Book VIII of Platos Republic – Book Report/Review Example

The paper "Book VIII of Plato’s Republic " is a great example of a book report on philosophy. In book VIII of Plato’s Republic Socrates describes four models of the rule. These are timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and tyranny. Each stage is considered worse than the one before and Socrates argues that, since the city will be ruled by man, each of these stages will eventually be passed through. There is a general decline in a rule as time passes and each of these types of the rule is superseded by a worse one. Unfortunately, the wrong ruler will also rule the just city being discussed, because humans make mistakes and they will, therefore, choose badly. The bad leaders will focus on wealth and power while goodwill wants justice and fairness. There will, therefore, be the division between these two groups and from this division will come to the compromise solution of a timocracy. The property in the city will be distributed among the powerful and people who worked the land will become beholden to the landowners. This ruling class will have to defend their position and so will wage war constantly. They will focus their energy on training for war and being physically fit. They will, therefore, require a leader who is disposed to war and this, argues Socrates, is a man ruled by spirit, the product of an aristocratic father who teaches him rationality and a mother who teaches him a love of money. This timocracy will then degenerate into an oligarchy. The love of money of the ruler will spread to the entire ruling class and money will then become the key pre-requisite for becoming a member of the ruling class, argues Socrates. Due to this false pursuit of money, the society will have increasing problems as it is increasingly divided into rich and poor. Further, such a society creates drones, people who don’t belong to any class in the city, such as beggars and thieves. This type of city is ruled by a man who seeks wealth and desires to keep it for himself. This is his only goal. The oligarchy will then be replaced by a democracy. This happens as a result of the practice of money lending. By now there is a small group of rich elite and a vast number of poor people. The poor eventually revolt and set up a society based on freedom with the ruling class chosen at random due to the basic philosophy of equality. However, there is no order or harmony because the people who rule are not necessarily suitable for the job. While the oligarchy is ruled by a man with necessary desires (desires which reflect a real human need) the democracy is ruled by a man with unnecessary desires (desires which are superfluous such as a desire for excessive wealth). The city then descends into tyranny. The drones in this society play on the fears of rich and poor and encourage a revolt. When the poor overpower the rich the lead drone becomes ruler, killing all those who oppose him. All of society becomes enslaved to him, while the other drones become his bodyguards. Book IX describes what the man who rules the tyranny is like. He loses his sense of moderation because he is affected by the drones and moves towards lawlessness and a lack of control. He has no idea of when to stop and spends all his money on feasts, women and extravagant living. He borrows money and then when this resource is exhausted he loots temples to get the money he needs to fulfill his uncontrollable desires. Finally, he resorts to murder to get money. He is driven by erotic love and performs the nightmarish acts when awake that his predecessors performed only in their dreams. He ends up in abject poverty and lives in continual fear of revenge for the terrible acts he has committed. He is, therefore, the most wretched of men because his life is not just.



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