Totalitarianism In Plato's The Republic

1155 Words 5 Pages
In The Republic written by Plato, a dialogue between Socrates and several others is developed to illuminate a conversation concerning politics and life. His complex ideals prove his way of political thinking and democratic citizenship. Although many make an assumption that Socrates supports totalitarian principles, his values prove otherwise. Socrates demonstrates his beliefs by supporting education, encouraging society support, believing in gender equality, and understanding the diversity of skills offered by people. Only looking out for the best interest of people, Socrates proves himself to be radically democratic and to have contradicting ideas with totalitarianism. Totalitarianism itself is a dictatorship or a central rule that controls …show more content…
This radically democratic idea by Socrates proves how his ideals contrast with totalitarianism. He asserts his opinion by stating, “I think a city begins because the individual is not self-sufficient but has many needs” (Plato 369b). Making this statement shows how Socrates not only wants citizens to work together for a beneficial society, but declares how they need to. In his eyes, one cannot be successful if they only rely on themselves in an independent fashion. Clashing with totalitarianism once again, Socrates leans towards unity and society participation. This type of unity desired by him differs from totalitarianism on an account of it consisting of people in a society supporting one another as opposed to fearing each other. In a totalitarian state, people often mistrust one another out of terror along with suspicion. Continuing with this idea of cooperation for the greater benefits, he explains, “So if we’re going to employ our women in the same tasks as the men, we must teach them the same things” (Plato 451e). This day of age did not treat women as equals and him having this idea alone shows radical democratic values. Socrates felt that both men and women had unique perspectives to contribute to a society and that …show more content…
Nonetheless, he feels as if injustice would occur if people use their specific set of skills where it is not required. Socrates explains this by stating “...people are quite different by nature and each is naturally fitted for a different job” (Plato 370a-b). Stating this shows how he felt as if everyone should be doing what they are made for career wise. By providing this justification, his views differs from totalitarianism; he makes a claim with reasoning behind it instead of asserting his perspective as the only solution. Socrates feels as if a society could only become functioning at its finest if everyone inside of it contributes what they offer best. This idea alone offers democratic characteristics of participation and an overall sense of

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