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Plato on Who Should Rule Essay

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Updated: Apr 12th, 2022

Who should rule? According to Plato, philosophers should rule because they have what it takes to be leaders. In his work, Plato explains that leaders should possess certain “forms”. These forms are relevant because they are unchanging and present the best knowledge.

Plato believes that philosophers are the only people who can grasp such aspects (Jowett 19). They are also capable of understanding everything appropriately. The leading “form”, according to Plato, is that of “Good”. All other “forms” arise from the “Form of Good”. According to Plato, philosophers grasp ideas by undergoing through certain stages of understanding. This is what makes them the best leaders in a society.

Plato claims that philosophers are a class of men that possess unique ideas, knowledge, and understanding (Adam 72). They are “just” and capable of leading others. The souls of these philosophers are conditioned thus making it easier for them to fulfill the needs and expectations of their people.

Rationality, according to Plato, is what guides a philosopher. Rationality is one of the attributes that make a philosopher an effective leader. Philosophers will promote justice because it is worthwhile. Justice is relevant because it embraces people’s psyche and health.

Such leaders will ensure the souls of their people are healthy, contented, untroubled, and happy. Such kings are able to make appropriate judgment in order to address the needs of the people.

The other argument presented by Plato is that of pleasure. Philosophers are “truth-loving”, something that makes it easier for them to apply “impartial judgment”. According to Plato, any kind of pleasure that is not associated with truth and philosophy is unpleasant. Only philosophers understand the importance of “just life” and its importance towards a better society.

From this understanding, it is agreeable that being a philosopher is a privilege. Plato believes that philosophy is a unique occupation that embraces wisdom (Adam 48). Such kings will be “just”. This is necessary because justice helps such kings grasp the “Form of the Good”. Philosophers will imitate the “Form of the Good” thus creating orderly societies.

From the above discussion, it is notable that Plato connects the idea of “justice” to the “Form of Good”. He furthers views the two as essential qualities of a leader. That being the case, it becomes evident that philosophers possess such qualities. The kings will behave in a “just” manner because it is the best thing for them to do.

As well, such leaders consider justice to be something essential regardless of the rewards or punishments it presents (Jowett 20). Plato believes that justice should be able to appeal to psychology. This is what promotes individual justice. With such ideas, Plato strongly believes that a philosopher will become the best ruler in The Republic.

From a personal perspective, I would support Plato because he offers valid ideas about leadership. Philosophers should become kings because they will govern their kingdoms for the good and welfare of the citizens. Such kings will apply practical theories and ideas in order to address the needs of the people.

The approach will ensure all classes benefit equally from their leadership. Philosophers, as Plato argues, will not leave the minorities behind (Jowett 85). This will promote equality, peace, and development.

These classes include farmers, warriors, and guardians. With these three classes, philosophers can establish the best systems thus making it easier for the people to understand their respective obligations and responsibilities.

The idea can reduce corruption and injustice. The people will never question their positions in the society. Instead, they will stand firm in order to safeguard their rights. This explains why such kings can address most of the challenges affecting our societies today.

According to Plato, a ruler should have skills and virtues in order to lead others. This is necessary because a tyrant cannot be virtuous. A king will establish the best relations in his kingdom. He will always be close to his family, his villages, and eventually bring his people closer.

With the “Form of Good”, the philosopher will make his kingdom successful. The leader will use his knowledge to implement the best ideas and opportunities that can address the diverse needs of his people. As Plato states, “true leaders should consider every issue at hand in order to make the best decisions (Jowett 103)”. This explains why only philosophers can complete these duties and empower their people.

After examining Plato’s arguments, it is evident that philosophers can help establish successful societies. Such a philosopher will be a servant of the people. This is exactly what Plato argues in his work, “The Republic”.

Although many people would argue that Plato’s ideas influenced leaders like Adolf Hitler, the outstanding fact is that such a leader was a tyrant but not a philosopher-king.

It is necessary to consider some of the ideas presented by Plato in order to understand the importance of justice and proper leadership (Jowett 75). If applied properly, Plato’s views on leadership can help societies and corporations overcome most of the challenges they face today.

Works Cited

Adam, James. The Republic of Plato. New York: Longman, 2009. Print.

Jowett, Benjamin. The Republic by Plato. New York: Wiley, 2010. Print.

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