Democracy and Tyranny by Plato

409 words | 2 page(s)

Plato, the superb Greek philosopher, established five regimes of government he thought would prove informative to the differing formations of government giving rise in portions of the world; both in his day and those vastly beyond his reach. Over the course of his extensive studies Plato warned of the ways a Democracy can evolve into Tyranny. He noted the democracy as having a supreme good of freedom, yet being trifled by the very notion. He noted, in democracy, the lower class would grow substantially larger in size; eventually, the poor becoming the winners of society and diversity being supreme (Democracy’s Road to Tyranny, 2).

Eventually, due to the overwhelming desire to do and say as a person pleases, chaos emerges. This chaos and lack of discipline amongst the masses is consumed by the individual’s thirst for freedom, which soon consumes the soul of society. Seeing a need for change, an individual rises to the occasion becoming a champion of the people. Since this individual has obtained a thirst for power, he will soon become a tyrant, refusing to pass the metaphorical torch to anyone who isn’t in his bloodline (The Republic, 13).

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The tyrant is said to gain power in one of three ways. First of which, is the overthrowing of a current democratic leader, usually by extreme force. This is usually done when the tyrant is the head of a political party. Secondly, the tyrant can be freely elected into his position, meaning during an election, an individual will run for office under the totalitarian ticket and get elected making it the legal form of government. Finally, the government acts as a whole appointing a head, and slowly controls all aspects of freedom (Plato on Tyranny, 5).

Plato spent countless hours studying and learning what approach would most likely be the cause of the rise to power by the tyrant. Depending on the situation a tyrant could make a rise at any given point in time. Only time will tell.

  • “BRIA 26 1 Plato and Aristotle on Tyranny and the Rule of Law – Constitutional Rights Foundation.” BRIA 26 1 Plato and Aristotle on Tyranny and the Rule of Law – Constitutional Rights Foundation. Constitutional Rights Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.
  • ERIK KUEHNELT-LEDDIHN, ERIK. “Democracy’s Road to Tyranny.” : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education. FEE, 01 May 1988. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.
  • Plato. “The Internet Classics Archive | The Republic by Plato.” The Internet Classics Archive | The Republic by Plato. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1994. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.

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