Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Inevitable cycle

Nick LaClair
The Republic of Plato establishes a solid formation of the five types of government discovered by Socrates, Glaucon, and Adeimentus. The five types begin with aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and then ending with tyranny. These five types of government are based on the idea of political statuses, and their transitions between one another and how it will affect the perfect city is heavily discussed, or more importantly how a status like timocracy could arise from. Right after justice has been found, and the argument of politics is about to begin, he commences on this note, which lays down the foundation of the city’s government. "All right. This much has been agreed, Glaucon: for a city that is going to be governed on a high level, women must be in common, children and their entire education must be in common, and similarly the practices of war and peace must be in common, and their kings must be those among them who have proved best in philosophy and with respect to war. "543a
The idea of the impossibility of a stable government has been reached in the conversation, because Socrates refers to the idea that chosen rulers overtime will lead to futuristic mistakes. For every new ruler, there becomes another mistake being made.

These mistakes will be placed on the city transforming it through different stages where the next stage is worse than the other, being enforced and driven by the faults of the new rulers governing the city. These faults can be described as rulers wanting private property, which is expressed in The Republic as property assessment, which doesn’t preserve the old order. So when a new ruler emerges to govern the city, his desires will be fulfilled wrongfully thus transforming the city’s political status to one even worse than before. The only stage Socrates can agree upon is timocracy, which would include some desire of money, love of honor and victory, and being more focused on war than peace, because too much peace can lead to your destruction. This timocractic ruler will be caught in the middle of the cycle, able to govern the perfect city.

The sway of cycles expressed in The Republic also relates to the sway of stages seen by the United States. Many political icons in the past and currently have placed America through a series of cycles. America today has been flocculated through an oligarchic cycle, being focused and concerned only with money, which is influenced particularly by the oil industry. Even the actions of current political icons such as George Bush could be anticipated as a way he has placed us on the cycle due to the war on Iraq. Some see the war as blood in exchange for oil, which basically is a war for money and power. Oil can be considered as the most profitable market today, and if an action such as this can be considered to be for the desire of money, it would be the greatest action anyone is history has done to place there own country through the status such as oligarchy. These are the very actions that have gone through the discussions of Socrates, Glaucon, and Ademinentus, which they claim are "the bad decisions" that push societies through this cycle. But this is not only one example of oligarchy today. The idea of globalization and trade has become so important throughout the world to create desire for wealth and power. Since globalization began in the world countries have literally raced to the top to ultimately empower their country. These actions have all become driven by the desire of money and power. The government of the United States seems to be quite stable in the oligarchic cycle, as the desire for money grows which infects all of its citizens. Success has today been defined by your wealth, so a country, and even a person will stop at nothing to get it.

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