Plato's doctrine of the state and laws
The ideology of the ancient Greek aristocracy reaches its highest development in the philosophy of Plato (427-347 BC).
Plato was born into an aristocratic family in Athens. His father, Ariston, came from the family of the last Athenian king Codr and the lawmaker Solon. Mother, Peritection, also came from the genus of Solon, was the cousin of the Afipan tyrant Crete. Plato was the third son in the family. The real name of Plato is Aristocles. According to tradition, Aristocles received the nickname "Plato" in early youth for the width of the forehead and chest (in Greek πλάτος - width). Plato had an excellent education for that time: he studied literacy from the philosopher Dionysius, engaged in wrestling and painting, composed tragedies and songs, and was preparing to become a politician. At the age of 20, Plato meets Socrates. There is a legend that on the night before the meeting with Plato Socrates saw a swan in his sleep on his chest, which then flew high. After getting to know Plato, Socrates exclaimed: "Here is my swan!" The legend is based on the fact that according to ancient Greek mythology, the swan is the bird of Apollo. Plato was later compared repeatedly with Apollo as the god of harmony.
In 399 BC, after the execution of Socrates, Plato, at about age 28, left Athens and went to Megara, where he lived for more than 10 years, then returned to Athens, and a few years later traveled a including Egypt and southern Italy. All this time, Plato is actively engaged in philosophy. The works of this period include the so-called Socratic Dialogues, Lysid, Hippius the Great, Harmidus, Etiiphron, Apology of Socrates, Krithon ; , etc.
Around 386 BC. Plato returns to Athens. Here he opens his own philosophical school, which he calls the Academy. This philosophical school enjoyed great popularity and existed for about a thousand years. Dialogues and letters written by Plato after the creation of the Academy are already attributed to the mature works of the thinker. These include the largest dialogues of Plato - "The State" and "Laws", devoted to political and legal issues.
In the State Plato describes the project of the best, most sensible state and government. The main condition and the principle of perfect state structure is fairness. According to this concept, every person has his own sphere, and justice means correspondence to this sphere. This view of justice on the basis of the aristocratic idea, that every person from birth is adapted to a certain sphere of activity, and if he evades it, then he is to blame for injustice. According to Plato, each person by nature itself is meant for one or another activity, for each individual there is such a sphere that best suits his natural inclinations and abilities. But in order to identify and develop these abilities, a person must receive a deep and comprehensive education.
The class division of society on the basis of the division of labor Plato was declared a condition for the stability and stability of the state. It is in the division of labor that he sees the foundation of the entire social and state system of his time. Plato's main idea is to affirm that the needs of citizens who make up society are diverse, but the capacity of each individual member of society to meet these needs is limited. Hence Plato deduces the need for the emergence of a hostel, or state: "The state ... arises ... when each of us can not satisfy itself, but in many ways still needs. ... Thus, each person attracts one or the other to meet one or another need. Needlessly in many ways, many people gather together to live together and help each other: such a joint settlement and gets us the name of the state. "
Taking as a basis the principle of the division of labor, Plato divided the entire population of the ideal state into three classes corresponding to the three principles of the human soul:
1) philosophers (a reasonable beginning);
2) guards (the violent beginning);
3) workers of productive labor - farmers, artisans, traders (lusting beginning).
At the head of the state Plato offered to put philosophers, because "the nature of the philosopher differs proportionality and innate subtlety of the mind." Only philosophers have four basic virtues: truth, justice, courage and discretion. "Until the states are reigned by philosophers, or the so-called present kings and lords do not become nobly and thoroughly philosophize," wrote Plato, "until then ... states can not get rid of evil."
The next estate is made up of guards, who are dominated by the furious beginning of the soul, in their natural properties they are suitable for the protection of the state. Guardians must have a meek and at the same time brave disposition: to be gentle to their people and formidable for the enemy. However, notes Plato, in addition to the fury of the guards by their nature, they should still strive for wisdom. A lot of attention in the dialogues is given to the issues of upbringing and the way of life of state guards. Plato cares not only about the upbringing of the body ("gymnastic") and the soul ("musician") of guards, he suggests teaching them a whole range of sciences: geometry, astronomy, counting and music. Along with this, Plato proposes to create for guards a way of life that would facilitate the performance of their military service and their proper attitude to people of their own and other classes. The main condition of this order is depriving the soldiers of the right to own property and family. "Guardians should have neither their own homes, nor land, nor any property whatsoever, they receive food from other citizens as a payment for their watchdog service and collectively consume all if they must be genuine guardians." For guardians, the community of wives and children is introduced. Plato is confident that such arrangements will create the most favorable conditions for the guards to serve the interests of the state. "It's embarrassing to even mention the various minor troubles that they will get rid of, for example ... about the difficulties and hardships of raising children, about finding the money needed to keep the family, when people have to borrow, then deny others, then , having obtained in any way money, to keep them from the wife or from the household, entrusting them to conduct economic affairs. " In Plato's teaching about the state, the postulate of the community of wives and children plays an extremely important role. The commonality of wives and children in the class of state guards completes what was started by the community of property, and therefore there is a reason for its highest good for the state. For Plato, the implementation of this postulate means achieving the highest form of unity of citizens of the state.
The guardian-warrior class must obey and be an ally of the estate of philosophers; Together they manage the estate of farmers, artisans and traders.Plato writes about this estate: "Because of its diversity, we could not find any one, inherent to it, designations, and therefore named it by the sign that it expresses most sharply: we called it lusting because of the extraordinary power of lust for food, drink, love joys and all that is connected with it. This includes avarice, because to satisfy such lusts money is very necessary ". The third estate, engaged in agricultural and industrial labor, is intended to satisfy the material needs of the state. Lustrous estate is suspended from any participation in the affairs of government. Plato does not cover either the property or family relations between the members of this estate and in general pays little attention to him.
Transition from one estate to another is unacceptable and is the greatest crime, for every person should be engaged in the business to which he is destined for nature.
The productive activity of farmers and artisans was supposed to be maintained at a level that would ensure the provision of an average income for all members of society and exclude the possibility of the rise of the third estate over philosophers and guardians. Overcoming the property stratification in society is the most important socioeconomic feature of the ideal system.
While depicting the ideal model of the state, Plato did not seek to provide a privileged position to any of the estates. We base this state, not at all meaning to make one of the layers of its population somehow particularly happy, but on the contrary, we want to make such a whole state as a whole, "- is indicated in the dialogue.
The ideal state of Plato has the best form of government, corresponding to the original, or initial, form of the state - the realm of the wisest and god-like people. However perfect this state may be, it will eventually deteriorate sooner or later. The fee notes: "It's hard to shake the state, arranged in this way. However, once everything that has arisen, there is an end, even such a system will not survive forever, but will undergo destruction. This will mean the following: the crop and the crop failure is not only that which grows out of the earth, but also that which inhabits it, on souls and bodies. "
The states belonging to the spoiled type, there are, according to Plato, the differences that give rise to different forms of the state. According to Plato, spoiled states act in four forms: 1) timocracy, 2) oligarchy, 3) democracy, and 4) tyranny. Each of these forms is a stage of consequent deterioration, degradation, degeneration perfect shape.
First to replace the best state comes timocracy (Greek τιμή - honor and κρατία - power) - the rule of noble soldiers fighting for honor and glory. A special feature of this system is the fear of putting wise people on government posts. "They will lean to the side of those who are violent in spirit, as well as those that are simpler - more likely born for war than for peace; there will be in honor military tricks and tricks, because this state will always be at war. " Once a single patriarchal ruling class is now disunited because of the ambition of individual ruling individuals who are hungry for differences. Rigid competition and the proprietary interests of warriors reduces the state to the next stage, and timocracy degenerates into an oligarchy. "We must first dwell on that," says Plato, "as timokratiya passes into the oligarchy ... Accumulation of gold in the storerooms private individuals are killed by timocracy; they first of all seek out what to use it for, and for this reinterpret laws, taking little account of them. "
The transition to oligarchy (Greek ολιγαρχία - the power of a few, from Greek to Greek - λλχγος - a little, etc. - Greek άρχή - power) is completed when the rich establish laws according to which "Those who do not have an established property qualification are not allowed to power. Such a state system is held by the use of armed force or was previously established by intimidation. " Establishing the second most distant from the ideal form of the state - the oligarchy - threatens to start a civil war between the oligarchs and the poorest classes: "Just as to disturb the balance of the diseased body, the slightest push from outside is enough to make him sick ... and the state in like this condition, falls ill and fights with itself on the slightest occasion, and some of its citizens rely on the help of some oligarchic state, and others - to help the democratic; however, sometimes a civil strife occurs without interference. "
Civil war leads to the establishment of the third most corrupt form of the state - democracy. "Democracy ... arises when the poor, having won, some of their opponents will destroy, others will be expelled, and the rest is equalized in civil rights and in the replacement of government posts. " Plato identifies democratic freedom with lawlessness, liberty with permissiveness, and equality before the law - with non-sign. When the head of the state, where the democratic system and the thirst for freedom, will get to the bad cupbearers, the state is over-indulging in freedom undiluted, and punishes its officials if they are not lenient enough and do not give everyone complete freedom ... Citizens, obedient to the authorities, they mix it with mud as worthless voluntary slaves, but rulers resembling those who are subordinate and subordinate, like rulers, are praised and honored ... And they will end ... by the fact that they will not even reckon laws - write or unwritten. ... After all, excessive freedom, apparently, for an individual, and for the state turns into nothing more than an emergency slavery. ... So, tyranny arises, of course, not from any other system, as from democracy; otherwise from extreme freedom the greatest and most cruel slavery arises. "
The transition from democracy to tyranny (Greek τυραννίς - arbitrariness) can easily be carried out by the people's leader who knows how to use the class antagonism existing between the poor and the rich in a democratic society and who manages to collect sufficient number of bodyguards or create your own army. People who first welcomed him as a freedom fighter soon become enslaved. Now, his first task will be constantly involving citizens in some wars, so that the people feel the need for a leader. ... And if he suspects someone in free thoughts and in denying his rule, then he will destroy such people ... Tyranny is the worst form of the state system, by definition of Plato, "the most serious disease of the state".
The driving force of all political revolutions and the reason for changing forms of government is internal disunity, class war fueled by the antagonism of class interests. At the same time weaken the state enough to allow its collapse, can only internal discord of the ruling class. The reason for disunity is often the differences in economic interests. For the suspension of political changes, the conditions by which political equilibrium is established are necessary. These conditions, as Plato argues, are evident in his ideal state.
Plato is clearly aware of the fact that the state drawn in his dialogue is not an image of any state - Greek or otherwise, existing in reality. This is the ideal state, i. one that, according to Plato, ought to exist, but which is still not in reality. In this way, the State is included in the literary genus, or genre, of the so-called utopias.
Plato admits that the project for the perfect state described by him is difficult, but does not consider it impracticable. However, it will be realized, according to Plato, only if the true philosophers in the state become true rulers in the state, for which justice is the greatest and necessary virtue. It is by serving and implementing it that they will arrange their state.
The Laws dialog is the last work of Plato. The writing of this dialogue was preceded by the failed attempts of the philosopher to realize in Siracusa, the Greek colony in Sicily, the initial draft of the best state.
If in the first draft the outlined state was the idea of the state and was the fruit of Plato's fantasies, then in constructing the second ideal, the starting point was the historical reality of the Greek states.
In Laws Plato depicts the "second most worthy" a state system in which not philosophers rule, but the law. "None of the citizens should ever dare to act contrary to the laws, dared to do so, it is necessary to punish death and other extreme measures. Such a device is the most correct and beautiful after the first & quot ;; "Such states, if they want to imitate the true state system as best as they can, to the one with which one person skillfully rules, - under no circumstances should they violate the written laws and domestic customs adopted in them."
With the help of the laws Plato regulates to the smallest detail not only the national life, but also the personal life of people. The necessity of laws is determined by the profound imperfection of human life. The law is interpreted as an absolute mind, strictly weighing all human pleasures and sufferings, hopes and fears. The law is absolutely virtuous and presupposes the existence of virtuous people.
Describing the new ideal state, the Fee notes that it should be absolutely isolated from all external influences, even from the sea to be at a great distance. "The proximity of the sea, although it grants every day a delight, but in fact it is the most bitter neighborhood. The sea fills the country with the desire to cash in with the help of large and small trade, infuses hypocritical and deceitful habits in souls, and citizens become distrustful and hostile to each other and to other people. " This state should be located in a mountainous area, the fertility of which would allow the population to feed, but did not give the surplus harvest provoking trade. The population of the state should communicate as little as possible with foreigners, so as not to borrow from them bad manners.
In an ideal state, Plato sets the exact number of citizens - 5040. This number attracts him because it is divided into all numbers within a dozen and thereby provides a legitimate division of material goods and posts among citizens. In addition, a small number of citizens will allow them to know each other in person, which is, according to Plato, the greatest good for the state. This number should be observed by any measures, be it abstinence from procreation and the establishment of remote colonies (in case of excessive population growth) or, conversely, the care of numerous offspring (with demographic problems).
Plato sets for citizens a unified procedure for the use of property. Land, remaining the property of the state, is divided into equal fertility plots and is given to private hereditary use to citizens. All other types of property citizens can acquire into private ownership, but its size is limited. Citizens of the ideal state are divided according to the property qualification into four classes. Citizens acquire political rights depending on the size of the property, enrolling in one of four classes. Be rich or impoverished, they move into another class. At the same time, the state should neither suffer from poverty, nor be buried in luxury. No one can have property whose value exceeds four times the value of the land. "Let the poverty limit be the cost of the allotment that everyone must have; no ruler, as well as no other citizen, jealous of virtue, should not allow anybody to decrease there. Having taken this as a measure, the legislator allows for the acquisition, of property greater in value at two, three, four times; if anyone gets over it, if he finds something, whether he has been received from someone as a gift or acquired - in short, if thanks to some kind of such a case he will have property exceeding the measure, he must give excess to the state and his gods-patrons. Having done this, he will gain a good reputation and will go unpunished; the disobedient of this law can be given by anyone who wishes, and half of the sum will be given to him, the other half will be given in favor of the gods; in addition, the perpetrator will have to pay the same amount from his property. "
In Laws Plato recognizes slavery and slavery. Agriculture, crafts and commerce are now supposed to be fully secured at the expense of slaves. Citizens, having a sufficient number of slaves, will be spared from the necessity of physical labor and will entirely devote themselves to the performance of certain public functions, participation in joint meals (sissitiyah), sacrifices, etc. Only citizens have political rights, moreover, the scope of these rights depends on the level of well-being (in accordance with the property qualification).
Plato describes in detail the organization of state government, which should represent a harmonious combination of monarchical and democratic principles. At the same time, when considering the organization of authorities and management traces of the monarchy is not found. At the head of the state are 37 guards of the law - elected officials who protect the rule of law and monitor the property status of citizens. Along with them, an elected council of 360 members (90 from each class), which provides external relations and tranquility within the state. The dialogue mentions the people's meeting, which must be attended by representatives of the first two classes, in case of proven non-attendance, they will pay a fine.
In addition to the above authorities, Plato proposes to create another - a secret night meeting, which will include the 10 most wise and elderly guards. The night assembly is the guarding body of the state, whose members are dedicated to secret knowledge and are involved in the divine truth. Night assembly performs in the state the execution of cosmic laws. They are given the fate of the state.
In a perfect state, all spheres of life and even games must be strictly supervised by officials. Neocorms are observed in order in the temples, agronomists are on the markets, agronomists are behind the distribution of land, and so on. As a result, a huge bureaucratic apparatus appears. At the same time, no official acts arbitrarily. Officials follow the once and for all established law.
Implement this second most worthy project of the ideal state Plato had no opportunity, because in Greece in the IV. BC, on the eve of the Macedonian conquest, the period of the collapse of the classical policy began, and its citizens embraced a state of despair and apoliticality. All this was clearly recognized by Plato, noting in the "Laws": "... all that is indicated now is unlikely to ever fall an opportunity for implementation, so that everything happens according to our word. It is unlikely that there will be people who will be satisfied with such a device of society and who throughout their life will observe the established moderation in the property and birth of children, as we said earlier, or people who did not possess gold and everything that would be prohibited by the legislator . And that such prohibitions will be, it is clear from all that has been said before. In addition, this is the middle position of the country and the city, this circular arrangement of dwellings! All this is exactly a story about a dream, just a clever molding of the state and citizens from wax!
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