Sunday, June 7, 2015

“Wealth will not help a pilot to navigate his ship.”

“Out of Oligarchy arises Democracy”
Plato's Republic (Book VIII - 380 B.C.E.):

[...] What manner of government do you term oligarchy? 

A government resting on a valuation of property, in which the rich have power and the poor man is deprived of it. [...] Oligarchy is more or less exclusive; and they allow no one whose property falls below the amount fixed to have any share in the government. These changes in the constitution they effect by force of arms, if intimidation has not already done their work.

[...] How does the change from oligarchy into democracy arise?
Democracy comes into being after the poor have conquered their opponents, slaughtering some and banishing some, while to the remainder they give an equal share of freedom and power. [...] That is the nature of democracy, whether the revolution has been effected by arms, or whether fear has caused the opposite party to withdraw. [...] The people, consisting of those who work with their own hands, when assembled, is the largest and most powerful class in a democracy.