Socrates' Stand on Democracy

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Reusi 1 Raye Reusi D. Ryals Writing 1 November 14, 2012 Socrates’ Stand on Democracy Having emphasized upon me the advantages of democracy, I have always believed that it is the best system to implement in a country. Ignoring the flaws and weaknesses of this type of system, I thought that the benefits outweigh all costs. I assume that giving the power to the people is better than having one person rule the state. However, in Plato’s account on the life of his mentor Socrates, we are able to see both sides of the spectrum: the pros and cons of democracy which are accounted in Plato’s dialogues, the Apology and the Crito. Socrates, having been accused of impiety, is brought to trial in front of the jury of Athens. In his defense, he points…show more content…
Yet, he implies that the people would not favor anyone that opposes injustice which seems to be the common dealings in politics. He believes that he would “have died long ago” (34), although this is not his ultimate concern. What he truly cares about is “not to do anything unjust or impious” (32). Despite his criticisms on politics, Socrates is essentially reminding the people, especially those in authority, to serve a just and virtuous life. Outwardly stating the current situation of the government, he aims to provide the people a portrait of the shallow kind of democracy that they have come to maintain. Socrates seeks to prompt the majority to uphold the true sense of democracy, of fighting for justice and living life accordingly. Furthermore, Socrates uses his dialectical approach with his friend Crito in examining the contrast between the knowledge of “the one” and the pseudo-knowledge of “the many”. He uses an analogy of a man involved in physical activities, whom must listen to the advice of the true expert in his training, rather than the opinions thrown by other people who barely know anything about these activities. Anyone who places a higher regard to the thoughts of the majority, rather than to the knowledge of the one who possess it, puts himself on greater “harm” (47). Socrates adds that if we disobey the one who seeks to
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