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August 31, 2020

Contributing to the Chaos while

Living – Life – Large

Dan Abernathy

Plato, born 428 in Athens, Greece was an ancient philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. He was the student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle. He is best known as the author of philosophical works of unparalleled influence.

Plato maintained a doctrine that the basis of moral obligations is to be found in the right actions to produce happiness. Happiness is the highest aim of moral thought, conduct, and the virtues of moral excellence.

In 380 BC, Plato authored, The Republic, concerning justice in the context of examining the character of man. Plato's strategy is to first explain the primary notion of social and political justice, then derive a parallel concept of individual justice.

When I first learned of the Five Regimes in Book VIII of the Republic, I also learned that throughout history these regimes have been brought forth. Though in different versions the core of his philosophy is to this day being portrayed with a shocking reality.

As you read and simplistically think about the Five Regimes, which are Aristocracy, Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, and Tyranny, think of the current situation we are now part of as we try to maintain a happiness in the chaotic anarchy we are being forced live in.


Aristocracy is a philosopher king rules the regime, a leader that is grounded on wisdom and reason.

The aristocratic state is composed of three parts: the ruling class, made up the philosophers-kings. The secondary of the ruling soldier, whose job is protecting the order established by the Philosopher King. Then the majority of people, who in contrast to the first two classes, are allowed to own property and produce goods for themselves. They are also obliged to sustain their rulers, who are forbidden from owning property in order to prevent that personal interests taint the policies they undertake.

The Philosopher King has a disposition that makes them the ideal governor because their soul knows the idea of good. Wealth, fame, and power are just shadows and deliver only hollow and fleeting satisfaction. It is only the knowledge of the good that gives man enduring and real happiness.

The Philosopher King who is not tempted to abuse his power in his pursuit of material goods, and his policies are devoted to establishing only the good in the state, not personal interests.


Aristocracy degenerates into Timocracy. Due to miscalculation on the part of its governing class, within the government will be people inclined not just to cultivate virtue but also produce wealth. A change in the constitution of the Aristocracy is eventually altered allowing the state leaders to pursue their individual interests.

The governors of Timocracy value power. Timocratic governors will apply great effort in the arts of war, and will also be contemptuous towards manual activities as they live a life in public intimacy. They will yearn for material wealth and will not trust thinkers to be placed in positions of power.

Timocrats will accumulate wealth in malicious ways, and hide their possessions from public view. They will also be wasteful and hedonistic. Because their self-indulgent nature will not be calmed in philosophical education, law can only be imposed onto them by means of force.


Plato defines Oligarchy as a government that distinguishes between the rich and the poor. Because of the pleasures derived from money the leaders seek to alter the law to benefit materialistic lust. As a result of this craving for money, the governors rework the constitution to restrict political power to the rich. That is how a Timocracy becomes an Oligarchy.

The instability caused by class divisions as Oligarchy is divides the rich and the poor. Laws are never imposed in Oligarchies since it is in the nature of the Oligarchic state to seek to make inequality starker in order to feed the material lust of its governors. The poor grows and many of them become either beggars or thugs imbued with anger at their condition, which threatens the stability of the state from within.

If a revolution does ensue, and the poor become victorious over the rich, the former expel the latter from the city, or kill them, and proceed to divide their properties and political power between one another. That is how, according to Plato, a Democracy is established.


Oligarchy then degenerates into a Democracy where freedom is the supreme good but this freedom is also slavery. In Democracy, the lower class grows. The poor wins. People are free to live how they want. People can even break the law if they so choose. This is the reflection of anarchy.

Plato describes desires as something needed out of instinct and unnecessary desires we can teach ourselves, such as the desire for riches. The Democratic man takes great interest in all the things he can buy with his money, being more concerned with his money over how he can help the people. He does whatever he wants whenever he wants to do it.


Democracy then degenerates into Tyranny where no one has discipline and society exists in chaos. Democracy is taken over by the longing for freedom. Power must be seized to maintain order.

A victor will emerge and experience power, which will cause him to become a tyrant. The people will start to hate him and eventually try to remove him but will realize they are not able.

The Tyrannical person is the worst form of man due to his being the most unjust. The are consumed by lawless desires, which cause them to do horrific things. They scuttle close to lawlessness. The idea of moderation does not exist and they are consumed by the euphoria of pleasure in life.

Wisdom and reason are of the highest and just competence and allow people to experience and understand the value of being. Below wisdom and reason is the pursuit of honor, and below that are the vilest desires of man, those satiated by sustenance and seducer. In the tyrant, who has the power to seize what he wants, desires are always satisfied, but never truly satisfying.

What I see now is a behavior of people is that is hugely pointless. The noise being created and delivered so deafeningly, without thought, does not need to be heeded. It serves no purpose to be heard.

Pardon me if I perhaps see things differently. I try to look past what is being grasped, but what I see now is the spine-tingling virus that should be feared is, “we the people.” We are our own worst virus. - dbA


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