Ameritopia Quote 8 – Plato’s Republic

In the Republic, Plato is openly hostile to individualism, which he believes destructive of the collective good of the Ideal City.

Nonetheless, the Republic’s influence on subsequent philosophers and societies is clear. It is not difficult to find the germs of Marxism, National Socialism, Islamicism, and other forms of utopianism in the Republic.

Plato’s caste system assigns roles and duties to people as if they are not people at all, based on his own preconceptions and prejudices. In this way, the individual loses his identity and can be directed toward the City’s best interests. Ultimately, therefore, it is the rulers for which the City exists. These are Plato’s masterminds. Only they are smart enough and expert enough, by birth and training, to properly manage the City.

In the Republic, it is as if Plato built a society over which he and the students of his Academy would rule—an elitism of philosopher-kings hatched of the same sort of arrogance too often found in the modern academy.

Plato provided a philosophical and intellectual brew for a utopian society that would influence tyrannies for centuries to come.


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