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Saturday

Next Royal Institute of Philosophy talk: 'Lessons from History? The Consequences of Plato's Republic for Modern Communism?' by Dr David Preston on 14 January 2020

 Dr David Preston

Our          Speaker - who

gave us a really different and

interesting insight into Plato 

 

Barnes Philosophy Club Members

Platonic ofcourse



 Very interesting talking of love matches in Plato a sort of sexual communism but as Dave Preston says in his paper,
Plato saw faults with his own proposed society, which strongly suggests he never actually believed such a system could ever be practical in a society ultimately governed by human nature.



More Barnes Philosophy Club Members

 

Abstract




Plato’s Republic is perhaps best remembered – or indeed misremembered –  by some for the similarities between the ‘ideal’ (kalós) society outlined in the dialogue and the society proposed by Karl Marx and later supported by Lenin. While there are certainly distinct differences between the conditions of Marx’s Utopia and Plato’s Kallipolis, such distinctions become blurred when we consider the more familiar brand of communism enforced by Josef Stalin – ‘Marxism-Leninism’ - which bears a lot in common with the society proposed by Plato. While such ideology was advocated by Stalin as an ideal solution to the inequality and disenfranchisement resulting from capitalist economies, history has now shown that while seeming perfect in theory, claims that human interference prevents such an ideal from ever coming to fruition.  

This paper will outline similar faults Plato saw with his own proposed society, which strongly suggests he never actually believed such a system could ever be practical in a society ultimately governed by human nature. He also extends communism beyond property to the family; in quite a strange passage in Book V he claims Sexual Communism would be standard in Kallipolis. It does not appear, however, that Plato was unique in advocating the benefits of such a practice, as there is evidence to suggest it was practised by a number of societies in Antiquity. This, perhaps expectedly, raised a few eyebrows and criticisms, the most subtle of which, perhaps unexpectedly, came from the comic poet Aristophanes. 

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