Plato's Specialization Conflicts with American Idea of Freedom to Do Anything

Class Forums Government 2017-2018 Essay Assignment 2 Plato's Specialization Conflicts with American Idea of Freedom to Do Anything

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      In Plato’s Republic, Socrates defines justice as citizens all doing their part in the city. By implying that each person has one task, Socrates introduces the idea of specialization, the government’s decision of the best suited task for an individual in the city. In the theory of specialization, Socrates includes three tasks that fundamentally represent social classes which are guardians, warriors, and farmers. Previously, Socrates comes up with the beneficial lie proposing the theory that guardians came from gold, warriors from silver, and farmers from bronze and iron. With this idea, Socrates gives the government the authority to determine the task for all individuals, forming specialization. By taking away social mobility and the pursuit of the individual’s happiness, this theory conflicts with the American freedom to choose a pursuit.

      Plato’s theory of specialization conflicts with social mobility, an aspect of American freedom to do anything, because it eliminates the influence of hard work and the equality that America promotes. In America, legal immigrants who come from impoverished countries and bring little money receive opportunities to make a living and eventually be successful, and it allows women to pursue the same achievements as men. Specialization, however, demolishes the idea of climbing the social ladder in terms of work and dedication, and it associates power and importance with talent and education. Additionally, America promotes equality between classes, not concerning particularly men and women, because America wants to contribute the same benefits to the impoverished as the wealthy. Establishing a system that citizens are not equally deserving of benefits and must be placed in their proper position degrades this American value for it creates inequality and shows that some are greater than others.

      Plato’s theory of specialization conflicts with the American idea to pursue anything that makes one happy by disregarding the selfishness of personal happiness. In America, society promotes people to pursue the things that make them happy, ignoring the benefit they could contribute to their country, but Socrates emphasizes the importance of contributing to the city in the most efficient and beneficial way. In this, Socrates implies the insignificance of selfish happiness in a city, and thus, he discards the ability for people to freely pursue what they want and simply gives the government all authority to use people for the good of the city as a whole which as he believes, should bring happiness and satisfaction to its citizens.

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