How can the wealthiest people make democracies worse? Plato investigates the question in Book VIII of the Republic. Socrates suggests there that, in pursuit of more and more wealth, oligarchic citizens within the democracy will exploit the lower economic classes, even to the point of undermining their own oligarchic economic interests. In other words, the oligarchs’ lack of virtue leads in time to an inevitable backlash within the democratic polity.

Read More…

Advertisements