AFTER a rigid education reserved for free men, young candidates for leadership would have to serve in the military for a good number of years. Diplomatic career would follow. Only the best and the brightest who distinguished themselves in military service and the diplomatic corps should run for the senate and be in the contention to lead the nation as soldier-philosopher-diplomat: the best example of a philosopher-king, one who listens, not so much to popular opinion, but the dictates of reason as to what is the best for the nation.
Such was Plato’s idea of leadership. As to democracy: when he looked on the decadent state of Athens, he greatly abhorred it. Plato was horrified seeing so much freedom granted that dogs and horses behaved as masters of the city’s streets. Hence, the stench reaching the high heavens. Men too, drunk with false sense of freedom, behaved like animals.
Sadly, Plato’s dream of a philosopher-king crashed to the ground with the assassination of his ideal ruler and personal idol: Dion, king of Syracuse.
Today, we yearn for a firm but wise ruler in the mold of Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore. God forbid the return of a dictator who tyrannized our country for two decades.
For our people, the best leader should be knowledgeable, wise, firm, and God-fearing, for as Dostoevsky said, “If there is no God, then everything is permitted.” (“The Brothers Karamazov”)