issue Plato has with democracy, as outlined in The Republic of Plato, is democracy has a uniquely level playing field for all and that this leads to people working toward endeavors that do not suit their best abilities, which goes against Plato’s own image of justice as Plato’s image holds to the idea that justice is primarily found in the community more so than the individual and that it is realized on an individual and societal level when people help to advance society by working toward endeavors that best suit their natural abilities (55). This democratic equality, the author feels, leads to those who are unequipped and unprepared to rule leading the masses. For example, Plato utilizes the metaphor of the ship to show this issue of democracy, that many of the crew, though not equipped to lead, will try to steer to steer the ship and that the struggle will eventually lead the crew to wreck the ship (195-196). Plato also associates democracy with tyranny, noting that when freedom is taken to an extreme it
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