Plato Vs. Plato 's The Republic Essay

1096 Words Nov 14th, 2016 5 Pages
In the Republic, Plato spends much of the book discussing an aristocracy and its superiority as a political regime. Plato believes that the ruler of the city should be a philosopher who goes through a strict and demanding education system; applying his “myth of the metals,” the ideal king must have a gold as opposed to silver, bronze, or iron. Those possessing a silver soul are the guardians of the city, and those with souls of bronze or iron form the majority. Plato digresses from his portrayal of a virtuous ruler to examine the degenerate regimes stemming from aristocracy. As is everything else, Plato describes political regimes as capable of deteriorating. The perfect form of government can eventually decay into a much worse form. Plato compares the degeneration of the perfect regime to generations of a family. Despite being the perfect city, Plato suggests that the city will inevitably deteriorate: “It is hard for a city composed in this way to change, but everything that comes into being must decay. Not even a constitution such as this will last for ever. It, too must face dissolution. And this is how it will be dissolved” (546 a). Should the rulers accidentally make less virtuous citizens with bronze or iron souls a part of the guardian class, it is possible for the aristocracy to deteriorate into a timocracy. As opposed to the aristocracy where the rulers pursue virtue, the government of a timocracy also pursues wealth. This form of government is run by lovers of…

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