Plato's Communism

Topics: Political philosophy, Ruler, Social class Pages: 2 (692 words) Published: April 26, 2005
Elites: Elites not masses, govern all societies, but in whose interests do they serve.
Elites are inevitable in all societies
According to both Madison and Plato, factions will inevitably occur within society, the way to address this is viewed in two different ways by Plato and Madison.
Plato sees within society an inherent flaw of two cities, a city of the rich and a city of the poor. He rejects oligarchy, the rule of few over many, because he believes that "absolute power corrupts absolutely" and rejects democracy for the incompetence within the system because it lacks people properly schooled in the Plutonian tradition and sees the violence inherent in the system, for: existent in all forms of government exist the extreme violence and selfishness of party struggles for factions within society.

Plato would remove the causes of factions, choosing to give up further liberties to protect the good of the people. His theory is similar to the state of nature, believing that societies are formed to meet the needs of the people. Because of the inherent yearning for power within a few elites, Plato would remove these feelings of selfishness, with his own form of Communism.

Plato's communism would take two main forms which meet in the abolition of the family. The first of the two forms would be to set up a new form of hierarchy: Philosopher king, who would rule by merit of vision and capacity to realize that vision in reality. Guardians, who would serve as the military/ruling class of society, merchant class which serves as a middle class, a buffer between the poor and the rulers. This sunders in two the idea of a city of rich/ city of poor. However the main thing to note is that the rulers must give up certain freedoms in order to attain their position of power. The rulers must give up the right to own property, effectively removing self-interest. Anyone can be a ruler as long as they MERIT the position. Also, the must live in common barracks...
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