Plato 's Ideas About Democracy

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Plato 's Ideas about Democracy The ancient Greek philosopher Plato is one of the most famous philosophers in the history of philosophy. This is largely due to the fact that Plato considers a lot of philosophical issues and provides a holistic philosophical view of the world, able to explain the different levels of human life such as religion and politics. In this regard, the political views of Plato are still quite relevant in relation to different political regimes including democracy. In fact, Plato negatively assesses the democratic regime as a form of power that leads to tyranny and disorder in conditions of total permissiveness and promiscuity. His allegory of the cave allows one to equate the prisoners of the cave to the supporters of democracy who do not understand the true state of affairs, and democratic regime to the existence of the cave prisoners living within their physical and spiritual limitations. In the seventh book of the Republic, Plato examines the myth of the cave which helps him to show the difference between true and false knowledge of the essence of things. The prisoners of the cave cannot see the light of day, because all they can see is the shadows of the objects outside the cave that are reflected on the opposite wall. The prisoners cannot turn their heads out of the cave because they are chained. Their physical immobility causes the fact that eventually they begin to perceive these shadows as real objects while this is not true. Analyzing the myth of the cave, one can use it to understand the critical attitude of Plato to the adherents of democracy and to the democratic regime. In other words, the myth of the cave serves as a vivid illustration of this situation, where the prisoners of the ca... ... middle of paper ... the idea of enlightenment and the need to comprehend the truth in its actual form given that “the power and capacity of learning exists in the soul already” (Plato 377). To sum up, democracy and its advocates get a very negative assessment in the framework of Plato 's concept. Plato sees democracy as a form of subservience and injustice, and supporters of democracy as slaves who consider themselves free people. The Allegory of the Cave is a perfect illustration of this position of Plato, since for him, an ideal state is a state controlled by philosophers while the perfect man is a person able to see the true nature of things. These ideas do not allow the philosopher to see democracy as a just form of government. Democracy is a form of arbitrariness that ultimately leads to slavery in its various forms such as the spiritual, economic, social and political slavery.
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