The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself. – Plato, The Republic
Do you think that Democracy in today’s modern society doesn’t function pretty well? If you do so, you are not far from Plato’s opinion.
First we should ask ourselves if there is a democracy in our system at all? But even if there was, would it be effective?
Plato was debating this problem about two and a half millennials, and he sure did not like the idea.
Here’s an example:
You have an awful headache for two days already. There’s nothing you can do about it, and you decide to go to the hospital. When you arrive there, do you go straight to your doctor and tell him/her your problems, or you just walk around the waiting hall and ask every patient to tell you a cure for your headache. Who will you listen to? Your doctor or the patients waiting in the hall?
You can see the analogy in the story. The hospital is the state, the doctor is the leader and the patients are population.
Plato believed that not all people have the intellectual ability to rule. He argued that masses don’t have deeper understanding and knowledge about the reality. He even predicted that democracy would lead to nations being governed by bullies and brutes.
Yes, we can judge Plato, but we should remember that he is considered one of the wisest men to ever live.
See the video below for one more useful explanation about Plato and democracy.
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