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Guardians and Auxiliaries

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by

Carly Hood

on 16 October 2013

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Transcript of Guardians and Auxiliaries

Guardians and Auxiliaries
Auxiliary - Plato divides his just society into three classes: the producers, the auxiliaries, and the guardians. The auxiliaries are the warriors, responsible for defending the city from invaders, and for keeping the peace at home. They must enforce the convictions of the guardians, and ensure that the producers obey.

Guardian - Plato divides his just society into three classes: the producers, the auxiliaries, and the guardians. The guardians are responsible for ruling the city. They are chosen from among the ranks of the auxiliaries, and are also known as philosopher-kings.

113 - 114
we must choose from the guardians those who appear to is on observation to be amongmost likely to devote their lives to doing what they judge to be in the interest of the community, and who are never prepared to act against it. A close watch must be kept on them, then, at all ages, to see if they stick to this principle, and do not forget or jettison, under the influence of force or witchcraft.
Guardians must be philosophers precisely because it is the role of the philosopher to know the highest things, which include both the technic knowledge of physical world, and the episteme of the unchangeable world.
Detail 1
113 - 114
we must choose from the guardians those who appear to is on observation to be amongmost likely to devote their lives to doing what they judge to be in the interest of the community, and who are never prepared to act against it. A close watch must be kept on them, then, at all ages, to see if they stick to this principle, and do not forget or jettison, under the influence of force or witchcraft.
Guardians must be philosophers precisely because it is the role of the philosopher to know the highest things, which include both the technic knowledge of physical world, and the episteme of the unchangeable world.
Detail 2
In the description of the argument, on pg 112, It is mentioned that “children are to be moved from class to class according to merit and capability”, an ideal that can be seen even today with children that excel at schoolwork and display higher than average intelligence and potential given more opportunities to develop these abilities and be successful in life.
- Guardian class split into Guardians proper (Rulers) and Auxiliaries
- Rulers have supreme authority in the state and are elected by challenging tests
- Everything the Rulers do is done for the good of the community
- Auxiliaries liberate Military, Police and Executive Duties under the orders of the Rulers and help execute their ideas
- To decide who becomes Rulers and Auxiliaries, they conduct a few tests and whoever can survive these continuous trials in childhood, youth and manhood become authorities of the state.
- Rulers and Auxiliaries have to live a simple life without private property or family life
- Property was the chief temptation that led men to sacrifice public to personal interests
- Plato believed Guardians would find happiness in their service to the community
- “Currency among men is a common source of wickedness.” (page 119, paragraph b)
- If Guardians have private property, they will become “harsh tyrants instead of partners in their dealings with their fellow citizens.” (page 119, paragraph b)

- Third Class was allowed to possess property, but the Guardians had to make sure extremes of wealth and poverty were excluded
- Guardians responsible for making sure the Military was strong enough to ensure success in war, but not large enough to take over the state
- Rulers actually decided on how big the state needed to be and the amount of territory it needed for war
- Most important role was to maintain the educational system – “For on education everything else depends, and it is an illusion to imagine that mere legislation without it can affect anything of consequence.” (page 121)
- Foundation Myth (page 116) about God’s creation of each person in the community – God put gold into Rulers, silver into the Auxiliaries and iron and bronze in the farmers and other workers
- The Foundation Myth harshly involves the promotion and demotion of children between classes, based on merit and capability.
- The belief brought a lot of controversy, but it was accepted by all three classes because, “There is a prophecy that the State will be ruined when it has Guardians of silver or bronze.” (page 117, paragraph c)
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