Is there really such thing as a perfect political system? At the moment, no matter where in the world you look, it seems like there is perpetual turmoil and anger – against the “system”. What kind of alternative system would work such that everyone is happy?
We’ve tried democracy, we’ve tried dictatorships – Certainly, in schools, they teach us about democracies and dictatorships as if it could only be one or another. In University, when we studied Philosophy, we saw that theoretically, there are many alternatives. Let’s take a look with a mind wide open.
Plato’s Philosopher Kings:
Someone who only seeks wisdom and greater good, without the corruption and greed that embodies many politicians today. Philosopher kings were Plato’s concept of rulers who must philosophise, and only they were fit to be kings. They should have knowledge far beyond the common man’s. However, it wasn’t wisdom that separated this ‘king’, it was his understanding that pure knowledge and good values could be corrupted. If one were thirsty for power and selfish gain, the philosopher in the king would die.
It is true that not enough people think today –about their actions and their consequences for themselves and others. It’s quite the same for world leaders,who seem to be chasing either money or power. There is very little rational thought. What if we get rid of everyone in power and replace them with people who can truly think? Let us go so far as to say everything that will be done in these countries should be done for the good of the people, never thinking solely of the self. In fact, in true Socratic fashion, even husbands, wives and children should be shared.
Therein lies my problem with Plato: the word “should”.
Alright, if that doesn’t work, let\s try an absolute dictatorship like the one in Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’. Let us have a ruthless ruler who conquers all land in sight, holds power firmly in his fists, and isn’t afraid to trample thousands of human lives in order to achieve his own ends. A dictator of destruction, who knows how to maintain order, at the price of having his subjects live in eternal fear. That sounds like a sweet deal, doesn’t it?
If all else fails, we should turn to my all-time favourite political system though: total anarchy. It is a dog-eat-dog world, right? If this is so, we should all be free to do as we please, with no legal consequences for our actions. It would be freedom and chaos, like living in the jungle. No one would have to go to work, no would have to come home, no one would even have to stay out of prison – because who needs a prison when we are all born to be free?
It looks like we’re going to have to make our existing systems work.
What do you think are good alternatives to overcome the deficits of our current political systems? Is there a better political system than democracy? Tell us in the comments below.