Wednesday, 30 September 2015
op-ed writer A. B. Shahid in one of his recent columns for the newspaper has passionately argued in favour of ancient Great philosopher Plato. According to him, "While politicians claim giving Pakistan a democratic set-up, the "Republic" of Pakistan doesn't reflect any attribute that Plato specified in his historic book "The Republic". Nor do politicians realise that, after being exposed as the lot that used state power for self-benefit, not for giving the country a progressively fairer and more responsible administration, their game is over. No democratic regime (including in the West) portrays the republic Plato advocated because no political party made his theory the basis of its philosophy the way did the philosophies of Karl Marx and Mao Zedong. But the failure of these philosophies too revived the demand for the system Plato advocated, and the rise of the leftist Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of Britain's Labour Party too won't work." But the writer seems to have lost the sight of Aristotle's criticism of Plato's 'The Republic' or Plato's political philosophy. There is no doubt about the fact that some, including honourable writer A. B. Shahid, have received it as a rational approach to politics. There are, however, some others who view 'The Republic' as a mere product of a delusive mind.