In The Republic, Plato presents a dialogue of Socrates, in which he seeks to uncover truths about what constitutes a just society, and what kind of men would rule such a society. As such a society would require a sound government, Plato, through Socrates, presents five possible types of governments, which involve varying levels of liberty and justice. Although the arguments demonstrate that aristocracy is the ideal form of government, all forms of government have fatal flaws that lead to continual replacement by other forms.
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.
In The Republic, Plato builds around the idea of Philosopher Rulers. Even though it is not his primary point, it certainly is at the core of his discussion of the ideal state. The question that arises is, 'Why do you need ideal states which will have philosophers as rulers?' There are many layers to the
In the United States we praise democracy and are proud to be a very democratic nation. The United States constitution was the first to demonstrate a formal blueprint for modern democracy in 1788. The democratic system today is still based on the restricted franchise, but the American system today points towards a fully democratic system more than anywhere else in the world. The American democracy mainly arrived from the Britain. It was in 1796 elections when John Adam was elected as the federalist president and Thomas Jefferson was elected the democratic-republican vice president. Than in 1800 Jefferson won the elections, beginning an everlasting democratic-republican rule (History of Democracy: Democratic constitution
Democracy defies that rule by allowing variety and liberty, and because of this variety, democracy appears with a certain loveliness which produces the most diverse population. In a democratic city, since it is full of freedom “embroidered with every kind of character type, would seem to be the most beautiful” (557d, p.228). This seems to be Plato’s only seemingly positive comment on democracy. But he later comments, “And it would seem to be a pleasant constitution, which lacks rulers but not variety and which distributes a sort of equality to both equals and unequals alike” (558c, p.228). If properly executed, this constitution is seemingly splendid and agreeable. But Plato emphases that this attractiveness of diversity is only temporary: “Isn’t that a divine and pleasant life, while it lasts?” since (558a, p.228). An excess of freedom produces an excess of opinions, perspectives, and interests. These factions must be appeased, flattered, and indulged by a leader to receive support from the people. The very freedom of democracy directly leads to absolutism due to the people’s love of tolerance and eqaulity rather than love of true good.
Plato’s Book Three and Four reflects a mirror to our society, of back then and can still be seen now. Plato touches upon the subject of the ruling class and the definition of justice. In a society, one must each play their appropriate role. Everyone is assigned a role in society (suited to their nature) that will benefit them and the society; the meaning of justice. Just as those in society each play their role, so do parts of ourselves play their appropriate and just role. In Brave New World, each person is designed and given a special job. Society is very clean and everything is done a certain way for there to be progress and live an efficient life.
What is America? When answering this question, the word democracy often comes to mind. But what makes America democratic? Common responses would most likely center around the civic opportunity to have a say in governmental representatives. Although this is all true, Nancy Rosenblum would argue America’s democratic society is not centered on the civic involvement in the government, but the democracy of everyday life in neighborhoods. In Good Neighbors, Rosenblum talks about the democracy of everyday life in neighborhoods, which functions on neighbor’s reciprocity, speaking out, and live and let live attitudes. Through these three features among neighborhoods, the democracy of everyday life best resembles the foundation of America’s democracy.
The problem, according to Plato, is that which part of the soul dominates the others differs from person to person. In order to have a just soul, reason must be in control and the three parts should be in harmony with one another. Similarly, the people who are the most rational thinkers, and therefore the most suited to be rulers, are not always those who have power in society. In order to have a just society, the most rational people must have power over spirited and appetitive people. These three classes of people should be in harmony, just as the three parts of the soul should be in harmony.
Plato sets out to convince us that his was of governance is best compared to our democracy. Plato believes taking away more of out freedom will not obstruct the government from doing what needed to be done in order to improve
Plato’s and his view of the government was that people in the public needed a “Theorist king (portrays them as those who love the sight of truth and honesty”) According to Plato, a statement made will overall downturn from an elite
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.
The people with this superior power only focus on what will benefit them, individuals in this society are led to believe that the ones who have gained this sort of power care about the weak when in fact, it’s the complete opposite .The weak are seen as cattle ,only meant to feed the strong. . The ones that rule will always find a way to make themselves look better by using anything and everything to their advantage. Plato’s character elaborates that concept in this quote , “And each ruling group sets down laws for its own advantage(…) in every city the same thing is just , the advantage of the established ruling body. It surely is master; so the man who reason rightly concludes that everywhere justice is the same thing, the advantage of the stronger”(339a). As stated before, this quote explains how the few that rule make laws that only help them gain over people who are not able to obtain the same power. Limiting their influences, needs and wants in that society . According to Plato’s character , this is fully justified since the rule makers have worked their way to be where they are in society making their decision just.
Plato, according to his writings and others record of him, was an avid critique of democracy and his critiques if reflected upon rationally are very thought provoking. In the words of historian John Wild “The most serious charge against Plato from a modern point of view is that he is an enemy of democracy.”(Thorson 1963, p.105). In his book, “The Republic” Plato explains the definition of democracy as a single focus on the pursuit of freedom and social liberty at the expense of other societal goods like public order, public safety and stability both politically and economically. He explains that
Mandatory voting has been a topic of debate in democratic countries since the creation of democratic republics themselves. Voting is a crucial part of democracy because it determines who will be the leaders of both the voters and nonvoters. It is the right of a citizen to vote, but whether or not it is the responsibility remains disputed. However, voting must be performed with a basic understanding of policy and what it takes for someone to fit the role which they are running for. Voting should not be compulsory because it results in more uneducated voting that counteracts the educated voting.