Don Pablo Edronkin

Equality (I).

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Works such as Plato's Republic are ample, and discussions about them can take very different paths; on the matter of egalitarianism, two apparently different positions deserve mention: in Book VII, Plato comments about the democratic man. 'The man who believes in legal equality' is described as a complex person, full of characters, prisoner of his appetites.

Plato is a non-egalitarian par excellence in many aspects. Aristocracies are non-egalitarian by definition. On political equality, Plato says that all men are not equally capable of handling political problems; virtuous philosopher-kings can rule a city in the best interests of them and their citizens, thus, he is not egalitarian in the share of power because citizens are not normally qualified to do so, by lack of virtue or knowledge.

Regarding vocation and work opportunities he is also a non-egalitarian: each one should do what he is most fitted by nature to do, but if, say, a natural athlete wants to be a doctor, his particular view of desires should not be taken into account.

If a soldier suddenly wants to become a priest, he should remain a soldier. If a sailor wants to bake bread, he might just forget it. Talents are analysed during the youth and then the destiny of each individual is fixed in order to provide the city with what is needed, and not to satisfy the appetites of its citizens.

However, Thomas Moore states that Plato is an egalitarian because he refused to make laws for those men who refused laws by which all men should have the same level of richness and satisfaction.

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