Monday, 8 September 2014

Public is ill, we must cure our masters. - Socrates

Society is like a herd of sheep, roaming for food and shelter, incapable of administering themselves together in a civilized manner.  They are ill and are born to be ruled. Whereas one sheep from the herd takes the lead and guides them all towards the journey of civilization.  He is the ‘master’ of the system.

Socrates, like all political philosophers, had an ultimate objective of “good governance”. To achieve the same, he gave general principles of an ideal state that could guide the world towards peace and tranquility. His ideas were stressed upon curbing the apocalypse caused by anarchy in the state and the gross injustice to the people by the ignorant rulers.

To follow up with the utopian state that he dreamt of, he explained the qualities of a philosopher king, the system of education for the society, the mechanism of justice, the allegory of cave (to explain the significance of a philosopher king).

A ‘philosopher king’ is the one who has the vision towards practicality, while the state (public) is blind to the truth. He is selfless but not faceless (uncommunicative), he is courageous than the state, but not irrational enough to decide in haste, he is the custodian of justice in the state, but should not turn the enemy of the state, he should take up unpopular matters, but just for the benefit of the state.

To impart such qualities in a philosopher king, education system could be reformed, the concept of equal opportunity should prevail and only then, a diamond out of all the coal blocks will come out, free of favoritism, nepotism and injustice to the fellows. The diamond born out of them will entirely possess his own light, earned by years of burning in the fire of the ultimate truth, and not from the borrowed or inherited one.

Socrates idea had no place for democracy. As we all see in the contemporary political scenario that the world applauds the collapse of the regime and offers help to build a democracy. But excommunicating an autocrat turns out to be much easier than setting up a viable democratic government.

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