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Ancient Athens Was a Democracy.

Q2. Plato believed that, just as skilled craftsman should confine themselves to making shoes and warriors should confine themselves to fighting, only the best should rule. Individuals with great aptitudes to be philosophers should be selected and taught to lead the people, and leadership by the majority was dangerous. The Platonic Guardians would be taken away from their family at birth and given special training by other philosophers, so they would know how to govern. This reflects Socrates notion of philosophy and leadership as specialized skills rather than something that can be practiced by all individuals equally effectively, as the concept of Athenian democracy would suggest. For Socrates, justice is not based in the concept of giving each citizen equal opportunities; justice means creating a perfect society. Making sure that the perfect cobblers make shoes, the perfect warriors defend the city, and the best minds rule on earth makes society more similar the ideal world order that exists in the world of the Forms.

Although the philosopher-kings are supposed to be taught how to think well, their education is carefully screened of potentially faulty influences. That is why they are taken away from the parents at such young ages. Plato suggests that the member of the Guardian class will become superior critical thinkers, although their thinking is meant to be trained to conform to the rigors of Socrates methodology of learning. There is a clear element of autocracy in the ways that the Guardians are taught. Perfection can only be created by a form of tyranny. Although Plato offers his argument for a Republic as idealized philosophy, the concept of enforcing a perfect world by limiting the opportunities of other seems chillingly reminiscent of autocracies of our own era. Platos idea of creating a philosophically just world requires limiting individual liberties because idiosyncratic human desires can dilute the perfection of the strictly controlled society he wishes to establish..

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