How can anyone call themselves a political theorist or take part in the political intelligentsia, having not read The Republic? Every theorist must have an analysis of Plato’s Republic because it is the first and most sweeping of the earliest Western philosophical texts. Alfred North Whitehead said all philosophy is a footnote to Plato. This is an oversimplification. But philosophy was an oversimplification, Socrates was an oversimplification.
Derrida read Plato and was admittedly jealous of him. So was Nietzsche. Many theorists I draw from have had serious contempt for Plato and wanted to supersede him altogether. Plato created an elaborate hoax, the “noble lie.” His book The Republic is the best example of this idea.
Read this book along with me, post your notes on your blog or put your comments here.
Here is an excerpt from a documentary on The Republic to get us started.