The Ruins of Pergamon

The Ruins of Pergamon

The ruins of the Temple of Trajan at Pergamon.

Both Socrates and Plato held that societies will go through four unjust systems of governance, namely Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, and Tyranny. This cycle will continue until collapse, after which wisdom-loving "Philosopher Kings" will take charge;They called this "Aristocracy". Plato went even further, stressing that in a Democracy, freedom will be held up as the supreme good, but Democracies are bound to end up in slavery.

Trajan, Roman Emperor between 98 A.D. and 117 A.D. was declared by the senate as "Optimus Princeps" ("The Best Ruler"). Trajan is arguably one of the few historical rulers who might just qualify as a Platonian "Philosopher King". Maybe. I'm with Socrates and Plato that Democracy (as we understand it today, i.e. Representative Democracy, Republic) is not the best system there is. If we take a look at the golden ages in history, irrespective of the system of government, they have occurred during the reigns of wise and just rulers. The key to "good governance" is wisdom and justice, and at present, we don't have much of either. What we call Democracy is nothing but a charade to deceive and a campaign to misinform and dumb down. And those who end up running in electoral races are anything but "Philosopher Kings" - most are simply venal.
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