The Criticism Of Plato's The Republic

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Plato 's major political work and one of the most prominent in the whole history of philosophy is «The Republic», composed in the form of dialogue. In this book Plato suggests the principles of what he thinks to be an ideal state.
Plenty of scholars regard «The Republic» as an authoritarian and closed society and they certainly have reasons for that. Indeed, most principles of state organization suggested by Plato can be hardly considered democratic or liberal. In fact , political structure and functioning of the state as Plato sees it must be purely aristocratic. The whole governing process in such a society is carried out by the chosen few, the true philosophers . Another group , the auxiliaries, is to protect the well-being of the
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According to Plato, it is possible to achieve these objectives by total governmental control and the rule of «the best»,who govern according to the knowledge that only they possess. They should practice censorship in education,supervise most activities of the population,control family relationships and exercise propaganda². Besides, Plato emphasizes the importance of transforming the institution of family radically by its abolition for two upper classes and deprivation of parents from their newly born children. Apparently,such conditions are likely to ensure solid position of state and the absence of any political turbulence.
The question whether the realization of the principles of Plato 's state will be beneficial is rather ambiguous. While such a political system is easy to manage for the rulers, the citizens ' perspective can be different. On the one hand , there are some curious ideas in «The Republic» which may be of great use to well-being of the society. For instance, Plato 's idea that children , taken from their parents, would treat every older man like their own father,showing respect, seems really attractive. Although this idea appeals to me, I can hardly imagine how it can be implied in
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Firstly, the role played by the state is so significant that it leaves almost no space for individual contribution to any sphere of life ,except economic one.Individuals should act within the framework determined by the rulers. How is it possible to live a decent life, if you are not allowed to choose which music to listen to or which person to be engaged with? Secondly, how can a citizen grow intellectually ,not to mention, become a philosopher, if the state creates so many obstacles for intellectual activity, namely, censorship and various myths? Thirdly, the aim proclaimed by Plato in his state is justice, which is achieved when every citizen is doing his own job and not interfering in others '. Consequently, every person has to narrow down his ambitions to the business he was chosen to be involved in and put up with this fate. This is yet another limitation preventing people from full self-actualization. Finally, the welfare of a particular individual is expected to derive from the prosperity of the whole society and that is why it cannot be the main purpose of the state. However, it can be easily observed in the world’s history that the states which proclaimed such principle have never managed to realize
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