“Democracy provides the most just and efficient form of political rule” Asses whether Plato has shown his claim to be false.
Plato believes that the ideal ruler of the state should be a philosopher. He states that a king concerned with the pursuit of wisdom would undoubtedly be better than a lover of power, wealth or status. To have the majority vote for what is best would be irrelevant as they do not understand what is real and Philosophers are the only ones who can do this and fully understand the forms.
Plato agrees that Philosophers in Athenian society can be dangerous, but he then counters they can only become a danger when they’re corrupted by society. He uses the simile of the ship to explain that because democratic society has no use for philosophers, they have no alternative but to stand aside from the corruption of political life. The simile of the ship denotes each feature to a part of Athenian society. The ship represents the basis of a Democratic Athenian Society and the Captains plays the electorate. He is big and strong, yet deaf and short sighted which shows the blindness of the citizens who in the long run cannot see what is good for them. The crew represents the politicians who are each quarrelling among themselves and constantly wanting control of the captain. They form groups, much like political parties, and try to manipulate the captain in order to overthrow him and if one of these groups were to take control the ships journey would become a drunken pleasure cruise. As a whole the crew members do not believe that navigational skills are needed to bring the ship into port. The Navigator symbolizes the philosopher. One who knows how to bring the ship to its port through using his knowledge of the stars and the changing seasons. This represents the philosopher’s ability to bring the state and its people to its final destination through him knowledge of the forms.
However, to counter act the Simile of the ship it can be noted...
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