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Kit McArthur Republic Continuation

Kit McArthur Republic Continuation

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Published by: GothamSchools.org on Apr 10, 2013
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Kit McArthur Political PhilosophyProf. SenechalDue: 10/2/12Book VIII of Plato’s
 A continuation of the conversation between Socrates, Glaucon, and Adeimantus regarding thedifferent types of government, and how one type of government devolves into the next. It hasalready been established that an aristocracy devolves into a timocracy, a timocracy into anoligarchy, an oligarchy into a democracy, and a democracy into a tyranny. Book VIII ends withSocrates and Adeimantus:Well, then, aren’t we justified in saying that we have adequately described how tyrannyevolves from democracy and what it’s like when it has come into being?We certainly are, he said. However, Glaucon wishes to continue the conversation and establish what would result from thedecline of a tyranny...
am still unsatisfied. Socrates, could tyranny devolve further into something else?Possibly.We’ve already established that an aristocracy devolves into a timocracy, which devolvesinto an oligarchy, which further devolves into a democracy, which even further devolves intotyranny.Absolutely.Therefore, according to logic, the tyranny would have to devolve further.Of course.
A tyrant would have a reign of chaos for a period of time, but eventually, the people over whom he rules could rebel.Perhaps.The tyrant, after using war as a means of controlling his people, would realize that heneeds the support of some people, albeit only one class. Thus, he would turn to those whom he believes are the biggest threat to his power.Who would be?The upper, wealthy class of course! He would attempt to maintain command of his people by using those whom society has already granted much of its respect and power.Yes.But then, those of the middle and lower classes would see that they would have little tono influence on how society is run, because all of the power would be bestowed on the tyrant andthe wealthy minority.Obviously.Yes, and theref- —wait, what do you mean when you dictate “obviously?”I mean that I agree with what you have said.Of course. Now, as I was saying: therefore, the middle and lower classes would wish togain influence, and as a result, they would appear before the tyrant and upper classes with a proposition to include themselves in the authority of the nation.Clearly.Then, the tyrant would decline the proposition, as he would believe that he only needs theinfluence of those with the upper hand in society. However, he neglects to recognize that thosewith the upper hand are also a minority, that the majority lies in the lower classes.
Perhaps.Again, the middle and lower class would continue to petition for more prominence in thegovernment, but the tyrant would continue to reject them.Precisely.As a result of the rejections, the middle and lower classes would revolt in a desperateattempt to gain power.Accurately stated.And the—wait, Socrates. Accurate to what?What is correct, of course.Thank you, Socrates. I am flattered. This revolt would be resisted for a time by the tyrantand upper class, but this resistance against the majority would eventually be futile.Of course.Thus, the upper class would flee. The tyrant, on the other hand, would attempt to retainhis power, but fail and thus be executed by the people over whom he had once ruled.Yes.However, after this victory for the middle and lower class, there would be a divisionamongst them.And what would that be?What a thought-provoking question, Socrates! Would not you like to give anexplanation?Perhaps, Glaucon.

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