P. Edronkin

Liberty (II).



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He does not favour broad freedom of speech, to be understood in the sense of freedom of expression. Both freedom of speech or expression can go against the interests of the Kallipolis and hence, against the interests of the objective good because that fact implies not only 'perverse' images of ideals but variety, a democratic characteristic seen as negative by Plato.

The whole city is structured around the idea of a very well knit learning process by which the guardians are prepared to become philosophers-kings and the people of other nature to become what is best for them. Some expressions may go against the ideals of such instruction: they may question important beliefs and give a bad example to the youth because they cannot differentiate allegories from narrative at a stage in which concepts are easily introduced into their minds, but will be very difficult to modify later.

Stories showing bad aspects of the Gods are blasphemous, terrify children and make them cowards; Gods and heroes are archetypes. However, prepared individuals and philosophers might discuss openly between themselves such topics under oath of secrecy to prevent lower people from deviating from their ideals.

Storytellers in particular, and art, in broad terms, must be supervised, according to Plato. Realism is admitted, but only when archetypes are left intact. False portraits and allegories are dangerous. One is left to wonder how can anyone remain faithful to reality or realism and at the same time sustain archetypes at face value.

Plato does not favour freedom of belief, for unregulated belief systems present a potential danger to the aristocracy: if a belief structure appeared by which 'the noble lie' is somehow questioned, the whole structure of the society would start to shake.




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