Political Revolution

Ancient Greeks: Plato on Political Participation

JoAnnChateau.com - Quotes | Ancient Greeks
Written by JoAnn Chateau

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that
you end up being governed by your inferiors.

~ Plato, The Republic


Plato, (born c. 428/427 bce—died c. 348/347 bce), ancient Greek philosopher, student of Socrates (c. 470–399 bce), teacher of Aristotle (384–322 bce), and founder of the Academy, best known as the author of philosophical works of unparalleled influence.

Building on the demonstration by Socrates that those regarded as experts in ethical matters did not have the understanding necessary for a good human life, Plato introduced the idea that their mistakes were due to their not engaging properly with a class of entities he called forms, chief examples of which were Justice, Beauty, and Equality.” ~ Encyclopaedia Britannica

READ MORE: Plato; Greek Philosopher | Encyclopaedia Britannica


Human nature has not changed over the millennia. The question is, do we learn from history?

We, who are mentally stable, intellectually activated, and morally sound, should be serving in politics. The weak, however, cannot discern their own ineptitude and often misguidedly throw their hat in the ring. It is not a kindness to anyone to allow them to attain office.

That’s one of my thoughts. Care to share what you are thinking?


Ancient Greek Wisdom  

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.

5 Comments

    • Yes. The two major political parties provide an illusionary choice, while they both support The Establishment status quo. Powerful, wealthy corporate interests decide who the candidates will be long before an election. In Noam Chomsky’s “Requiem for the American Dream,’ he says the first initiative of wealth accumulation is to diminish democracy — it’s a pattern that happens throughout history. The powerful elites in America have certainly been chipping away at democracy since FDR’s New Deal.

      But voting is a minimal civic duty. Citizens more effectively participate in politics through activism — protest demonstrations, civil disobedience, ballot initiatives, free speech, etc. All change comes from the bottom.

      • No, they are separate issues. Although, both the numbers of informed voters and those civically engaged would naturally increase if the populace was properly educated; and, that would be good for democracy. Also, such a society would be more amenable to compulsory voting as a civic duty.

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