Plato's Ideal Polis

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The freedom that is to be cultivated in the citizens of Plato's ideal polis, and in the polis itself is supposed to be a free and just place. The freedom that Plato describes is the kind of freedom to live within a republic and be able to live in accordance to their abilities. The freedom he describes allows people to do things that, "are apt for the accomplishment of different jobs" meaning that a person is allowed to either transcend the "class" they were born in to or to even be "demoted" from whatever class they were in (379b).

The freedom therein lies within each individual of the polis which translates into, we are responsible for the ordering in our souls. The polis is the incompletion of an individual in regards to a human soul. Therefore individuals need the polis in order to be completed, that the polis through its laws shapes our souls. Freedom thus begins to be the allocation for us, as citizens of the great polis, to be allowed to live without the influences of sophists or poets who have a tendency claim knowledge where they have none and who also have the ability to, "educate most perfectly and who turn out young and old, men and women, just the way they want them to be" and not the way they ought to be (492b). That influence in Plato's republic is ridden of. Thus, we are also free to live and "mind one's own business" so that there are even less complications in our lives because there is no concern really except for that of the well being of the polis. There are even "guardians" to protect us. Everyone is allowed to live their life fully to the extent of their aptitudes without the restraints of being put into a predetermined class that disregards one's abilities.

This kind of meritocracy allows the people who are deemed the best for the society to be a part of the ruling class. The guardians protect the city along with the auxiliaries who make sure everything that the people needs are provided for, not what they want, but what they need which cannot be stressed enough. Plato proposes that all things from what nurture one's mental state to that of one's physicality is censored and provided for in order to make make and maintain just, rational, and healthy citizens for the polis.

This was the base for our contemporary country today. The United States of America strives to be everything that Plato had discussed and we today try to aim for what he wanted but it seems that we have failed to fully realize his dreams. Our country today is not what Plato wanted. Although in some respects we have succeeded, I personally do not believe we accomplished. There is a difference between speaking, and actually practicing what we preach.

We are a country consumed by passion. We say that we are a just and true nation, but it is also my belief that we are given too much freedom. The freedom that we are given, are not those that Plato had proposed. We are not quite to the point were we are actually correctly ordered. Epithymia rules in our society. We seem to have lost our logos and our thymos is misguided.

It seems as if our wisdom, or our want to educate the masses is imbalanced. "For sound rearing and education, when they are preserved, produce good natures; and sound natures, in their turn receiving such an education, grow up still better than those before them," but what has happened to this? Our education has become a kind of propaganda that no one believes. We are not told in some respects for our hand in the demise of other countries or our interferences with another's government. In some ways I respect that, that is kind of what Plato was talking about too, but there are so many other resources to look at that would reveal the things that were hidden from us in school. I do not think we are censored properly or for that matter enough. We are allowed to speak ill of our government and of our society, yet we are the ones who allowed it to be that way and make no real movement to stop the kinds of things...
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