“The Misinformation-Outrage Cycle, Part 1: “There are no Yankees here!”
Plato argued that democracy was inferior to other forms of government, including monarchy, aristocracy, and oligarchy because democracy—by its very nature—undermines the expertise necessary for good governance. This is summary of Plato’s thoughts is from the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy:
Most people do not have the kinds of intellectual talents that enable them to think well about the difficult issues that politics involves. But in order to win office or get a piece of legislation passed, politicians must appeal to these people’s sense of what is right or not right. Hence, the state will be guided by very poorly worked out ideas that experts in manipulation and mass appeal use to help themselves win office.
Democracy requires an educated population able to analyze the implications of government policies. It requires voters to look beyond their own interests and consider the interests of society as a whole. It requires people who are aware of the appeal of a demagogue and can withstand that appeal.
This cannot happen if people do not have accurate information.
The British philosopher A.N. Whitehead famously commented that the history of Western thought “consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
This brings us to the question: Will America prove Plato wrong? Or will America’s experiment in self-governance prove to be another footnote to Plato?”
I intend to make the most aspirational idea in Human History Work.
That’s why I am at TheWorkFM.