Comparing Platos Ideal Republic with Modern America

Platos Ideal Republic is similar to communist states with free markets, where the interests of the state are more important than the rights of the individual.  On the other hand, modern American society prioritizes the rights of the individual.  The South East Asian city-state Singapore is similar to Platos Ideal Republic in many aspects.  China is another country somewhat similar to Platos utopia.  However, in the United States, human rights, including the rights of minorities, prisoners, criminal suspects, gays, businessmen or religious organizations are important.

Comparing Platos Ideal Republic with Modern America
There are different strokes for different folks and when it comes to running peoples lives, different types of people prefer various styles of governance.  Plato envisioned a scholarly Republic run by academics in a restricted functional fashion that limits the rights of individual citizens.  In contrast, 20th-century America values human rights and champions its cause by protecting the individual rights of its citizens, including minorities, prisoners, criminal suspects, gays, businessmen or religious organizations, even if it may conflict with the rights of the majority.

Platos ideal republic can be compared today to countries like the South-East Asian city-state, the Republic of Singapore, and todays economic leader, the Peoples Republic of China.  Singapore used to be a third-world country, but it transformed itself into a first-world country in only 30 years by using totalitarian techniques similar to Platos vision.  Singapore is run by academics and their government officials are spotted at an early age from brainy schools.  They have a free market, but academics in government can still control them if the interests of the majority are disrespected.  This has led some Western nations to call Singapore the nanny state whenever the Singapore government tries to interfere with their business interests.

In the same way, China also runs a capitalist economic system while using a communist style of government.  This mixture is similar to Platos idea of citizens prioritizing the interests of the state or the collective interest over individual rights.  They also allow foreign and local businessmen to trade freely unless the interests of the collective are disrespected.

However, the interests of ethnic minorities like Tibetans or the interests of drug-trafficking suspects may not be considered at all.

On the other hand, American society values individual freedom, which may conflict with majority interests.  For example, in the United States, businessmen or lawyers, instead of scholarly academics, usually run the government.  They would never elect an engineer like Chinese President Hu Jin Tao.  Consequently, the dishonesty or the injustice which comes from businessmen running the government like the Bush administration results in what Plato might think of as the lack of balance, disproportion or injustice in society.

In America, businessmen use misleading ads, excessive telemarketing, loud billboards, wasteful flyers, flashy models, influential celebrities and other deceitful tactics to take away the peoples money.  Burglars may also target someones house and if the houses owner isnt careful, he may violate the rights of the burglar and end up in prison while the thief goes free.  Affirmative Action may also increase the rights of ethnic minorities even if their qualifications are insufficient.  American gays may even get married and fight in the military.  Even terrorists or suspects may even have rights that allow them to be free to terrorize others again in the future.  Religious organizations are also allowed to gather donations freely without giving anything of real substance in return.  Thus, Plato believes that this type of republic will come crashing down since it violates his ideal of justice.

Thus, some authors call the United States as a gay republic in contrast with China or Singapore as male republics.  St.Michael though believes that the choice of republic styles is just a matter of preference and is not something absolutely right or wrong.  While the male republic may be straight, it doesnt have as much fun or freedom as a gay republic, where the spontaneity or freedom from following a crooked path may make life more interesting.


Post a Comment