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Thu Apr 18, 2019, 01:58 PM

One step closer to a dictatorship? Was Plato right?

The Classical Greek philosopher Plato discusses five types of regimes(Republic, Book VIII). They are:

Aristocracy
Timocracy
Oligarchy
Democracy
and Tyranny

... These five regimes progressively degenerate starting with Aristocracy at the top and Tyranny at the bottom.

Taken from Wikipedia

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Below is from Facultyfiles.frostburg.edu


(Enter Plato's Ship analogy, then continue)

Democratic self-government does not work, according to Plato, because ordinary people have not learned how to run the ship of state. They are not familiar enough with such things as economics, military strategy, conditions in other countries, or the confusing intricacies of law and ethics.

....they are guided by unreliable emotions more than by careful analysis, and they are lured into adventurous wars and victimized by costly defeats that could have been entirely avoided.

The democratic election of a leader who plans to replace a capitalist democracy with a fascist warfare state, for example, is a case in point. Hitler, it is worth remembering, was elected by a democratic vote, and it is surely not irrelevant to ask whether those who voted for him did not suffer from an unacceptable degree of ignorance and lack of political education.

(Enter his Cave analogy)

The challenge that Plato's critique of democracy still poses is the question whether the citizens of today's democracies are interested and informed enough to participate meaningfully in the democratic process. Are today's self-proclaimed democracies in fact societies where people are "their own governors”-- where they are well enough informed to be effectively in control of their commonwealth and their lives? Do the citizens of these societies really understand why wars are declared, resources committed, debts incurred, relations denied, and so forth? Could it be that a majority of citizens live in a cognitive haze that reduces them to voting on the basis of uninformed convictions, catchy slogans, and altogether vague hunches and feelings?
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My comment: Although Plato's position holds a great deal of intuitive weight and points to great truths about the nature of humanity, I hope ultimately that he is wrong in his conclusion.

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Reply One step closer to a dictatorship? Was Plato right? (Original post)
defacto7 Apr 2019 OP
TreasonousBastard Apr 2019 #1
defacto7 Apr 2019 #5
Ponietz Apr 2019 #2
defacto7 Apr 2019 #4
WhiteTara Apr 2019 #3
defacto7 Apr 2019 #6
WhiteTara Apr 2019 #7

Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2019, 02:06 PM

1. It would be nice if he was wrong, but the evidence shows otherwise...

Not only are so many of us living in his cave, but tyrants put far more time and energy into their goals than the rest of us do.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 18, 2019, 02:57 PM

5. Tis true and a bit frightning.

I'm up for the fight though.

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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2019, 02:16 PM

2. I don't believe Plato imagined the power potential of a modern educational system n/t

That’s a democracy’s true gold reserve.

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Response to Ponietz (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 18, 2019, 02:55 PM

4. I boil everything down to education..

I think education is certainly the "true gold reserve of democracy". But it is also a gold mine for those who can twist it's implementation through mis-information.
What Plato probably couldn't envision was the planetary speed at which information in the name of any ideology could be disseminated to the masses. But he didn’t underestimate the lack of human ability to reason quick enough to decern reality from shadows.

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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2019, 02:30 PM

3. I took a different slant

I compared him to Slobodan Milosovich. So, I guess I'm going for tyranny.

http://eureka.news/free-parking-72/

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 18, 2019, 03:03 PM

6. Please elaborate. It's an interesting comparison

but I'm not sure I understand the points.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 18, 2019, 08:10 PM

7. Thanks for asking

So my hypothesis is that trump is a tyrant trying to solidify his power and his most powerful weapon is his hate rhetoric. Molosovich had the same tactic and he will rachet up the hate speech until he has genocide on his hands.

I have likened our situation to Rwanda (in another column) which occurred during the same period of time. I could also make the same arguments about Jackson and the Reconstruction.

Mostly this is all about hate speech and outcomes.

So, what did you get besides confusion?

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