Nowadays, in the period of global crisis, people tend to look for the solution of the problem caused by politicians. The world is about to begin a new global war. To find the answer to these questions, it is possible to deal with historical sciences, in particular to Plato. From the point of view of antiquity, it is easy to see the advantages and disadvantages of the modern community. The paper investigates Plato`s philosophy and its impact on the modern society.
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Plato is the philosopher of the Ancient Greece. He is the first philosopher, whose works are available in their full form, not only in small parts. However, Plato was not only a philosopher but also a cosmologist and historian. Plato`s cosmology is an inevitable element of Plato’s point of view concerning history. Plato`s works are not only philosophical but also artistic. When describing the history, Plato chooses the “archaic model”. He considers that people`s life was the best when people were forced to be satisfied with few goods and had to work in agriculture. Plato stated that when gathering for the satisfaction of their needs and for helping each other, people created a prototype of a country.
In general, Plato is a pessimist. However, he is optimistic from the point of view of the reality of his epoch. Plato does not support progressivism; he should be considered antievolutionist. In Plato`s opinion, progress is an impossible notion. He states that it is necessary to return to the perfect laws according to which the Universe was created. Plato states that there exists a mutual connection among the Universe, the country, and a separate human soul. In the dialog “Statesman”, Plato describes the golden age in the development of humanity and the reasons for state appearance. He considers that it is possible to create the best state. However, each person that is involved in the project of the state construction should be responsible for it.
In this dialog, Plato describes several types of state from the best to the worst one. He states that the best type of a state is governed by wise people. Then, it is followed by a monarchy. The third type is the aristocratic state when it is governed not by all people, but by the best of them. These types are followed by timocracy and oligarchy. Then, there goes democracy. Plato considers democracy to be the dictatorship of demagogues and formal right. In Plato`s opinion, the worst type is tyranny when the state is governed by one of the worst people.
Nowadays, we live in a democratic state with the features of oligarchy. It means that according to Plato, the next stage of development is tyranny. In fact, nowadays, we can observe the situation when in the Middle East there appears the resistance towards democratic states that has the features of tyranny. According to Plato, any state structure corresponds the souls of people that live in a certain country. If the souls are noble, there will appear a democratic state. If the souls tend to look for benefit in each situation, the country will become oligarchic. At the same time, if people are full of fear, the country will be ruled by the most cowardly person. The soul of a tyrant is the soul of a coward that is afraid of the loss of power, and thus, makes everybody be afraid. It means that it is possible to avoid tyranny when people are not afraid of future and are ready for the further responsibility in the construction of the best state.
The state structure also depends on the type of the soul of a person that heads the state and the surrounding people. If there exists a philosopher that is able to persuade a tyrant in the incorrectness of a certain decision, it is also possible to influence the souls of people. However, the majority of such projects usually fails due to the lack of philosopher`s impact on a tyrant.
The types of states described by Plato do not correspond the historic events in Ancient Greece. However, in general, this sequence may take place in any society. According to Hyde, the history of the Italian Mediaeval Republics proves that this sequence may exist in reality. The history of the state development had the same order as described by Plato. From the first legal governors, it turned into the aristocratic and pseudo-democratic orders to tyranny. In this situation, Plato managed to predict the future.
Many of Plato`s statements are still popular among politicians. His legal and political works are still up-to-date. The principle formulated by Plato about the irrevocability of punishment is the basis of all criminal codes of each country in the world. Separate features of Plato`s “perfect country” are still in the process of implementation in African and Latin American countries. If to think from the point of view of Plato, the global community has not been significantly changed. The most popular ideologies are still the sources for manipulations as it happened in ancient times.
Plato distinguished two types if state. The first type is ruled by governors. The second one takes place when everybody in the state is subjected to the law. The law, in this case, should be guaranteed by the system of justice. Without justice, the second type of state does not exist. In the dialog “Laws” Plato describes another utopia and state structure that is named aristocratic republic or aristocratic monarchy. The aristocratic state may turn into a monarchy when there exists only one governor. In the “perfect state” Plato describes the personal life, private property, and money. Plato states that it is necessary to take care of the motherland because it gave birth to a person. All the other members of the society should be considered brothers and sisters. The happiness of a person, according to Plato, is not the primary goal of the state. Plato states that it is possible to use punishment for the provision if the order. Punishment becomes an inevitable part of the law. At the same time, Plato criticizes wealth and poverty and prefers the middle level of income.
This social utopia has the signs of totalitarian ideology when a personality is only a tiny part of the structure of a state. Personal happiness and freedom are not permissible if they do not cause the prosperity of a state. Due to the inevitable degradation of a perfect state, Plato created a concept of the change in the different state forms as the motion within a certain cycle. Plato thinks that democracy is a comfortable state type. However, he states that it does not have a proper government. The presence of false opinions causes the loss of moral norms. Plato considers that due to the excessive freedom, democracy may put the beginning to the appearance of tyranny. Plato states that the law should be higher than any governor. He states that any person should be responsible for any misdeed.
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This approach is reasonable in the situation of the global terrorism. If this activity does not receive any punishment, it will take place again. The Middle East conflict appeared due to the lack of activity that would inhibit the development of tyranny. However, the policy of non-involvement that is one of the practices of the democratic societies caused the appearance of the feeling of impunity among the Middle East leaders. The global society should pay a particular attention to the events in the Middle East and to guarantee the implementation of law on the territories. The power in the society reflects the fundamental laws of human nature and the nature in general. If there do not exist any mechanisms to control the power, it will have the tendency towards the absolute degree.
It is necessary to state that Plato does not have any direct influence on the development of modern technology. However, Plato`s statements about the elementary structural units of physical bodies contain the features that are close to the way of thinking of the modern physicists. For example, the dialog “Timaeus” includes the ideas that found their reflection in such fields as physics, molecular chemistry, the theory of elementary particles, etc. At the same time, Peat & Buckley (n.d.) stated that Plato`s works served as the inspiration for the work of modern physicists, for example, Heisenberg, who is one of the most famous physicists of the modern epoch. At the same time, Heisenberg understood the possible threats of atomic energy to the global security and did not provide the government of the country with the technology of nuclear weapons. This decision could also have been influenced by Plato`s works. With the reception of nuclear power, the current democratic regime that was not significantly strong at that moment could turn into a totalitarian one.
Plato is one of the first philosophers, who predicted the existence of certain stages of state development. In the dialog “Statesman”, he describes the types of a state from the best to the worst one. Plato considers that democracy is one of the worst types of state development that may cause the appearance of tyranny. Nowadays, this situation may be observed in the Middle East, where do not exist sufficient mechanisms to impose the restrictions on the power of the local leaders. The feeling of impunity if favorable for the development of the absolute degree of power that causes global terrorism. It is necessary for the modern society to develop the mechanism for the restriction of this force. It is also necessary not to be afraid of the terrorism as the feeling of fear is one of the keys for the appearance of tyrannies. It is necessary for people to understand their responsibility for every action that may significantly change the future.