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Plato's Republic

harrytruman
Posts: 812
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8/27/2016 7:18:23 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
Plato's Republic is a sick, evil, and statist book. It says that children should be property of the state and that women should be public property, rather than being privately owned by themselves. Plato basically saw men as slaves to the state and women as sex slaves of the state.
NHN
Posts: 624
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8/27/2016 8:17:31 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/27/2016 7:18:23 PM, harrytruman wrote:
Plato's Republic is a sick, evil, and statist book. It says that children should be property of the state and that women should be public property, rather than being privately owned by themselves. Plato basically saw men as slaves to the state and women as sex slaves of the state.
Sounds more like a very limited reading of the greatest book in the history of Western philosophy.

Point out the passages that disturb you so fundamentally, and I'll help out in presenting a different point of view.
PetersSmith
Posts: 5,839
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8/27/2016 8:21:56 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/27/2016 7:18:23 PM, harrytruman wrote:
Plato's Republic is a sick, evil, and statist book. It says that children should be property of the state and that women should be public property, rather than being privately owned by themselves. Plato basically saw men as slaves to the state and women as sex slaves of the state.

He said communism of the community. EVERYTHING would be commonly owned.
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keithprosser
Posts: 1,978
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8/27/2016 9:23:45 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
I don't see Plato's republic as evil. It is however hyper-rational. It is the sort of society a robot intent on maximising efficiency but ignorant of what can be called 'human nature' would design.

The specific charges in the OP I think indicate a misunderstanding of Plato's purpose. Plato's Republic is certainly not anti-feminist. Platos makes it clear that men and women are to be treated totally equally in the Republic. The role an individual plays in that society is determined solely by their suitability for that role, irrespective of sex:

From Book V: "And if so, my friend, I said, there is no special faculty of administration in a state which a woman has because she is a woman, or which a man has by virtue of his sex, but the gifts of nature are alike diffused in both; all the pursuits of men are the pursuits of women also"

The idea of women and children as public property is a misrepresentation of the non-familial structure of society in the republic. Couples are selected for their eugenic compatabilty for breeding purposes and children are to be cared for in the larger community, not within a traditional family.

The reason for doing away with the family is so that each generation is a true meritocracy - there is no inheritance of advantage or disadvantage of birth.

I do not advocate Plato's republic - it is hyper-rational, a model suitable for an ant colony of a hive of bees, but not humans. Without doubt all attempts to implement such a society would degenerate into an intolerant and totalitarian regime, organised for the benefit of an elite as occurs in so-called communism.

On the charge of reducing men to slaves and women to sex-slaves, I havef already pointed out that Plato does not distinguish between the sexes in that way. People - men and women - in the republic would work for the common good, not for their own selfish ends. A slave works for a master, but in PR there are no masters who 'reap what they do not sow'.

I repeat - I don't think the Republic is a good model for a human society. It is too efficient, too organised and too inhuman. In practice such a society would have to resort to co-ercion and force to obtain compliance. An ant colony does not require a secret police force - In Plato's republic it would be a neccessity.
harrytruman
Posts: 812
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8/27/2016 10:31:15 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/27/2016 8:21:56 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 8/27/2016 7:18:23 PM, harrytruman wrote:
Plato's Republic is a sick, evil, and statist book. It says that children should be property of the state and that women should be public property, rather than being privately owned by themselves. Plato basically saw men as slaves to the state and women as sex slaves of the state.

He said communism of the community. EVERYTHING would be commonly owned.

Including people,
PetersSmith
Posts: 5,839
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8/27/2016 10:33:54 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/27/2016 10:31:15 PM, harrytruman wrote:
At 8/27/2016 8:21:56 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 8/27/2016 7:18:23 PM, harrytruman wrote:
Plato's Republic is a sick, evil, and statist book. It says that children should be property of the state and that women should be public property, rather than being privately owned by themselves. Plato basically saw men as slaves to the state and women as sex slaves of the state.

He said communism of the community. EVERYTHING would be commonly owned.

Including people,

Yeah, people include "everything".
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"The two most important days in your life is the day you were born, and the day you find out why."
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n7
Posts: 1,360
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8/27/2016 11:57:12 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/27/2016 7:18:23 PM, harrytruman wrote:
Plato's Republic is a sick, evil, and statist book. It says that children should be property of the state and that women should be public property, rather than being privately owned by themselves. Plato basically saw men as slaves to the state and women as sex slaves of the state.

There's some good stuff in there. Such as Plato's critiques of various systems of justice.
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Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
gametheorist
Posts: 13
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9/12/2016 8:12:47 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
It sounds like this guy either didn't thoroughly read the entire book, or failed to accurately comprehend the points Plato was trying to make. The closest things I can think of that relate to this guy's reading on it (and it's been a couple of years since I read The Republic) are: 1) when Plato lays out the plan of study for the youth in the Republic, as well as what "propaganda" they should be allowed to read,

and 2) when Plato argues for both men and women to serve as Guardians of the State and to train naked alongside one another. This would actually go counter to what this guy believes Plato was arguing, as Plato wanted male and female Guardians to be trained to view each other as equals in all respects.