"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
(429-347 BC) Greek philosopher
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Reader comments about this quote:
This quotation is taken from Plato's Republic. Emerson built on this to write that "Plato says that the punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is, to live under the government of worse men; and the like regret is suggested to all the auditors, as the penalty of abstaining to speak,—that they shall hear worse orators than themselves.”
 -- Jack, Brussels, Belgium     
    Sadly, what sells is that least common denominator that the populous will elect...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    The quote is excellent as a general rule but, sometimes, even when one participates in politics, the inferiors govern because they have more guns.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Let's see ... didn't the Sunis refuse to vote in the Iraqi elections?
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    It may (most assuredly) apply today but may not tomorrow
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    People always overestimate their own abilities and true worth. Apparently Plato did too.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Well, if all we do is complain, then the government has won and the People are but horses in a stable.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    This quotes is very meaningful when it comes to government and the meaning of how politics should handle different situations
     -- Shelby, White Lake     
    The inferiors will always outnumber the superiors, we are doomed. The uneducated and ignorant will always outvote the educated, their numbers are 9 to 1.
     -- Robert, Los Angeles     
    Our current situation is the result of years of our electing the "Intellectual Superiors" and "Highly Educated" of our population. We need to re-think.
     -- Tony, OK     
     -- bre, toronto      
    Our current situation is the result of years of electing the "ideologically supercilious" and "Highly Uneducated" of our population. We need to re-think.
     -- anonymous     
    A few years ago, I read a psychological paper on the difference between those that gravitate to the static security and power of government (teachers, politicians, attorneys, police state devotees, etc. - the takers of society vs. the free thinking / risk taking entrepreneur(s) - the producers of society. The published results were astounding and had a lot to do with the here Platonic reasoning.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- Robert, St. Emilion, France      
    If one is not satisfied with politics, be an activist and show how IT could be done
     -- Anonymous, Oakland     
    Only one comment: George W. Bush.
     -- L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada     
    Participation begins at home and then with neighbors. Slowly but surly, those wanting independence do see the freedom and confidence it provides. But the yoke and snare of socialism is a hard chain to break once entangled in. It is hard to stand upright knowing you become prey, I am told of one family. Risk taking and speaking out does show the ensnared there are better ways. Good is from above as Plato says, As also the heavens rule. The old story that is told. Seek after that which good is, share and do the same.
     -- Ron w13, Or     
    It's not who we elected that's the problem. It's our own failure to participate.
     -- David Cooper, Mannington, NJ     
    It is those who's special interest, industry, whether clean or dirty lobbying and padding the coffers of elected officials to do their bidding. Shaping of local and foreign policy for profit and natural resources. Returning inalienable rights to the sovereign individual as a whole, is the last thing on their mind !
     -- Ron w13, Or     
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