Plato’s Prescience

A few words that I ran across in Plato’s Republic seems to be clipped from today’s newpapers:

“When the leaders are distributing to the people what they have taken from the well-to-do, keeping the lion’s share for themselves, the plundered rich are driven to defend themselves.”  See new taxes for national health in here? Thus, “despotism invariably springs.”

“He may send men to death or exile with intendedd promises of debts to be cancelled and estates to be redistributed.” See mortgage relief in here?

He “seizes absolute power, and stand erect in the chariot of state, no longer protector of the people but its absolute master.”

“In the early days, he has a smile and a greeting for everyone he meets; disclaims any absolute power; makes large promises to his friends and to the public; sets about the relief of debtors and the distribution of land to the people and to his supporters; and assumes a mild and gracious air towards everybody. But as soon as his has disembarrassed himself of his exiled enemies by coming to terms with some and destroying others, he begins stirring up one war after another, in order that the people may feel their need of a leader, and also be so impoverished by taxation that they will be forced to think of nothing but winning their daily bread, instead of plotting against him. Moreover, if he suspects some of cherishing freedom and not submitting to his rule, he will find a pretext for putting them at the enemy’s mercy and so making away with them.”

See the Fairness Doctrine, vilification, redistribution and over-taxation of the year 2010 in there? The person who does these things is called a despot.


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