Throughout the ages intellectuals have come up with a number of different proposals for an ideal government, each of these proposed ideas is based on a particular and limited view of humanity, some of these ideas are based on a very optimistic view of humans and present the masses of humanity as the epitome of sagacity and intelligence and fully capable of knowing their best interest and others are based on extremely pessimistic beliefs about the public and consider them to be no more than sheep to be lead by a wise ruler. In this essay I have attempted to balance these competing views of humanity and present a middle path between unwarranted optimism and pessimism regarding people.
Plato and Marx envisage a society in which everything is shared. Marx desired a society in which there was no personal ownership (Marx and Engels 235) In Plato’s ideal republic, the men would even share wives and children (Plato 301). These ideas overemphasize the tendency of humans to cooperate with one another and share resources with one another, the fact that humans may also be intensely competitive with one another, liable to intense bouts of jealousy (especially sexual jealousy), may not have the same incentive to work without personal ownership of property and in any system of joint effort, some will attempt to get a free ride by doing little of the labor and reaping an equal part of the benefits, is overlooked in these social systems.
In my opinion, it is necessary to allow private ownership of property and means of production in order to maximize the incentive of each person to labor. In addition the extraordinary love and affection shown to a child by its father is likely to be missing from a society where all the men are held to be equally responsible for each child. The system of having wives in common seems to be extremely exploitative of women and possibly impossible to impose without the use of coercion.
While equal distribution of