At This Moment: Learn From Plato’s Academy

Kakistocracy is defined as rule by the least suitable or competent citizens of a state. We as citizens must bear some of the blame for allowing such to exist.

In Plato’s Academy, depicted below in Raphael’s The School of Athens, we see two of our heroes Plato and Aristotle perhaps discussing philosophical questions about the human condition, purpose, and how to be happy. Plato motions to the beautiful structure and perfect forms of the heavens as Aristotle points to the “golden mean” of the earthly forms perhaps trying to mimic the cosmos in their beauty. They both knew that the type or form of government we have has perhaps the greatest impact on our happiness.

The School of Athens by Raphael

Plato taught that there are three types of governments: monarchy (rule by a king/queen), aristocracy (rule by the few who are educated philosopher kings), and democracy (rule by the masses).

He lamented that a bad leader in a monarchy becomes an autocrat and a tyrannical despot. Aristocracies morph into oligarchies, or tyrannical rule by the few, which then become democracies or “mob rule” frequently at one vote over 50%.

What the founders desired for us was a mixed government—or a democratic republic. The president is the only person elected by all the people—a position which has elements of being a monarch. The senate is limited to two representatives per state or 100 total and is a type of aristocracy. In the house, each member is elected by their own district with 435 total representing the masses of the people. The thought was that each branch is to check the other for actions conceived, voted upon, and taken. Avarice and ambition corrupt and absolute power in one branch of government corrupts absolutely. The checking of power was intended to prevent human nature from destroying us from within.

If you reside in California, as I do, you know not one statewide office is filled by anyone other than Democrats. This means the minority and their rights are likely suppressed. Such one-party rule is a recipe for disaster with no checks or balances of power. Voices are being squelched, canceled or unheard.

This, then, is ruling by a mob, or as the Greeks would suggest, a kakistocracy. A month hardly passes by without an elected official being convicted of a crime. I ask, how can those who cannot govern themselves expect to govern others? We now have a governor who is still retaining the emergency powers of COVID until February 28th of 2023. He has turned a mixed democratic republic into a state ruled by a single monarch.

The new cycle of this government seems to be autocracy to oligarchy to mobocracy, governed by bureaucrats (there are few civil servants anymore). In other words, we have a pure kakistocracy. Think of double-digit inflation out of control with $7 a gallon gas and your astronomical food bill. Electricity shut off like a third world country, yet they want us to buy more electric cars! Shortages of baby formula. School mandates that have nothing to do with teaching history, morality, reading, writing and arithmetic. Children mandated to wear face masks in school. Proposed COVID immunizations without parental consent. Promoting an extreme culture of snuffing out lives of children in the womb at all stages of pregnancy for whatever reason. Is there any wonder that confusion of life and identity is the mantra and result of this California Kakistocracy?! And they want to continue running your life and mine. Astounding indeed. We are the ones needing sanctuary from them!

As citizens we need to band together. Our work is cut out for us to find greater balance and checks at all levels of government. We need to find rulers of character, virtue, and wisdom. What follows is a website https://placergop.org/endorsements/ for voting and bringing balance or the “golden mean” and the beauty of a constitutional republic back to California.

Published by Dean Forman

I am co-founder and CEO of the John Adams Academies, an institution that is perhaps the most unique charter school system in America today. The Academies’ curriculum is designed to give its students an American Classical Leadership Education®. This is an education that pursues truth, beauty and goodness and turns its scholars outward in search of those whom they can serve in becoming servant leaders. This website is dedicated to sharing the concepts of an American Classical Leadership Education with its readers so that more citizens can benefit from the truth, virtue and wisdom of the past. The thoughts and opinions I share on this page are my personal views.

One thought on “At This Moment: Learn From Plato’s Academy

  1. Very wise words, Dean. You are to be commended for staying in California and trying to fix the system. You are indeed growing where you were planted and your efforts are providing a bountiful harvest. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your hard work and tireless energy!!!

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