Plato’s Philosophy of an Ideal Government

Plato believed in a government of intellectuals (Jayapalan, 2002). His teaching was designed in such a way that it would produce intellectuals who would run the state, which concisely mean the creation of an aristocracy (Jayapalan, 2002).

In this regard, Plato prefers to have a philosopher-ruler with a tremendous erudition and wisdom. One who will rule by reason, virtue in action, and untrammelled by legal impediments.  

In Plato’s conception, the philosopher-king should have absolute power and not swayed by public opinion. Such a ruler sacrifices personal interests such as the desire for property, family life and sensual pleasure in the benefit of the state (Jayapalan, 2002). In the Republic, Plato argues that ignorance may cause evil (Gill & Pellegrin, 2006). This happens when one’s reason is not sufficient to attain moral knowledge. It is inferable that Plato was suggesting the ignorance of the masses would result in evil if they were allowed to choose leaders.

The above philosophical postulates stand against the selections of leaders through democratic means. According to him, Plato, the Athenian democratic way of selecting leaders was deficient because the leaders were chosen basingon irrational grounds such as family backgrounds, the way they appear in the pictures, good looks, wealth among others frivolous premises including persuasive talks. Plato thought an average citizen was not capable of making an intelligent reasoning sufficient to make political decisions in selecting leaders.

Concisely, Plato would be against the use of advertisements by presidential candidates to get votes because he believed average citizens are not intelligent enough to make political decisions. 

Additionally, he did not believe in a democratic government but instead believed in a total aristocracy, ruled by a philosopher-king. The use of advertisements will only lure citizens to choosing leaders who are wealthy, good looking, or those who have outstanding oratory skills instead of wise leaders.

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