Aristocracy In Plato's The Republic And To Build A Democratic State

747 words - 3 pages

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 Plato' "ideal" model of a city; he chose an aristocratic form of government, describing it as the rule of the most strong, wise and intelligent. In his system people are robbed of their basic rights to live as a primitive human being. People had no right to choose what they want to be after they are born; their occupation is chosen for them by the "philosopher king." He chooses one's job after assessing one's talent in a variety of areas. Then he places the individual in one of the three classes, the "king", the "guardians" and the "producers." In a vacuum utopian society, it would work amazingly well as people are just robots with a flesh exoskeleton, but in reality it isn't very practical.

As Plato pointed out in The Republic, the government should be ruled by the most wise, intelligent, non-corrupt and individual in the city who does not want to rule, thus being the philosopher. The "philosopher king" idea on paper works well because it portraits the philosopher as a robotic figure who has no heart and does whatever that's good for the city. In real life, humans no matter how unbendable they are, they will still be changed by the original sins like lust and greed. Even Plato admitted with the allegory of the Ring of Gyges, which no matter how legitimate an individual is, as soon as he get his hands onto power he start to sin. In The Republic, the Ring of Gyges is described as a ring that gives invisibility power then the man goes out...

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