Socrates’ Criticism of Democracy and Views on Life

According to the prominent philosopher Socrates, people are not to take into account the opinion of the majority in the personal life conducting; the action of the many is considered to be the result of the chance and the greatest evil could become the effect of the majority’s activities. In ‘Crito’, Socrates expressed the criticism of the democracy illustrating it as the flawed system evaluating the opinions of the majority as equals. Considering the fact that the thinker supported the necessity to obey the law, one should mention the democratic nature of law which is passed by the many. The philosopher supported the idea that law and justice are to be primary valued and followed in the society in contrast to the Assembly wishes.

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The analysis of the ‘Crito’ demonstrated the position of Socrates who compared the rules of the democracy as the path to personal death. It is necessary to stress that the view of the thinker is considered to be contradictive; on the one side he supports the domination of the rules and laws, and on the other he refuses the opinion of the majority; but in the democracy the majority can pass the laws. It is necessary to stress the idea that the philosopher considers that the lack of citizens’ knowledge cannot allow them voting and selecting appropriate leaders for the state. Socrates believes that the Athenians are to obey the state orders and the governing officers, in case the orders are not considered to be unjust, having the right to protest the injustice but consenting to the punishment.

Socrates used to provide clear reasoning for his position of no evading the government; the key issue is concentrated on the idea of contemplating by the person whether the society he lives in has an appropriate understanding and reasoning of personal right and wrong standards. The thinker supports the view that every person is to live in accordance with his pride; his position proves that the society creates relationships with every individual stimulating the person for the choice, whether to accepts the society or not. Socrates was considerably against the democracy, his loyalty to Athens did not impact his opinion as to the refusal to follow the rules of impudent many. It is necessary to stress the position that Socrates presents himself as the kind of moral authority, being expert in law and justice of his time. So, it is necessary to stress that the principle arguments expressed by Socrates are considered to be the following: public is not wise as a whole to take decisions; escape can be considered as just act or not; one should never fear death; one should do justice, injustice is evil.

The position of the thinker can be reconciled on the basis of the democracy and law meaning in the society; people are to live in accordance with the law and obey the regulations and officials of the government. Nevertheless, all the laws are formed in accordance with the welfare and peace of the people’s life; it means that the law is formed on the basis of the citizens’ needs, the needs of the majority. Taking into account this fact, the laws, created by the people, are to be followed in the society which accepted them. The majority cannot be considered as uncivilized and unintelligent mass, because it is the generator of the state functioning. O refuse the majority is considered to be unjust, so it is the evil and contradict the position expressed by Socrates.

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Paperroni. 2021. "Socrates’ Criticism of Democracy and Views on Life." November 3, 2021. https://paperroni.com/socrates-criticism-of-democracy-and-views-on-life/.

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Paperroni. (2021) 'Socrates’ Criticism of Democracy and Views on Life'. 3 November.

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