Mill believes that only those who live in a liberal state are capable of developing deliberative and reflective capacities. He believes that when citizens or residents of a country are given the opportunity to make their own decisions, they can grow into great moral agents and thinkers. However, Plato holds a different viewpoint; he believes that a democratic individual has the freedom to do whatever he or she wants. This, according to Plato, is the source of the problem; he claims that when one is free to make his or her own decisions, one should do so. He or she might venture into doing things that are beyond the abilities he or she possesses. This is the primary cause of unhappiness for the residents or citizens of the democratic country; it also causes individuals to lose the potential to do things that are within reach of their capabilities. These two philosophers have divergent views on democracy and political rules.

Mill seems to favor the idea of democracy and the freedom of people to select their leaders and deciding the best thing to do; he does not support the notion of enlightened dictatorship. On the other hand, Plato favors the philosophic rule, and to some extent, he opposes the democratic governance that allows people to select their leaders or choose what to do. Despite these differing opinions, both Mill and Plato believed that the majority had tyranny and this had to be feared. The view of Plato is that the human beings are selfish and they often pursue their interests even at the extent of others. Mill believes that the individual can work together for bettering their lives and making correct choices.

Democracy can be defined in two ways; it can be said to be the rule of majority or only said to be the protection of the minority which is also known as the Madisonian view. But according to Plato, democracy only means the rule of demos which means the government of many people. Plato sees this as an ineffective way of ruling (Ronald & Conte 28). According to Wolff, making political decisions needs one to be judgmental and to have skills. Plato argues that the process of making decisions should be left to few people who are experts, he says that having a mob make decisions may lead to individuals making bad choices as each needs to serve his or her interests. To demonstrate this Plato uses his allegory of the cave to show how people can dislike anything that seems to go against their will even if it is meant to enlighten them. In his allegory, prisoners are chained since their childhood and are not allowed to have contact with the outside world (Plato et al. 228).

However, one of the prisoners manages to escape and gets enlightened in the outside world. All this while the detainees in the cave had not encounter this enlightenment when the educated prisoner shares his knowledge the rest turn hostile. They refuse to embrace the new understanding, this shows how majority people might make bad decisions, and according to Plato, this should not be allowed to happen.

Plato argues that the political decisions should be left to the few liberal philosophers so that right decision can be made. He also adds that the philosophers should be the rulers or kings of towns for them to avoid illness. Plato promotes the idea of representative democracy where a few people can make decisions or choices for the rest of the citizens. Plato holds the view that philosophers should be allowed to rule as kings or rulers, or those who are ruling need to be genuine scholars. He says that philosophy and political power have a place where they coincide. Plato argues that for the cities to avoid ill, these philosophers must be allowed to rule, and experts should make decisions for the rest. Plato promotes the idea of enlightened despotism that was developed during the enlightenment period. In this type of rule, democracy does not apply (Plato et al. 177). The rulers who are in power are authoritarian rulers, they make decisions on behalf of the people, and these decisions should not be meant to serve their interests as leaders.

Mill holds a different opinion from Plato; he does not support the idea of enlightened despotism. He argues that the people should be left to make their decisions and that they should be given freedom to do whatever they feel is right for them. The considerations of a representative government as promoted by Mill are found in his work titled “On Liberty.” Mill argues that the government cannot be neutral, there should be changes made on it representative composition so that it can accommodate the views of each.

Some of the reforms that he proposes to be undertaken to help in making the representation of people even include improving the quality of presentation and giving the legislation role to experts. He promoted the idea of having a traditional government that is selected by the people democratically, and this is because such a government will enjoy support from the people who elected them, such a government will promote self-reliance and the spirit of the public. This type of government is the ideal state, and people can feel like they are part of it. However, he believes that this model of government might not be suitable for individuals who are less advanced. They might make wrong decisions and end up going the wrong way; such people need a government system that is more autocratic. Mills holds the idea that the enlightened dictatorship will deny the majority a chance to be heard and might kill the public spirit and cooperation with the government.

Mill’s critique of an enlightened despotism while promoting a representative democracy is directly opposing the idea that is being developed by Plato. Plato, on the hand, believes that enlightened despotism is a more efficient style of leadership than the representative democracy. Although the two philosophers agree that the majority have power, they disagree on how the power is used. Plato argues that this power can be misused as human beings are more self-centered and will want to serve their interests first. Because of this Plato suggests that the political decisions need to be made by philosophers or experts who do not serve their own interests to help in avoid problems that might arise. Mill says that there is need for the people to feel that they are well represented. This will raise their public spirit and population is likely to become more self-reliant.

Works Cited

Plato, et al. The Republic of Plato. New York, Basic Books, 2016. 175-220, 227-235. Print.

Terchek, Ronald J., and Thomas C. Conte. Theories of democracy: a reader. Lanham, Md, Rowman & Littlefield, 2001. 22-47. Print

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