By J. S. McClelland
This can be a nice e-book to achieve a greater figuring out of some of the ideas of western politcal thought...its sparknotes for any poli sci significant, yet on an highbrow level...its an excellent e-book.
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It would not be enough just to keep their eyes fixed on the vision of the Good and let the rest go hang. That would be the equivalent of the trained athlete who thought he could maintain his fitness by keeping the idea of fitness constantly in his mind. Justice is illuminated by the Form of the Good, but being just also requires the exercises which justice requires, one of which is ruling. The absence of a system of law also makes these exercises in justice necessary. Each Guardian really has to think each decision out.
It is easy to see what form this would take. The true Philosopher-Ruler is a reluctant ruler. His heart is set on the Good, and he accepts the burdens of rulership because the Good can only survive and prosper in a city which is ruled by just men. Rule by Guardians is an attempt to universalise justice in so far as that is possible, and the end is happiness because the A history of western political thought 34 just are happier than the unjust. Ruling is not exactly a chore for Guardians, but, not being their first love, it is certainly a duty.
Guardians have been Auxiliaries themselves, and perhaps Plato thought that the respect which comes from seniority would continue. And it might work. Modern governments sometimes appoint very senior officers to positions of civilian authority when soldiers are more than ordinarily involved in the business of rule. During colonial uprisings, for instance, when the possibility exists that the army will take matters into its own hands, the firm hand of an old soldier may be used to strengthen government’s authority with its own forces.
A History of Western Political Thought by J. S. McClelland