Plato vs. More

Lehrer: Good evening, gentlemen. Your first topic tonight is Democracy. Plato, you go first.

Plato: Thank you, Jim. I am not and have never been a supporter of Democracy. Democracy is the result of the poor overthrowing the rich and killing or driving them out. Afterwards positions will be handed out to everyone and their cousin with no thought as to whom is fit for which job. There is complete freedom for the people. This freedom to say and do as they please will result in the population being extremely diverse, with no one filling his or her role. Soon the people get a taste for freedom and start living a life of excess. Finally the people will want even more freedom and overthrow their democratic government. The leader of the coup will be made a tyrant.

More: Plato, where is your faith in humanity? Do you not trust the citizens to be able to run their own state?

Plato: The only people fit to rule must have been trained for years in order to handle such power.

Lehrer: More, what do you think?

More: Well, in Utopia the cities are run by rulers that are elected by a group of politicians who are chosen by the people. The leaders require no training because I trust them to act in the people’s best interest.

Plato: That is why your system will never work.

More: I do not require the rulers to be trained because then it becomes a small number of educated people holding control over many, which is an oligarchy. I seem to recall you saying in Republic that an Oligarchy is bad because it results in the poor staging a revolution and forming a democracy.

Plato: That is why you must keep firm control on them.

More: If you do not allow the people their freedom then they will rise against you just as surely as if you give them too much.

Plato: That is why you must have a Philosopher- King to keep them in hand. If the people are not ruled completely they will overthrow the government.

More: That is where you are wrong. The people are More capable than you give them credit for.

Plato: We shall see whose government is overthrown first.

More: Indeed.