CH Essay #5

CH Essay #5 - Joe Wallace Alison Berry CH 201.25 12/11/08...

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Joe Wallace Alison Berry CH 201.25 12/11/08 Where It All Began As society evolves, the process of its evolution can be traced back to its primary roots as a contextual reference for the state of the contemporary world. A broad range of philosophical ideals debated over time have helped to develop constructive social order in some instances, and chaotic anarchy in others. Through the power of their writings, two such philosophers forever altered the course of history by helping to mold the existence of nations with their words. While Polybius critiqued existing forms of politics in favor of others, the writings of Plato extended to form religions and governments; namely democracy. Through their written dialogue, these philosophers have been, and continue to be the foundation of the political and religious structures of world powers in current and past societies. While differences in ideas of government are not resolved between Polybius and Plato, their clashes in political perception create a continuous debate to refer to when considering current policy debates. They can further be observed when comparing their ideas as they branched into guiding principles behind democracy and communism in relatively recent history. Throughout their writings, Plato and Polybius would find common ground on the idea that politicians are servants of the people, and that their imminent downfall is always found when leaders pursue prominence for personal gain. As those in high offices gain money and fame, Polybius argues that this “craving for office and the sense of humiliation which obscurity
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imposes […] will usher in a period of general deterioration” (EL 103). Plato had similar viewpoints claiming that politicians “start fighting for power, and the consequent internal and domestic conflicts ruin both them and society” (EL 77). It is ironic that this power struggle noted in ancient Greek and Roman cultures rings true in contemporary American politics when applied to the bitter disputes between the right wing Republicans and left wing Democrats. Although the philosophers agree on this idea, Polybius criticizes Plato’s praised Republic in his analytical Universal History. Plato’s The Republic explores the intellect of man, and utilizes the Socratic method in the writings. In his approach, he critiques without censure, the perception that reality is truly real. Perhaps conceptualizing notions of the tabula rasa, he is optimistic about the original forms of man. He likens intellect to sight because both are inherent in men. The direction of such knowledge is what is left to be determined. Plato feels that “the power of
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This note was uploaded on 09/09/2011 for the course COMM 88 taught by Professor Jansma during the Winter '08 term at UCSB.

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CH Essay #5 - Joe Wallace Alison Berry CH 201.25 12/11/08...

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