Power, Authority And Power And The Views Of The State

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Plato and JS Mill both gave political theories of the state that were very different. The essay will look to cover their theories as well as definitions, strengths and weaknesses on democracy, authority and power and the views of JS Mill and Plato, giving their thoughts, ideas and styles. The researcher will also apply these definitions of authority and democracy to both Mill’s and Plato’s theories of the state. Heywood tells us that authority is, in the broadest sense of the word, a form of power which can be thought of as ‘legitimate power’. He goes on to say how power, “is the ability to influence others” (Heywood, 2000). It is important to remember that authority and power are different things. Max Weber gives us different types of…show more content…
We are told that in the modern day it is used in the form of referendums. Representative democracy is limited in popular participation. Heywood tells us it is indirect, the pubic don’t implement power themselves. It is restricted in the fact that the people only vote every few years or so. Advantages of democracy in Heywood’s eyes are the fact it promotes freedom, education and personal development of the masses through participation in politics. On top of this it gives a sense of community and it ensures the government looks out for the best interests of the masses. Democracy has come under criticism for its ability to result in dictatorships as well as resulting in state control and ‘excessive government’. Plato puts the blame of Athens defeat to Sparta on democracy. He believed democracy to be a dangerous thing as it resulted in power being put into the hands of people he described as, ‘ignorant and envious’. Plato believed that democracy would eventually lead to civil war breaking out. His theory was that things would only improve if rulers became philosophers or vice versa. Plato believed the average person not be in the right state of mind to make an informed or rational decision rational decisions, as well as believing humans as individuals were not self-sufficient so authority should not be left to those people. Plato’s Republic had a structure that would put

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