Comparing The Republic And Machiavelli's The Prince

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THE FAÇADE OF POLITICS Jessica Alves – No.#0906845 POLS*2000 Dr. Frank Cameron 18 November 2015 When one considers the literary pieces of Plato’s Republic and Machiavelli’s The Prince, the themes of lies and deception are prominently discussed throughout, specifically pertaining to their role in politics. Not only are they strongly present within these pieces, but they also are still current themes within our political realms today. Therefore, one begins to question their necessity and permissibility. By referring to The Republic and The Prince, one can recognize that political lies and deception are in fact necessary and permissible as a result of and need for: social harmony, justice and the achievement…show more content…
Essentially, Socrates uses the noble lie to replace political deliberation, generational strife and instability with a myth. By having “gods” choose the distinct social and political classes, the inner most qualities of the soul are made transparent, and the right work is assigned to each soul, therefore the city is just. The noble lie seeks to provide a foundation for a mythical fraternity among society, which Socrates maintains is impossible and could only be implemented by a god. By characterizing it is as a lie, Glaucon is forced to recognize and admit the tragic truth of the matter: souls are not transparent, human beings are not autonomous and gods do not provide…show more content…
Socrates’ tale to Glaucon is an attempt to make him think and consider the absurdity and allure in specific lies. He stresses the link between institutionalized lies and justice, and thereby reveals the incompatible nature of true relationships throughout historical and political reality. In order to achieve “pure” justice, all ties to historical and political reality would have to be severed. Although the noble lie falsifies reality, it rings true to the notion and desire for distributive and procedural justice, accompanied by social harmony, a brotherhood among citizens and a true and just distribution of roles and talents – ultimately, replacing political conflict. In addition to this, it serves to emphasize the specific conflict that needs to be withheld from citizens, as well as the dangers of truth. In the case of the changeling child in Book VIIs, Socrates emphasizes the necessity of “noble lies” for the indecent by using an example of one uncovering their origins to be different from what they have only ever know. Just as some may not be ready to deal with the truth of their origins, some are unable to practice dialectics and question the philosophical perspectives of truth and

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