Plato's Ideal State Analysis

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Plato is one of the greatest philosophers of the West and his most disputed work is The Republic, in which he depicted a state he believed to be ideal. His idea of social class system, rule of rational reason and collectivism greatly influenced many modern political beliefs (Muschamp1986:14). This essay will determine the most important features of the ideal state and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of them, by assessing the worth of reasons and principles underlying the sophisticated designs. The most important feature of Plato's social system is the position of philosopher kings and the requirements of the kings. The rulers of Plato's ideal state are philosophers who are enlightened with the Forms of the Good. Their happiness…show more content…
Firstly, the absolute power that rulers hold is dangerous. Plato's assumption is that philosophers will be perfect leaders whose virtues we can totally trust. It sounds reasonable that the best or the wisest should rule. However, there's no such personification of Form of the good as philosopher kings in reality. Political rulers are rarely perfect and it is unreasonable to assume that "the [rulers'] happiness consists less in their own well-being as individual than in their contribution to the general happiness" (Popper1966:121). Plato didn't consider the possibility that not every philosopher-kings are perfect enough. The consequence of a bad philosopher-king is quite dreadful. He can use the absolute power given to him to serve his own interest and oppress his citizens. This situation is highly possible because all powers are at the rulers'…show more content…
The influence is one-way, from Form of the good to the rulers and then to the ruled. Since the destiny of the state relies completely on the rulers, it is most important that the right rulers are selected. This is realized through the other important feature which is the education system. The education system of Plato's state aims at molding people's character and instilling moral values that is good for the stability and unity of the state (Annas1982:82). "[T]his stage of education is crucial. For rhythm and harmony penetrate deeply into the mind and take a most powerful hold on it" (Rep.,401d). In plato's state, rulers are selected through the education system."We must also try [them] out in a series of intellectual studies"(Plato the Republic Ex. 503). "We must watch them at every age, and see wether they are capable of this"(Plato the Republic Ex. 412). The future rulers are tested strictly characters which are required for

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