24 September 2008

plato's theories on leadership and marraige

On page 50, Pojman explains Plato's beliefs of a Guardian Class, who would be responsible for leadership and law making, etc. This class would live in a communal area, so not to be influenced by money or material objects while making important decisions. In order to create worthy leaders to form a Guardian Class, Plato was a supporter of selective breeding. HOWEVER, in order to achieve selective breeding, marriage would have to be abolished. These views seemed incredibly radical to me, if not even a little crazy. I'm sure back in Plato's time, this may have been feasible and maybe a good concept, but to consider it in this day and age is insane. Plato believed that marriage was too influenced by emotion and chance (go figure). In his eyes, strategic marriage should be planned in order to create the best citizens. My question for the q&a had to do with this concept and if hints at the beginnings of a form of communism. Obviously Hitler was very interested in controlling breeding to create the prettiest and perfect of people. Also, communism was a communal thing, run by the government, with no chance of advancement. This is very similar to what Plato was philosophizing about.

BTW.. I believe that Plato was supposing himself into this 'guardian class' so of course it sounded like a good idea. He seems a little pompous and all knowing.

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