Political elites and political leadership

Posted: May 23, 2015 in Locke, Plato, Political institutions, Political philosophy

bong mendoza's blog

The concern with political elites and political leadership is as old as political philosophy. Ancients such as Plato grappled with the question—who should rule? And as early as Plato’s time, several verities about ruling and leadership have been arrived at:

  • Not everybody can rule.
  • Mob rule is no rule at all.
  • Some must govern all others because they are fit to rule.

That these points were established during the heyday of Athenian democracy raises not only ironies but several interesting philosophical, theoretical, and pragmatic puzzles. The encounter between democracy and elite rule will exercise many philosophers and theorists cognizant of the antimonies and possibilities engendered by such a mating. In political philosophy and theory, the place of the elite and their right (and obligation) to rule has been well argued. Plato’s “philosopher-king”, Aristotle’s “exceptional man”, Machiavelli’s “prinsipi“, Hobbes’ “Leviathan”, Nietzsche’s “uber-man”, and Lenin’s “proletarian vanguard” were all…

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