PlatoPlato, (429-347 BC) Greek philosopher

Plato Quote

“When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.”

~ Plato

The Republic

Ratings and Comments

It's Me Again

There is alot of truth here.I would add to this quote,though.I would say that the Tyrant is never fully satisfied with his/her hunger for dominance untill he has all people under his thumb.At least all His/Her people.WHEN YOU CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS,THE THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE.

J Carlton, Calgary

Plato understood the nature of politicians didn't he? We need statesmen not poiliticians.

E Archer, NYC

"The War on ..." everything.

jim k, austin,tx

Plato nailed it.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

This is why we need democracy, elected leaders and term limits. The dictators in order to stay in power have to give the populace conquest after conquest in order to appear strong and invincible ala Hitler, Hussein etcetera.

Logan, Memphis, TN

This is the single basic philosophical basis of the neoconservative thought: A country needs to always be faced with a dichotomy of good vs. evil to keep moral integrity; if such a dichotomy does not exist, one must be created/fabricated.

Lane, Marblemount

Plato knew people. But only a fool wishes for Democracy (the tyranny of the Masses). A constitutionally limited Republic (SEVERELY limited) is your best bet, but only if ALL citizens are armed and the Government has NO dedicated armed forces of its own. We have paralleled the decline of the Roman Republic, but done so much more quickly.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Yes Lane a constitutional republic but what kind of government. "Constitutional Republic" says nothing about the kind of government. Would you prefer an oligarchic. aristocratic, militaristic etcetera government or a populary elected commoly called democratic government? The word republic only means a soverign entity.

Ken, Allyn, WA

Actually, Waffler, republic comes from "res pulica" (literally "the public thing"). It means the rule of the people, whatever form that may take-direct democracy, representative democracy, or even an elected monarch. A constitutional republic is the rule of the people on a contractual basis (the constitution) which spells out the rules of the government, ours being a representative government. I have actually read a good case for a monarchistic form of government. In a monarchy the ruler has to finance his foreign wars out of his own property. He also wants to preserve his wealth for his heirs. In a democracy, since public funds are held in common, everyone is out to get as much for themselves as possible, as soon as possible. There is no thought for the future. There are no heirs and even if there were the majority would take the wealth for themselves through inheritance taxes.

  • Reply
RobertSRQ    5/8/08

Ten stars... Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the tyrant of them all...

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Good stuff Ken I agree with you. A constitutional republic is just an entity with a written contract. The words "constitutional republic" in and of themselves say nothing about the form of that government.

Logan, Memphis, TN

Waffler, your statement does not correlate accurately to the evolution of thought, language, ideology, political laws, and culture. Any political science or philosophy professor will explain to you that a "Republic" IS a form of government. A Constitution IS a contract, yes, but a Constitutional Republic is more than just "an entity with a written contract"-- it is a form of government as structured by contractual laws as expressed and agreed upon by the people. There are several types of Republics-- some good, some bad-- and some that follow the will of the people by their social contract and some that just pretend to (China and N Korea, for example)... As with all things, the foundation (philosophy) of what their government wishes to accomplish is key (individual freedom vs group freedom (political concept), trade, industrialization, liberty and freedom expressly, etc.); every Republic does not have the same ends, nor are they built on the same principles, history, ideas, understandings, or foundational philosophies of law. Our Republic was specifically founded on natural laws, because the founders expressly desired a foundation of government that would transcend majoritarian influence (groupthink), tyrannical oppression, or societal hype (The Greeks called this endeavor finding the static amidst the "flux" of the polis). While the direction of government would be run on a type of democratic voting, it was not to be merely a Majoritarian Rule (yes, there IS a difference). The original Constitution fought hard to protect against a Majoritarian Democracy, becuase Natural Law states that there are some eternal absolutes that the majority has no right to vote against. Most people know "will of the people" to be defined as "Democracy", but, as I have explained ad nauseum, this does mean that such is exactly the case. Republics are based on rule of the people as established by a proposed set of laws (in the case of our system, the people agreed to adhere to the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God"-- this does not mean, however, that other Republics have been built on the same foundation); whether legitimacy (rule of law) follows is another argument entirely. A Republic IS a form of government, but its foundations can't be seen if you can't look past the paradigm of Democracy.

E Archer, NYC

A 'consitutional republic' is based on its constitution -- duh. The US Constitution defines what the EXACT powers are that the government will have -- and the important thing to note is the context and the 'person' it is written in. Our declarations are written in first-person plural, "We The People." I do not know of any other written 'constitution' that is written by the people -- all that I have read are declarations from the government authorities to the people -- BIG difference (i.e. England and Canada have constitutions written by the Crown, Iraq's new constitution is written by the government declaring the obligations of the people.) Secondly, no individual or group of individuals have any more rights than any other individual -- in fact, the individual is protected from collective groups (corporations) by honoring all the inalienable rights of the individual above the desires of the collective no matter what their majority, THUS America is not nor can it ever be a democracy. End of story.


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