As most of my regular readers know, I am currently focusing my studies on among other things, philosophy. I know that is pretty boring stuff to most of you, so I promise I won’t do too many posts on that subject. But, this quote from Plato 2,000+ years ago got my attention, and I think you will find it enlightening.
“Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.”Plato
I think that most people who have cared to learn about it realize that Greece was the original democracy, and Plato had a lot to say about what that meant. I look at our current times in the USA and the world and see many democracies currently being threatened by wannabe dictators. Democracies depend on the electorate being informed on the issues of the day. Too many people today seem to think that a democracy is a perpetual thing that will last forever. Yeah, ours in the U.S. has lasted over 250 years now, but it could disappear almost overnight.
I just hope and pray that there are enough of us around who understand that fact as to prevent that from happening at least this time around. We must understand that a democracy is not a given.
But, all these words until now is not really the purpose of this post. This post is about the yin/yang of how we govern ourselves and how the natural state of being is likely somewhere in the middle.
On one side of this spectrum is self. Individual freedom to do what I want is the bedrock of some forms of democracy, ours included.
The bedrock of the other side is groups. We are social creatures who are meant to live together. To achieve that, there needs to be rules about how we interact. There needs to be truth based on facts that guide us. Alternate truths are nothing more than one person’s opinion and that is seldom more than wishful thinking.
We have gained so much through science in this 21st century. Don’t let those achievements crumble. The nine hundred years of the Dark Ages happened with the fall of the Roman Empire, and the age of reason. It could happen again.
4 thoughts on “Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy”
Your words about democracy ring true and echo much of what I have feared. Yes I have taken democracy for granted, thought it would last if not forever at least long past my lifetime and that of my children. Now we are on precipice of losing it to civil war and a group of people so gullible they will believe anything if said with enough fire and volume. Education is now more precious and reminds me of the saying if you think education is expensive think of the alternative.
So true, Michelle. The basic trouble with all of this is that there is simply no way to convince them they are being duped. The only way to survive these times is at the polls. It has been decades since at least 50% of the eligible voters have voted.
A friend recently bought me Andy Borowitz’s Profiles in Ignorance so that we could read it “together.” She’s in Chicago, far away from Central Texas, but we discuss what we’re reading quite frequently . It might interest you, too.
I’ll check it out. Thanks, Linda.