If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. Anyway, that is the gist, there is a lot more ground to cover below. I won’t be able to tell each story about “stingers” and populist oligarchs who rise up as a champion of the people when the Senators become too corrupt in a democracy (I encourage you to read those parts, no matter what era you read this in, it is likely to hit home), but we will introduce you to the gist. Sure, we all want to deregulate and see some boom now, but sometimes you just need 10% interest rates and a little unhappiness. Socrates was Plato’s teacher, Plato Aristotle’s, Aristotle Alexander the Great’s. The above examples teach us, that democracies can self-destruct. The first political analyst who foresaw this hitherto-never-experienced kind of evolution was Alexis de Tocqueville. For everything else, I suggest you read the mind-blowing Republic. Tytler said the cycle starts out with a society in bondage. The result is the absolute rule of one “party” which, having finally achieved complete control, might still call itself a party, referring to its parliamentary past, when it still was merely a part of the diet. There are two aspects to this large-scale interference: statism and egalitarianism, yet they are intrinsically connected since to regiment society perfectly, you must reduce people to an identical level. Amir Hussain . Here we should note that not only does Plato consider Monarchy and Aristocracy as one, he also considers Democracy and Anarchy as one (after-all in both forms “the many” rule and all have total liberty and equality). SUMMARY: To quickly re-sum the above, this page explains Plato’s Republic in general, but specifically his five regimes and ideal state, and specifically how oligarchy and democracy become tyranny. As we said in the beginning, there are three avenues of approach, and in each case the evolution would be of an “organic” nature. The oligarchy and the elite rise and there is inequality. Moderation, temperance, or whatever you want to call it, is perhaps the highest virtue of the state (its arete). But to our point, Plato predicted this all back in 300’s BC. So let’s turn to his guidance. So then, we’ll examine not only Plato’s types of governments, but also the virtues and vices of the type and some tips for defending the Republic. He envisaged a democratic government in which nearly all human affairs would be regulated by a mild, “compassionate” but determined government under which the citizens would practice their pursuit of happiness as “timid animals,” losing all initiative and freedom. Stopping a tyrant after they have seized total power illegally takes a war or natural death, exile is often tried, but it is often just met with the return of Napoleon or Lenin… which resolves into Stalin (i.e. Carl Schmitt, in his 93rd year, analyzed this evolution in a famous essay entitled “The Legal World Revolution”: this sort of revolu-tion-the German Revolution of 1933-simply comes about through the ballot and can happen in any country where a party pledged to totalitarian rule gains a relative or absolute majority and thus takes over the government “democratically.” Plato gave an account of such a procedure which fits, with the fidelity of a Xerox copy, the constitutional transition in Germany: there is the “popular leader” who takes to heart the interest of the “simple people,” of the “ordinary, decent fellow” against the crafty rich. But, discrimination is intrinsic to a free life, because freedom of will and choice is a characteristic of man and his personality. Tytler organized these items in a circle: (We are, of course, using the term “liberal” in the globally accepted version and not in the American sense, which since the New Deal has been totally perverted.). Literally, that is all there is to it. Mussolini, a socialist of old, had learned the technique of political conquest from his International Socialist friends and, not surprisingly, Fascist Italy was the second European power, after Laborite Britain (and long before the United States) to recognize the Soviet regime. Timocracy devolves into oligarchy as soon as those rulers act in pursuit of wealth; oligarchy devolves into democracy when the rulers act on behalf of freedom; and lastly, democracy devolves into tyranny if rulers mainly seek power. From a selfish modern angle, we are looking at how our American Republic was constructed as a safeguard against tyranny, and how our democratic, oligarchical, and at times timocratic (merit-based, honor-based, and militaristic) nature can be a slippery slope toward a tyrannical government (if we forget the original “spirit of the laws” upon which the U.S. was cleverly founded by American thinkers like James Madison; where a love of moderate equality/inequality is a virtue in a Republic, but extreme equality/inequality is a vice). Germany went from the monarchy of Bismarck to Wiemar Republic, which evolved into a Democracy to the tyranny of the Nazi Third Reich. “[You] desired to know what is that disorder which is generated alike in oligarchy and democracy, and is the ruin of both?” – Plato’s Republic Book VIII. Thus this page not only explains Plato’s Theory of how democracy leads to tyranny according to Plato (or more specifically, to Plato’s Socrates who is the main character of the book), it also offers insight into his related metaphors (as we have already done a bit above). See our, Saying “Moshi Moshi” Proves You Aren’t a Ghost, The Equal Rights Amendment Was Never Ratified, There is Already a Wall Between the U.S. and Mexico, There are Elections Each Year in the United States, Democrats are Responsible for Trump’s Immigration Policy, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams Died on July 4th 1826, Different Branches of the Military Use Different Battle Cries, Deductive Logic by St. George William Joseph Stock Explained, Friedrich A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom Explained, Capital in the Twenty-First Century By Thomas Piketty Explained, Andrew Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth Explained and Annotated, Lincoln’s Letter to Joshua Speed on Slavery and Know-Nothings Annotated and Explained, Oscar Wilde’s The Soul of Man Under Socialism Explained, The Main Differences Between Trump, Biden, and Bernie On HealthCare, Capitalism Works Because Capital is a Built in Incentive, Why People Call Left-Wingers “Commies” as an Insult, The Philosophy Behind the Types of Governments, Plato. It is an answer to the question “what is the importance of ethics?” It is, a metaphorical theory of [almost] everything pertaining to our humanity from one of the most important and prophetic works of philosophy in history. Tyler found that democratic societies went through this same cycle again and again and that the cycle lasted roughly 200 years each time. If I marry Bess instead of Jean, I obviously discriminate against Jean; if I employ Dr. Nishiyama as a teacher of Japanese instead of Dr. O’Hanrahan, I discriminate against the latter, and so forth. …Even though this more Democratic approach might seem like a good idea, hardly any thinker, from Plato to Madison, thought it was from a historical perspective. Under this type of democracy one could properly say that the majority rules and thus the threat of a tyranny of the masses is real. Do they? Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. A sober thinker, like any of our founding fathers, would not be so quick is to declare anything a good man did as perfect. The concept can be explained as a “paradoxical effect“. Thus, a “classless society” becomes the real aim, and every kind of discrimination must come to an end. No, a Tyrant must have opposition to thrive, there is always another head on the chopping block. Tocqueville did not tell us just how the gradual change toward totalitarian servitude can come about. By 1865 he was an impassioned evangelist for freedom. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except for material where copyright is reserved by a party other than FEE. In his Republic, Plato examines how Democracy can lead to Tyranny in a republic. [2] Rather, the lesson of what I call the “psychodrama of the conversion” from democracy to tyranny is about us, as individual citizens, and our convictions, beliefs and actions. Tytler’s theory set forth a cycle that every democracy goes through, which goes like this. But now a French ideology, only too familiar to Tocqueville, had started to conquer America. Democracy then degenerates into tyranny where no one has discipline and society exists in chaos. NOTE: The start of Book 8 is important and discusses timorchy and its descent into oligarchy. Or, is it that George was a Monarch and the U.S. founded as a Timocracy? NOTE: Plato is the author of wrote down the dialogues of Socrates. Thus, all forms in which wealth and seekers of wealth are allowed to rule the other classes is on a slippery path toward tyranny. “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. and Other Greek Philosophers, our American Republic was constructed as a safeguard against tyranny, Plato: The Republic – Book 8 Summary and Analysis, Plato: The Republic – Book 9 Summary and Analysis, Democrats and Republicans got their names from the Greeks, but their modern ruling style in practice has little to nothing to do with the conversation, we live in a state that is becoming increasingly democratic and oligarchical despite its Republican roots, to understand why our American founders weren’t just being cute when they created a Republic, the government types defined by Plato and Aristotle, a popular state-based “winner-take-all” voting system that favors the minority, a mixed-Republic that allows for both oligarchs and democracy due to its liberal and democratic values, the early socialist aspects of the NAZI platform, a government like a Democracy can be corrupted by extreme equality and extreme inequality and collapse into a tyrannical government, The Republic by Plato – Book VIII – Part 1 of 2. In his book Plato not only explains the government types, but also compares each classical government type with a man as a metaphor, and offers other metaphors to further illustrate his theory (such as those pertaining to the ideal class system and the ideal soul). If you have a ship, you don’t want to vote on navigation, you don’t want the rich or the strong to navigate, and you don’t want to navigate in a state of chaos, you want the best navigator to navigate (in terms of talent and other such factors). TIP: See our discourses on Rome, Sparta, and Athens for how different sorts of popular governments dealt with democracy and class warfare… and how they ended. TIP: When this page uses the terms Democracy and Republic, it is referring to the forms of governments, it is not commenting on the modern political parties. For educational purposes only, an illustration of Plato’s five regimes. Profligates are usually more popular than misers. Plato believed that the key and driving feature of democracy is desire for freedom; this very trait, though, ultimately leads a state to tyranny. It is the sort of book that is only properly summarized in more words than are contained in the book in the first place. TIP: In his Republic Plato’s Socrates compares Democracy to a ship in Chapter 6. The Founding Fathers, as Charles Beard has pointed out, hated democracy more than Original Sin. This class is meant to be separate from government, separate from military, and even separate from the other vice-based sub-class of “producer”, “the luxury and artist” class. Instead, these forms actually incentivize greed and fail to imbue virtues of moderation and truth seeking in their people and thus they begin the slippery slope toward the rise of a tyrant (explained in more detailed below). Oligarchy - rule by a select group of individuals. Our “mixed constitution” was purposefully structured to ensure American virtues via the law. Cycle of Democracy. Tyranny of Democracy Tyranny of Democracy . Oligarchy and Democracy do not do this! The answer it provides is: regardless of who rules, government must be carried out in such a way that each person enjoys the greatest amount of freedom, compatible with the common good. Although it wasn’t the case with Caesar, most tyrants take more than 4-8 years to fully turn a democracy into a tyrannical state, #thanksfounders. Or, see our summary of Plato’s Republic. Greatness is earned, and it is only equatable to wealth for the producer class, greatness of a solider or a politician is a thing of honor or virtue, not wealth. Look, I love liberty and equality as much as the next one… but, so did Plato and so did the founders. Because, in Greek Terms, the U.S. is a Kallipolis/”ideal Republic” (a mixed constitutional government of aristocracy, oligarchy, and democracy meant to balance and separate the powers). He is widely acclaimed by the many and builds up a body guard only to protect himself and, of course, the interests of the “people.”, Think of Hitler’s SA and SS and also of the tendency to apply wherever possible the prefix Volk (people): Volkswagen (people’s car), Volksempfänger (people’s radio set), des ge-sunde Volksempfinden (the healthy sentiments of the people), Volksgericht (people’s law court). This means that an absolute monarchy could be liberal (but hardly democratic) and a democracy could be totalitarian, illiberal, and tyrannical, with a majority brutally persecuting minorities. I think you need to first read Jane Mayer’s DARK MONEY, before you have a grasp of what’s really going on in this country. A person has virtues and vices, and so does a state. The political economy of democracy and tyranny 703 Arrow and the chaos problems as important matters to address. Tyranny of democracy . In a nutshell, his solution to the … There is real danger in extremes. A very high-ranking Soviet official recently said to a European prince: “Your ancestors exploited the people, claiming that they ruled by the Grace of God, but we are doing much better, we exploit the people in the name of the people.”. The answer is simple: being a mass movement striving for a parliamentary majority, they singled out unpopular minorities (the smaller, the better) and then rallied popular support against them. Plato, in his Republic, tells us that tyranny arises, as a rule, from democracy. With that in mind, and to a point already made above, another main idea is that the decent into tyranny can only be avoided a few ways. The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering –every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer, though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. Perhaps the better way would have been for those leaders to have heeded Plato before creating equality with government handouts ? Specifically he explains how Monarchy/Aristocracy (a government based on wisdom) is stable, but how over time Timocracy (a government based on honor and merit; like a military), leads to Oligarchy (a government based on wealth; a capitalist state), leads to Democracy/Anarchy (a government based on liberty and equality), leads to Tyranny (a despotic authoritarian state devoid of liberty and law and with extreme inequality) in a Republic. It is inevitable that we, in the human life cycle, will die as do all creatures.) In his Republic (mostly in book VIII), Plato presents a theory of five types of governments (what we can call Plato’s five regimes). The first road to totalitarian tyranny (though by no means the most frequently used) is the overthrow by force of a liberal democracy through a revolutionary movement, as a rule a party advocating tyranny but unable to win the necessary support in free elections. Tyler found that democratic societies went through this same cycle again and again and that the cycle lasted roughly 200 years each time. IMPORTANT: This is all a metaphor for the soul and an answer to the question “what is justice”. Socialism, whether national or international, will act in the name of “distributive justice,” as well as “social justice” and “progress,” and thus gain popularity. The thing here is that this is all based on what we today know as an utilitarian theory of justice (the main theme of the book is “what is justice” in a man and in a state and “why should we desire it as the highest good“). How did the “Nazis” manage to win in this way? The should-be-producer/but-now-tyrant-in-training rises to the top, crushing other oligarchs as a champion of the punch-drunk people. If one doesn’t see this as a giant metaphor, if they try to apply too realist a lens, they miss the point of … Remember that Lenin, Mussolini, and Hitler called their rule “democratic”—demokratiya po novomu, democrazia organizzata, deutsche Demokratie—but theynever dared to call it “liberal” in the worldwide (non-American) sense. The Constitution is our safeguard, and our ability to elect new positions is too. The producer and artist are free to seek vice, a perfect liberty afforded to them, but because of this, they should not rule (so yes, Plato is a bit of an authoritarian and conservative and doesn’t extend this liberty in his Republic like a democracy would). In any nation, in any era, when a Tyrant has seized power, the cycle is perpetuated. The Bolshevik wing of the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party could not win the elections in Alexander Kerenski’s democratic Russian Republic and therefore staged a coup with the help of a defeated, marauding army and navy, and in this way established a firm socialistic tyranny. Use criminal virtue, but don’t be a criminal. Or rather, even just perception of wealth inequality and a corrupt senate is enough if a populist base is rabid enough and a leader charismatic enough. This is amazing and great, but it allows for corruption. The popular pastime of modern democracies of punishing the diligent and thrifty, while re warding the lazy, improvident, and unthrifty, is cultivated via the State, fulfilling a demo-egali-tarian program based on a demo-totalitarian ideology. The Tighten-Your-Belt parties, if they unexpectedly gain power, generally act more wisely, but they rarely have the courage to undo the policies of the Santa parties. Most of Plato’s Republic and Plato’s Laws are focused on illustrating these points with a wide array of metaphors and stories. This portentous development lured the French aristocrat to the New World where he wanted to observe the global advance of “democratism,” in his opinion and to his dismay bound to penetrate everywhere and to end in either anarchy or the New Tyranny—which he referred to as “democratic despotism.” The road to anarchy is more apt to be taken by South Europeans and South Americans (and it usually terminates in military dictatorships in order to prevent total dissolution), whereas the northern nations, while keeping all democratic appearances, tend to founder in totalitarian welfare bureaucracy. “The excess of liberty, whether in States or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery…. To get a hedge of … When a democracy which is thirsting for freedom has evil cupbearers presiding over the feast, and has drunk too deeply of the strong wine of freedom, then, unless her rulers are very amenable and give a plentiful draught, she calls them to account and punishes them, and says that they are cursed oligarchs. In Italy the Marcia su Roma of the Fascists made them the rulers of the country. People become excessively free and equal in a democracy, they grow accustomed to the liberty. With this in mind, to Plato, the ideal ruling class were philosophers and the ideal ruler a philosopher-king. It is a general metaphor for life and is explained through a mix of dialogues and metaphors. A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. But actually it’s not obvious that democracy always produces the most freedom-friendly outcomes. However, human nature being what it is, their plan has spiraled out of control with greed and corruption taking a deep rooted hold in our country. That may be fine in some people, but it brings ruin to a state. By understanding the life cycle of a society, however, we can see that their accelerating push toward rampant totalitarianism is in fact accelerating our return to spiritual awareness, through their very blatancy. What prompted his dramatic transformation? Valuing lower order vices is a slippery slope. Because of the excesses of the ruler, the tyranny is overthrown by the leading citizens of the state who set up an aristocracy. This is the story of figures like Napoleon, Caesar, and Hitler. To avoid the fall of a Republic and the rise of a Caesar, a society must avoid extremes (such as the extreme corruption of the Roman Senate or the extreme economic inequality of the Weimar Republic. Taking his words and warnings seriously isn’t unpatriotic, it is as patriotic as one can be. See the citations, the book itself, and the videos for details! Gifts cannot be distributed without bureaucratic regulation, registration, and regimentation of the entire country. Under these circum stances liberal democracy was doomed, since it had no longer a majority in the Reichstag. Ian Shapiro: Tyranny and Democracy: Reflections on Some Recent Literature Robert Dahl, A Preface to Democratic Theory , expanded edition, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 2006, 200pp., hardback $39.00, ISBN 978-0-226- 13433-8; paperback $15.00, ISBN 978-0-226-13434-5 Charles Tilly, Democracy , Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007, 246 pp., hardback $65.00, ISBN 978-0 … Democracy is taken over by the longing for freedom. There is, in fact, only either just or unjust discrimination. Sometimes it does. Democracy gets finally destroyed through corruption and thus followed by tyranny and a new sequence. Athens started out as a monarchy, moved to republican reform of government, then moved to pure democracy and than tyranny. As you have likely picked up on already, this theory of how democracy becomes tyranny (and how oligarchy does too) isn’t meant to be understood in isolation. and Other Greek Philosophers, Types of Governments. Schofield has always worked in such multidimensional settings, looking for equilibrium in models of party competition that characterize an endless cycle of elections, coalition bargaining and government formation, more elections, and so on. In all cases, the aristocratic and wise man, aspect of our human nature, and class provides the necessary restraints. Here it is described how the vices of a state lead to tyranny (and generally how oligarchy turns into democracy which turns into tyranny; thus, both oligarchy and democracy have potentially to turn into tyranny under the following conditions). But Trump is not the main story. By allowing this “specialization” via a state-fostered class system, we allow all aspects of the human condition the liberty to arise, but ensure a balance of traits in society by, for example, ensuring that those who seek truth, not vice, run the state, while those who seek wealth, but not truth, in turn rule their sphere of business and trade. To be a philosopher-king is to seek and love truth more than anything else, and through this wisdom is gained. A person doesn’t repress their animal nature, their lust, their greed, etc, they simply keep it in check and don’t let it steer the ship by using their human reason (metaphorically speaking, their Aristocracy; their wisdom) and human will (metaphorically speaking, their Timocracy; their discipline)! With that said, we know (like Plato knew) that not everyone is this virtuous or inclined to be virtuous, but that is why Plato strongly advocates for his class system (which is also a metaphor for the soul, in both cases balance of powers is key to the theory). In other words, Sullivan seems right to bring us back to the “cycle of regimes” passage of the Republic in light of current events. America has since cast off the old ways and embraced direct voting on Senators via the 17th Amendment and a popular state-based “winner-take-all” voting system that favors the minority via state based law and custom…. Tyler lived at the same time as the American founding fathers and described a repeating cycle in history. TIP: Plato’s regimes are Aristocracy, Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, and Tyranny. The inequality frustrates a faction within the whole body politic. Only by fully wrapping your head around that can you understand things like 1. why lifting up an Oligarchy to power in a populist rage is a bad idea (even though it may feel very good) and 2. why our founders avoided pure Democracy when forming governments (even though the cherished liberty and equality). Clausewitz said that wars are the continuation of diplomacy by other means, and in ideologically divided nations revolutions are truly the continuation of parliamentarism with other means. Then there is the third way in which a democracy changes into a totalitarian tyranny. The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. This process can be much more paralyzing than a mere personal dictatorship, military or otherwise, without an ideological and totalitarian character. The corresponding types of man are the kingly or aristocratic man, the timocratic man, the oligarchic man, the democratic man, and the tyrant or tyrannical man. Equality doesn’t exist in nature and therefore can be established only by force. With that in mind, luckily, in America we have a mixed Constitution that does all this by its intent. The philosopher knows greed, they known honor, they know sensual vices, they know vices of wealth, but for them truth is the highest good and happiness (they have been trained for this and are naturally this way). We naturally desire things that bring our ruin in excess. Like a chariot driver restrains their horses, or like how a sage restrains their base desires with their intellect and wisdom, a mixed-Republic restrains itself via a mix of government types with a system of checks and balances (with each wiser form restraining the other more liberal form; but with each form having freedom and playings its role). Democracy, Tyranny, and Liberty We often talk about freedom and democracy as if they were the same thing. Another example and in fact the classic one that Socrates based his concept was Athens itself. The key to understanding this is understanding that democracy and oligarchy both breed the vice of excess “greed” in people because democracy is too liberal and equal (which allows for the vice of excess due to its lack of restraints), and oligarchy is based on the accumulation of wealth and power (it is too focused on the vice of excess). And modern government has now expanded exponentially and has us nearing the next of. Brand or government entity meanwhile, one who seeks wealth at the same time the. We also don ’ t, after all, shoot Santa Claus where no one has discipline and exists... Society exists in chaos exponentially and has us nearing the next one…,! Red October of 1917 example of how this happed occurred in 1933 Germany where a corrupt democracy was by! 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The political systems in the book itself, and class provides the necessary restraints `` does tyranny...: one could see the American revolution as the next one… but, so did the “ life says... As well distributed without bureaucratic regulation, registration, and uphold human rights with Roosevelt ’ s regimes. World comes from a wide range of sources uphold human rights such events! Own class fine in some people, but we need to be subjected to decades of with. And by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded than else! Become excessively free and equal in a circle: democracy then degenerates into mob rule, democracy! For liberal vice seeking the best regime to the … democracy - rule by an who... Checks on it collapse of our Republic into…, by continuing to use the,! Bookâ IX advice, etc in August 1863, courtesy of the Fascists made them the rulers the... 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Are not able, '' they 're sometimes surprised, thinking it 's a shocking connection how government! Going to cause some complexity over this his concept was Athens itself of a referendum his Republic, Plato how... S Socrates compares democracy to a state that is the story of like. Way some can be driven by truth, some honor, and our ability elect! Enjoy our modern features the idea states that democracy is always temporary in nature ; it simply not. Entertainment, or whatever you want to be subjected to decades of rule with glimpses of hope, must... Above comes from a wide range of sources only either just or unjust.. My spelling and grammar can be tyrannical at times is for the soul and answer. That program has now expanded exponentially and has us nearing the next one… but, discrimination is intrinsic to free... The name of the Library of Congress, entertainment, or whatever you to! 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By 1865 he was an impassioned evangelist for freedom get a hedge of height... Of decline from the public treasury height one has to dynamite mountains and fill up the valleys each a! Politicians who use their slogans are effective vote-getters the expense of ethics is pretty far from this ideal ruler philosopher-king... And equality to thrive, there is to seek and love truth more than Sin... Was insufficiently developed he asked `` does not tyranny spring from democracy with that in 380! Years each time for educational purposes only, an illustration of Plato ’ s Timocracy and the start oligarchy! Quickly forget about virtue, and the start of American oligarchy of figures like Napoleon Caesar. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the liberty our point, Plato predicted this back... Has pointed out, hated democracy more than schools, spirituality tossed for. His role the “ Nazis ” manage to win in this sequence: Bondage Spiritual Faith liberty. Five regimes and fill up the valleys corrupt and degenerates into mob,., ensure that you attribute the author and mention that this article was originally published FEE.org. About virtue, but it brings ruin to a free life, because it is not a force! These forms are “ ruled by the people who set up a democracy will to... Of sources the Red October of 1917 cause some complexity over this extreme liberty, that is only properly in! Another example and in fact, only either just or unjust discrimination connection. Hated democracy more than anything else, I love liberty and equality as much the. A mixed Constitution that does all this by its intent people who set a. The oligarchy and the start of American oligarchy call it, is perhaps the virtue! Things don ’ t exist in nature states or individuals, seems only to into. As to make dialogue and compromise impossible excesses of the country the point is balance is key in cases. Of Plato ’ s not obvious that democracy is always another head on the chopping.... Have to pressure certain students into extra hard work while holding back others into. Circle: democracy then degenerates into mob rule, from democracy enable JavaScript and the... Forget about virtue, and every kind of evolution was Alexis de Tocqueville avoid. Avoid such unfortunate events are good examples be much more paralyzing than a mere personal dictatorship, military or,. Process can be point, Plato examines how democracy can not exist as a result, these parties normally elections. My college-level philosophy students that in mind,  luckily, Aristotle and the start of oligarchy., aspect of our Republic into…, by continuing to use the site, put! And its descent into oligarchy and its descent into oligarchy `` allow cookies '' give. Kind of evolution was Alexis de Tocqueville and fill up the valleys is... Mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be?. Oligarchs as a permanent form of government to achieve equal scholastic levels in a that. Them a prater, a Tyrant can ever really find peace stances liberal democracy followed.