Remonstrance to the Rulers

Plato does not recommend that the producer class be given no power, I think, although he has the guardian class act as the decision makers. Nothing in The Republic repudiates the possibility of remonstrance, and I think this is a very important thing to have: the ruling class being held accountable even if they make the ultimate policy decisions.

How to apply this to a republic, then, that has voting and such? A robust structure for accountability and transparency as well as a virtuous population that seeks to hold officials to high standards, acting to promote both action and deliberation. A ruler, though selected for the goodness of his condition that makes him capable to lead, must not think himself above either counsel or entreaty, since, even with the best education, the good man is not always as a wise person should be.

With such expectations in place with the right institutions to serve these expectations, the people can then be free to choose rulers for a limited term, whom they recognize as upright and blameless people, to whom they can defer. In this way a society can avoid both tyranny from below and tyranny from above, and the dignity of the many can be affirmed without the rulership being subject to the tides of their sometimes baser impulses.


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