Thursday, September 8, 2016
Utopia or Dystopia?
(H1) Plato’s “utopia” did not seem so much as a utopia as it seems a dystopia. Mirroring what, if created in modern times, would turn out more as Orwell’s 1984 rather than any modern idea of a utopia. Plato stated that the entire point of the government would be to lie to the public, and that the entire foundation of the society would be a lie. This seems so counter intuitive to Plato’s image in modern day. While he is seen as the father of Western Philosophy, and being the man who carved philosophy out in the world, one would think that he would not set up his perfect society based on a lie that would do nothing but inhibit philosophical progress.
We must however take into account the relative formation of his ideas, as Plato’s counterpart said, there is no quintessential good society or bad society, since the good and bad is only in the eye of the observer. Plato did not have the lens of philosophy that we now do today. He did not see the rise and fall of communism, an idea that closely parallels The Republic. Plato seems to place a strong faith in the government, and has no quarrel with that trust being betrayed. This originally dumbfounded me, why have we, American’s, looked up to a man who so directly opposes what we have so emphatically enacted in our government. In the end I think Plato’s Republic if fully enacted, would have been unremarkable, with little to no character, it would not have accomplished anything but lying to its own citizens, and making them ignorant of the world around them.