Skip to comments.Plato
Posted on 01/18/2009 3:47:58 PM PST by Woebama
"The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears above ground he is a protector.
"At first in the early days of his power he is full of smiles and he salutes everyone whom he meets. He to be called a tyrant, who is making promises in public and also in private! Liberating debtors and distributing land to the people and his followers and wanting to be so kind and good to everyone!
"But when he has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
"Has he not also another object, which is that they may be impoverished by payment of taxes, and thus compelled to devote themselves to their daily wants and therefore less likely to conspire against him?"
Seemed a fitting time for the reminder.
Can you id the source? Is it the Republic?
And there is nothing new under the sun.
By the by, I was reading Genesis this morning, the story of Joseph in Egypt. For the 7 good years he stored the grain of Egypt, then the 7 bad years came. At first the Egyptians paid for the grain with their money. When they were out of money they paid with their livestock. Then they were forced to pay with their land. After that they were slaves. Do you remember what that enslavement was? They remained on the land and paid 20% of their harvest to the Pharaoh. What a wonderful world it would be if we only paid that 20% now.
Here’s a better source: http://books.google.com/books?id=Cg_QX4yoOSQC&pg=PA274&lpg=PA274&dq=The+people+have+always+some+champion+whom+they+set+over+them+and+nurse+into+greatness.+This+and+no+other+is+the+root+from+which+a+tyrant+springs%3B+when+he+first+appears+above+ground+he+is+a+protector.&source=web&ots=MzYIAixISv&sig=DHP-T0kW_zphXN_ME3-J4J_R59o&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA275,M1
Sigh. Wonder how many people read Plato these days.
Le plus ça change, le plus c’est la même chose
Thanks for the answer. I'll look it up in my el standardo Jowett translation.
It would help if they at least had heard of Plato’s account of how democracy devolves into Tyranny. Or if they understood that a good government simply cannot be without involved, intelligent, edumicated, and virtuous (or at least trying to be virtuous) people.
You can teach Plato. Against love there is no law.
We are reading The Republic in my homeschool co-op for the next few weeks.
GOOD for Y’ALL! That’s ECXELLENT ! I admire the courage involved. It’s not so all fired easy.
Plato and his "philosopher kings" are the philosophical underpinnings for a lot of totalitarian governments. Read Peikoff's The Ominous Parallels.
Yes, it is all too appropriate.