Platos Philosophy of Democracy

Democracy is a topic extensively studied by political philosophers all around the world. Plato was one of these philosophers. Plato believed that “democracy […] is a charming form of government, full of verity and disorder; and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike”. An analysis of ancient Athenian democracy and the Republic provides great understanding of the statement within its context. The statement itself is valid, but Plato does not appear to mean what he said.
The statement itself has two main parts that one must understand in order to fully understand the statement. Plato wrote the Republic in 380 BCE, in Athens (Spark Notes Editors). The first part of the statement discusses the variety and disorder found in the Athenian democracy. This section is discussing the issue of the use of the ‘lot’ system, and the freedom of opinion and speech. The ‘lot’ system, and the freedom of opinion and speech causes a lot of variety in the polis (Breaugh, Lecture 3). When Plato is referring to disorder, he is referring to the civil unrest involved in the transiti…

 

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