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Plato and Rousseaus Commentary on Constitutional Breakdown - Essay Example

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The paper "Plato and Rousseau’s Commentary on Constitutional Breakdown" explains that for Plato, an excessive increase in something would cause reactions directed in the opposite direction.Case in point, excess liberty, brought about by democracy, is highly likely to lead to excess slavery. …
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Plato and Rousseaus Commentary on Constitutional Breakdown
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Plato and Rousseaus Commentary on Constitutional Breakdown

Plato thus emphasized that democracy, just like oligarchy, draws a rift between the rich and the poor (Rosen, 2008). With the perceiving the rich as plotting against them, they seek protection through rallying their support behind a champion. With the increasing support of the mob, such a champion is likely to turn into a tyrant. For Plato, the law ought to be a defining factor for all the actions of individuals within a certain jurisdiction and that people have to lose their freedom for the sake of gaining peace and harmony. To prevent degeneration of the constitution, Plato postulates that the law has to become the master of the government and the government to be its slave, so that every person is answerable to the law. In addition, Plato suggests that for a constitution to be effective then the government should be run by the best (aristocratic), so that the leaders are highly wise and that they receive proper training concerning how a state should be run.
Contrary to Plato’s view, Rousseau believes that constitutions that fail to recognize the individual moral responsibility of the citizens is bound to degenerate with time. As such, for any constitutional coercions to be justified, they must be based on certain general agreements among the citizens. Rousseau observed that constitutional governments were driven by an assumption that citizens within a given state, regardless of their divisions in terms of personal opinions, remain firmly in agreement concerning the desire to share the same political existence. ... Read More
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