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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Why Plato frowned at Democracy

Written by: Emecheta Nonso Bee


Plato the great philosopher. I'm actually proud of being a philosopher.

Democracy for Plato is the rule of the mob. Plato avers that the philosopher king (the Guardian) should take over the administrative affairs of the state. The soldiers (Auxiliary) should defend the territorial integrity of the state.

While the workers (Artisan) should provide the material needs of the society. This is owing to Plato's conviction that the art of governance is not meant for everyone. In other words, the leader must undergo rigorous training in governance which Plato's Academy was founded for that purpose.

To hammer home Plato's political compass, he employed an analogy that before one can become the captain of the sheep, he must undergo thorough training in navigation. 

Again, before someone will become a medical doctor, he must have undergone rigorous training in medicine. Hence, to become a leader, one must be trained and the king of leader that will emerge after such training is the philosopher king.

Hence, Plato frowned at democracy.

"Democracy is a charming form of government. Full of variety and disorder" (Plato: The Republic).

Taking the form of various dialogues between Plato and his students, 'The Republic' is perhaps the world's most renowned work on governance and politics. It discusses various forms of governance from Democracy, Autocracy, Tyranny, Oligarchy etc.

In a sincere bid to determine the best form of government for mankind to live under.
Most would be surprised to learn that Democracy is dismissed as a poor alternative which ultimately opens the door to Tyranny....Surprise...Surprise. 

As the wisdom of its words continue to echo from the Age of Antiquity till today, it’s no wonder it remains mine and many others' favourite work of Classical Philosophy.

Download - The Republic by Plato.pdf
click to download - 1.25mb


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