Monday, February 17, 2014

Plato cont.

We've made it to page 310 in Plato's Republic.  The discussion centers now around different forms of government, the oligarchy having come up first and its problems exposed.

I don't know what to say about it, except at times the book reminds me of Hitler's Nazism, with its indoctrination of youth and education of young "heroes" and mindless followers.  At other times, it reminds me of the Reformation call:   "We must educate the citizenry so we can have a decent country and able leadership."  (The Germans living something like "pigs" at the time...  All of this beginning with a catechism for the youth.)

I can't really forgive Plato for the suggesting that women and children be held in common, though we see now, that, among other things, he wants to oppose the oligarch, who would hoard his wealth and women in a private castle.

This attendant problem of achieving great riches, reminds us of Solomon who did just such sort of thing, heaping up luxuries and concubines; -- not too wise of him, after all.  Good days seem to lead to such collecting for one's own glory or pleasure.  Plato's Guardians were not to be such people.  Women were supposed to participate in the work and be freed from the labor of child care.  (I am not sure Plato and Socrates really asked women what they thought about it.)

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