Plato’s Republic covers many topics from the purpose of a state to the many forms of government can have from aristocracies to democracy and philosopher kings. These discussions that Socrates has with the many people he meets describes greek culture and it political system. By defining and disregarding imperfect government systems the Greeks established on the first mass democracies, fostering a symbiotic relationship between the state and its citizens in hopes of creating the fairest state.
Plato’s Republic covers all these topics in detail, the entire writing is about forms of government. Apology is more about the artistic and dramatic culture of the Greek people. The Republic in a series of arguments about types of government they cover the governments of greece and the social and political evolution and structure of Greece. That is why the text Plato’s Republic is superior to The apology In his talks with Adiemantus, Plato and Socrates discuss the evil or imperfect government systems such as oligarchy, tyranny, and timarchy.
They remove these goverments as feasable goverments. In the Republic, they speak of these negative goverments as a mixture of good and evil1. They say that because the driving force behind the oilcharchy system is the pursuit of wealth and while that in itself is not a bad pursuit because it strengthens the state itself, the fact that the system being an olicharcy means that the ruling class would hoard the wealth, thus in sighting the rise of democracy. 2 This would only defeat the purpose of the olicharcy.
When it came to tyranny, they described it as naturally evil and the worst type of system for a state to adopt. They speak of it as if it were the last and very desperate choice of a failing state that was as far from perfection as possible. 3 Finally, they speak of timarchy which is the honor system, which does not work for the fact that even though this system has a good intention that not all men will abide by it and the system itself is too easily manipulated to be effective on a large scale.
This kind of thinking and deducing to find the fairest system describes greek evolution of law perfectly. The Greeks had named types of government and discussed the ideas of fair systems of government. They spoke of governments that described the other city states such as Sparta with its oligarchy or Athens with its democracy, all this described the culture the greeks had of being philosophers of law and government. When they spoke about tyranny it was described as the worst by the greeks because they had seen it first hand by invaders from the south or from the Persians.
The way they described the imperfect goverments was in a way that seemed very sage like in their negative affects. In a way that merits they had seen them come and go and fail and even though it was only a argument between a small group of people they were all still Greek and had seen all the types of goverments. This kind of thinking is typical of Greek culture, the idea to analyze the world around them and think about the social implications of state government and its evolution is originally Greek some may argue.
The Republic covers this topic of deducing to such a degree that it eventually deduces to other types of government such as democracy When the discussion reached democracy. They discussed its transition stages such as the fact that in oligarchy the poor will over come and match the wealthy and all of them have an equal share of the power. This democratic rise they talk about is a key distinction of the Greek culture. The Greek culture had evolved from oligarchy and into democracy.
4 This transition defines the Greece that the world recognizes the originators of Democracy. The people of Greece especially Athens were in the Oligarchy but when they rose out of that (some city states never did) they organized the political system of democracy with magistrates and all kinds of other institutions. Democracy defines Greece it was major system they applied to a large society after rising out of oligarchy. The Democratic system is a symbiotic system that is considered the fairest system by the Greeks.
When it came to the culture of the greeks they stood by the democratic system so this idea of the transition to democracy was a transition to a higher existence of sophistication the ones who were not democratic were considered barbarians or tyrants. The system began to define its art and its people because of all the freedoms they got to enjoy. The people were affected by the government of democracy as addressed in the Republic it allowed them to be more open about their true natures and to speak their minds freely.
5 The Greek people also got to enjoy all the liberties of the democratic system as Socrates discussed with their ability to express themselves anyway they pleased without prosecution. The system in the symbiotic relationship as predicted the government was affecting its people. The system was allowing the people to show their human nature and that affected the art and culture of the people how they voted and many other things. This is an important aspect of not only democracy but of Greek culture. Greece was famed for its arts, philosophers and other cultural things.
This was all due to the fact that people could speak freely and vote as they pleased. This had a major affect on what Greece was. It made them who they were as a people, their freedom gave them an identity and that is an aspect that the Republic tackles. That a states political system has a profound affect on its people, the people can also strongly affect the government they serve. Earlier in the Republic Socrates and Galculon discussed what the purpose the person was supposed to serve when it came to serving the state they said the perfect state that only the best of the best ruled.
And that the rest, the commoners were to decided who was the smartest and the bravest. In summary the job of the people to the state was to vote. The people were the ruling class, they elected the magistrates and voted on laws based on majority. This was the basis of democracies all over Greece. This is the number one aspect of the greek evolution of law, of political atmosphere and of Greek culture. If the people voted even by majority it was the people deciding the direction of their society, no matter who they were they had the right to vote on the policies and policy makers of their state.
This ability allowed the ultimate cultural freedom and deciding factor for the direction of the greek people. It allowed laws to be created and changed, it made the government focus on certain things like funding art or preparing for war. This all share the power system was pure greeceian democracy. And it is covered highly in detail in the Republic and is the most important aspect of Grecian culture and law. This symbiotic state allowed for what Socrates called “ The fairest state”6 The colorful patchwork of human nature and freedom of mind added to the beauty of the state, also he was speaking of it’s fairness in the sense of it’s liberties and the ability for the people to vote on the laws. This relationship and fairness is Greece.
The state while not the perfect state is the fairest state in the opinion of Socrates and all his disciples. It is Greek law and representation if its governance to a pure form. By defining and disregarding imperfect government systems the Greeks established on the first mass democracies, fostering a symbiotic relationship between the state and its citizens in hopes of creating the fairest state.