Plato’s Political Philosophy

Plato is a philosopher who is famous for his thoughts on the concept of ideas. Through this core of thought, Plato presents an ideal state concept: the leader is a philosopher and justice becomes his main principle.

In accordance with the theme of the study “Classical – Modern Political Philosophy”, the concept of Plato’s justice is reviewed using a political philosophy approach – the goal of political philosophy is to demand that all claims (legitimate authority) for the right to organize society be accounted for before the human mind and heart. Political accountability is an embodiment of rational responsibility for power.

Playing as a guest speaker, Iman Wahyudi first introduced a monumental work from Plato’s thought, namely The Republic. This work, which in Greek means “political system”, was written about 350 BC which subsequently became one of the most influential works of philosophy and political theory to this day.

Although there are a number of Plato’s works such as Statesman and Laws relating to political philosophy, The Republic is the center of Plato’s political philosophy. This can be observed by looking at Plato’s other works, such as Apology, Charmides, Crito, Euthydemus, Georgias, Protagoras, and Menexunus, all of which can be understood by looking at their relationship to the main text in The Republic.

In general, The Republic is divided into three parts, namely Chapters I to V, which contain the formation of an ideal commonwealth community; Chapters VI and VII relate to the definition of “philosopher” who for Plato philosophers are ideal leaders in any community; and Chapters VIII to X contain discussions of various forms of practical government, the following advantages and disadvantages of each.

In discussing Plato’s monumental thinking in The Republic, the guest speaker reviewed a number of parts considered to be the peak of Plato’s political philosophical thought. First, reviewing the division of citizens into three classes, namely ordinary people, soldiers, and guardians. Each has a specific task. Ordinary people as “servants”, soldiers as security guards, and guardians as leaders. Even though all of them have the potential to become leaders, those who are classified as trustees, according to Plato, are preferred to be leaders. From this there is a conclusion that the ideal leader is from the group of guardians, hereinafter known as philosophers.

Second, about the educational concepts applied by Plato, namely “music” and “gymnastics”. Music is almost as broad as the meaning of what we know today as culture. The gymnastics are not as narrow as the meaning we also know today as a sport.

Third, about the idea of ​​”communism”. Plato explained that the Commonwealth was a society that applied the concept of “equal and equal taste”.

Fourth, the concept of justice. The latter is the core of the discussion discussion of a number of Plato’s thoughts in The Republic. Herein lies the concept of justice according to Plato, where justice can only be achieved if everyone does his work, without interfering in other people’s business. If this is realized, Plato believes, the conflict of interests which is the source of all the chaos will subside. That way, the coveted community, namely the commonwealth, will easily be reached.

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