UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The unity of Plato’s political thought McGilp, Ian Findlay 1974

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THE UNITY OF PLATO'S POLITICAL THOUGHT by IAN FINDLAY MCGILP A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia Ap r i l , 1974 We accept this thesis required standard as conforming to the In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission fo r extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representatives. It i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada i i ABSTRACT The orthodox interpretation of. Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory underntande Re pub l i e as supporting the rule of an autooratio sovereign whose power is un-limited; and Laws as supporting a form of government under whioh the authority of the rulers is limited by a legal code which may never be amended. This thesis argues for a different interpretation of both Republlo and Laws. It argues that Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory is essentially consistent; that the theory of government advocated in Republic is in fact embodied in the consti-tution and code of law which Plato writes in Laws. The f i r s t step i n the argument is to show that contrary to the ortho-dox interpretation, Republic does not recommend the rule of a sovereign whose power is unlimited by law. Plato in.fact makes clear i n Republic that hie ideal state w i l l nave a comprehensive code of law; and he e x p l i c i t l y says that the rulers themselves must obey that code. The next step is to show that those passages i n Statesman which are traditionally cited in support of the orthodox view, w i l l not in fact support that interpretation. The thesis also musters some evidence from both Republic and Statesman which suggests that even in these early p o l i t i c a l dialogues Plato favoured some (as yet undeveloped) form of constitutional government. Now Plato's, saying in Laws that the laws must have a higher autho- -r i t y than the rulers is the doctrine which is supposed to "cleave Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory into two distinct halves." The latter chapters of this thesis dispute the orthodox interpretation, by analysing the functions and powers that Plato assigns to the various governmental institutions whioh his constitution defines. The thesis argues that this doctrine should be under-stood as calling for a system of checks and balances on governmental power, i i i r a t h e r than as c a l l i n g f o r a form of government under which the r u l e r s would have no power to amend or supplement Pl a t o ' s own code of law. In Laws P l a t o makes c l e a r t h a t his government w i l l enjoy f u l l l e g i s l a t i v e powers ( i n c l u d i n g the amendment power);, yet by c r e a t i n g an i n s t i t u t i o n - the Nocturnal Council -which i s i n s t r u c t e d and empowered t o preserve the "alms" and " s p i r i t " of the state's c o n s t i t u t i o n ^ P l a t o places a check on h i s l e g i s l a t u r e - the Guardians of the Laws - which w i l l ensure that a l l l e g i s l a t i v e (and executive) acts and p o l i c i e s are i n s t r i c t , conformity w i t h the fundamental p o l i t i c a l and educat-i o n a l p r i n c i p l e s on which P l a t o ' s c o n s t i t u t i o n i s based. The argument to t h i s p o i n t , then, i s that the orthodox i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n of Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory i s wrong on both ends; i t misunderstands Re p u b l i c , and i t misunderstands Laws. Having argued that P l a t o ' s three p o l i -t i c a l dialogues should be understood as advocating a c o n s i s t e n t but developing theory of c o n s t i t u t i o n a l government, the l a s t chapter examines the f i n i s h e d c o n s t i t u t i o n i n some d e t a i l . By analysing the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l p r o v i s i o n s f o r l e g i s l a t i v e , e x e c u t i v e , and j u d i c i a l powers, and by c o n s i d e r i n g the checks and balances t h a t P l a t o places on every governmental power and i n s t i t u t i o n , the t h e s i s concludes by a s s e r t i n g that i n Laws P l a t o manages t o w r i t e a c o n s t i t u -t i o n which does give a l l p o l i t i c a l power to experts i n the a r t of r u l i n g , but which nevertheless provides f o r a more than adequate aet of safeguards against a l l forms of governmental tyranny. i v THE UNITY OF PLATO'S POLITICAL THOUGHT Chapter 1 The Orthodox Interpretation 1. Chapter 2 Republic; The Philosopher King and the Law 20. Chapter 3 Statesman; The Kingly Lawgiver 36. Chapter 4 Laws; Plato's Mixed Constitution 65. Chapter 5 Laws; Plato's Governmental Institutions 34. The Assembly • 65. The Council 92. The Guardians of the Laws 93. The Nocturnal Council Its Membership ....98. Its Educational Function .....<> • 100. Its P o l i t i c a l Function 125. The Orthodox View Reconsidered 141. Chapter 6 Laws; Plato's Constitution and the Separation of Powers . 154. CHAPTER I The relationship between Plato's Republic and Laws has been a matter of no l i t t l e philosophical controversy. Ul. Jaeger introduces his discussion of Laws thus: In the nineteenth century classicists did not know how to approach i t . Edward Zeller, the representative historian of philosophy in that period, declared in an early work that i t was not by Plato at a l l . Later, when discussing Plato in the History of Greek Philosophy, he treated the Laws in an appendix — which means that he thought i t was genuine enough, but was unable to f i t i t into the general picture of Plato's philosophy which he had drawn from the earlier dialogues.1 Now the numerous references that Aristotle makes to Laws put i t beyond doubt that the dialogue i s genuinely Platonic. But how to parse Plato's last and longest dialogue with the earlier ones, especially with Republic and Statesman, continues to puzzle. T.S. Saunders remarks that The obvious explanation of the apparent vast differences of approach between the two works (Republic and Laws) is that as Plato grew.older and wiser his optimism turned to pessimism, and his idealism to realism; and that in the Statesman we can see him in the act of changing horses.^ Saunders rejects this "obvious" explanation, however, on the grounds that i t confuses "attainable ideals with unattainable ideals". The Republic, according to Saunders, is an "unattainable ideal"; the state described in Laws i s an "attainable ideal". It makes much more sense to think of the Republic as an extreme statement, designed to shock, of the consequences of an uncompromising application of certain p o l i t i c a l principles — In fact as an unattainable ideal —- and to suppose that even when Plato wrote the Republic, he had some r e a l i s t i c practical programme, which may well have been more or less what we find XUJ. Jaeger, Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture, Oxford Univer-sity Press, New York, 1944; p.213. The works of Zeller that Jaeger refers to are (1) the early work, Edward Zeller, Platonische Studien Tubingen, 1839, p.117. (2) The later work is Philosophie der Griechen II, p.805. Plato, The Laws. ed.: T.J. Saunders, Penguin, 1970; ,p. 27. 5Ibid. ' • \ -2-in the Laws.... In short Plato could perfectly u/ell have written the Laws when he wrote the Republic, and the Republic when he wrote the Laws, for they are opposite sides of the same coin. The Republic presents merely the theoretical ideal, and - a point which i s often ignored - explicitly and emphatically allow for some diminution of rigour i f i t were to be put into practice. The Laws describes in effect, the Republic modified and realized in the conditions of this world. Barker's opinion i s similar to Saunders1; The change (between Republic and Laws) is great; i t cleaves Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory into two distinct halves. On the one side i s the Guardian of the Republic, unfettered by law; on the other side is the "Guardian of the Law", who is i t s servant, and is even described as i t s "slave". Yet i f there is change there is also consistency. The two ideals are not opposites: they are complements. The f i r s t had always been, and s t i l l continued to be, the absolute ideal of Plato: the second is a secondary or relative ideal - secondary as compared with the ideal of the Republic; relative as adapted to the exigencies of actual l i f e . 5 Now the reason that Barker describes Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory as being divided into "two distinct halves", i s that in Republic the rulers are to be "unfettered by law", while in Laws they are to be the "servants" and "slaves" of the law. Barker describes the theory of government in Republic thus: The true statesman i s a monarch: the ideal government i s monarchy, because in monarchy and in monarchy alone, perfect knowledge i s to be found. Provided he (the monarch) have such knowledge, what matter i f he gains his subjects' consent to a l l that he does, or whether he acts according to any form of law? He w i l l act of himself for the right, because he w i l l always know what ought to be done; and to limit him by the need for consent, or by the forms of law, is only to hamper the free play of his knowledge.^ If this i s Plato's "absolute ideal", Barker describes his "secondary" ideal thus: The sovereignty of law is one of the fundamental principles of 4Ibid., p.28 5E» Barker, Greek P o l i t i c a l Theory, ffietheun & Co., London, p.295. ^E. Barker, P o l i t i c a l Theories of Plato and Aristotle. Metheun & Co., London, 1906; p.167. -3 the Lams. Governments must be accomodated to law, and not law to governments. I f sovereignty i s thus vested i n law, i t f o l l o w s that we need not expect to f i n d any p o l i t i c a l autho-r i t y i n the State of the Laws which corresponds to the sovereign of a modern community. No body of magistrates; no C o u n c i l or Senate; no assembly, however broad, w i l l be other than subor-dinate to the r u l e of the law.^ Barker continues h i s p o i n t i n a footnote; The r u l e of law, i t should be n o t i c e d , does not bear the same meaning i n P l a t o ' s Laws which i t bears i n a book such as Dicey's Law of the C o n s t i t u t i o n . To the E n g l i s h t h i n k e r i t meant that axecutive o f f i c i a l s , l i k e a l l other persons, are amenable to the common law of the land, as made by parliamentary enactment, and that they are t r i e d before the ordinary judges who administer t h i s law. The r u l e of law i s thus compatible w i t h the sover e i g n t y of parliament, and with the r i g h t of parliament to a l t e r the law which the judges administer. To P l a t o the r u l e of law means that every a u t h o r i t y i n the s t a t e - not only executive o f f i c i a l s but a l s o the Assembly and the Co u n c i l - are under a code o f law which, once enacted by the l e g i s l a t o r and d e f i n i t e l y e s t a b l i s h e d i n p r a c t i c e , i s fundamental. 8 Now there are passages i n Laws which do seem to support the Saunders-Barker t h e s i s that P l a t o had adapted h i s e a r l y p o l i t i c a l i d e a l s to the vagaries of a c t u a l p o l i t i c a l l i f e . At 746b the Athenian says: I am of the opinion t h a t , i n matters which are not present but f u t u r e , he who e x h i b i t s a pa t t e r n of that at which he'aims, should i n nothing f a l l short of the f a i r e s t and t r u e s t ; and that i f he f i n d s any par t of t h i s work impossible of execution he should avoid and not execute i t , but he should c o n t r i v e to carry out that which i s nearest and most akin to i t . ^ An example from Laws of P l a t o choosing a "second-best" a l t e r n a t i v e over the i d e a l i s the way that property i s to be d i v i d e d i n the new colony. At 739 (and again at 807), i n a passage which i s reminiscent of Republic. P l a t o r e a f f i r m s the i d e a l of common property. Ownership, he. says, should be e l i m i n a t e d from l i f e , but because of the " o r i g i n , nurture, and education" (Laws 740a) of the c o l o n i s t s , t h i s i s impossible. Instead ^Barker, Greek P o l i t i c a l Theory, p.330. 6 T b i d . ^Unless otherwise noted, a l l my quotations from P l a t o ' s t e x t are from Jowett t r a n s l a t i o n s . -4-each c o l o n i a l f a m i l y i s to r e c e i v e an allotment of land which i s i n a l i e n -able and which cannot be extended. There are s t r i c t l i m i t a t i o n s on the amount of wealth that a f a m i l y can accumulate; but there i s to be p r i v a t e property. P l a t o apparently opts f o r what he considers to be a l e s s than i d e a l s i t u a t i o n because of the l i m i t a t i o n s imposed by " t h i s world". The same i s t r u e of the laws of marriage. In Republic P l a t o advocates the a b o l i t i o n of the f a m i l y f o r the guardians; wives and" c h i l d r e n are to be communal. And he r e a f f i r m s t h i s arrangement as i d e a l at Laws 739. But once again the c o l o n i s t s have not been educated f o r t h i s i d e a l — so i t i s abandoned. Men are allowed wives —• and the couple i s allowed to r a i s e t h e i r own c h i l d r e n . The most important i d e a l which P l a t o apparently t h i n k s i s un-r e a l i z a b l e i n h i s Cretan colony i s the p h i l o s o p h e r - k i n g . In Republic the s t a t e i s r u l e d by one or a few men —• P l a t o i s ambiguous on t h i s p o i n t —- who hold o f f i c e on the grounds of merit. The e d u c a t i o n a l system i s geared to produce expert p r a c t i t i o n e r s of the a r t of r u l i n g ; at every stage there are t e s t s designed to d i s t i n g u i s h the wisest and most v i r t u o u s . These become r u l e r s . In Laws the change i s dramatic, and at f i r s t anyway, s u r p r i s i n g . Rather than being chosen on grounds of m e r i t , the r u l e r s that P l a t o appoints are e l e c t e d e i t h e r d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y by the people. To f u r t h e r support the Barker-Saunders t h e s i s , there are pas-sages i n Laws which suggest that P l a t o s t i l l regarded the r u l e of philosophy as i d e a l — but now as an u n r e a l i z a b l e i d e a l . He t e l l s us t h i s i n at l e a s t two places: f i r s t , i n a passage extending from 709e to 712a; second, and more d i r e c t l y at 875: -5-Mo man's nature i s able to know what i s best f o r human s o c i e t y ; or knowing, (no man's nature i s ) always able and w i l l i n g to do what i s best. In the f i r s t place there i s a d i f f i c u l t y i n knowing that the true a r t of p o l i t i c s i s concerned, not with p r i v a t e but with p u b l i c good ( f o r p u b l i c good binds together s t a t e s , but p r i v a t e only d i s t r a c t s them); and that both the p u b l i c and p r i v a t e good, as w e l l of i n d i v i d u a l s as of s t a t e s , i s greater when the s t a t e and not the i n d i v i d u a l i s f i r s t considered. In the second place, although a person knows i n the a b s t r a c t that t h i s i s t r u e , yet i f he be possessed of absolute and i r r e s p o n s i b l e power, he w i l l never remain f i r m i n h i s p r i n c i p l e s , or p e r s i s t i n regarding p u b l i c good as primary i n the s t a t e , and the p r i v a t e good as secondary. Human nature w i l l be always drawing him i n t o a v a r i c e and s e l f i s h n e s s , a v o i d i n g pain and pursuing pleasure without any reason, and w i l l b r i n g these to the f r o n t , obscuring the j u s t e r and the b e t t e r ; and so working darkness i n h i s s o u l w i l l at l a s t f i l l with e v i l s both him and the whole c i t y . For i f a man were born so d i v i n e l y g i f t e d that he could n a t u r a l l y apprehend the t r u t h , he would have no need of laws to r u l e over him; f o r there i s no law or order which i s above knowledge, nor can mind, without impiety, be deemed the subject of any man, but rather the l o r d of a l l . I speak of mind, true and f r e e , and i n harmony with nature. But then there i s no such mind anywhere, or at l e a s t not much; and t h e r e f o r e we must choose law and order which are second-best. To give Saunders h i s due, i t is_ hard to b e l i e v e that these words were w r i t t e n by the same man who wrote Republic. In the e a r l i e r dialogues ( i n c l u d i n g Statesman) P l a t o seems to place a l l h i s f a i t h i n education: the whole Republic i s based on the b e l i e f that we can create a t r u l y wise, and t h e r e f o r e t r u l y good, r u l e r . Now he i s t e l l i n g us that even one who i s educated to the perception that "the true a r t of p o l i t i c s i s concerned not with p r i v a t e but with p u b l i c good . . . w i l l never remain f i r m i n h i s p r i n c i p l e s or p e r s i s t i n regarding the p u b l i c good as primary i n the s t a t e " . Because of "human nature" we must s e t t l e f o r what i s the "second b e s t " a l t e r n a t i v e — "law and order". The passage c i t e d above i s an e s p e c i a l l y important one because i t appears to be an e x p l i c i t statement by P l a t o himself that he i s g i v i n g up as i d e a l i s t i c the i d e a of the p h i l o s o p h e r - k i n g ( s ) . Barker c i t e s the passage as support f o r h i s view that ... " P l a t o never abandoned the i d e a l of the Republic, or ceased to b e l i e v e that the i d e a l s t a t e must be -6-governed d i r e c t l y and p e r s o n a l l y by the p h i l o s o p h i c mind."''0 "He d i d not abandon the i d e a l , but he abandoned the hope of i t s r e a l i z a t i o n " . ^ Skemp al s o c i t e s the passage at 875; he says that when P l a t o wrote Statesman he s t i l l b e l i e v e d that . . . i f the true statesman d i d a r i s e , men would acclaim him and the community would become a true commonwealth. These are not the words of the Laws, where the i d e a l r u l e r has become a formal p o s s i b i l i t y o n l y , and where the only s a f e t y l i e s i n p r e s c r i b i n g a code of laws . . . he no longer stands by the contention he makes i n the P o l i t i c u s that a p h i l o s o p h i c a l r u l e r can r u l e without laws. In 353 (when Laws was w r i t t e n ) there was d i s i l l u s i o n : ten years e a r l i e r . . . (Statesman) there i s s t i l l hope -- hardly l e s s so than i n the R e p u b l i c . ^ To f u l l y appreciate what P l a t o i s saying at 875 we must place the passage i n context. P l a t o i s i n t r o d u c i n g l e g i s l a t i o n covering a s s a u l t and wounding. He i s arguing f o r the n e c e s s i t y of law even i f s p e c i f i c laws can r a r e l y be formulated so that they cover every case e x a c t l y as the l e g i s l a t o r wishes. P l a t o i s arguing that a great deal of d i s c r e t i o n must be l e f t to the c o u r t s . This i s because "the d i f f e r e n t cases are countless and t h e i r circumstances are widely u n a l i k e . . . and i t i s q u i t e impossible to the l e g i s l a t o r to leave the c o u r t no d i s c r e t i o n at a l l on the f u r t h e r question of the amount of f i n e s or penalty to be imposed, but deal with a l l cases h i m s e l f , l i g h t or grave, by s t a t u t e , " (Laws 875e). 1 3 Put i n context,the " i d e a l " that P l a t o seems to be abandoning at 375 i s a l e g i s l a t o r who could deal p e r s o n a l l y with each and every wrongdoing of whatever s o r t . We must s e t t l e f o r the "second b e s t " a l t e r n a t i v e which i s "law and order", but the "best" a l t e r n a t i v e which ^Barker, Greek P o l i t i c a l Theory, p. 294 l l b i d . , p.294, Note 1. ^J.B. Skemp, P l a t o ' s Statesman. Routledqe and Kegan P a u l , London, 1952; p. 51. The quote here i s from Taylor's t r a n s l a t i o n . -7 we are g i v i n g up i s a l e g i s l a t o r who has "absolute and i r r e s p o n s i b l e power" and who could "deal with a l l cases himself". The same p o i n t i s much more c a r e f u l l y argued at Statesman 294e-295bs . . . we must expect that the l e g i s l a t o r who has to give orders to whole communities of human creatures i n matters of r i g h t and of mutual c o n t r a c t u a l o b l i g a t i o n , w i l l never be able i n the laws he p r e s c r i b e s f o r the whole group to give every i n d i v i d u a l h i s due with absolute accuracy . . . . But we s h a l l f i n d him making the law f o r the g e n e r a l i t y of h i s subjects under average circumstances. Thus he w i l l l e g i s l a t e f o r a l l i n d i v i d u a l c i t i z e n s , but i t w i l l be by what may be c a l l e d a 'bulk' method ra t h e r than an i n d i v i d u a l treatment; and t h i s method of bulk p r e s c r i p t i o n w i l l be followed by him whether he makes a w r i t t e n code of laws or r e f r a i n s from making such a code, p r e f e r r i n g to l e g i s l a t e by using unwritten a n c e s t r a l customs. . . . How could any lawgiver be capable of p r e s c r i b i n g every act of a p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l and s i t at h i s s i d e , so to speak, a l l through h i s l i f e and t e l l i n g him j u s t what to d o ? ^ In t h i s passage from the Statesman, and again at Laws 875, P l a t o i s arguing f o r the n e c e s s i t y of law. I t may not be i d e a l — i t may not give "every i n d i v i d u a l h i s due with absolute accuracy" — but the i d e a l i s impossible when we are d e a l i n g with "whole communities of human creatu r e s " . No l e g i s l a t o r can "deal with a l l cases himself"; he must use the "bulk method of p r e s c r i p t i o n " i n s t e a d . I f law i s described at 875 as the a l t e r n a t i v e which i s only second-best to the i d e a l r u l e r , i t has r e c e i v e d a more d i g n i f i e d des-c r i p t i o n at 713-714. Here P l a t o i s r e l a t i n g the Myth of Cronos: "there i s a t r a d i t i o n of the happy l i f e of mankind i n days when a l l things were spontaneous and abundant". The reason f o r t h i s paradise was that mankind was not r u l e d by men — r a t h e r by Gods: and the r e s u l t ^Skemp e d i t i o n of Statesman. Routledge, London 1952. -8-of t h i s t u t e l a g e was "peace and reverence and order and j u s t i c e never f a i l i n g " , P l a t o goes on: The s t o r y has a moral f o r us even today, and there i s a l o t of t r u t h i n i t : " where the r u l e r of a s t a t e i s not a God but a mortal, people have no r e s p i t e from t o i l and misfortune. The lesson i s that we should make every e f f o r t to i m i t a t e the l i f e men are s a i d to have l e d under Cronos; we should run our p u b l i c and pur p r i v a t e l i f e , our homes and our c i t i e s i n obedience to what l i t t l e spark of im m o r t a l i t y l i v e s i n us, and d i g n i f y these e d i c t s of reason with the name 'law'. (Laws. 713e-714a). Saunders has a footnote to t h i s passage which i s h e l p f u l i n understanding i t . He says: The punning i n the Greek d e f i e s rendering i n t o E n g l i s h . The •"divine spark* i n us i s reason (nous) which 'dispenses* (dianome 5) law (nomes) i n place of the s p i r i t s (daimones) of Cronos' a g e . ^ The moral then of the myth i s that we should " i m i t a t e " l i f e i n the age of Cronos. We can do so by running our homes and c i t i e s i n obedience to the " e d i c t s of reason" — laws. P l a t o r e l a t e s the Myth of Cronos i n order to argue the poi n t he makes a few paragraphs l a t e r at 715: Where the law i s subject to some other a u t h o r i t y and has none of i t s own, the c o l l a p s e of the s t a t e , i n my view, i s not f a r o f f ; but i f law i s the master of the government and the govern-ment i t s s l a v e , then the s i t u a t i o n i s f u l l of promise and men 17 enjoy a l l the b l e s s i n g s that the gods shower on a s t a t e . 1 ' In Laws then P l a t o gives us two d i s t i n c t arguments to the e f f e c t that the supreme a u t h o r i t y i n the s t a t e must be law. One argument i s given at 875: law must r e i g n supreme because "no man's nature i s able to know what i s bsst f o r human s o c i e t y and knowing (no man i s ) always able and w i l l i n g to do what i s best". The " i d e a l " would be i f we could f i n d such a man, but i n h i s absence we must s e t t l e f o r the "second b e s t " a l t e r n a t i v e , "law and order". 1 5 I b i d . 1 6Saunders' t r a n s l a t i o n : i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n to h i s te x t Saunders i n t e r p r e t s t h i s passage as c a l l i n g law the "dispensation of reason". ^Saunders' t r a n s l a t i o n . The other argument i s found at 713-15. Here the i d e a l r u l e r i s a God — Cronos. Law i s c a l l e d the "dispensation of reason" and reason i s the God-like element i n the human s o u l . We can th e r e f o r e i m i t a t e the i d e a l by making law the supreme a u t h o r i t y i n the s t a t e . I t i s , of course, t h i s d o c t r i n e — that law should be supreme —*> that according to Barker, d i v i d e s P l a t o ' s p o l i t i c a l theory i n t o two d i s t i n c t halves. "On the one s i d e i s the Guardian of the Republic. u n f e t t e r e d by law: on the other i s the Guardian of the Laws who i s i t s 1 s servant and i s even described as i t s " s l a v e " . The d i f f e r e n c e between these "two h a l v e s " i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y explained as P l a t o adapting the " i d e a l ' ' of Republic to the c o n d i t i o n s of a c t u a l p o l i t i c a l l i f e . Support f o r t h i s explanation of the a l l e g e d d o c t r i n a l d i f f e r e n c e can be found i n both of P l a t o ' s arguments f o r the supremacy of laws. We have seen how the argument at 875 can support Barker's contention t h a t although P l a t o always held to the i d e a l o f Republic, he nonetheless abandoned hope of i t s r e a l i z a t i o n . G.M.A. Grube sees the argument from the Myth of Cronos as a l s o supporting the same contention. He t h i n k s that the Gods i n P l a t o ' s myth r e f e r to the p h i l o s o p h e r - r u l e r of Republic, and that t h e r e f o r e "that r u l e r i s now r e l e g a t e d to a my t h i c a l past and to an e q u a l l y mythical 19 f u t u r e " . We must s e t t l e f o r a l e s s than i d e a l sovereign a u t h o r i t y . Further support i s a v a i l a b l e f o r t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of P l a t o ' s p o l i t i c a l theory i n Statesman. Here P l a t o s t a t e s h i s i d e a l — a 1 8 Barker, p. 295. 19G.M.A. Grube, P l a t o ' s Thought. Metheun & Co., London, 1935, p.299. Grube makes h i s p o i n t while d i s c u s s i n g the v e r s i o n of the myth i n Statesman; but the myth i n Laws i s the same one, except that i t i s much sho r t e r . -10-p h i l o s o p h i c r u l e r who may r u l e "with o r without laws", and who i s em~ powered to amend those laws at h i s d i s c r e t i o n . P l a t o a l s o seems to go some way towards r e j e c t i n g h i s i d e a l as i m p r a c t i c a l . The argument that the p h i l o s o p h i c statesman must not be hindered by laws begins at 292ei . . . i t i s only the man possessed of the a r t of kingship who must be c a l l e d k i n g , though he i s j u s t as much a k i n g when he i s not i n power as when he i s . . . . On t h i s p r i n c i p l e i t i s the men who possess the a r t of r u l i n g and these o n l y , whom we are to regard as r u l e r s , what-ever c o n s t i t u t i o n a l form t h e i r r u l e may take. I t makes no d i f f e r e n c e whether t h e i r s u bjects be w i l l i n g or u n w i l l i n g ; they may r u l e w i t h or without a code of laws.^0 Young S o c r a t e s ^ w i l l agree to a l l of t h i s w i t h one r e s e r v a t i o n — t h a t 'the s a y i n g about r u l i n g without laws i s a hard saying f o r us to -hear' (293e). The Stranger defends h i s p o s i t i o n : In one sense i t i s evident that the a r t of k i n g s h i p does i n c l u d e the a r t of law-making. But the p o l i t i c a l i d e a l i s not f u l l a u t h o r i t y f o r laws, but rather f u l l a u t h o r i t y f o r a man who understands the a r t of kingship and has k i n g l y a b i l i t y . Do you understand why? •No please t e l l me why'. 'Law can never is s u e an i n j u n c t i o n binding on a l l which r e a l l y embodies what i s best f o r each? i t cannot p r e s c r i b e w i t h p e r f e c t accuracy what i s good and r i g h t f o r each member of the community at any one time. The d i f f e r e n c e s of human p e r s o n a l i t y , the v a r i e t y o f men's a c t i v i t i e s and the i n e v i t a b l e unsettlement attending a l l human experience make i t impossible f o r any a r t whatsoever to i s s u e u n q u a l i f i e d r u l e s h o l d i n g good on a l l questions at a l l times.' (294a-b) With t h i s much s a i d the Stranger asks a s u r p r i s i m g question: But why then must there be a system of laws, seeing that law i s not the i d e a l form of c o n t r o l ? We must f i n d out why a l e g a l system i s necessary. (294c) 2 0 T h i s and the f o l l o w i n g quotes from Statesman are from Skemp's t r a n s l a t i o n . ^ F o l l o w i n g Skemp I s h a l l r e f e r to the respondent i n Statesman as 'Young Socrates*, so as to d i s t i n g u i s h him from the philosopher Socrates. -11-Now, "the p o l i t i c a l i d e a l i s not f u l l a u t h o r i t y f o r laws, but rather f u l l a u t h o r i t y f o r a man who understands the a r t of kingship and (who) has k i n g l y a b i l i t y " : nevertheless "a l e g a l system i s necessary". There i s nothing i n the succeeding passages to suggest that P l a t o i s envisaging a s t a t e i n which the laws have " f u l l a u t h o r i t y " over a man who has " k i n g l y a b i l i t y " ; on the c o n t r a r y , the r u l e r s seem to have f u l l a u t h o r i t y over the laws. Yet t h i s s t i l l appears to be a change of mood from Republic, where the law i s barely mentioned, and where there i s no suggestion that the p h i l o s o p h e r - k i n g s w i l l have to s e t t l e f o r any second-best method of government. When P l a t o admits law i n t o the commonwealth he i s g i v i n g up on an i d e a l ; he gives up on a r u l e r who would e x e r c i s e personal v i g i l a n c e over h i s subjects by t e l l i n g them what i s the good and j u s t course of a c t i o n i n whatever circumstances they might f i n d themselves (295a). The l e g a l system f r u s t r a t e s the f r e e e x e r c i s e of the a r t of statesmanship; i t prevents the statesman from g i v i n g every i n d i v i d u a l h i s due with p e r f e c t accuracy". For t h i s reason a l e g a l system i s something l e s s than i d e a l . i f i t i s true that i n Republic P l a t o s e t t l e s f o r nothing short of the i d e a l form of government, then i t seems that he has already p a r t i a l l y abandoned that i d e a l by conceding at Statesman 294c that "a l e g a l system i s necessary". I f he has not e x a c t l y abandoned h i s e a r l i e r i d e a l , he has at l e a s t now modified i t . He has not yet given up as much as he w i l l l a t e r i n Laws, where the a u t h o r i t y of the r u l e r s i s a l t o g e t h e r sub-s e r v i e n t to the law, but h i s p o s i t i o n i n Statesman does seem to be a half-way p o i n t between Republic and Laws. I f i t i s true that Statesman at l e a s t modified P l a t o ' s i d e a l , i t seems the more l i k e l y that he could abandon i t a l t o g e t h e r i n Laws. -12' I f P l a t o has already modified h i s i d e a l at Statesman 294c, he w i l l l a t e r ( a t 301 d-e) r a i s e doubts about ever being able to r e a l i z e the i d e a l , even i n t h i s modified form; thus the Saunders-Barker t h e s i s w i l l f i n d even f u r t h e r support from Statesman. Before g i v i n g i n to doubts about the p r a c t i c a l i t y of h i s i d e a l however, P l a t o f i r s t t e l l s us more about the i d e a l i t s e l f . I f the e x i s t e n c e of a l e g a l code does impede the statesman i n the p r a c t i c e of h i s a r t , i t need not impede him much! f o r he i s to have f u l l a u t h o r i t y to amend the l e g a l code whenever he sees f i t . This argument begins at 295e: Imagine the case of a s c i e n t i f i c l e g i s l a t o r . Suppose th a t by a w r i t t e n code or by support given to unwritten customs he has l a i d down what i s j u s t and honorable and what i s not, and what b e n e f i t s s o c i e t y and what hurts i t . Suppose him to do t h i s s e r v i c e f o r the s e v e r a l communities of the human f l o c k who l i v e on t h e i r c i t i e s as t h e i r appointed pasture, shepherd by the codes t h e i r l e g i s l a t o r s have provided. I f t h i s man, who drew up h i s code by the a r t of statesmanship, wishes to amend i t 9 or i f another s c i e n t i f i c l e g i s l a t o r of t h i s k i n d appears on the scene, w i l l these be forbidden to enact new laws d i f f e r i n g from the e a r l i e r ones? Surely such a p r o h i b i t i o n would appear as r i d i c u l o u s i n the case of the l e g i s l a t o r as i t d i d i n the case of the doctor, would i t not? (295e) The d o c t o r - r u l e r analogy has been introduced e a r l i e r by the Stranger i n order to argue h i s p o i n t above. The doctor gives p r e s c r i p t i o n s to h i s p a t i e n t s i n order to make them w e l l ; as the p a t i e n t ' s c o n d i t i o n and circumstances change, the doctor i s not of course to be bound by h i s e a r l i e r p r e s c r i p t i o n s . He must be able to amend h i s r u l e s as time passes. And so i t i s with the s c i e n t i f i c l e g i s l a t o r . The Stranger goes on, a f t e r g e t t i n g 'Young Socrates' assent to the p o i n t above: But are you f a m i l i a r with the arguments one u s u a l l y hears advanced when an issue l i k e t h i s i s raised? No I cannot remember i t at the moment at any r a t e . I t i s q u i t e a p l a u s i b l e arguments I grant th a t . -13-They contend that i f a man di s c o v e r s b e t t e r laws than those already enacted he i s e n t i t l e d to get them brought i n t o e f f e c t but only i f i n every instance he has f i r s t persuaded h i s own c i t y to accept them. (296a). In order to r e f u t e t h i s argument the Stranger f i r s t gets Young Socrates to r e c a l l a p o i n t made e a r l i e r ( a t 292e), t h a t only a very few c i t i z e n s i n any given community would have the p h i l o s o p h i c i n s i g h t necessary f o r a proper assessment of the law. With t h i s e s t a b l i s h e d P l a t o f a l l s back on h i s analogy between r u l i n g and the a r t s of medicine and n a v i g a t i o n . I f a doctor o r a s h i p ' s c a p t a i n c o u l d only change h i s p r e s c r i p t i o n s with the p r i o r approval of a popular l a y assembly, then the a r t s of medicine and n a v i g a t i o n would be thereby " a n n i h i l a t e d " . The h e a l i n g of the s i c k would no longer be i n the hands of those t r a i n e d i n the a r t of h e a l i n g j doctors would be forced to obey the voice o f the people even when they knew i t was de t r i m e n t a l to t h e i r p a t i e n t . For a doctor to knowingly act to the detriment of the s i c k i s f o r him to no longer be a p r a c t i t i o n e r o f the a r t of medicine. Popular c o n t r o l over the a r t of medicine w i l l t h e r e f o r e have the e f f e c t of " a n n i h i l a t i n g " t h a t a r t . So i t i s with the l e g i s l a t o r . R u l i n g , l i k e medicine, i s an a r t , and f i n a l d i s c r e t i o n must be l e f t i n the hands of the few who are expert p r a c t i t i o n e r s of the a r t . So the p h i l o s o p h i c l e g i s l a t o r who has " k i n g l y a b i l i t y " must be able to a l t e r h i s l e g a l code without f i r s t g e t t i n g the approval of h i s c i t y . Now the phil o s o p h e r - k i n g of Republic i s s u r e l y j u s t the k i n d of r u l e r P l a t o i s d e s c r i b i n g i n Statesman. He c e r t a i n l y i s a " t r u e " s t a t e s -man; he c e r t a i n l y has " k i n g l y a b i l i t y " . So what we have i n Statesman i s a c l e a r statement that the phi l o s o p h e r - k i n g must be able to amend h i s l e g a l code at h i s own d i s c r e t i o n . Or, at l e a s t he must be able to do so without the approval of h i s community. P l a t o i s t e l l i n g us that the -14= p h i l o s o p h i c r u l e r must have a u t h o r i t y over the law. I t i s at t h i s p o i n t t h a t P l a t o r a i s e s doubts about the p o s s i -b i l i t y of such a Ruler ever a r i s i n g i n a human community. Men doubt whether any man w i l l ever be found f i t to bear such p e r f e c t r u l e . They despair at f i n d i n g any one man w i l l i n g and able to r u l e with moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l i n s i g h t and to render every man h i s due with s t r i c t e s t f a i r n e s s . They f e e l sure that a man with such absolute power w i l l be bound to employ i t to the hurt and i n j u r y of h i s personal enemies and to put them out of the way. But i t remains true that i f the i d e a l r u l e r we have described were to appear on earth he would be acclaimed, and he would spend h i s days guiding i n s t r i c t e s t j u s t i c e and p e r f e c t f e l i c i t y that one and only true Common-wealth worthy of the name. That i s so of course. We must take things as they are, however, and kings do not a r i s e i n c i t i e s i n the n a t u r a l course of things i n the way the r o y a l bee i s born i n a bee-hive — one i n d i v i d u a l obviously outstanding i n body and mind and capable of t a k i n g charge of things at once. And ther e f o r e i t seems men gather together and work out w r i t t e n codes, chasing as f a s t as they can the fa d i n g v i s i o n of the true c o n s t i t u t i o n . (301 d-e) So the " t r u e " c o n s t i t u t i o n — the i d e a l — occurs when the s t a t e i s governed by a " s c i e n t i f i c l e g i s l a t o r " who has the a u t h o r i t y to make and to a l t e r laws. But the " t r u e " statesman i s hard or impossible to f i n d . In h i s absence the community must f a l l back on " w r i t t e n codes"; on laws which everyone — i n c l u d i n g the government — must obey. Such a c o n s t i t u t i o n i s imperfect; i t must " i m i t a t e " the i d e a l by enacting and en f o r c i n g a w r i t t e n code of law. These " i m i t a t i v e " c o n s t i t u t i o n s are twice c a l l e d the "second be s t " a l t e r n a t i v e i n Statesman, (at 297e and 300c). And t h i s appears to be p r e c i s e l y the d o c t r i n e that we have found i n Laws. The i d e a l i s a p h i l o s o p h i c l e g i s l a t o r who could r u l e without law: (Statesman 294a; Laws 875). But because he must deal with d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s i n widely d i f f e r e n t circumstances, he w i l l be forced to use a w r i t t e n code of law: (Statesman 294e-295; Laws 875). But a c o n s t i t u t i o n which uses -15-laui as a form of control i s hardly less than ideal so long as the power to make new laws, and to amend old ones, is in the hands of a "scientific legislator": (Statesman 295e; Laws 712).^ gut rulers who can be trusted with authority are not likely to arise: (Statesman 301 d-e; Laws 711). In the absence of such statesmen we must settle for the "second best" alternative — making government subject to the law: (Statesman 297e; Laws 875). In both Statesman and Laws then there is a substantial body of evidence to suggest that Plato has indeed resigned himself to a less than ideal form of government. Contingent upon the appearance of a truly s c i e n t i f i c ruler, who because of his education would be perfectly wise and virtuous, Plato seems to have settled for the "second best" alternative - a government which i s fettered and bound by a s t r i c t and comprehensive legal code. Now the thesis I shall attempt to argue in the succeeding Chapters of this paper is that this interpretation of Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory i s mistaken on two crucial points. First, i t misunderstands the form of government recommended in Republic; and second, i t also minunder-stands the constitutional limitations that are imposed upon the govern-ment in Laws* Concerning the system of government proposed in Republic. Barker says that "the Philosophic rulers are absolute - absolute in the 23 sense that they are untrammeled by any written laws". Thus in Chapter Two I shall cite numerous passages from Republic which directly contra-dict Barker's interpretation. Plato not only says in Republic that the 2^ At Laws 712, Plato says "when supreme power is combined in one person with wisdom and temperance, then, and on no other condition conceivable, nature gives birth to the best of constitutions with the best of laws". 2 36arker, Greek P o l i t i c a l Theory, p.205. -16-r u l e r s must obey the laws, he a l s o says that they must govern under the a u t h o r i t y of a c o n s t i t u t i o n , the " s p i r i t " and " i d e a " of which they are bound to uphold and preserve. So I s h a l l f i r s t o f a l l argue that the philosopher-king's of Republic are indeed f e t t e r e d by the law. One of the main, sources which i s c i t e d i n defence of Barker's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f P l a t o ' s e a r l y p o l i t i c a l theory i s , of course, Statesman; and we have already seen how that dialogue might be taken as supporting the recommended view. In Chapter Three however, I s h a l l argue that the claims and arguments i n Statesman - i n c l u d i n g the saying that the statesman may rulB "with or without laws" - which are o f t e n thought to support the view that the philosopher-statesman would r u l e untrammeled by laws, w i l l not i n f a c t support such a t h e s i s . I s h a l l a l s o argue t h a t even Statesman provides some grounds f o r r e j e c t i n g Barker's t h e s i s . Now I have claimed that Barker's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Laws i s a l s o mistaken and unsupportable. Barker t h i n k s that i n P l a t o ' s law-state 1, the r u l e r s w i l l be f e t t e r e d and bound by a s t r i c t and r i g i d l e g a l code, which they may not amend or ignore i n any respect, without the unanimous consent of a l l c i t i z e n s and governmental o f f i c i a l s . I s h a l l argue i n Chapters Four and Five that t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Laws i s simply un-founded; that on the c o n t r a r y , P l a t o ' s c o n s t i t u t i o n q u i t e d e l i b e r a t e l y provides the government with a means of amending both the c o n s t i t u t i o n and the o r i g i n a l code of law. However i f the government i n Laws i s authorized to amend the law, i t may not amend i t i n j u s t any way? For j u s t as the r u l e r s i n Republic are to be bound by the " s p i r i t " and purpose of the c o n s t i t u t i o n and o r i g i n a l code of law, so the r u l e r s i n Laws w i l l be subject to the same r e s t r a i n t s . I s h a l l show that P l a t o e s t a b l i s h e s a governmental i n s t i t u t i o n which i s s p e c i a l l y charged with the duty of reviewing the government's legislative and executive acts in order to ensure that the government has not violated the aims and purposes of the state's founding legislators. I shall also cite evidence from Republic which suggests that even when he wrote his f i r s t p o l i t i c a l dialogue, Plato had already anticipated the need for, and the function of, this special governmental institution. On the basis of these arguments I shall show that the rulers in Laws are in substantially the same position with respect to the law as are the rulers of Republic. I shall introduce evidence from both Republic and Laws which shows that in both dialogues Plato clearly favours a constitutional form of government; that i s , a system of govern-ment in which the rulers are legally bound by the terms of a constitution which specifies certain basic principles on which the state is founded, and which specifies certain basic objectives towards which the govern-ment must direct i t s energies. I shall contend in other words, that in this one respect at least, Plato's system of government would be very much like our own. So the overall view of Republic Statesman and Laws that I shall try t o support i s that there are no important philosophical, p o l i t i c a l or educational inconsistencies between the three dialogues. I shall attempt to show that the constitutional form of government worked out in Laws is in fact a rather effective and coherent attempt to put into practice the p o l i t i c a l principles and ideals f i r s t introduced in Republic. I shall argue in other words, that in Laws Plato tries to write a constitution and code of law which, i f implemented, would establish the government and sovereignty of philosopher-kings. Now in claiming that Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory is largely -IB-c o n s i s t e n t , I am of course denying that P l a t o ever abandoned hope of r e a l i z i n g h i s e a r l i e s t p o l i t i c a l i d e a l s . I f P l a t o himself c a l l s the law-state the "second b e s t " method of government, and i f my i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n of Republic i s sound, then the s t a t e described i n Republic i s i t s e l f "second-best". On the other hand i f the Republic i s t r u l y an i d e a l s t a t e because i t i s governed by i d e a l l y educated r u l e r s , then Laws shows us how t h i s i d e a l might be put i n t o p r a c t i c e . So my contention i s t h i s ; i f P l a t o was an i d e a l i s t when he wrote Republic, then he was s t i l l an i d e a l i s t when he wrote Laws; a l t e r n a t i v e l y , i f Laws i s not the work of an i d e a l i s t , then n e i t h e r i s Republic. Now I have o u t l i n e d my dispute with Barker and the t r a d i t i o n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of P l a t o ' s p o l i t i c a l theory; the c l a i m I r e j e c t i s that the 'sovereignty of law' p r i n c i p l e i n Laws "cleaves P l a t o ' s p o l i t i c a l theory i n t o two d i s t i n c t halves". In the course of arguing that t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s unsupportable, I have f o r obvious reasons, focused my a t t e n t i o n on P l a t o ' s treatment of the s t a t e ' s l e g i s l a t i v e power; the i s s u e I must examine i n Chapters Two, Three, Four and Five i s what i f any c o n s t i t u t i o n a l and l e g a l r e s t r a i n t s has P l a t o imposed on the l e g i s -l a t i v e powers of h i s government? But the l e g i s l a t i v e power i s not the only power that i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y given to government; ac c o r d i n g l y i n the l a s t Chapter of t h i s paper, I s h a l l examine P l a t o ' s c o n s t i t u t i o n a l p r o v i s i o n s f o r the s t a t e ' s executive, j u d i c i a l and teaching powers. I s h a l l argue that i f P l a t o does not d i s t r i b u t e governmental power among the three t r a d i t i o n a l branches of government - l e g i s l a t i v e , e x e cutive, and j u d i c i a l - i n such a manner that each department has the means of checking the powers of the other two, he does nevertheless w r i t e a c o n s t i t u t i o n which provides f o r a comprehensive system of checks -19-and balances on governmental power. I s h a l l argue that no one of P l a t o ' s governmental i n s t i t u t i o n s has absolute l e g i s l a t i v e , e xecutive, or j u d i c i a l powers; that the powers of every governmental agency are e f f e c t i v e l y checked by some other i n s t i t u t i o n . F i n a l l y , I s h a l l argue th a t i t i s t h i s system of i n s t i t u t i o n a l checks and balances which enables P l a t o to c l a i m that law i s the highest a u t h o r i t y i n h i s s t a t e ; and t h a t i t i s t h i s system of checks and balances that e x p l a i n s the exact extent to which P l a t o ' s government w i l l be f e t t e r e d by law. CHAPTER II The usual understanding of Republic i s that the philosopher-kings would have a u t o c r a t i c powers, i n c l u d i n g complete a u t h o r i t y over the law. Barker says that the r u l e r s of Republic are to be "unfette r e d 24 by law", and that "the i d e a l s t a t e must be governed d i r e c t l y and 25 p e r s o n a l l y by the p h i l o s o p h i c mind". Grube i d e n t i f i e s the philosopher-k i n g with the i d e a l r u l e r s i n the Age of Cronos, who, being Gods, c e r t a i n l y held supreme power over t h e i r s u b j e c t s , who were men?^ Morrow describes what I have c a l l e d the " u s u a l " understanding of Republic thus: This work i s general l y supposed to have been constructed upon the assumption that the presence of law would be a hindrance upon the f r e e e x e r c i s e of s c i e n t i f i c r u l e . Socrates describes a s o c i e t y , so i t i s s a i d , i n which i n t e l l i g e n c e i s completely sovereign, i n t e l l i g e n c e of the highest s o r t , of course, e n t i r e l y beneficent i n i t s aims, u t i l i z i n g and d i r e c t i n g the m a t e r i a l s of human nature and s o c i e t y to b r i n g about j u s t i c e i n the s t a t e , and i n the i n d i v i d u a l s which compose i t . Such a sovereign must be f r e e not merely from ignorance and s e l f - i n t e r e s t , but also from t r a d i t i o n , precedent, and p r e s c r i p t i o n ; f o r without such freedom i t cannot make the f u l l e s t a p p l i c a t i o n of i t s knowledge to the problems with which i t i s to deal. This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n has a long and respected h i s t o r y , and may probably be taken as the orthodox view. ^ There i s of course some reason f o r understanding Republic i n t h i s way. That the philosopher-kings would have absolute a u t h o r i t y over the law seems to be im p l i e d by P l a t o ' s most fundamental moral b e l i e f s : v i r t u e i s knowledge, and wrongdoing r e s u l t s from ignorance. A p h i l o -sopher i s the only one who has "apprehended the Good"; he i s th e r e f o r e the only one who i s competent to r u l e . I f he holds p o l i t i c a l power by v i r t u e of having e s t a b l i s h e d himself as the wisest and most v i r t u o u s of c i t i z e n s , why should h i s powers be l i m i t e d by t r a d i t i o n , precedent and p r e s c r i p t i o n ? In shor t , why should he be f e t t e r e d by law? 2*4}arker, Greek P o l i t i c a l Theory. P. 295. 2 ^ I b i d . , p. 294 2 bGrube, p. 279. iviorrow, G.H., P l a t o ' s Cretan C i t y , P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y Press, P r i n c e t o n , iJ.J., 1960, p. 573, Morrow c i t e s barker (p. 160 and 205) and Sabine (p. 63-ci) as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of t h i s view. -21-Now t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Republic may have "a long and respected h i s t o r y " , but s u r p r i s i n g l y , there i s very l i t t l e , i f any, t e x t u a l evidence that can be c i t e d i n i t s defence. Indeed the f o l l o w i n g c i t a t i o n from Book 4 i s v i r t u a l l y the only passage that Barker and the orthodox c r i t i c s have o f f e r e d i n support of t h e i r 28 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n : Well and what about the business of the agora, and the or d i n a r y dealings between man and man, or again, agreements with a r t i -sans; what about i n s u l t and i n j u r y , or the commencement of a c t i o n s , and the appointment of j u r i e s - what would you say? There may a l s o a r i s e questions about any impositions and exactions o f market and harbour dues which may be r e q u i r e d , and i n general about the r e g u l a t i o n of markets, p o l i c e , harbours and the l i k e . But, Oh heavens' s h a l l we condescend to l e g i s l a t e on any of these p a r t i c u l a r s ? No, i t i s unseemly to impose laws about them on good men; what r e g u l a t i o n s are necessary they w i l l f i n d out soon enough f o r themselves. Yes, my f r i e n d , i f God w i l l o n l y preserve to them the laws which we have given them. (425 d-e) The t e x t re-emphasizes the poi n t a few l i n e s l a t e r : I conceive that the true l e g i s l a t o r w i l l not t r o u b l e himself with t h i s c l a s s of enactments, whether concerning laws or the c o n s t i t u t i o n , e i t h e r i n an i l l - o r d e r e d s t a t e or i n a well - o r d e r e d s t a t e ; f o r i n the former they are q u i t e u s e l e s s , and i n the l a t t e r they w i l l e i t h e r be of a k i n d which anyone can devise, or they w i l l n a t u r a l l y flow out of our previous r e g u l a t i o n s . (427a) Now Barker supposes P l a t o to be saying here that no l e g i s l a t i o n i s needed upon these matters, but i t i s evident that he has misunderstood P l a t o on a c r u c i a l p o i n t . P l a t o does not say that no l e g i s l a t i o n i s needed i n these areas; he says, i n the one case (at 425e) that the l e g i s l a t i o n which i s needed can be e a s i l y worked out, provided that the r u l e r s preserve the laws we have already e s t a b l i s h e d . (Or, l i t e r a l l y , provided that "God w i l l only preserve to them the laws which we have given them"). Z 0 S e e Barker, p.278.. 2 9 Barker, p.278. 22-The same p o i n t i s repeated at 427a; P l a t o w i l l not t r o u b l e himself with laws of t h i s k i n d , because i n an i l l - o r d e r e d s t a t e they are q u i t e use-l e s s , and i n a well-ordered s t a t e "they w i l l e i t h e r be of a k i n d which anyone can devise, or ( e l s e ) they w i l l n a t u r a l l y flow out of our 3D previous r e g u l a t i o n s " . P l a t o i s saying j u s t the opposite of what Barker takes him to be saying; the point i s not that these laws are unnecessary, i t i s that they can be worked out l a t e r , given the r e g u l a t i o n s already i n s t i t u t e d . I f the t e x t at 425d and 427a w i l l not i t s e l f support the orthodox view — that P l a t o excludes law from Republic because i t could only act as a hindrance upon the f r e e e x e r c i s e of s c i e n t i f i c r u l e —- we are s t i l l faced w i t h the o v e r a l l p l a u s i b i l i t y of the c l a i m that P l a t o would leave h i s philosopher-King to r u l e the i d e a l s t a t e q u i t e untram-melled by any laws or r e g u l a t i o n s . Barker puts h i s case thus: The true statesman i s a monarch: the i d e a l government i s monarchy, because i n monarchy, and i n monarchy alone, p e r f e c t knowledge i s to be found. Provided he (the monarch) have such knowledge, what matter i f he gains h i s s u b j e c t s ' consent to a l l he does, or whether he act according to any form of law? He w i l l act of himself f o r the r i g h t , because he w i l l always know what ought to be done; and to l i m i t him by the need f o r consent, or by the forms of law, i s only to hamper the free play o f . h i s knowledge. From the p r a i s e of knowledge P l a t o a c c o r d i n g l y turns to an attack upon law. We have already seen from the Republic tha t , where education has given a l i v i n g knowledge, law has become unnecessary: we have already seen that P l a t o viewed an abundance of laws as the s i g n and token of ignorance and the want of education. I f the law be w i t h i n you i t need not be without you. Now there i s a c e r t a i n ambiguity i n t h i s passage as to whether law i s supposed to be e n t i r e l y missing from the i d e a l s t a t e , or whether i t i s to be present to some minimal extent. Barker says that "law has see footnote i n f r a , p. 26 f o r an a l t e r n a t i v e t r a n s l a t i o n of t h i s passage. Barker, P o l i t i c a l Theories of P l a t o and A r i s t o t l e , p.167. become unnecessary", yet he al s o says that "Plato viewed an abundance of laws as the s i g n and token o f ignorance". Perhaps the explanation of t h i s ambiguity i s that Barker understands P l a t o ' s concept of sovereignty as e n t a i l i n g an absence of law, and yet at the same time, he i s aware that P l a t o mentions the existence of laws i n dozens of 32 d i f f e r e n t places i n Republic. However, the mere existence e f laws i s not n e c e s s a r i l y a problem f o r the orthodox view. For the s t a t e could c o n t a i n laws which do not •hamper the f r e e play of h i s (the i d e a l r u l e r ' s ) knowledge"; presumably the law w i l l not hamper the r u l e r so long as he has u n l i m i t e d a u t h o r i t y over them. And Statesman would c e r t a i n l y support t h i s reading of Republiq — that although the s t a t e does c o n t a i n laws, they i n no way l i m i t the a u t h o r i t y of the r u l e r . Sta^eBrnqp w i l l support t h i s view, as opposed to the more extreme p o s i t i o n t y p i f i e d by Sabine, who holds that P l a t o ' s p o s i t i o n r e s u l t s i n "the e x c l u s i o n of law al t o g e t h e r from the 33 i d e a l s t a t e " . In Statesman P l a t o admits that laws are necessary, even i f they are l e s s than the i d e a l form of c o n t r o l , but they w i l l not much damage the community so long as a s c i e n t i f i c l e g i s l a t o r has f u l l author-i t y to make, amend, or ignore the laws according to the d i c t a t e s of h i s a r t . The r u l e r w i l l not "be f e t t e r e d by law" i f the d i c t a t e s of Know-ledge and Goodness are the only a u t h o r i t i e s greater than h i s own. There i s also evidence i n Republic i t s e l f that the r u l e r has a u t h o r i t y over such laws as the s t a t e does con t a i n . In at l e a s t three 3 2 A few examples are: laws r e g u l a t i n g poetry (3B0b, 383e); laws concerning r e l i g i o n (427b) and f e s t i v a l s (459c); laws governing the p r a c t i c e of medicine (409c); laws procla i m i n g a community of wives and c h i l d r e n (453d, 457d); laws p r o h i b i t i n g p r i v a t e property f o r the guardians (417b); laws of war (471b); and laws concerning the curr i c u l u m f o r higher education (525b, 530e, 534 d-e). 3 3 S a b i n e , p. 68. -24= places P l a t o c a s t s h i s r u l e r i n the r o l e of l e g i s l a t o r ; i n other words, the r u l e r i s given the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r w r i t i n g l e g i s l a t i o n . F i r s t , at 501a P l a t o says that the r u l e r s " w i l l have nothing to do with i n -d i v i d u a l or s t a t e , and w i l l i n s c r i b e no laws, u n t i l they have e i t h e r received from oth e r s , or have themselves made, a clean surface". Now what P l a t o means by a "clean s u r f a c e " here i s an i n t e r e s t i n g question, but i t i s one which I must ignore i n favour of the subordinate p o i n t of the passage, which i s that a f t e r the r u l e r has a "clean s u r f a c e " , he w i l l then impose laws on the s t a t e . A s i m i l a r passage occurs at 4B4d; here P l a t o t e l l s us that the r u l e r , because he has a " p e r f e c t v i s i o n " of the "true being of each t h i n g " , w i l l be able to "frame laws about beauty, goodness and j u s t i c e " . The t h i r d passage which makes i t c l e a r that the r u l e r s have the a u t h o r i t y to pass laws occurs at 502b; And when the r u l e r imposes the laws and i n s t i t u t i o n s which we have been d e s c r i b i n g , i s i t not p o s s i b l e that the c i t i z e n s w i l l be w i l l i n g to obey them? (502b) However j u s t because P l a t o ' s r u l e r has the a u t h o r i t y to pass laws does not n e c e s s a r i l y mean that h i s a u t h o r i t y i s a l t o g e t h e r s u p e r i o r to the law. For he may be bound by h i s own enactments, or again, there may be l i m i t a t i o n s upon the range of h i s l e g i s l a t i v e powers. In the above passages P l a t o leaves no doubt that the philosopher-kings w i l l be granted some measure of l e g i s l a t i v e a u t h o r i t y , but i f these passages do not themselves suggest that there are l i m i t a t i o n s upon t h i s a u t h o r i t y , n e i t h e r do they suggest that there i s to be no l i m i t a t i o n upon i t . Barker, i n defence of the orthodox view, admits that the s t a t e does conta i n laws, though he t h i n k s that they are not to be found i n abundance. But i n order to defend h i s view ( t h a t the r u l e r i s un-f e t t e r e d by law), he has to show that the a u t h o r i t y of such laws as the -25-s t a t e does c o n t a i n i s i n every way subservient to the a u t h o r i t y of the p h i l o s o p h e r - k i n g . We have seen t h a t P l a t o does assign some l e g i s l a t i v e power to h i s r u l e r s — he speaks of the r u l e r "imposing" laws on the s t a t e . But I know of nowhere i n Republic where P l a t o says that the l e g i s l a t i v e a u t h o r i t y of the r u l e r i s u n l i m i t e d i n scope. So f a r as I know P l a t o does not even suggest that h i s r u l e r w i l l have the kind of power that Barker a t t r i b u t e s to him. Now t h i s i s only to p o i n t out that Barker's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Republic s u f f e r s from a want of t e x t u a l support. But what i s an even greater problem f o r the orthodox view i s that there i s t e x t u a l evidence which d i r e c t l y and d e c i s i v e l y c o n t r a d i c t s i t . The c r u c i a l question i s t h i s : must P l a t o ' s p h i l o s o p h e r - k i n g r u l e i n accordance with a code of law? Or i s he a l t o g e t h e r exempt from any such f e t t e r s ? The answer to t h i s question must begin with a d i s t i n c t i o n between the s i t u a t i o n i n which we f i n d ourselves when we are founding a s t a t e —-that i s where we must fa s h i o n a c o n s t i t u t i o n and code of law —- and the s i t u a t i o n which p r e v a i l s once the s t a t e has been created. That P l a t o makes t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s c l e a r enough. At the beginning of Republic Spcrates i s challenged to d e f i n e j u s t i c e . He r e p l i e s that j u s t i c e i s "sometimes spoken of as a v i r t u e of an i n d i v i d u a l , and sometimes as the v i r t u e of a s t a t e " ; s i n c e the s t a t e i s " l a r g e r " than the i n d i v i d u a l , j u s t i c e should there be "more d i s c e r n i b l e " (368e). In order to f i n d j u s t i c e i n i t s c l e a r e s t p e r s p e c t i v e t h e r e f o r e , we must "c o n s t r u c t a s t a t e " ; we must "imagine the s t a t e i n the process of c r e a t i o n " (369a). The l a r g e r p a r t of Republic i s devoted to founding the i d e a l s t a t e ; Socrates f r e q u e n t l y r e f e r s to h i m s e l f , Glaucon and Adeimantus as the o r i g i n a l l e g i s l a t o r s or law-givers (727b, 458c, 497d, 592a are examples). -26-This d i s t i n c t i o n between the founding l e g i s l a t o r s and the philosopher r u l e r s who w i l l have l e g i s l a t i v e powers once the s t a t e has been created, turns out to have the utmost bearing on the question about the r e l a t i o n between the r u l e r and the law. Perhaps t h i s can best be shown by beginning with the passage (already quoted) at 425d-e - 427a. At 425d-e Socrates and Adeimantus agree that they need not bother working out l e g i s l a t i o n to cover "minor matters" (laws concerning "harbours, p o l i c e , markets and the l i k e " are the examples given): they agree that i t i s "unseemly" to impose such laws on "good men", because "what r e g u l a t i o n s are necessary they w i l l f i n d out soon enough f o r themselves", provided that they "preserve" the laws which "we have (already) given them".""^ A s i m i l a r thought i s expressed a few l i n e s l a t e r at 427a. This time Socrates t e l l s us that the "true l e g i s l a t o r w i l l not t r o u b l e himself w i t h t h i s c l a s s of enactments" because "they w i l l e i t h e r be of a ki n d which anyone can devise o r (they) w i l l n a t u r a l l y 35 f l o w out of our previous regulations'.*. "^ T^he suggestion here that these laws can be worked out by "good men" i s p u z z l i n g . Does i t mean that any or a l l of the s t a t e s c i t i z e n s could do the job? This seems to be what P l a t o i s saying, yet the l e g i s l a t i o n which i s needed i n c l u d e s c o n t r a c t u a l law, laws concerning l i b e l and sl a n d e r , laws on a s s u a l t , c i v i l law, and tax law (425c-d). Is P l a t o to be taken as meaning that j u s t anyone could w r i t e l e g i s l a t i o n i n a l l these areas? Or i s he saying that the appropriate o f f i c i a l s - harbour masters, market wardens, p o l i c e o f f i c i a l s , e tc. - would be given the task of w r i t i n g the necessary r e g u l a t i o n s ? Or by "good men" does P l a t o mean the Philosopher-Kings? ^^The t r a n s l a t i o n o f t h i s passage i s c o n t r o v e r s i a l . Lee t r a n s -l a t e s "the r e a l l e g i s l a t o r . . . (need not) bother about making (such) laws... (because) they are p a r t l y obvious and p a r t l y the automatic r e s u l t of e a r l i e r t r a i n i n g " . -27-Both of these passages (425d-e and 427a) are p u z z l i n g i n more than one way. F i r s t , i t i s unclear e x a c t l y to whom P l a t o would leave the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of w r i t i n g the necessary "minor" l e g i s l a t i o n . Second, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to know how to i n t e r p r e t the remark at 425a - that these matters can be l e f t to f u t u r e l e g i s l a t o r s provided that they "preserve" the l e g a l code which "we" - the o r i g i n a l l e g i s l a t o r s - have given them. The same d i f f i c u l t y a r i s e s with the remark at 427a - that these laws can be l e f t to f u t u r e l e g i s l a t o r s because "they w i l l n a t u r a l l y flow out of our previous r e g u l a t i o n s " ( o r , a l t e r n a t i v e l y , because "they are ... the automatic r e s u l t of e a r l i e r t r a i n i n g " ) . However these i n t e r p r e t i v e d i f f i c u l t i e s are to be r e s o l v e d , -and I think that subsequent passages i n Republic show how they should be resolved - at l e a s t one point i s p e r f e c t l y c l e a r : P l a t o i s drawing a d i s t i n c t i o n between those laws which p r o p e r l y concern those who are founding a s t a t e - that i s , those who are framing a c o n s t i t u t i o n - and those laws which need only concern l e g i s l a t o r s who hold o f f i c e onee the s t a t e and i t s c o n s t i t u t i o n have been e s t a b l i s h e d . That P l a t o makes t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s important to our present purpose, because i n s e v e r a l l a t e r passages he w i l l t e l l us that f u t u r e l e g i s l a t o r s are to be bound and f e t t e r e d by the fundamental p r i n c i p l e s on which the o r i g i n a l l e g i s -l a t o r s have based t h e i r code. There may indeed be some suggestion of t h i s i d e a at 425d and 427a; however i f there i s , i t i s c e r t a i n l y no more than a suggestion. At 458c however Socrates speaks i n no u n c e r t a i n terms: I think that i f our r u l e r s and t h e i r a u x i l i a r i e s are to be worthy of the names they bear, there must be the power of command i n the one, and a w i l l i n g n e s s to obey i n the other; the guardians must themselves obey the laws, and they must als o i m i t a t e the s p i r i t of them i n any d e t a i l s that are entrusted to t h e i r care. (458c) -28-In t h i s i n s t a n c e P l a t o ' s language i s a b s o l u t e l y unequivocal! "the guardians must themselves obey the laws", and not only t h i s , "they must al s o i m i t a t e the s p i r i t of them i n any d e t a i l s that are entrusted to t h e i r care". Obviously t h i s passage does much damage to the orthodox i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Republic; i t i s simply not true that P l a t o ' s p h i l o s o -pher-guardians w i l l be "unfettered by law" (the phrase i s Bar k e r s ) . I t must be admitted however that while t h i s passage does i n s t r u c t the guardians to " i m i t a t e the s p i r i t " of the laws i n any " d e t a i l s " over which they enjoy d i s c r e t i o n a r y power, i t does not s p e c i f i c a l l y suggest that the s t a t e s c o n s t i t u t i o n or o r i g i n a l code of law i s to act as any s p e c i a l r e s t r a i n t upon subsequent governments. At 458c P l a t o does not say that the r u l e r s are to be bound by the o r i a i n a l code of law; he only says that they must obey and i m i t a t e the laws. However the t e x t at 425e and 427a does mention that f u t u r e l e g i s l a t i o n must be constructed i n s i g h t of the o r i g i n a l code, and i f the t e x t at 425e and 427a i s too vague to i t s e l f j u s t i f y the suggestion that P l a t o intended to bind f u t u r e governments with a c o n s t i t u t i o n or set of fundamental laws, I th i n k t h a t the f o l l o w i n g passage, i n conj u n c t i o n w i t h the ot h e r s , does warrant such an o p i n i o n . You may remember my saying before that some l i v i n g a u t h o r i t y would always be required i n the s t a t e having the same id e a of the c o n s t i t u t i o n which guided you when as l e g i s l a t o r you were l a y i n g down the laws. (497c-d) This time the reference to the c o n s t i t u t i o n and to the o r i g i n a l l e g i s -l a t o r i s e x p l i c i t ; the s t a t e i s to c o n t a i n some " l i v i n g a u t h o r i t y " which understands the " i d e a " or s p i r i t of the c o n s t i t u t i o n as i t was conceived by the o r i g i n a l l e g i s l a t o r s . So we know that successive governments must "understand" (497c) and "preserve" (425e) the c o n s t i t u t i o n or o r i g i n a l -29-code of law; i n a d d i t i o n we know that they must "obey the laws", and a l s o that they must " i m i t a t e t h e i r s p i r i t i n any d e t a i l s that are entrusted to t h e i r c a r e " (458c). Although he does not work out the i d e a i n any d e t a i l i n Republic. I think that the above quoted passages make i t f a i r l y c l e a r t h a t P l a t o d i d favour some form of c o n s t i t u t i o n a l govern-ment. I t i s a b s o l u t e l y c e r t a i n that the s t a t e s r u l e r s are to be " f e t -t e r ed by law" i n one sense; f o r P l a t o says that they must "obey the laws". But I think i t i s at l e a s t f a i r l y c e r t a i n that they w i l l a l s o be f e t t e r e d by law i n a second sense; namely, they must govern and l e g -i s l a t e w i t h i n c e r t a i n l i m i t a t i o n s that are imposed by the s t a t e s con-s t i t u t i o n or o r i g i n a l code of law. There i s a l s o one other passage i n Republic where P l a t o seems to say that h i s r u l e r s w i l l be bound by the " s p i r i t " or "idea of the s t a t e s o r i g i n a l code of law. At 445e Socrates remarks: " i f the governors have been bred and t r a i n e d i n the manner which we have supposed, the fundamental laws of the s t a t e w i l l not be d i s t u r b e d " . But the t r a n s l a t i o n of t h i s passage i s problematic; the phrase which Jowett has rendered as "the fundamental laws" (when t r a n s l i t e r a t e d from the Greek) i s 'ton axion logou nomon'. (I am t o l d that the l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n would be r t h e laws worthy of reason*, or perhaps 'the laws based on reason'). However d i f f i c u l t i t i s to t r a n s l a t e t h i s passage, i t i s c l e a r that P l a t o i s not saying simply that the laws of the s t a t e w i l l not be d i s t u r b e d i f the r u l e r s are p r o p e r l y educated; r a t h e r he i s saying that those laws which are 'axion logou' w i l l not be d i s t u r b e d . Presumably P l a t o b e l i e v e s that these laws w i l l , and should, remain undisturbed because they are 'axion logou'. The r u l e r s have "been t r a i n e d i n the manner we have supposed" so that they w i l l understand the 'logos' on which P l a t o ' s law i s based; so that they w i l l not d i s t u r b those laws which are 'axion logou'; so that they w i l l preserve the 'logos' which u n d e r l i e s the s t a t e s law and c o n s t i t u t i o n . The word 'logos' i s also used i n t h i s context at 497d, where Socrates says that the " l i v i n g a u t h o r i t y " must have the same 'logos' ("idea") of the c o n s t i t u t i o n as d i d the o r i g i n a l l e g i s l a t o r s . I think i t i s q u i t e c l e a r i n both of these passages (and a l s o at 425e - 427a and 458c where the word 'logos' does not appear) that P l a t o b e l i e v e s that properly educated governors - the Philosopher Kings - are to be guided and bound by the i d e a or s p i r i t ('logos') of the s t a t e s c o n s t i t u t i o n and o r i g i n a l code of law. -30-Perhaps the best indication of a l l that this was Plato's inten-tion however is to be found in Book Four of Republic, where Plato gives us a l i s t of "orders that w i l l have to be conveyed to our guardians" (423c); that i s , where he gives at least a partial indication of the limitations which he, as the original legislator, would impose upon the states future governments. The f i r s t of these "orders" is that the rulers must eliminate the extremes of poverty and wealth in the state; "the one is the parent of luxury and indolence, and the other of mean-ness and viciousness, and both of a revolutionary s p i r i t " (422a). Next he would "order" the rulers not to let the state grow too large, or encompass more territory than is necessary for i t s survival. "T would allow the state to increase so far as is consistent with unity" (423b); the rulers must "guard against our city becoming (too) small or great only in appearance. It must attain an adequate size, but i t must remain one" (423c). Adeimantus replies that this is a very "severe order", but undaunted Socrates offers one that is even "harder": I mean the duty, of which some mention was made before, of dis-carding the offspring of the guardians when inferior, and of elevating into the rank of guardians the offspring of the lower classes, when naturally superior. The intention was that in the case of the citizens generally, each individual should be put to the use for which nature intended him, one to one work, and then every man would do his own business, and become one and not many; and so the whole city would become one and not many. (423c-d) The l i s t of "orders" continues: The regulations which we are prescribing, my dear Adeimantus, are not as might be supposed, a number of great principles, but t r i f l e s a l l , i f care be taken, as the saying i s , of the one great thing, - a thing however which I would rather c a l l , not great, but sufficient for our purposes. What may that be?, he asked. Education, I said, and nurture; i f our citizens are well educated and grow into sensible men, they w i l l easily see their way through a l l these, as well as other matters which I omit; such, for example, as marriage, the possession of women and the procreation of children, which w i l l follow the general principle that friends have a l l things in common. (423d - 424a) -31= So the most important "order" that P l a t o would give h i s guardians has to do with education; Socrates continues: Then to sum up: t h i s i s the p r i n c i p l e that our r u l e r s should c l i n g to throughout, t a k i n g care that neglect does not creep up -that music and gymnastic be preserved i n t h e i r o r i g i n a l form, and no i n n o v a t i o n made. They must do t h e i r utmost to maintain them i n t a c t . (424b) The reason that "any musical innovations are to be shunned" i s that -""when the modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the s t a t e change with them". (424c) Then I s a i d , our guardian must lay the foundations of t h e i r f o r t r e s s i n music? Yes, he s a i d ; the lawlessness of which you speak too e a s i l y creeps i n . Yes, I r e p l i e d , i n the form of amusement, and as though i t were harmless. Why, yes, he s a i d , and harmless i t would be; were i t not that l i t t l e by l i t t l e t h i s s p i r i t o f l i c e n c e , f i n d i n g a home, imperceptibly penetrates i n t o manners and customs; whence i s s u i n g with greater fo r c e i t invades c o n t r a c t s between man and man, and from c o n t r a c t s goes to laws and c o n s t i t u t i o n s , i n u t t e r r e c k l e s s n e s s , ending at l a s t , Socrates, by an overthrow of a l l r i g h t s , p r i v a t e as w e l l as p u b l i c . (424d-e) 3^ These then are the "orders" that P l a t o would "convey" to the s t a t e ' s r u l e r s : they must avoid the extremes of poverty and wealth; they must not l e t the s t a t e grow too l a r g e ; they must d i s t r i b u t e the o f f i c e s of s t a t e according to merit; they must observe the p r i n c i p l e of 'one man to one job'; they must preserve the educational system i n " i t s o r i g i n a l form"; and they must ensure that the laws concerning property, wives and f a m i l i e s , observe the p r i n c i p l e that f r i e n d s have a l l things i n common. I t i s obvious from the o v e r a l l tone of these passages that P l a t o i s s e t t i n g g u i d e l i n e s under which the r u l e r s must work; h i s r e g u l a t i o n s are "orders which w i l l have to be conveyed to our guardians". For p r e c i s e l y the same d o c t r i n e see Laws 797. -32-No doubt P l a t o ' s educational system w i l l be the main v e h i c l e through which these g u i d e l i n e s w i l l be communicated. The fu t u r e r u l e r s w i l l be educated to the perception that poverty and wealth are the "parents" of r e v o l u t i o n ; that innovations i n the educational system produce lawlessness, etc. But I think that even i n Republic P l a t o i s not e n t i r e l y content to r e l y on education alone. Although the "orders" that he gives h i s guardians w i l l c e r t a i n l y be conveyed through the sc h o o l , I think they w i l l also be conveyed through the s t a t e ' s l e g a l code. We can be sure that P l a t o ' s s t a t e w i l l have a c o n s t i t u t i o n and basi c code of law; indeed the " l i v i n g a u t h o r i t y " must serve as the s p e c i a l guardian of the " c o n s t i t u t i o n " . The reason I b e l i e v e that i t i s these "orders" that w i l l be declared i n the s t a t e o r i g i n a l code of law - i n i t s c o n s t i t u t i o n - i s that i t i s these p a r t i c u l a r r e g u l a t i o n s which P l a t o regards as most fundamental to h i s s t a t e . They are basic to the p r e s e r v a t i o n of order i n the s t a t e ; they are fundamental to the community's continued w e l l - b e i n g . I f these p r i n c i p l e s are neglected, the r e s u l t i s lawlessness, war, and r e v o l u t i o n . We know that the r u l e r s are i n s t r u c t e d to uphold the " s p i r i t " of the laws and c o n s t i t u t i o n , and we know that the s t a t e w i l l c o n t a i n some " l i v i n g a u t h o r i t y " which Elsewhere i n Republic P l a t o w r i t e s p a r t i c u l a r "laws" which s p e l l out these "orders" i n more d e t a i l . He makes laws con-cerning the content of poetry to be used i n the schools (380b-c; 383c); laws p r e s c r i b i n g the periods during which mathematics w i l l be st u d i e d (525b; 530c); and laws p r e s c r i b i n g the study of D i a l e c t i c (534d-e). He also makes a law p r o h i b i t i n g p r i v a t e property f o r the guardian c l a s s (417b), and at 457c-d he w r i t e s h i s law concerning marriage and c h i l d - r e a r i n g . The law i s that " a l l these (guardian) women are to be common to a l l the men of the same c l a s s , none l i v i n g p r i v a t e l y together; and, moreover, that t h e i r c h i l d r e n are to be common, and no parent i s to know h i s own c h i l d , nor any c h i l d h i s parent". -33-understands the o r i g i n a l " i d e a " of the c o n s t i t u t i o n . The i m p l i c a t i o n i s that the s t a t e ' s o r i g i n a l code of law would s p e c i f y ( i n d e t a i l or i n o u t l i n e ) c e r t a i n b a s i c p r i n c i p l e s , such as 'one man to one job', and 'promotion according to mer i t ' , and that the r u l e r s w i l l be bound to govern w i t h i n the s p i r i t of these c o n s t i t u t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e s . Now the view I am urging here i s that i n P l a t o ' s i d e a l Republic, the r u l e r s w i l l not only be bound by the d i c t a t e s o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l wisdom, they w i l l a l s o be bound by the d i c t a t e s of law. I hope i t i s c l e a r from the d i f f e r e n t passages I have quoted from Republic that P l a t o d i d not regard law as a hindrance to the f r e e e x e r c i s e of s c i e n t i f i c r u l e ; and th a t i n f a c t he saw the w r i t i n g of l e g i s l a t i o n as an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f the statesmen's a r t . In Republic P l a t o himself w r i t e s those laws which he regards as most fundamental to the s t a t e ; I think there should be no doubt that P l a t o b e l i e v e d that he dould embody the d i c t a t e s of p h i l o s o p h i c a l wisdom i n a code of law, the s p i r i t of which - and i n some i n s t a n c e s , perhaps, the l e t t e r o f which - wouJd serve as a r e s t r a i n t upon the powers o f the p h i l o s o p h i c r u l e r s . P l a t o ' s u l t i m a t e safe-guard against bad government i s most c e r t a i n l y education; but the p r i n c i p l e s h i s s t a t e would teach w i l l a lso be embodied i n a l e g a l code. And he s t a t e s unequivocally that the "guardians must themselves obey the laws"o In l i g h t of these many things that P l a t o has to say about law i n Republic. I think we are q u i t e j u s t i f i e d i n t a k i n g exception to the orthodox i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the dialogue. The r u l e r s i n P l a t o ' s s t a t e w i l l not be un f e t t e r e d by law i n the sense that the orthodox view main-t a i n s . The guardians do not have u n l i m i t e d a u t h o r i t y over the law because they are not authorized to enact any l e g i s l a t i o n they might d e s i r e ; nor may they amend or d i s r e g a r d a l l of the e s t a b l i s h e d laws and =34= r e g u l a t i o n s . I t i s very c l e a r f o r instance that the s t a t e ' s l e g i s l a t o r s c ould not simply ignore those laws which provide f o r the d i f f e r e n t stages i n the education of the f u t u r e guardians; nor could they ignore those laws which s p e c i f y q u a l i f i c a t i o n s f o r h o l d i n g p u b l i c o f f i c e ; nor could they ignore those laws which p r o h i b i t p r i v a t e property and families.. P l a t o makes i t p e r f e c t l y c l e a r that h i s b a s i c p o l i t i c a l and educational p r i n c i p l e s w i l l be embodied i n a code of law, and he a l s o makes i t p e r f e c t l y c l e a r t h a t h i s philosopher-guardians w i l l be bound to uphold at l e a s t the s p i r i t of that l e g a l code. But i f we can be sure that the r u l e r s w i l l be f e t t e r e d by law to some extent, we are nevertheless hard pressed to s a t i s f a c t o r i l y e x p l a i n the exact ways i n which t h e i r powers are to be c u r t a i l e d . P l a t o suggests that the laws on " i n s u l t and injury",, c o n t r a c t u a l law, tax law, e t c . , must "flow out of our previous r e g u l a -t i o n s " , and he a l s o suggests that a l l l e g i s l a t i o n which i s enacted supplementary to the o r i g i n a l code must be i n harmony with the s p i r i t of t h a t code. But j u s t what s t a t u s does P l a t o give to the c o n s t i t u t i o n and o r i g i n a l code of law? Are the r u l e r s allowed to amend P l a t o ' s laws so long as they preserve t h e i r s p i r i t ? Or w i l l they be prevented from changing the o r i g i n a l code i n any d e t a i l ? I think that the former p o s s i b i l i t y i s the more l i k e l y one, but i t must be admitted that i n 39 Republic P l a t o simply does not face these important questions. Because I t ' i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note t h a t i n Laws P l a t o has h i m s e l f amended h i s laws on p r i v a t e property and f a m i l i e s . The guardians w i l l be allowed to own property, and they w i l l be allowed to r a i s e t h e i r own c h i l d r e n . But there are very s t r i n g e n t l i m i t a t i o n s on the amount and k i n d of property that may be owned; and there are p r o v i s i o n s f o r s t r i c t s u p e r v i s i o n of these r e g u l a t i o n s . The same i s true of f a m i l i e s . P l a t o w r i t e s a l a r g e body of l e g i s -l a t i o n d e a l i n g with f a m i l i e s , and he again provides f o r s t r i c t s u p e r v i s i o n of the laws; i n f a c t , he appoints s p e c i a l o f f i c i a l s to ensure that c h i l d r e n are p r o p e r l y t r a i n e d and educated. So i f P l a t o has changed the l a t t e r of h i s law, he has not changed i t s s p i r i t or purpose. He s t i l l avoids the extremes of poverty and wealth, and he would s t i l l c o n t r o l the business of c h i l d -r e a r i n g . -35-Republic is more concerned with the education of the rulers than i t is with giving a systematic account of the form their rule would take, i t is impossible to say exactly what powers the rulers would enjoy; i t i s impossible to answer the question 'to what extent, and in which parti-cular instances, are the rulers to be fettered by law?'. Before Plato can answer these questions he must work out his constitution in much more detail; and in the later Chapters of this paper I shall argue that this i s precisely the task that Plato sets himself in Laws. He gives the state a legislative council - the Guardians of the Laws; he creates an institutional check on his legislature - the Nocturnal Council; and he defines the powers of a very wide range of executive o f f i c i a l s . As a result of this constitutional detail, the extent to which the rulers are fettered by law becomes much clearer. But Republic attempts none of this; Plato simply postpones the business of constitu-tionally defining the powers of the different governmental agencies. But i f Plato attempts no systematic theory of government in Republic. I think he at least makes one thing clear; the powers of government wi l l to some extent at least be limited by law. CHAPTER III If there are reasonable grounds in Republic for doubting that Plato ever intended his philosopher-kings to have unlimited authority over the law, then what of the argument in Statesman? We have already seen how this dialogue provides strong grounds for thinking that the philosophic governor should be unfettered by law. The p o l i t i c a l ideal i s not f u l l authority for law but rather f u l l authority for a man who understands the art of Kingship, and (who) has kingly a b i l i t y . (Statesman. 294c) 40 The entire section from 292b to 303d i s devoted to establishing the conclusion that the true statesman, like the doctor, must be able to make laws and prescriptions as he thinks i t i s beneficial for the com-munity to do so. And he must be able to do this without f i r s t getting the approval of his city. But this section of Statesman i s only one part of the overall argument that Plato i s making. The section must be looked at in the context of the whole dialogue. The overall project in Statesman i s to c l a r i f y the nature of the art of statesmanship —• to say precisely what function the statesman should serve in the community — to (functionally) define the statesman. A f i r s t definition i s given and then rejected: Our argument defined i t (statesmanship) as the science of the collective rearing of men — as distinct from the rearing of horses or other animals. Quite so. But we have to notice one respect in which a King differs from a l l other herdsmen. What is that? Do we find any herdsmen challenged by a r i v a l who practices another art and yet claims that he shares with the herdsman the duty of feeding the herd? How do you mean? You see how merchants, farmers and a l l who prepare the grain for food —- yes and teachers of gymnastics and doctors as well — would a l l dispute the t i t l e 'feeders of mankind' with the See intra, pp 8-13. -37-herdsman we have c a l l e d 'statesman'. These others would a l l contend that they are i n charge of the feeding of mankind — and of feeding the leaders themselves as w e l l as the mass o f the herd. (267e - 268a) The o r i g i n a l d e f i n i t i o n of statesmanship — "the science of the c o l l e c t i v e r e a r i n g of men" — i s r e j e c t e d then because there are a host of other a r t s i n v o l v e d i n the " r e a r i n g " of mankind. Each of these would dispute with the statesman h i s c l a i m to be the herdsman who rears the human f l o c k . But we can say at once with c e r t a i n t y that no one e l s e disputes a cowherd's p o s i t i o n i n any of these matters. He feeds h i s herd himself, and he i s also i t s doctor. He i s i t s match-maker too, one might say, and none but he understands the mid-wife's d u t i e s when confinements occur and babies have to be brought i n t o the world. Furthermore, i n s o f a r as h i s charges f e e l a need f o r games and music, who i s so good as he to cheer them, who so g i f t e d to charm and sooth them? For he i s master of the music best s u i t e d to h i s herd, be i t rendered on the pipes or i n song unaccompanied. And so i t i s i n the case of every other herdsman, i s i t not? (268 a-b) What i s wrong with the f i r s t d e f i n i t i o n i s that the statesman i s not a "herdsman" l i k e a l l other herdsmen. A l l the others are p e r s o n a l l y r e s -p o n s i b l e f o r feeding t h e i r f l o c k s ; they must be doctors and mid-wives, and when the need a r i s e s , they must e n t e r t a i n and calm t h e i r herds. But the statesman does none of t h i s . Whatever p o s i t i o n he does occupy with respect to h i s charges, he i s not t h e i r "herdsman" i n any s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d sense. At t h i s p o i n t i n the dialogue we meet the Myth of Cronos. P l a t o ' s purpose i n r e l a t i n g the myth i s twofold: he wants to show i n a c l e a r e r l i g h t the mistake made i n the f i r s t d e f i n i t i o n ; he a l s o wants the myth to a s s i s t i n f i n d i n g the c o r r e c t d e f i n i t i o n . A f t e r r e l a t i n g the myth, the Stranger f i r s t c l a r i f i e s ; h i s e a r l i e r mistake: We are asked to define the k i n g and statesman of t h i s present e r a , and of humanity as we know i t , but i n f a c t we took from the contrary cosmic era (the Age of Cronos) the Shepherd of the human f l o c k as i t then was, and described him as the -38-statesman. He i s a god, not a mortal. We went as f a r astray as that. (274e) He continues a few l i n e s l a t e r at 275c: I t appears to me now, Socrates, that the D i v i n e Shepherd i s so e x a l t e d a f i g u r e that no k i n g can be s a i d to a t t a i n to h i s eminence. Those who r u l e these s t a t e s of ours i n t h i s present era are l i k e t h e i r s u b j e c t s f a r c l o s e r to them i n t r a i n i n g and i n nurture than ever Shepherd could be to f l o c k . We must go back again f o r r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n of one of our d i v i s i o n s . We s a i d that there i s a * p r e - d i r e c t i v e * a r t con-cerned w i t h l i v i n g c r e a t u r e s , and with these i n herds r a t h e r than as i n d i v i d u a l s . Without f u r t h e r d i v i s i o n , we described t h i s as the science of the r e a r i n a of herds. You r e c a l l t h i s do you not? Yes, I do. I t was at t h i s p o i n t i n our t r a c k i n g down of t h i s a r t that we began to los e the scent. We d i d not catch the statesman at a l l i n t h i s d e f i n i t i o n or name him pr o p e r l y . He eluded us without our knowing i t while we were i n t e n t on the process of naming. How d i d he do i t ? There i s no other herdsman who i s not charged with the b o d i l y nurture of h i s herd. This c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i s absent i n the statesman and yet we c a l l e d him a herdsman. We should have used a wider name, covering a l l guardians, whether n u r t u r e r s or not. The Stranger says that h i s mistake was to confuse the statesman of the present era w i t h the r u l e r s i n the Age of Cronos; the d i f f e r e n c e between the two i s that the former i s a mortal, w h i l e the l a t t e r i s a God. The f i r s t d e f i n i t i o n captured the God — r u l e r , but not the statesman, because i t showed the statesm an as the " r u l e r of a l l the l i f e of a s t a t e " . (275a) This he i s not, because he i s not concerned with the b o d i l y nurture of h i s charges. The e r r o r must be c o r r e c t e d by f i n d i n g "a wider name, covering a l l guardians, whether n u r t u r e r s or not". The Stranger continues: Surely 'concern' i s a v a i l a b l e as such a class-name: i t i m p l i e s no s p e c i f i c l i m i t a t i o n to b o d i l y nurture or to any other s p e c i f i c a c t i v i t y . I f we had named the a r t 'concern f o r herds', ' a t t e n t i o n to herds', or 'charge of herds* ( a l l of -39 them terms which cover a l l s pecies) we could have in c l u d e d the statesman with the r e s t : f o r the run of the argument was i n d i -c a t i n g to us that we ought to do t h i s . (275e) The f i r s t d e f i n i t i o n i s now r e v i s e d . From "the science of the c o l l e c t i v e r e a r i n g of men", the d e f i n i t i o n i s changed to the a r t of "concern f o r herds" or " a t t e n t i o n to herds"; o r , at 276b, "the respon-s i b l e charge of a whole community". P l a t o ' s object i n r e v i s i n g the o r i g i n a l d e f i n i t i o n i s to guard against a m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n which might r e s u l t from c a l l i n g the statesman a "herdsman" or "tender of the human f l o c k " . P l a t o says at 276b that i t i s unreasonable to hold that " r u l i n g i s i n no. sense an a r t of tendance". So statesmanship i s an a r t of tendance; the statesman i s a "herdsman". The mistake P l a t o warns against i s t h i n k i n g that the statesman i s l i k e the cowherd who, as he i s described at 286 a-b, must p e r s o n a l l y and d i r e c t l y tend to every aspect of the l i f e o f h i s charges. In the case of the human herd such d i r e c t and personal r u l e could only be accomplished by the Gods — such as those who reigned over the human f l o c k under Cronos. The mistake was to think that the statesman could ever " a t t a i n to t h e i r eminence"; he i s a man among men, he i s s i m i l a r to h i s s u b j e c t s i n " t r a i n i n g and n u r t u r e " (275c). So he i s the "tender o f the human f l o c k " , but, he cannot be expected to deal p e r s o n a l l y and d i r e c t l y with h i s su b j e c t s . This leaves us with the question of how the statesman i s to "tend h i s herd". I f he i s u n l i k e a l l other herdsmen i n that he does not tend p e r s o n a l l y to the needs of h i s charges, then i n what manner i s he to deal with them? The answer to t h i s question i s given mainly i n the s e c t i o n from 292b to 303d: t h i s i s the s e c t i o n we looked at c l o s e l y i n chapter I , and which seems to lend some p l a u s i b i l i t y to the view that P l a t o ' s p h i l o s o p h i c l e g i s l a t o r was to have complete d i s c r e t i o n a r y -40-power over the law. It is in this section that Plato affirms the ideal of " f u l l authority for a man who understands the art of Kingship, and has kingly a b i l i t y " (294a). Full authority for the law i s a less than ideal situation. Because of the "differences of human personality, the variety of men's activities and the inevitable unsettlement attending a l l human experience . . . ( i t is) impossible for any art whatsoever to issue unqualified rules holding good on a l l questions at a l l times" (294b). Law is "like a self-willed ignorant man who lets no one ton-anything but what he has ordered and forbids a l l subsequent questioning of his orders" (294c). Despite this however law is necessary: the Stranger's argument begins at 294d: You have courses of training here in Athens have you not, just as they have in other c i t i e s — courses in which pupils are trained in a group to f i t themselves for athletic contests in running or in other sports? Of course we have quite a number of them. Let us c a l l to mind the commands which professional trainers give to the athletes under their regimen in these courses. In what particular? The view that such trainers take i s that they cannot do their work in detail and issue special commands adapted to the condition of each member of the group. When they lay down rules for physical welfare they find i t necessary to give bulk instructions having regard to the general benefit of the average pupil. Quite so. That is why we find them giving the same exercises to whole groups of pupils, starting or stopping a l l of them at the same time in their running, wrestling or whatever i t might be. Yes. Similarly we must expect that the legislator who i s to give orders to whole communities of human creatures in matters of right and mutual contractual obligation, w i l l never be able in the laws he prescribes for the whole group to give every in-dividual his due with absolute accuracy. Very probably not. But we shall find him making the law for the generality of his subjects under average circumstances. Thus he wil l legislate for a l l individual citizens, but i t w i l l be by what may be called a •bulk* method rather than an individual treatment. (294d - 295a). -41-This answers the question 'how i s the statesman to tend h i s f l o c k ' ? We have already learned from the Myth that he cannot deal p e r s o n a l l y with the i n d i v i d u a l needs of h i s i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t s ; t h i s p o i n t i s s t r e s s e d once again, and we are now t o l d that the statesman must deal with h i s f l o c k i n 'bulk'. What P l a t o means by the 'bulk* method of treatment i s general-i z e d l e g i s l a t i o n (295a). The statesman must give commands and i n s t r u c t t i o n s to h i s "herd" i n the form of laws, but these laws w i l l not "give every i n d i v i d u a l h i s due with absolute accuracy"; they can only aim at the " g e n e r a l i t y " of sub j e c t s under "average" circumstances. But because the statesman must deal with "whole communities of human c r e a t u r e s " , and because he i s a man, not a God, he must deal w i t h h i s sub j e c t s imper-s o n a l l y ; he must use laws. This i s the manner i n which the statesman "tends h i s f l o c k " . Having argued that the statesman must use laws o r the 'bulk* method of treatment (as opposed to i n d i v i d u a l treatment) P l a t o goes on to argue that the true statesman must be entrusted w i t h the power to i n s t r u c t and to command h i s herd as he t h i n k s i t necessary. In other words — he must have the a u t h o r i t y to make and to change the laws as he sees f i t . This argument i s based on the analogy between the s t a t e s -man and the doctor: (Suppose t h a t ) A doctor or t r a i n e r plans to t r a v e l abroad and expects to be away from h i s charges f o r q u i t e a long time. The doctor might w e l l think that h i s p a t i e n t s would f o r g e t any verbal i n s t r u c t i o n he gave, and the t r a i n e r might think l i k e w i s e . In these circumstances each might want to leave w r i t t e n reminders of h i s orders . . . . Well now, suppose our doctor d i d not stay abroad as lopg as he had expected, and so came back the sooner to h i s p a t i e n t s . Would he h e s i t a t e to s u b s t i t u t e d i f f e r e n t p r e s c r i p t i o n s f o r the o r i g i n a l ones, i f h i s p a t i e n t s ' c o n d i t i o n happened to be b e t t e r than anticipated,, because of a c l i m a t i c improvement or some other -42-unusual and unexpected development of that kind? Would the doctor feel i t his duty to maintain stubbornly that there must be no transgression of the s t r i c t letter of those original prescriptions of his? . . . Surely any such claims, in circum-stances where a science is involved, and a real art is at work, would only make the man who made the claim and his previous prescriptions supremely ridiculous. Imagine, then the case of a sc i e n t i f i c legislator. Suppose that by a written code, or by support given to unwritten cus-toms, he has laid down what i s just and honourable and what i s not, and what benefits society and what hurts i t . Suppose him to do this service for the several communities of the human flock who live in their c i t i e s as their appointed pasture shepherded by the codes their legislators have provided. If this man, who drew up his code by the art of statesmanship, wishes to amend i t , or i f another s c i e n t i f i c legislator of this kind appears on the scene, w i l l these be forbidden to enact new laws differing from their earlier ones? Surely such a prohibi-tion would appear as ridiculous in the case of the legislator as i t was in the case of the doctor, would i t not? (295c - 296a) So just as the doctor must not be bound forever by the prescriptions he once made, so the statesman may need to make new laws, or alter existing ones, as circumstances in the community change. Not only this, but the statesman must be able to amend his laws without the approval of his subjects. Statesmanship i s an art, and more than any other art, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to learn (292d); there w i l l only be a few in any community who have mastered i t (292e). Those who have not must not be allowed any measure of control over those who are experts, because when fin a l authority over any art (especially states" manship) is vested in a popular assembly, that art is thereby "annihil= ated" (296a - 300a). So the statesman must be able to amend his laws, and he must be able to do so without f i r s t getting the approval of his subjects. To this point in the dialogue (300e) Plato has argued that the statesman does not personally and directly "tend" to his charges (as does the cowherd): that instead he must issue.'bulk' prescriptions -43-(laws): and that he himself must have the authority to make new laws, or change existing ones, as he thinks i t benefits the community to do so. After a digression on imitative or second-best constitutions, (301a-303d), Plato next distinguishes the statesman from orators, generals, and judges. The background for these distinctions goes a l l the way back to the Myth of Cronos and the mistaken f i r s t definition. The statesman was defined incorrectly because there were a host of other arts involved in "tending the human herd". Thus Plato distinguishes the role played by statesmanship from the roles played by the other arts which are involved in "tending the herd". To this end Plato has already distinguished the statesman from producers of products which are used by the community (287b - 289d); from slaves, labourers, and merchants (289d— 290a); and from clerks, soothsayers and priests (290b -290e). A l l of these distinctions were relatively easy and pointed out l i t t l e i f anything about the precise nature of the role of statesmanship in the community. But the distinctions between the statesman and orators, judges and generals proves more f r u i t f u l . First orators: Which is the art to which wa must assign the task of persuading the general mass of the population by t e l l i n g them suitable stories rather than by giving them formal instructions? I should say that i t is obvious that this i s the province to be assigned to Rhetoric. But to which art must we assign the function of deciding whether in any particular situation we must proceed by persua-sion, or by coercive measures against a group of men-, or whether i t is right to take no action at al l ? The art which can teach us how to decide that w i l l be the art which controls rhetoric and the art of public speaking. This activity can be none other than the work of the states-man (304d). Next the statesman is distinguished from generals: Consider the taking of decisions on military strategy once 44-war has been delared by the state on an enemy state. What shall WB say about this? Is such decision governed by no art at a l l , or shall we say that there i s most certainly an art involved here? How could we dream of saying that no art is concerned? Surely generalship and the whole art of warfare operates precisely in this f i e l d . But which i s the art which possesses the knowledge and capacity to form a reasoned decision whether to fight or settle a dispute on friendly terms? Is i t the work of generalship or does i t belong to another art? Consistency to our earlier argument requires us to say that i t i s a different one which is involved. So i f our views here are to be consistent with our earlier views on the place of rhetoric, we must decide that this second art controls generalship. I agree. What art can we attempt to enthrone as queen over that mighty and dreadful art, the art of war in a l l i t s range except the art of truly royal rule? None other. Then we must not describe the art that generals practice as statesmanship, for i t proves to be but a servant of statesmanship. (304e - 305a). A similar conclusion is reached about the art which is practiced by judges: Does i t s province extend beyond the sphere of the mutual contractual obligation of the citizens? It has to act in this sphere by judging what is just or unjust according to the standards set up for i t and embodied in the legal rules which i t has received from the kingly lawgiver. It shows i t s peculiar virtue by coming to an impartial decision on the conflicting claims i t examines, by refusing to pervert the lawgivers ordin-ance through yielding to bribery or threats or sentimental appeals, and by rising above a l l considerations of personal friendship or enmity. Yes, that is so. You have given us, Sir, a succinct account of the juryman's function and of his duty. We find then that the power of the judges i s a lesser thing than the power of a King. The judge guards the law and serves the King. (305b-c) Now Plato is t e l l i n g us something about the art of statesmanship when he draws this set of distinctions. He is t e l l i n g us that states-manship is an art which controls a l l of the other arts which contribute to the "tendance" of the community. The sense in which statesmanship controls the other arts is that i t makes decisions, which i t embodies -45-in law and ordinance that the other, auxiliary, arts must carry out* The statesman controls the orator in that he decides when the orator's art must be brought into play; that i s , when persuasion, instead of coercion, is required. So with the general: i t i s the province of statesmanship to decide when war is to be waged. The general i s the statesman's auxiliary, who carries out his decrees. So must the judge "serve the King": he must impartially judge the merits of conflicting claims in accordance with the laws given by the statesman. Plato makes his conclusion quite explicit: If you w i l l view the three arts we have spoken of as a group with a common character you w i l l be bound to see that none of them has turned out to be i t s e l f the art of statesman-ship. This is because i t is not the province of the real kingly art to act for i t s e l f , but rather to control the work of the arts which instruct us in the methods of action. The kingly art controls them according to i t s power to perceive the right occasion for undertaking and setting in motion the great enter-prises of state. The other arts must do what they are told to do by the kingly art. (305c-d) Statesmanship "does not act for i t s e l f " ; i t s function i s "to perceive the right occasion for undertaking. . . the great enterprises of state". The statesman does not deal with his charges personally; he gives instructions in the form of laws, decrees, and ordinances, which must be carried out by his auxiliaries. His function i s policy making. Statesman then argues that the function served by the sovereign authority in a community is policy making; the sovereign must perceive the right occasion for "setting in motion the great enterprises of state". But i t is not the province of the sovereign to "act for i t s e l f " ; rather i t exercises control over the actions of i t s auxiliaries. The method of control i s law; the sovereign w i l l give instructions - in the form of laws - to be carried out by the auxiliaries; the judge, the -46-orator, the general, etc. So the statesman i s "concerned" with " a l l the l i f e of the community"; in this he i s like a herdsman, but unlike any other herdsman, he deals with his herd impersonally; he issues written instructions which i n i t i a t e the enterprises that are carried out by his subordinates. For this reason sovereign authority w i l l be authority over the law. Once Plato has distinguished the statesman from several of his auxiliaries (the judge, the general, etc.,) he i s free to go on and say more about the art of statesmanship i t s e l f ; he returns to his analogy between statesmanship and weaving: Then we must describe the kingly process. What is i t like? How i s i t done? What is the fabric that results from i t s labours? (306a) To answer these questions Plato introduces a doctrine which some commentators (Barker, Skemp) have found surprising in light of Republic. The doctrine i s that "one kind of goodness clashes with another kind of goodness". (306a) You regard courage as one part of virtue I suppose. Surely. Moderation differs from courage but i s i t a specific kind of goodness just as courage is? Yes. We have now to be daring and make a startling statement about these two virtues. What is it? This pair of virtues are in a certain sense enemies from old, ranged in opposition to each other in many realms of l i f e . (306b) Now we usually suppose that " a l l the several parts of goodness are in mutual accord: . . . (however) i s there not, on the contrary, something inherent in them which keeps alive a family quarrel among them?" Plato t e l l s us how we must go about settling this issue: We must consider instances drawn from a l l levels of existence -47-of things which we regard as excellent and yet classify as mutually opposed. (306c) The f i r s t instance i s "restraint" and "vigour" (or, better, "courage"; see Note 1 below): We admire speed and intensity and vivacity in many forms of action and under a l l kinds of circumstances. But whether the swiftness of mind and body or the vibrant quality of the voice is being praised, we always find ourselves using one word to praise i t — the word 'vigorous'. (306e) On the other hand we do not quite often find ourselves approving gentleness and quietness when i t is shown in many kinds of human behaviour? Yes, very decidedly. Do we not describe this behaviour by using an epithet which is the exact opposite of vigorous . . . ? We constantly admire quietness and moderation, in processes of restrained thinking, in gentle deeds, in a smooth deep voice, in steady balance or movement, or in suitable restraint in a r t i s t i c representation. Whenever we express such approval do we not use the expression 'controlled' to describe a l l these excellences rather than the word vigorous? (307 a-b) Plato has given us an instance of "mutually opposed" characteristics both of which we regard as excellent: we sometimes praise "vigorous" behaviour, at other times we praise "controlled" behaviour. But i f we find either of these kinds of behaviour appearing out of i t s due time, we have different names for each of them, and in that case we express our censure by attributing quite contrary qualities when we mention them. How so? If speed and swiftness are excessive and unseasonable and i f the voice is harsh to the point of being violent we speak of a l l these as 'excessive' and even 'maniacal'. Unseasonable heaviness, slowness or softness we c a l l 'cowardly' or 'indolent'. (307b) Not only do we praise opposite qualities then, we also praise and censure the same quality on different occasions. The next point is that these characteristics "never meet in the Jouiett translates ". . . we express our praise of the quality which we admire by one word, and that word is manliness or Courage". (Jowett, Vol. 3, p.512) 'Courage' is certainly the better word in one sense, since i t is courage and moderation that exhibit the conflict. -43-a c t i v i t i e s of l i f e without causing c o n f l i c t s " (307c): people whose character i s dominated by one or the other are i n " i n e v i t a b l e c o n f l i c t " with t h e i r opposites. This i s e s p e c i a l l y true when the c o n f l i c t a r i s e s over matters of great p u b l i c importance. For example, men of a "moder-ate " character are always ready to support peace and t r a n q u i l i t y (307e): whereas men of a "courageous" or "vigorous" c h a r a c t e r are quick to engage i n c o n f l i c t and war (308a). So: We f i n d that important parts of v i r t u e are at variance with one another and that they set at variance the men i n whom they predominate. (308b) With t h i s antipathy between d i f f e r e n t p a r t s of v i r t u e explained, P l a t o i s able to make h i s analogy between the a r t s of statesmanship and weaving. The a r t of weaving hands over the m a t e r i a l s i t intends to use f o r the f a b r i c to the carders and others concerned with preparatory processes, and yet i t watches t h e i r work at every stage, r e t a i n i n g the d i r e c t i o n and ov e r s i g h t i t s e l f and i n d i c a -t i n g to each a u x i l i a r y a r t such d u t i e s as i t deems that each can u s e f u l l y perform to make ready the threads f o r i t s own task of f a s h i o n i n g the web. (308 d-e) This i s e x a c t l y l i k e statesmanship; the statesman hands over the young to educators so th a t they might f a s h i o n them i n t o the kinds of products t h a t he needs to "fa s h i o n the web of s t a t e " . Through h i s laws on education, he bids the educators to encourage the young i n a c t i v i t i e s that w i l l make them courageous and moderate. In t h i s way he keeps d i r e c t i o n and c o n t r o l of the a u x i l i a r y a r t s unto himself. Some p u p i l s cannot be taught " v i r t u o u s tendencies", but are impelled to "godlessness" and i n j u s t i c e . These he must expel from the community, or e l s e make them i n t o s l a v e s . (309a) The statesman w i l l then take over a l l the r e s t —• a l l those who under the t r a i n i n g process, do i n f a c t achieve -49-sufficient nobility of character to stand up to the royal weaving process, and yet to submit to i t while i t combines them a l l s c i e n t i f i c a l l y into a unity. Those in whom courage predominates wi l l be treated by the statesman as having the firm warp-like character as one might c a l l i t . The others w i l l be used by him for what we may likewise c a l l the supple, soft, woof-like strands of the web. He then sets about the task of combining and weaving together these two groups exhibiting their mutually opposed characters. (309b) So the problem for the statesman i s that there are two different types of character: the courageous (vigorous) and the moderate. His job is to combine the courageous warp-like characters with the moderate wbof-like characters into unity or social harmony. He must prevent the "inevitable" conflict between these two character types. But how is the statesman to combine these conflicting characters into the "web of state"? He f i r s t unites that element in their souls which i s super-natural by a divine bond, since this element in them is akin to the divine. After this supernatural link w i l l come the natural bond, human ties to supplement the divine ones. What do you mean by this? . . . When there arises in the soul of men a right opinion concerning what i s good, just, and profitable and what i s the opposite of these — an opinion based on absolute truth and settled as an unshakable conviction — I declare that such a conviction i s a manifestation of the divine occuring in a race which is in truth of supernatural lineage. (309c) The statesman is to sc i e n t i f i c a l l y combine the two character types into the "royal web" by uniting their different souls with "divine bonds": the "divine bonds" are a true opinion "concerning what i s good, just and profitable". Well then, w i l l i t not work out like this? The soul f u l l of vigour and courage w i l l be made gentle by i t s grasp of this truth and there i s nothing as well calculated as this to make i t a willing member of a community based on justice . . . . What of the moderate soul? Sharing this firm conviction of truth, w i l l i t not be truly moderate and prudent, or at any rate, prudent enough, to meet i t s public duties? (309c) -50-So in order to weave the "web of state" the statesman must implant in the souls of the young a "true conviction concerning what is good, just and profitable". By making this an "unshakable conviction" he i s able to unite the diverse parts of goodness. Now we know that the statesman does not personally teach the young. He w i l l write laws dictating the nature of their education; these laws w i l l instruct the educators to implant the right convictions in the young by encouraging them in certain activities and by discourag-ing them from others. So the statesman fashions the "divine bonds" through the laws he makes. Plato makes the point explicit: In those of noble nature from their earliest days whose nature too, has been a l l i t should be, the laws can foster the  arowth of this common bond of conviction and only in these. This i s the talisman appointed for them by the design of pure intelligence. This most god-like bond alone, can unite the elements of goodness which are diverse in nature and would else be opposing in tendency. (310a) Now there remain the "human bonds" which supplement the "divine" ones. The human bonds are the marriage laws. Plato t e l l s us that persons of a vigorous character tend to marry their like: and the same is true of moderate characters. This cannot be permitted because over the generations children born in such marriages w i l l tend to be excess-ively "vigorous" or moderate. Thus the statesman must make laws which ensure that marriages occur between characters of the opposite types. There is no d i f f i c u l t y in forging these human bonds i f the divine bond has been forged f i r s t . That bond is a conviction about values and standards shared by both types of characters. There is one absorbing preoccupation for the kingly weaver as he makes the web of state. He must never permit the gentle characters to be separated from the brave ones; to avoid this he must make the fabric close and firm by working common con-victions in the hearts of each type of citizen and making public honours and triumphs subserve this end; and, f i n a l l y , each must be involved with the other in the solemn pledges of matrimony? -51-When he has woven his web smooth and "close woven' as the phrase goes, out of men of these differing types, he must entrust ths various offices of state to them to be shared in a l l cases between them. (310e - 311a) Mow Plato works out the analogy between the arts of statesmanship and weaving in order to make two important points about the function served by the statesman. The f i r s t point is that the statesman, like the weaver, must exercise control over the arts which are auxiliary to his own. Thus the statesman must have authority over the judge and the general — but most important of a l l — over the teacher. For the teacher supplies the materials out of which the statesman must "weave the web of state". And this brings us to the second point of comparison: the states-man, like the weaver, must combine diverse elements into a unified "fabric". He must take citizens whose dispositions are different and conflicting, and out of this diversity create harmony and unity. He must unite the diverse elements in the state by "working common con-victions in the hearts of each type of citizen". The way this can be accomplished is by creating and supervising a code of laws designed to make the more courageous dispositions gentle, and the more moderate dis-positions brave. The statesman must make laws concerning marrigge; he must also make "public honours and triumphs subserve this end". The point to remember here is that this "bond of true conviction" must be forged by the statesman in his capacity as "the good and true lawgiver" (309d). The statesman must weave his web by making laws. For how could the statesman "be capable of prescribing every act of a particular in-dividual and s i t at his side, so to speak, a l l through his l i f e and t e l l him just what to do"? (295a) -52-The closing words of Statesman remind us of Plato's overall purpose in the dialogue: You have done what was requested of you Sir, you have set beside your picture of the Sophist a picture drawn to perfection of the true king and statesman. (311c) Plato has been concerned with defining the art of statesmanship and with saying what function the statesman must serve for the community. We learned from the opening arguments of the dialogue that the statesman i s the "tender of the human flock"; but unlike any other "herdsman" he does not personally and directly see to the needs of his flock. It would require a God to provide this service for the various human communities. Then how does the statesman tend his flock? By using the "bulk method" of prescription; that i s , by using laws which aim to benefit the "average" individual under "average" circumstances. Also — i t i s not the "province of the kingly art to act for i t s e l f " ; instead the statesman gives legal instructions to be carried out by his auxiliaries. This i s to say that statesmanship i s the art of making policy decisions; i t i s the art concerned with setting in motion "the great enterprises of state". Thus the statesman i s responsible for a declaration of war; the general i s responsible for conducting the war. In the closing section of the dialogue we are given the end towards which the "enterprises of state" must be directed. The "absorbing preoccupation" of statesmanship is creating a social unity out of the diverse natures of the citizens. The statesman's entire code of law must be directed to this end: his laws must work towards establishing in a l l citizens "a true opinion concerning what i s good, just and profitable". It i s interesting at this stage to notice that Statesman is a continuation of the doctrinal development of Republic. In Republic -53-Socrates works out his theory of the ideal state; the express purpose in doing so is to show that the just l i f e i s better than the unjust l i f e . When challenged to show that his ideal state is a practical possibility, he offers the famous paradox (473d); the ideal state is possible only when Philosophers become Kings, or when those whom we now c a l l Kings become Philosophers. Socrates says that this i s the easiest and quickest way to effect a "transformation" to the ideal form of government. In Republic we are given a detailed account of the education that Plato thinks w i l l train men in the "art of government": he t e l l s us that only those trained in this art should hold sovereign authority. But we have to look to Statesman in order to find an account of the precise function which the sovereign authority serves in the community. In Republic we are told that philosophers must hold p o l i t i c a l power: in Statesman we are told exactly what power they do hold — legislative power. Perhaps the reason that students and philosophers alike think that Republic argues for the rule of a benevolent dictator i s that Plato says very l i t t l e there about what powers his experts are to have. Republic is concerned with the education of the ruler: Statesman is concerned with the service that the ruler must perform for his community. This is the point of calling him the "royal weaver"; the ruler must combine diverse natures into a "close knit" social fabric. Every law and regulation he issues must be directed towards implanting and maintaining in his citizens a "true conviction concerning what i s good, just and profitable". He must have been educated in the manner suggested in Republic in order to know that his efforts must be directed towards this end, and in order to know which activities w i l l serve this end, and which activities w i l l frustrate i t . Republic t e l l s us how the ruler -54' is to be educated; Statesman shows us why he must be educated in this way. Now in Chapters Two and Three we have been looking at Republic and Statesman to see whether Plato was there advocating some form of government which he would later abandon in Laws. In Laws we find Plato arguing that the supreme authority in the state must be law; that the government must be the "humble servant" of the laws. The traditional understanding of Republic and Statesman on the other hand, is that Plato opts for the rule of a philosophic governor who would have absolute authority over such laws as the state might contain. In Chapter Two I indicated that there are passages in Republic which con-tradict this view; I now want to argue that i f my reading of Statesman is correct, there i s absolutely nothing in this dialogue to support this view; in other words that there i s nothing at a l l in Statesman to suggest that Plato's rulers w i l l be unfettered by law. The main grounds that might be cited in support of this interpretation of Statesman are: (1) Plato's insistence that thestatesman have the authority to change the laws without the approval of a popular assembly; (2) his convictions that "the other arts (must) do what they are told to do by the kingly art"; and(3) his repeated saying that the statesman may rule "with or without laws". These arguments are usually understood as arguments in favour of a government which is unfettered by law. The statesman may rule with or without laws; i f he wishes he may enact legislation without the approval of a popular assembly; and such laws as he does write are to be regarded as orders which the auxiliary o f f i c i a l s are to carry out. Now this i s to say something about the art of statesmanship; i t i s to say something about how the statesman w i l l rule, about how he wi l l "tend -55-his herd"., But i t i s not to say that his own authority i s greater than the law; i t is not to say that he is unfettered by his own laws, or by the laws of previous governments.. When Plato says that the statesmans legislative powers should not be limited by a popular assembly, he has not said that they should be altogether unlimited; and when he says that the auxiliary o f f i c i a l s must always obey the rulers laws, he has not said or implied that the rulers themselves are to be exempted from this requirement. But what of the saying that the statesman may rule with or without laws? Does this not suggest that the ruler i s to be given almost unlimited discretionary powers? And how could the statesman be fettered by laws, i f indeed he may rule without laws? Now Plato uses this or a similar phrase three times in Statesman, but I think i t i s fa i r l y obvious that in none of these instances i s he saying that the statesman may rule in any manner that he chooses; I think i t i s quite clear that in each of these passages Plato says nothing to warrant the conclusion that the statesman may rule unfettered by law. But let us look at each of the three passages; (l) On this principle i t is the men who possess the art of ruling and these only, whom we are to regard as rulers, what-ever constitutional form their rule may take. It makes no difference whether their subjects be willing or unwilling; they may rule with or without a code of laws; they may be poor or wealthy, (293a) Now the context in which this passage occurs makes i t virtually certain that what Plato i s here arguing i s that the main criterion for judging of p o l i t i c a l constitutions i s not whether the subjects are willing or unwilling; i t is not whether the rulers are rich or poor; nor is i t whether they rule with or without a code of laws. The f i r s t criterion -56-is whether or not the rulers "possess the art of ruling". So Plato i s clearly not saying that in his ideal state the philosopher-governors may rule with or without a code of law«; The point is simply that the presence or absence of a written legal code is not the main criterion by which we should judge p o l i t i c a l constitutions, rather the criterion should be the presence or absence of the art of statesmanship. If we can expand on Plato's point at a l l i t should be taken as meaning that constitutions are good or bad depending on the ways in which they provide for the education of the state's rulers. (2) (The statesman) w i l l legislate for a l l individual citizens but i t w i l l be by what may be called a 'bulk' method, rather than an individual treatment; and this method of 'bulk' pre-scription w i l l be followed by him whether he makes a written code of law, or refrains from issuing such a code, prefer-ring to legislate by using unwritten ancestral customs. (295a) This time Plato certainly is saying that on some occasions at least, the rulers may give the force of law to "unwritten ancestral customs". Given the overall tone of Statesman however —- especially the saying that "a legal system is necessary" (294d) - I think that Plato would expect that his rulers would infrequently rely on ancestral t r a d i t i o n , and that for the most part they would use the more formal method of "bulk prescription". But in any event i t is once again quite clear that Plato is not saying that the statesman is above the law, or that he i s unfettered by the law. There is simply nothing in this passage to warrant any such interpretation. (3) The man with real knowledge, the true statesman, w i l l in many instances allow his activities to be dictated by his art and pay no regard to written prescriptions. He w i l l do this whenever he is convinced there are measures which are better than the instructions he previously wrote... (300 c-d) This time Plato says that the statesman w i l l "in many instances . . . -57-pay no regard to written prescriptions". This would sound very much like Plato was exempting the statesman from the obligation to obey the laws, were i t not for his following sentence} for the statesman w i l l only disregard his "written prescriptions" when he comes up with "meas-ures which are better than the instructions he previously wrote". Clearly Plato is saying that the statesman - like the physician, about whom Plato has just made the same point - may change or amend his laws whenever he comes up with "better" ones. So once again Plato has not said that the statesman should be unfettered by laws. Now I have been reviewing those arguments in Statesman which might be thought to support the contention that in the early p o l i t i c a l dialogues Plato was committed to a form of government in which the rulers would be altogether unfettered by law} and I have tried to show that none of these arguments w i l l in fact support such a contention. I now want to argue a more d i f f i c u l t point; I want to show that Statesman gives at least some reason for believing that Plato fully intended to place legal and constitutional fetters upon the powers of both the rulers and the auxiliary governmental o f f i c i a l s . There is certainly no passage which makes this point as clearly as several different passages in Republic; nevertheless there is some reason for believing that such was Plato's intention. In the Myth of Cronos we are told that in "the present cosmic era" men must manage their own affairs and govern their own c i t i e s and states (274d). Under the rule of Cronos "there were no p o l i t i c a l con-stitutions" (271e); this was because the rulers then had absolute powers. The Gods had unlimited authority over men (and cowherds have unlimited authority over their cows) because of their natural superiority. But human rulers are much closer in breeding and education to their subjects. -58-Thus they are not competent to see to every one of their needs; they are not competent to exercise absolute authority over them. This i s because a host of different arts are necessarily involved in the 'tendance of the human herd'. And so a host of different o f f i c i a l s are needed to manage the affairs of state. As examples Plato mentions judges, generals, priests, teachers, and a few less important civic o f f i c i a l s ; he also makes the point that each of these different o f f i c i a l s practices an art different from statecraft. So i f Plato assigns legislative authority to the art of statesmanship, he is also careful to indicate that the state must contain many other authorities as well. There are also (at least) ju d i c i a l , military, educational, and religious authorities. The implication i s that the state cannot be well governed by a single ruler who keeps a l l the powers of government unto himself. The community has many and varied needs, and contrary to the Age of Cronos, these needs must be serviced by different governmental authorities. I think that the overall argument in Statesman is designed to eliminate from Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory the possibility of the p o l i t i c a l superman - the a l l -wise, ever-virtuous, all-powerful, ruler, who is willing and able to serve every one of his subjects' needs. So Plato has argued in Statesman that many different arts are involved in the 'tendance of the human herd'; that different govern-mental authorities must serve the community's different needs. Thus the judge must be empowered to make binding judicial decisions: the general must be empowered to devastate armies and c i t i e s in time of war; and the statesman must be empowered to set down his policies in the form of law. The interesting point here i s that Plato quite clearly implies that there must be a distribution of state powers among different governmental institutions and o f f i c i a l s ; each institution and o f f i c i a l must be granted such powers as are commensurate with h i s / i t s function. So the statesman has no more authority to s i t on the judicial bench, or to direct the army in the f i e l d of battle, than the judge or general has the authority to s i t in the legislative chamber. To do so would violate Plato's principle of justice - that everyone performs only that function for which his training best suits him. It would also be to ignore the lesson taught by the Myth - that only a God is qualified to serve every governmental function; that only a God is entitled to hold a l l of the powers of government. Now we know that Plato's 'specialization of function* principle is absolutely fundamental to his p o l i t i c a l theory, so there i s no doubt that the statesman is to be prevented from usurping the powers of other state o f f i c i a l s , and viee-versa. We also know from Republic that Plato wi l l "order" his rulers to observe the 'one man to one job' principle (Republic 423 c-d); given Republic's general commitment with regard to the presence of law in the ideal state, I have interpreted Plato as meaning that this "order" w i l l be declared in legislation. Since the 'one man to one job' principle i s so important to Plato, I also think that i t w i l l be declared as a matter of fundamental or constitutional law; I think in other Words, that this "order" w i l l be embodied in the "constitution" which Plato's "living authority" is bound to preserve (cf. Republic 497 c-d). We have now seen that the 'specialization of function' principle reappears in Statesman; this time however there is l i t t l e to suggest that the principle should be declared as a matter of law. Nevertheless we have seen that Plato very deliberately points out that a host of 60' different arts are necessarily involved in 'tending the human herd's and that many different authorities must be involved in governing the polls. Again, each of these authorities must be granted those powers which are commensurate with i t s function; so Statesman certainly implies that there must be some distribution or separation of governmental powers. Now the fact that Statesman does not explicitly say that the desired distribution of powers must be provided for in the staters constitution, does not mitigate against the fact - of which Plato was well aware -, that the matter of defining, limiting, and arranging, the powers of the various governmental o f f i c i a l s and institutions i s precisely the business that is normally provided for in a state's con-stitution, or, at least, in i t s code of law. By the Fourth Century B.C. the Greeks had already enjoyed a long history of constitutional govern-ment; the different Athenian and Spartan constitutions in particular did provide for various ways of mixing and distributing governmental powers. Given this background, and given Plato's commitments to law and to a constitution in Republic. I think there i s good reason to believe that even before he wrote Statesman Plato thought that the distribution and definition of governmental powers was best declared as a matter of con-stitutional law. And there i s one passage in Statesman which at least implies that Plato's state would have a constitution. He t e l l s us that in the Age of Cronos "there were no p o l i t i c a l constitutions" (271e); since, in the present cosmic era, the universe i s in exactly the contrary state from what i s was in the former Age, the clear implication i s that today, when men must "fend for themselves*, they have need of p o l i t i c a l constitutions. - 6 1 -Nevertheless in Statesman there i s no explicit mention of any distinctly legal or constitutional fetters upon the powers of govern-mental o f f i c i a l s . And in Republic i f Plato does indicate that there w i l l be such fetters, he does not explicitly say that the state's con-stitution must carefully and precisely define and limit the powers of the various governmental authorities - legislative, executive, j u d i c i a l , religious, educational, etc. So I am not claiming that in either Republic or Statesman Plato explicitly argues on behalf of this kind of constitutional restraint upon the powers of the ruler. It is possible -though I think most unlikely - that Plato was content to leave these matters upon the shoulders of governmental tradition; i t is possible that he was content with an unwritten constitution. (The idea is not an untenable one; Britain has long been governed under an unwritten constitution.) However, whether the appointment of governmental offices and powers is declared as a matter of constitutional law, or as a matter of statutory law, or whether i t i s l e f t undeclared as a matter of governmental tradition, one thing is perfectly clear: Plato's rulers and auxiliaries w i l l be bound by the 'one man to one job' principle; they w i l l be instructed and obliged not to usurp the powers and prerogatives of other governmental offices. ' If this interpretation of Statesman is sound, i f i t is true that the arguments in Statesman - the Myth, the mistaken f i r s t definition, the distinctions between the statesman and his auxiliaries, etc, - i f i t i s true that these arguments do commit Plato to some method of limiting and confining the various governmental powers, then Statesman cannot be used as support for the view that in Republic Plato thought that the ideal state should be ruled personally and directly by a philosophic -62-dictator who would b8 completely unfettered by law. We looked at Republic i t s e l f in Chapter Two and found strong grounds for doubting that this was Plato's position; Republic definitely suggests that there w i l l be some kind of distinctly legai and constitutional limitations set upon the powers of government. Here in Chapter Three I have argued f i r s t that the arguments in Statesman which might be thought to support the orthodox interpretation of Republic w i l l not in fact support i t ; and second that the overall argument in Statesman provides at least some grounds for doubting the validity of this interpretation. Although the idea of distinctly legal and constitutional fetters upon the rulers i s not explicitly repeated in Statesman, neither is there any suggestion to the contrary; neither i s there any suggestion that the 'specialization of function' principle w i l l not be declared as a matter of constitutional law, So a l l things considered I think i t i s very likely that Plato always intended to limit the powers of government through the vehicle of a constitution. And even i f i t i s true that a certain amount of ambiguity and uncertainty i s created by the fact that Statesman does not repeat the legal and constitutional commitments of Republic, i t i s s t i l l true that Statesman cannot be cited in defence of the orthodox inter-pretation of Republic; i t cannot be cited in defence of the claim that Plato's philosopher-governors would be completely unfettered by law. If this way of reading Statesman is correct, then the orthodox interpretation of Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory needs some revision. In his early p o l i t i c a l dialogues Plato i s not saying that the ideal state w i l l be governed "directly and personally by the philosophic mind"*; he is barker. Greek P o l i t i c a l Theory, p.294. -63= not saying that the state w i l l be governed by a benevolent dictator who would have absolute power; he is not saying that the philosopher-kings w i l l rule unfettered by law. Perhaps Plato's strongest commitment against such governments occurs in his Seventh Letter: Now there is nothing in Republic or Statesman to suggest that Plato intended the citizens of the ideal state to be subjecL to the personal w i l l of "human masters". And there is much to suggest that citizen and ruler alike are to be subject instead to the laws. The traditional understanding of Republic and Statesman goes wrong on just this score. Barker thinks that the 'rule of law' "cleaves Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory into two distinct halves". 4 3 Saunders thinks that the difference between Republic and Laws is that in the latter "the importance of law over-shadows a l l , and the ideal ruler with his expert knowledge of moral values is barely mentioned".^ Sabine thinks that: The fundamental difference between the theory of the Republic and that of the Laws is that the ideal state of the former is a government of specially chosen and specially trained men, quite untrammeled by any general regulations, while the state sketched in the latter i s a government in which law is supreme, ruler and subject alike being subject to i t . 4 5 A l l of these c r i t i c s , and many more as well, understand the ideal state in Republic as being ruled by "human masters" - as opposed to laws. Looking at Republic in Chapter Two we found a wide range of passages which appear to directly contradict this view; looking at Statesman Let not S i c i l y nor any city anywhere be subject to human masters - such is my doctrine - but to laws. Subjection is bad both for masters and subjects, for themselves, for their children's children, and for a l l their posterity.42 42 43( 44: 45; j.334 c-d; L.A. Post's translation. Barker, p.295. ^Saunders, p.26. Sabine, p. 68. -64-in this Chapter we found that there i s nothing at a l l which might be cited in i t s defence, and we also found that whatever evidence there is suggests that laws and not "human masters" must be obeyed. The question we must now face i s 'to what extent i s the govern-ment in Laws to be fettered by law*? Is there to be no authority in the state described in Laws which i s empowered to make and to amend the laws? If there is not then Plato has certainly abandoned some very important principles on which his early p o l i t i c a l theory is based. If there i s such an authority, then what is the range of i t s legislative competence? What exactly does Plato mean when he says that the govern-ment must be the "humble servant of the laws"? CHAPTER IV Laws, in i t s entirety, is devoted to a description of the con-stitution and laws with which the state i s to be governed. Book One begins with a discussion of the right aim for legislation, and continues with a critique of the Spartan and Cretan legislative systems. Those systems aim at Courage — but courage i s only one part of virtue. The laws of the state, as we have been told in Statesman, must aim at producing the whole of virtue; that i s , at producing a l l of the different virtues, especially the four cardinal ones, wisdom, courage, temperance and justice. The f i r s t book then digresses into a discussion of the educational poss i b i l i t i e s of drinking parties. 8ook Two continues this digression and concludes that alcohol, used in moderation, can have an important educational use. Book Three looks at history with an eye to answering the question; 'what constitution should the state have'? Book Four concerns the laws themselves: the f i r s t main point i s that the laws and constitution must be the supreme authority in the state; the other important conclusion of Book Four i s that the main purpose of the law must be persuasion. In other words, law is primarily an instrument of education, and only in that capacity does i t coerce. Book Five is a general preamble to the legal code: i t deals in a general way with the duties of citizens, and explains the fundamental organization of the community. It treats such subjects as the holding of property, the selection of citizens, the size of population, the possession of money, and i t divides the state into four property classes. Book Six is concerned with the creation of the offices of government: i t creates legislative, military, religious, judicial and educational agencies, as well as a host of less important offices such as market wardens, country wardens, and treasurers. Book Six also begins the task of framing the -66-actual laws —- specifically the laws of marriage. The remaining five books constitute the actual code of laws. Book Seven deals with the laws on education; Book Eight with military training, sexual conduct, agriculture, and trade; Book Nine with criminal law; Book Ten with religion; Book Eleven with commercial law, family law, and certain mis-cellaneous laws; Book Twelve continues the treatment of miscellaneous subjects and concludes with the appointment of the Nocturnal Council — the highest legislative authority in the government. In Laws Plato gives us a detailed account of the constitution he has referred to, but has not described, in Republic and Statesman. Laws does what neither of the earlier works does — i t creates various governmental agencies and assigns certain specific powers to each of them. But before we can look at the offices of state, we must study Plato's claim (in Book Three) that the 46 state must have a 'mixed' form of constitution: the state must not be a monarchy, an oligarchy, a democracy, or any of the other traditional forms. Plato bases his argument that the state must have a mixed con-stitution on the lessons of history. We can pick up Plato's historical survey at the time when the victorious Acheans returned from the war against Troy. During the ten years i t took the Acheans to sack Troy, "the homes of the besiegers were fa l l i n g to an e v i l plight" (682 d). The youth had revolted against their fathers, and the result was murder and exile. ^ ^ l e n Morrow, (Plato's Cretan City. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1960) points out (p.521) that the term 'mixed' constitution never occurs in Plato's text. Plato says that his constitution must be a "mean" between monarchy and democracy: i t must combine certain elements of each of these "mother" constitutions, and i t must combine these elements in the "right" proportions. For an excellent discussion of this issue see Morrows' Chapter 10. -67-But the exiles returned under a new name —• Dorians, whence they divided their army into three, and formed three c i t i e s — Argos, Messene and Lacedaemon (Sparta). These three c i t i e s formed the Dorian Confederacy: Three royal heroes made an oath to three c i t i e s which were under a kingly government, and the c i t i e s to the kings, that both rulers and subjects should govern and be governed according to the laws which were common to a l l of them: the rulers promised that as time and the race want forward they would not make their rule more arbitrary; and the subjects said that, i f the rulers observed these conditions, they would never subvert, or permit others to subvert, those kingdoms; the kings were to assist kings and peoples when injured, and the peoples were to assist peoples and kings in like manner. (684 a-b) The Dorian constitution thus enjoyed the greatest security; two states would come to the rescue of the third i f i t was injured in any way. But the confederacy failed: the only city to avoid "shipwreck" was Sparta. The reason for the failures was the "worst" sort of ignor-ance in the kings: the specific kind of ignorance that Plato blames is the 'hating of that which a man thinks is good and noble, and the loving of that which he knows to be unrighteous and e v i l ' . This kind of ignorance is especially prevalent among kings because they lead a "proud and luxurious l i f e " . The chief aim of the kings of Argos and f'lessene was "to get the better of the established laws" (691a): they did not honour what they knew to be good and just, namely the "principles which they had agreed to observe by word and oath". (691a) Plato sums up the lesson he draws from the failure of the Dorian Confederacy: If anyone gives too great a power to anything, too large a s a i l to a vessel, too much food to the body, too much authority to the mind, and does not observe the mean, everything is over-thrown, and, in the wantonness of excess, runs in the one case, to disorder, and in the other, to injustice, which is the child of excess. I mean to say, my dear friends, that there is no soul of man, young and irresponsible, who w i l l be able to sus-tain the temptation of arbitrary power — no one who w i l l not, under such circumstances, become f i l l e d with f o l l y , that worst -68-of diseases, and be hated by his nearest and dearest friends: when this happens his kingdom is undermined, and a l l his power vanishes from him. And great legislators who know the mean should take heed of this danger. (691 c-e) Plato i s apparently saying that the reason for the failure of the two c i t i e s i s that their kings had "too great a power": the point is not as clear i s i t might be however, because Plato says "there i s no soul of man, young and irresponsible, who w i l l be able to sustain the temptation of arbitrary power": are we to assume that an older and more responsible 47 king could be trusted with arbitrary power? That Plato is here arguing against the exercise of arbitrary power, regardless of the age of the man who has i t , is likely because 48 of what follows. The next question is 'why did Sparta succeed where its sister c i t i e s failed'? A God, who watched over Sparta, seeing into the future, gave you two families of kings instead of one; and thus brought you more within the limits of moderation. In the next place, some human wisdom mingled with divine power, observing that the con-stitution of your government was s t i l l feverish and excited, tempered your inborn strength and pride of birth with the moderation which comes of age, making the power of your twenty-eight elders equal to that of the kings in the most important matters. But your third saviour, perceiving that your govern-ment was s t i l l swelling and foaming, and desirous to impose a curb on i t , instituted the Ephors, whose power he made to resemble that of magistrates elected by lot; and by this arrangement the kingly office, being compounded of the right elements and duly moderated, was preserved and was the means of preserving a l l the rest. (691e - 692a) The "kingly o f f i c e " was preserved because i t was "compounded of the right elements". But the "kingly o f f i c e " i s not identical with the kings themselves; rather i t is the sovereign authority of the state, of which kings are but one of the three "right elements". The "kingly 47 The question is an important one.' If an older and wiser ruler with arbitrary power is trustworthy, then the passage might be evidence in support of the orthodox interpretation of Plato's ^ p o l i t i c a l theory in Republic. Also because of thB passage at 875: there is no clause there restricting the point to a "young and irresponsible" dictator. -69-o f f i c B " consists of the kings, the elders, and the ephors. It was preserved because i t s powers were divided among three offices of government: this i s in contrast to the arbitrary powers of the kings of Messene and Argos. Sparta succeeded because i t s constitution provided for no "great and unmixed powers" (693b). The clear implication i s that the assignment of unlimited or arbitrary power to one man is sure to bring about the ruin of the community. Plato now introduces a general point concerning the nature of the ideal constitution. There are two mother forms of states from which the rest may be truly said to be derived; and one of them may be called monarchy and the other democracy: the Persians have the highest form of the one, and we (the Athenians) of the other; almost a l l the rest, as I was saying, are variations of these. Now i f you are to have liberty, and the combination of friendship with wisdom, you must have both these forms of government in a measure; the argument emphatically declares that no city can be well governed which is not made up of both. (693) The ideal constitution then must be a mixture of, or a mean between, the two "mother" forms of constitution, monarchy and democracy. This con-clusion i s so far based on the historical experiences of the Dorian League. Argos and Messene had 'unmixed' constitutions; they were pure monarchies. But Sparta had a constitution which combined elements of monarchy and elements of democracy. The kings and elders were the monarchial elements, but the Ephors ware appointed by lot and were thus a democratic factor. Plato next studies the exemplars of the two "mother" constitutions — Persia and Athens —- in order to further support his conclusion above. There was a time in Persia when the state enjoyed a moderate, balanced constitution. Under Cyrus the citizens enjoyed a moderate amount of liberty; Cyrus was not hungry for power, nor was he jealous -70' of his subjects. He thus permitted "liberty of speech" (694a) and valued the councel of his subjects whenever i t was wise. As a result his soldiers were on good terms with their generals and showed their willingness to fight in time of danger. But Cyrus "from his youth upwards was a soldier" (694d) and paid no heed to the education of his sons who would succeed him. They were educated in their father's absence by the "royal harem" by women and eunuchs. They were raised "from their childhood as the favourites of fortune, who were blessed already, and needed no more blessings" (694a). No one was permitted to oppose their w i l l — everyone was required to praise everything they said and did. And so, after the death of Cyrus, his sons, in the fullness of luxury and licence, took the kingdom, and f i r s t one slew the other because he could not endure a r i v a l ; and, afterwards, the slayer himself, mad with wine and brutality, lost his kingdom through the Medes and the Eunuch, as they called him, who despised the folly of Cambyses.49 (695b) His throne was seized by Darius, who was not the son of a king, and who therefore was not raised in a luxurious manner. Under Darius the kingdom again prospered in the tradition of Cyrus. But like Cyrus, Darius was a soldier who paid no mind to the education of his sons. Consequently, his son Xerxes, like Cambyses, led "the e v i l l i f e which is generally led by the sons of very rich and royal persons"; Plato draws his conclusion: We remarked that the Persians grew worse and worse. And we affirm the reason for this to have been, that they too much diminished the freedom of the people, and introduced too much of despotism, and so destroyed friendship and community of feeling. And when there is an end of thesB, no longer do the governors govern on behalf of their subjects or of the people, 49 ' Cambyses was the surviving son of Cyrus. -71-but on behalf of themselves; and i f they see that they can qain ever so s m a l l an advantage f o r themselves, they devastate c i t i e s , and send f i r e and d e s o l a t i o n among f r i e n d l y races. (697 d-e) The Persians "grew worse and worse" because they "introduced too much of despotism". P l a t o ' s meaning i s that every P e r s i a n k i n g had u n l i m i t e d powers, and t h i s proved d i s a s t r o u s even f o r the v i r t u o u s p a i r — Cyrus and Darius. Instead o f c o n f i n i n g themselves to the proper business of statesman, they had the powers of generals and educators as w e l l . Their sons were not turned over to the educators f o r t h e i r upbringing; they were i n s t e a d pampered i n t h e i r s o l d i e r - f a t h e r s ' absence, by the r o y a l servants. Instead o f a d i s t i n c t i o n between the f u n c t i o n s o f the statesman, the general, and the educator ( e t c . ) , and a corresponding d i s t r i b u t i o n of powers, a l l power was held by one king. To reinvoke the voice of the Statesman, only a God could provide a l l of these s e r v i c e s f o r a human community. A mortal — at best — can only be a master o f one a r t . The Persians "introduced too much of despotism" and i t proved to be t h e i r undoing. P l a t o continues h i s argument i n favour of a "mixed" c o n s t i t u t i o n by examining a h i s t o r i c a l example of the f a i l u r e of the other extreme from tyranny — democracy. The example i s Athens. In ancient times the Athenians were a "re v e r e n t " race, and were content to l i v e i n obedience to the e s t a b l i s h e d laws of the day. "Under ancient laws, my f r i e n d s , the people were not as now the master, but ra t h e r the w i l l i n g servant of the laws" (700a). P l a t o uses the laws of music as an example: music was d i v i d e d i n t o four d i f f e r e n t forms, and the r u l e s governing each form were s t r i c t l y adhered to by composers and p l a y e r s . Also the " d i r e c t o r s of p u b l i c i n s t r u c t i o n " i n s i s t e d upon s i l e n c e i n the audiences; i f necessary the young were kept q u i e t to the end of a performance by -72-"a hint from the stick". "Such was the good order which the multitude W8re willing to observe; they would never have dared to give judgement by noisy cries" (700d). But as time went on, "the poets themselves introduced the reign of vulgar and lawless innovation" (700d)« They were men of genius, but they had no perception of what is just and lawful in music; raging like Bacchanals and pos-sessed with inordinate delights — mingling lamentations with hymns, and paeans with dithyrambs; imitating the sounds of the flute on the lyro, and making one general confusion; ignorantly affirming that music has no truth, and, whether good or bad, can only be judged of rightly by the pleasure of the hearer.^0 (700e) By composing such "licentious works" the poets inspired the masses with "lawlessness and boldness, and made them fancy that they can judge for themselves about melody and song" (701a). Thus music gave rise to a "universal conceit of omniscience and general lawlessness" (701a). Consequent upon this freedom comes the other freedom — disobedience to rulers; and then the attempt to escape the control and exhortation of father, mother, elders, and when near the end, the control of laws also; and at the very end there is the contempt for oaths and pledges, and no regard at a l l for the Gods. (701b) Plato's version of the history of Athens may or may not be sound when he blames the poets for the moral collapse of the community. The point matters l i t t l e since Plato is not directly concerned with the historical question 'how did Athens come to suffer from an excess of freedom'? Rather, he is concerned with the philosophical question 'how much freedom should the citizens enjoy'? Athens is Plato's example of an excess of freedom. The poets "were men of genius, but they had no perception of what is just and lawful is music" (700e). When they were Lamentations, hymns, paeans and dithyrambs, are the four forms of music mentioned earlier. -73-alloiued to compose their works according to the pleasure of their audiences, they, and the multitude who became the judges of musical worth, were granted excessive liberty because the ordinary citizen does not have an "understanding of good and bad in music and poetry" (701a). So, to the question 'when do citizens enjoy excessive freedom?' Plato's (generalized) answer seems to be 'when they are licenced to do what they are unqualified to do'. The problem which besieged Athens was an "insolent refusal to regard the opinion of the better by reason of an over-daring sort of liberty" (701b). Plato has now shown us an excess of centralized authority (Persia) and an excess of freedom (Athens). The lesson is that the "right" con-stitution must be a "mean" between monarchy and democracy. When writing a constitution the legislator can achieve this "mean" only by keeping three things in view: f i r s t , he must ensure that the state is frees second, he must ensure that the state i s "at unity with herself" (this means that there must be a concord or agreement between the rulers and the ruled); and third, he must ensure that the state contains wisdom (this means that i t must contain a qualified "superior authority"). The legislator must learn from tbiB mistakes of Athens and Persia and deal with two correlative questions: (l) 'what freedoms are the citizens qualified to enjoy'? and (2) 'how can the powers of state be distributed so that no one body has too much authority'? This brings us to the end of Book Three — in Book Four Plato begins to answer the question he has just posed. The f i r s t point begins at 712c: But what form of polity are we going to give the city? T e l l us what you mean a l i t t l e more clearly. Do you mean -74-some form of democracy, or oligarchy, or aristocracy, or monarchy? For we cannot suppose that you would include tyranny. The Stranger replies with a question of his own: Which of you w i l l f i r s t t e l l me to which of these classes his own government is to be referred? (712d) But neither Cleinias nor fflegillus is able to answer. Megillus replies that his city, Sparta, seems in some ways a monarchy, in others an aristocracy, and yet in other ways a democracy. Cleinias is unable to answer for the same reason. The Stranger replies: The reason i s , my excellent friends, that you really have polities, but the states of which we were just now speaking are merely aggregations of men dwelling in c i t i e s who are the subjects and servants of a part of their own state, and each of them i s named after the dominant power; they are not polities at a l l . (712e - 713a) Plato goes on to explain this doctrine —- that the states we c a l l monarchies, aristocracies, oligarchies, democracies, etc., "are not polities at a l l " ; but we are f i r s t reminded of the lesson taught by the Myth of Cronos: Cronos knew what we ourselves were declaring, that no human nature invested with supreme power is able to order human affairs and not overflow with insolence and wrong. Which reflection led him to appoint not men but demigods, who are of a higher and more divine race, to be the kings and rulers of our c i t i e s ; he did as we do with flocks of sheep and other tame animals. For we do not appoint oxen to be the lords of oxen, or goats of goats; but we ourselves are a superior race, and rule over them. In like manner God, in his love of mankind, placed over us the demons, who are a superior race, and they with great ease and pleasure to themselves, and no less to us, taking care of us and giving us peace and reverence and order and justice never f a i l i n g , made the tribes of men happy and united. And this tradition, which is true, declares that c i t i e s of which some mortal man and not god is the ruler, have no escape from evils and t o i l s . S t i l l we must do a l l that we can to imitate the l i f e which is said to have existed in the days of Cronos, and, as far as the principle of immortality dwells in us, to that we must hearken, both in private and public l i f e , and regulate our c i t i e s and -75-houses according to law, meaning by the very term 'law', the distribution of mind (reason?).51 (714a) The point of the myth is that man's interests are best served by the rule of a superior race; l e f t in his own charge man has no respite from t o i l and misery. However "in the present cosmic era" man has been l e f t to govern himself. He must therefore approximate the rule of a superior race as closely as possible, by hearkening to the superior (immortal) element within his soul — reason or mind. Thus he must regulate his public and private lives according-to 'law', because law is "the distribution of mind". The rule of law is superior to the rule of men because "no human nature invested with supreme power i s able to order human affairs and not overflow with insolence and wrong". A sentence from Statesman i s helpful in understanding Plato's point here; at Statesman 300c laws are said to. be: Written copies of sc i e n t i f i c truth in the various departments of l i f e they cover, copies based as far as possible on the instructions received from those who really possess the scie n t i f i c truth in these matters. Plato is te l l i n g us that in the absence of a superior race of rulers, man must be governed by the highest element within his own nature —-reason. To he governed by reason is to be governed by law, because law is the vehicle which "distributes" reason. Howevnr: You are aware — are you not — that there are often said to be S3 many forms of law as there are of governments, and of these we have already mentioned a l l of those which are commonly recognized. How you must regard this as a matter of first - r a t e Plato hero draws the samo lesson that ho draws from the Myth in Statesman but i t is now reached mors directly. In Statesman the lnsfion was that the statesman must rule over tho human flock impersonally and indirectly: the dialogue then gown on to ox-plain that the impersonal form of rule is the rule of law, Here Plato directly says that we must regulate our citi e s by law. -76-importance. For what is to be the standard of just and unjust is once more the point at issue. Men say that law ought not to regard either military virtue, or virtue in general, but only the interests and power and preservation of the established form of government: 'Surely', they say, 'the governing power makes whatever laws have authority in the state'. True. 'Well', they would add, 'and do you suppose that tyranny or democracy, or any other conquering power does not make the con-tinuance of the power which is possessed by them the f i r s t or principle object of their laws'? (714 b-c) The forms of government which are based on this principle — that law should serve the interests of the ruling party — are not real govern-ments ("polities") at a l l . When there has been a contest for power, those who gain the upper hand so entirely monopolize the government, as to refuse a l l share to the defeated party and their descendants — they live watching one another, the ruling class being in perpetual fear that someone who has a recollection of former wrongs w i l l come into power and rise up against them. Now, according to our view, such governments are not polities at a l l , nor are laws right which are passed for the good of particular classes and not for the good of the whole state. States which have such laws are not polities but parties, and their notions of justice are simply unmeaning. (715 a-b) Now the Myth teaches that the state must be regulated by law; but laws are most often merely the instruments which the ruling class uses to maintain i t s position. How are we going to solve this d i f f i c u l t y ? Plato answers the question in the sentences immediately following the passage above: I am going to assert that we must not entrust the government in your state to anyone because he is rich, or because he pos-sess any other advantage, such as strength, or stature, or again birth: but he who is most obedient to the laws of the state, he shall win the palm; and on a similar principle shall a l l the other offices be assigned to those who come next in order. And when I c a l l the rulers servants or ministers of the law, I give them this name not for the sake of novelty, but because I cer-tainly believe that upon such service or ministry depends the well — or ill-being of the state. For that state in which the law is subject and has no authority I perceive to be on the highway to ruin; but I see that the state in which the law i s -77-above the rulers, and the rulers are the inferiors of the law, has salvation, and every blessing that the Gods can confer. (715 c-d) Plato reconciles the lesson of the Myth — that the state must be regulated by law —- with the problem which occurs in most states — that the laws serve only the private interests of the rulers — by giving the law higher authority than the rulers. The law can be made to serve the interests of the whole state by making i t the supreme sovereign authority in the state. Contrary to the orthodox interpretation of Plato however, this does not mean that the state must contain no agency which is legally competent to exercise authority over the law. It does not mean that Plato is settling for what he calls a "second best" constitution in Statesman (at 297e and 300c), i . e. a state which has no authority to amend i t s constitution and laws. Once again, I shall let Barker speak for the traditionalists: The sovereignty of law is one of the most fundamental principles of the Laws. Governments must be accommodated to law, and not law to governments. If sovereignty is thus vested in law, i t follows that we need not expect to find any p o l i t i c a l authority in the state of the Laws, which corres-ponds to the sovereign in a modern community. No body of magistrates; no council or senate; no assembly, however broad, wil l be other than subordinate to the rule of law. Barker continues in a footnote: The rule of law, i t should be noticed, does not bear the same meaning in Plato's Laws which i t bears in a book such as Dicey's Law of the Constitution. To the English thinker i t meant that executive o f f i c i a l s , like a l l other persons, are amenable to the common law of the land, as made by parliamentary enactment, and that they are tried before the ordinary judges who administer this law. The rule of law is thus compatible with the sovereignty of parliament, and with the right of parliament to alter the law which the judges administer. To Plato the rule of law means that every authority in the state —- not only the executive o f f i c i a l s , but also the assembly and -78-council '—• are under a code of law which, once enacted by the , legislator and definitely established in action, is fundamentals' Now the argument of Plato's that gives rise to this interpreta-tion of Laws is that the laws must be made "superior" to the rulers, because otherwise they may use the law as a means of serving their own interests. But Plato has already told us how to avoid this likelihood, and the way he suggests does not involve the surrender of the state's sovereignty. Ule must, instead of this, follow the lead of the Spartan constitution; we must not assign too much authority to any one "element" of the "kingly office"; we must not assign too much authority to any single governmental institution. In the "right" constitution law w i l l be "superior" to the rulers, but this does not mean that the rulers may never alter or supplement the legal code. It means that no one office of government should have supreme (unchecked) authority over the law. Plato wants to follow the example of Sparta, and divide the sovereign authority between two or more institutions; he wants these institutions to "moderate" each other's power; he wants to write a constitution which provides for a system of checks and balances on sovereign (legislative) power. Plato can say that law is the highest authority in the state because no single institution i s granted complete legislative powers. This doctrine — that the law should have higher authority than the rulers — is Plato's answer to the question 'how can we fashion the 52 Barker, Greek P o l i t i c a l Theory, p.330. -79-constitution so that i t is the right mean between monarchy and democracy0? The f i r s t principle of the mixed constitution, in other words, is that law must be the highest authority in the state. Now on the basis of the argument from history —• from the success of Sparta and the failures of Argos and Messene — 1 have interpreted this doctrine as implying that the state must contain some system of checks and balances on legis-lative power. Plato's conception of a mixed constitution also makes this interpretation preferable to Barker's. If Barker i s right —• i f the state does not contain an efficacious sovereign authority —- then the constitution does not contain a monarchical element. Only i f the 'sup-remacy of law' principle means that sovereign power is divided between several institutions which together have a l l the power of monarchs — only on this interpretation of the principle w i l l the state contain the monarchical element. On this interpretation the constitution w i l l be a mixture of monarchy and democracy, in that, like a monarchy, the state w i l l contain a supreme authority, (in this case, the combined authority of the state's legislative institutions); while like a democracy, the citizens w i l l be free of despotism. No one ruler or group of rulers has complete jurisdiction over the law, (and therefore complete power over the citizens), yet the state does contain i t s sovereign authority. Thus Plato's notion of the mixed constitution is crucial to an under-standing of Laws; along with the argument from history i t provides the key to interpreting the controversial part of the dialogue —- the demand that the law have higher authority than do the rulers. The point here — that the constitution must provide for a dis-tribution of powers — goes beyond anything Plato has suggested in Statesman. There we noticed him distinguishing between the different arts -UQ-uihich are necessarily involved in the government of the community. He mentioned judges, generals, orators, teachers, and of course, statesmen and he implies that each of these arts must have powers commensurate with the function, i t serves. But here, in Book Four of Laws. Plato is suggesting something further; a distribution of powers among the statesmen themselves. In Statesman Plato does not suggest — though he does in Republic — that there w i l l be different legislative tribun-als which have different powers, and which serve as a check upon one another. But this i s precisely the doctrine that he introduces here in Laws. The Spartan constitution is praised because the "kingly o f f i c e " ^ the sovereign authority in the state — is composed of the "right elements". Plato does not give us any precise account of how these different Spartan institutions serve as a "check" upon each other; he does not t e l l us exactly what powers are held by which offices. But he does t e l l us that the power of each is "moderated" by the other. And this is the kind of constitution he w i l l fashion for Magnesia. First then, there is the distribution of powers suggested by Statesman -— that i s , different powers for the different branches of government: legislative, j u d i c i a l , educational etc. Secondly — in Laws —- there is also a distribution of powers within the legislative branch i t s e l f . The proof that this is Plato's point in Book Four is ultimately to be found by examining the legislative offices he fashions in the later books. In the next chapter I shall do just this. My concern here is with the doctrine that the laws must have a higher authority than the rulers. I have argued that this doctrine means that legislative power must be distributed in such a manner that each legislative office serves as a check upon the activities of the others: Plato means to create a system of legislative checks and balances,. Now Barker, Saunders, Sabine etc. are quite right in their claim that the actions of the rulers are now inhibited by law, that the p h i l -osopher-statesmen are not to have a completely free hand in governing the community. In Statesman Plato insists that the statesman, like the doctor, must have the authority to issue and amend his prescriptions (laws) as he thinks i t serves his subjects' interests. Whereas now in Laws we find him .saying that this kind of authority must be distributed among several different governmental offices, so that the power of each "moderates" the powers of the others. However, Statesman does not t e l l us that legislative power is to be held by one individual statesman or by one council of statesmen. Plato is non-committal on this issues what he does argue is that legislative responsibility must be assigned only to those who have mastered the art of statecraft. Because States- man neither assigns legislative authority to one office of government, nor insists that i t must be distributed among more than one office, i t is d i f f i c u l t to say whether or not this doctrine in Laws represents a change in Plato's thinking. It might be argued, however, that the overall tone of Statesman suggests that Plato was not thinking of balancing legislative powers between different institutions of state. Perhaps in the absence of any suggestion to the contrary, we can assume that Plato's 'doctor-statesman' analogy implies that the statesman has sole responsibility for the treat-ment of his subjects, and that his prescriptions are subject to no authority other than his own. The analogy with medicine would provide a strong case for this interpretation of Statesman, were i t not for what Plato says in Republic. There the guardians are called upon to "obey -82-the laws" and to be faithful "to their s p i r i t in any details we leave to their discretion", (458c). Also "the state must always contain some authority which w i l l hold to the same idea of i t s constitution that you (the legislator) had before you in framing i t s laws" (497). Appar-ently, the legislative efforts of the guardians are subject to the scrutiny of some other authority which wi l l ensure that their laws are faithful to the original s p i r i t of the constitution. Apparently there is to be more than one office of government which has legislative authority. But perhaps these passages in Republic are too vague and too isolated to warrant the conclusion that Plato always f e l t the need of balancing legislative powers. This objection seems especially jus t i f i e d in light of the silence in Statesman, where some suggestion of a balance of powers would have been more than relevant had Plato always intended i t . Even i f these isolated passages from Republic are discounted, and i t i s admitted that the 'balance of powers' doctrine is a change of mood from the earlier dialogues, the change is nowhere near as radical as the traditionalists believe i t i s . Even i f there is very l i t t l e textual support for the claim that Plato had always subscribed to some theory of legislative balances, there is nevertheless ample textual evidence that the philosophic rulers of the early dialogues were not altogether "unfettered by laws" (Barker) and "quite untrammeled by any general regulations" (Sabine). Even i f the passage at Republic 497 does not imply the existence of an institutionalized check on the:legis-lative power of the guardians, the passage at 458c does explicitly c a l l upon them to "obey the laws". The guardians of Republic do not have a totally free hand: they must govern within the framework of laws. As 83-well as this, Statesman distinguishes the function served by the legis-lator from the function served by several of his auxiliaries; thus the constitution of the state w i l l assign legislative powers to the states-man, military powers to the general, judicial powers to the judge, e t c These constitutional provisions do restrict the powers of the rulers; they are "general regulations" which must be observed by the statesman. In Statesman, then, there is no suggestion at a l l of a distribu-tion of legislative powers, and in Republic there i s only a suggestion of i t ; so the doctrine may well be new to Laws. Nevertheless the trad-itional view is incorrect when i t holds that this doctrine "cleaves Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory into two distinct halves". In the early dia-logues Plato may not impose as many restrictions upon the legislative efforts of the guardians as he imposes upon them in Laws, but the d i f f -erences are of degree. The kind of sovereign authority —• one whose, powers are le3S than absolute — is continuous through a l l three dia-logues. Plato was not an absolutist who abandoned his ideal in his old age. I think that his p o l i t i c a l theory shows a gradual development from Republic. where he insists that p o l i t i c a l power be in the hands of experts, to Statesman where he indicates the kind of powers his experts are to have, to Laws where he fashions the institutions through which his 53 experts must exercise their powers. In this chapter I have argued that the f i r s t and main principle of Plato's 'mixed* constitution is the supremacy of law over the rulers. This i s a mean between monarchy and democracy, in that the state does contain a supreme authority-law (the monarchial element), but at the same time the citizens are free from sub-jection to human masters (the democratic element). While this is the most important place where Plato's constitution observes a "mean" between the two "mother" constitutions, i t is by no means the only place. See 756-7 where the method of electing the council i s said to combine monarchial with democratic ele-ments. Morrow sees both the balance of powers doctrine and the election of the council as instances of a basic philosophical principle of Plato's - that wherever possible - the "middle way" is the best way. See Morrow, Chapter 10. CHAPTER V Plato says at Lams 715e that the law must have higher authority than the rulers. In the last chapter I argued that in saying this Plato is not settling for what he considers to be a "second-best" constitution; i.e. one under which the rulers have no legislative authority, in that they must s t r i c t l y adhere to the already established laws and customs. This "second-best" constitution is one which Plato would favour only where the state is governed by "politicians" - tyrants, oligarchs or democrats who are not expert statesmen. Without extensive training in " p o l i t i c a l science", these rulers w i l l not be able to perceive that "the true art of po l i t i c s is concerned not with private but with public goods" (Laws 875a). Under such circumstances i t i s better i f the rulers are required to obey the laws, and are prevented from changing them in any way. If they were given any sig-nificant measure of legislative authority, they would, in their ignorance, be likely to use the laws to further their own i n t e r e s t s . 5 4 5 4 T h i s notion of the "second-best" constitution comes from States-man (297c; 300c). There Plato says; "our second best method of government i s to forbid any individual or group of individuals to perform any act in contravention of these laws" (300c). That Plato means by this, that the rulers are not to have the authority to change existing laws in any way is evident from the sequel. Plato remarks that the true statesman w i l l in many instances change the laws he has already enacted, but; "an individual or a group who possess a code of laws but try to introduce some change in them because they consider i t an improvement are doing the same thing according to their lights as the true statesman. But i f they acted like this with minds unenlightened by knowledge they would indeed try to copy the true original, but would copy i t very badly" (300d). When "minds unenlightened by knowledge" are given authority to change the laws they only copy the true statesman "very badly". The rule of the unenlightened comes nearer to the "true" constit-ution i f the rulers are not given the authority to change the laws (300 a-b; 301 a). The phrase "second-best constitution" also occurs at Laws (739; 607): but here Plato means a state which permits private ownership and families (the best state has a community of wives, children and property). -85-But uihan Plato gives the law higher authority than the rulers, he i s not settling for a government of lay politicians who must be denied legislative powers. He is drawing upon the lessons of history, and arguing for a system of checks upon legislative power, such that no one organ of government has absolute sovereignty over the laws. The proof that this — rather than the second-best constitution — i s Plato's intention at Laws 715 is to be found by examining the governmental institutions that he fashions in the later books. I want to make my case by examining four such institutions: the Assembly, the Council, the Guardians of the Laws, and the Nocturnal Council. The Assembly Membership in the Assembly is the right of a l l citizens: Let anyone who likes go to the assembly and to the general council: i t shall be compulsory to go on a l l citizens of the f i r s t and second (property) classes, and they shall pay a fine of ten drachmae i f they be found not answering to their names at the assembly. But the third and fourth classes shall be under no compulsion, and shall be let off without a fine, unless the magistrates have commanded a l l to be present in consequence of some urgent necessity. (764a) Everyone who is a member of one of the four property classes i s el i g i b l e to take part in the proceedings of the assembly. This includes not only the actual owners of property, but also their sons, daughters and wives. Plato nowhere explicitly mentions that women shall s i t in the Assembly, but they are eligible to hold public office after the age of forty, and they are called upon to engage in military service (785b). Since else-where (753b) Plato says that membership in the Assembly is the right of a l l who are, or have been, members of the armed forces, i t is quite certain that women were also to s i t in the Assembly. The significance of who is eligible for membership in the Assembly -86-can only be fully appreciated after we look at who is not eligible. Membership is restricted to those who are members of one of the four property classes; these are the "citizens" of Plato's state. The citizens are prevented by law from engaging in any profit-making activity other than the management of their farms (743d). They may not engage in any form of trade (9l9d-920a; 849b-d); nor may they engage in any form of handicraft or art (846d). These occupations are to be l e f t to resident aliens and their slaves. Thus a l l merchants and artisans, as well as a l l who are labourers (slaves), are not permitted a seat in the Assembly; indeed they are not given any part in the government of the community. This i s because citizenship is i t s e l f an occupation which requires a f u l l time commitment: "he who is to secure and preserve the public order of the state has an art which requires much study and many kinds of knowledge, and does not admit of being made a secondary occupation". (846d). So Plato's city is composed of two distinct classes: there are the citizens who own land and s i t in the Assembly, and there are the merchants, tradesmen and slaves, who perform v i t a l functions for the community, but who have no voice in i t s government. This distinction conforms exactly with Republic, where the state is composed of the Guardian class (the rulers together with their auxiliaries, including a l l those who serve in the armed forces) and the rest of the population (tradesmen, merchants, slaves, etc.) who are said to provide the state with i t s basic economic needs. In Republic one becomes a Guardian or a member of the 'economic' class according to the aptitudinal character-i s t i c s that he displays in the schools. Those students who show intellectual capabilities, and who are better at withstanding the -87-temptations of pleasure and pain, are selected to receive a higher educa-tion which qualifies them for holding some position of authority in the community. From among these Guardians the very best are chosen to be the rulers. In Laws the educational system is less egalitarian, and according to Plato, less ideal. Plato apparently thinks that families, (which are permitted in Laws but prohibited in Republic) necessitate a revision in the educational system. In Laws i t is doubtful that Plato intends a l l youngsters - regardless of their parentage - to receive the same education up to the point where they begin to distinguish themselves aptitudinally. The educational scheme that Plato outlines in Laws is for the children of citizens, for those who are born into one of the four property classes. Plato does not explicitly say that the children of slaves and resident aliens are to receive a different education but this does seem to be his intention. The main evidence for this occurs in Book (1): According to my view, anyone who would be good at anything must practice that thing from his youth upwards, both in sport and earnest, in i t s several branches: for example, he who is to be a good builder, should play at building children's houses; he who is to be a good husband-man, at t i l l i n g the ground; and those who have the care of their education should provide them when young with mimic tools. They should learn beforehand the knowledge which they w i l l afterwards require for their art. For example, the future carpenter should learn to measure or apply the line in play; and the future warrior should learn riding, or some other exercise, for amusement, and the teacher should endeavour to direct the children's inclinations and pleasures, by the help of amusements, to their f i n a l aim in l i f e . The most important part of education is right training in the nufsery. (643b-c). Plato's main point here is that "anyone who would be good at anything must practice that thing from his youth upwards". The educational system of Laws provides the youth with practice in riding, dancing and singing from six to nine years; reading and writing from ten to thirteen; lyre playing from thirteen to sixteen; and arithmentic, geometry, astronomy, wrestling and military exercises from sixteen to twenty. This is only the barest possible outline of the education system, but i t is sufficient to show that the system is designed to produce Guardians as opposed to tradesmen and merchants. How the children of non-citizens are to be educated Plato does not say, but presumably they w i l l be trained for the occupations which await them in their later lives. Perhaps in exceptional cases the children of resident aliens could be admitted to the schools designed for citizens, since Plato does say that exceptionally deserving aliens can receive the privilege of life-long residence. (850c-d). This privilege would be extended to their children who might then be admitted to the schools and gymnasia by special per-mission of the Assembly. Plato does not mention how the children of slaves are to be educated, but the children of mixed unions of citizen and slave are to be exiled from the colony. (930d-e). The reason for the differences between the educational systems of Republic and Laws i s , I think, the family. When the papulation is permitted to raise their own children, they are sure to "direct the children's inclinations and pleasures" towards a station in l i f e similar to their own: because " the most important part of education is right training in the nursery". Plato seems to think that as a "second-best" alternative, the schools should continue the kind of training the parents have already begun. Plato continues after the passage quoted above and leaves no doubt that his educational system is designed to create citizens as -89-opposed to merchants, artisans and slaves: At present, when we speak in terms of praise or blame about the bringing-up of each person, we c a l l one man educated and another uneducated, although the uneducated man may be some-times very well educated for the calling of a retail-trader, or of a captain of a ship, and the like. For we are not speaking of education in this narrower sense, but of that other education in virtue from youth upwards, which makes a man eagerly pursue the ideal perfection of citizenship, and teaches him rightly how to rule and how to obey. (643e). The percentage of the population that Plato intends to receive this education is d i f f i c u l t to determine. But one passage gives a good indication. At 848a Plato says that the food grown by the colony must be divided into three parts; one for citizens, one for slaves, and one for tradesmen and merchants. Presumably Plato is envisaging a state where roughly one-third of the population are citizens; that i s , where one-third of the population shall s i t in the Assembly and take a part in the government of the community. Plato gives a l l citizens a seat in the Assembly, but citizenship is an art which is practiced by only one-third of the population. These have been specially educated in virtue from the nursery upwards; they have learned "how to rule and how to obsy*. The citizens of Plato's state in ^aws are like the Guardians of the state in Republic; only they take part in the government of the community, because only they are educationally qualified to do so. The significance of this comparison between the citizen members of the Assembly in Ljjws, and the Guardians of Republic, becomes apparent when we ccnsider the powers that Plato gives to the Assembly. The main function i t serves is the election of the higher governmental o f f i c i a l s . The Assembly elects the Council, the exegetes of religious law, the auditors of o f f i c i a l accounts, the euthnoi, the generals, the city wardens, the market wardens; with very few exceptions (the Minister of -90-Education, the Nocturnal Council) the Assembly elects a l l the o f f i c i a l s of government. But most important of a l l i t elects the Guardians of the Laws. We shall see that these o f f i c i a l s have the bulk of the responsibility for enacting legislation; for "setting in motion the great enterprises of state". Their authority is subject to some measure of scrutiny by the Nocturnal Council, but the Guardians of the Laws are the main governing body. That these Guardians are elected - rather than appointed on the grounds of their moral achievements - would seem to be one of the main instances where Laws compromises the principles of Republic. Plato says at Laws 950c that ordinary men, though they may be less than wholly virtuous themselves, are nonetheless able to perceive virtue in others: he seems to think in Laws, what would have sounded very strange in Republic, that "the many" are competent to choose wise and virtuous rulers. But "the many" to whom Plato grants this privilege are the citizens or Guardians who have been carefully educated to exercise the authority they are granted. The Assembly elects the higher o f f i c i a l s of state, but the Assembly is manned only by those who have themselves been educated to a "right opinion concerning what is good, just, and profitable" Only those who have been trained "how to rule and how to obey" are given a franchise. Plato hopes (with good reason, I think) that Magnesia's rulers w i l l be the most virtuous of those who have been educated in virtue. Besides the election of officers, the Assembly is given very few specific powers. At 768 Plato gives the Assembly the right to try cases involving an offence against the state: - 9 1 -"In the judgement of offences against the state, the people ought to participate, for when anyone wrongs the state a l l are wronged, and may reasonably complain i f they are not allowed to share in the decision. Such causes ought to originate with the people and they ought also to have the fin a l decision of them, but the t r i a l of them shalltake place before three of the highest magistrates." (768a). Apparently Plato intends the Assembly to function as something of a jury in these cases. The case w i l l be heard by judges; but the power of verdict is to rest with the Assembly. There are three other places in Laws where the Assembly i s given specific powers: at 922 the "great body of the citizens" is said to be responsible for making awards of merit. At 772 Plato is discussing the laws concerning sacrifices and dances; he points out that his legislation in this regard is bound to leave out certain details which only come to light through experience. These omissions must be corrected by the Directors of Choruses and the Guardians of the Laws. After ten years of experience with these laws and their revisions, Plato expects that they w i l l need no further amendment. If however, some revisions do become necessary after that time, they must be r a t i f i e d by the Assembly. Finally, the Assembly is given the power to grant extensions of residence to aliens (who normally must leave after twenty years). (850b). Whether or not Plato intended the Assembly to serve functions other than the above is d i f f i c u l t to say. It meets on a regulafc basis -but we are not told how often. If i t has no duties beyond the above, i t would seem that i t s meetings would not have to be frequent. It may also be called into special session to deal with emergencies; but Plato does not t e l l us what emergencies i t must cope with. The Assembly is not actually a legislative or deliberative body at a l l . It plays an indirect, but crucial role in the state'slegislative processes however; i t elects -92-the Guardians of the Laws - who do have broad legislative powers. These o f f i c i a l s are the rulers of the colony - and Plato trusts their selection to the Assembly. Sut I do not think that this compromises the principles of Republic; certainly Plato did not see i t as a democratic element in his constitution. The way any state selects i t s rulers i s perhaps the most important feature of i t s constitution. Plato leaves this selection 55 to those who have been educated to choose wisely. The Council As an organ of government Plato's Council is remarkably unimpor-tant. Its lack of significant powers is remarkable only because this i s such a sharp reversal from the practice of most fourth-century Greek 55 states. Plato's Council is the executive body of the Assembly; i t calls i t s meetings and "guards" the city in the intervals between them. It receives heralds and ambassadors from foreign c i t i e s ; i t also listens to petitions and information from Wagnesians. Also i t likely supervises 1 That Plato sees the election of o f f i c i a l s by the Assembly as a "just" way of selecting rulers is evidenced by the text at 757. There Plato is describing the election of the Council: the Assembly elects 160 candidates out of which the 90 Council members are chosen by lot. Plato next distinguishes two senses of •just' and of 'equality's the 'real* justice is represented by the election, while the 'secondary' justice i s represented by the use of the lot. Real justice assigns duties, honours, authority, etc. , according, to merit; the point is that the Assembly deserves this authority - i t s members are qualified to perform this function. Plato also says that this manner of selecting Councillors is a mean between Democracy and Monarchy. The democratic element is the lot; the Monarchial element is the election of candidates by those who know who would make the best o f f i c i a l s 1 On this score 3ee Morrow p. 168-178. . . -93-the elections that are held in the Assembly. But beyond this Plato assigns the Council no powers whatsoever. The only significant function i t seems to serve is in relation to the Assembly. The larger body is too cumbersome to f u l f i l l i t s own function without the direction of an executive committee - the Council. The Guardians of the Laws This is a board of thirty - seven members who must be at least f i f t y years of age; they hold office from the time of their election until their seventieth year (754d-755a). The f i r s t statement of their duties is minimal: "Let them, in the f i r s t place, be the guardians of the law", and secondly of the registers of property (the records of each citizen's assets). (754d). The reason Plato i n i t i a l l y only assigns them the task of guarding the registers of property is that the law concerning property limitations is the only law formulated to this point in the text. Plato then adds: "as the work of legislation progresses, each law in turn w i l l assign to them their further duties." (755b). This promise is amply f u l f i l l e d . In the succeeding pages Plato frequently comments that the legislation he is writing is incomplete. At 759 the legislator is compared to a painter: "You know the endless labour which painters expend upon thei pictures - they are always putting in or taking out colours, or whatever be the term which artists employ; they seem as i f they would never cease touching up their works, which are always bein made brighter and more beautiful. (769a-b). A few lines later: "And is not the aim of the legislator similar? First he desires that his laws be written down with a l l possible exact-ness; in the second place, as time goes on and he has made an actual t r i a l of his decrees, w i l l he not find omissions? Do you imagine that there ever was a legislator so foolish as not to know that many things are necessarily omitted, which someone -94-coming after him must correct, i f the constitution and the order of government is not to deteriorate, but to improve in the state which he has established?" (769d). Thus the Guardians must be "not only guardians of the law, but also legislators" (770a); they must f i l l in the omissions that necessarily occur in the original formulation of the state's code of law. The original legislator - in this case Plato - w i l l "describe what is important and w i l l give an outline, which you (the Guardians) shall f i l l up". (770c). But as well as ' f i l l i n g in the outline', the Guardians must also revise or reject whatever laws and regulations prove to be an impediment to the aim of the true legislator, which is to make men virtuous. There are numerous examples of the supplementations and revisions that Plato thinks w i l l be necessary. The regulations concerning choral dances (772a-c), religious festivals and contests (828b; 835a), c i v i l disputes (844a), and some details of legal procedure (846b-c, 855c-d, 967a) are a l l intentionally l e f t incomplete. In each case Plato says that the Guardians of the Laws must complete the legislation after benefiting from experience and/or from consultations with the minor o f f i c i a l s who are relevant in each area. An instance of Plato thinking that a law may need to be revised, rather than merely supplemented, is the law concerning sexual relations. If the " f i r s t " law proves too s t r i c t for the Magnesians, "the Guardians of the Law, exercising the function of lawgivers, shall devise a second law against them." (840c). Thus the Guardians are empowered not only to supplement particular existing laws, they are also empowered to pass new laws and to amend old ones. That the legislative powers granted to the Guardians are very broad is evident from the wide range of matters concerning which they -95-must make regulations. In association with the market-wardens they must allocate s t a l l space in the public market (849e); make regulations limiting the amount that a retail-trader can charge for his goods (920a-c), and make regulations concerning the sale of spoiled food. (917c).. In each case the role of the market-wardens appears to be advisory: in the Guardians is vested the authority to pass laws and make regulations. The same principle is evident when the Guardians are associated with the Generals concerning the import and export of materials used for military purposes: the Generals are given the authority to import and export such products, but "the Guardians of the Law shall make f i t and proper laws about them." (847d). On other occasions the Guardians s i t on a board with other o f f i c i a l s , the whole board being charged with the responsibility for making the necessary regulations. The nature of musical contests, as well as the occasions on which they are to be held, is the responsibility of a committee consisting of "the judges and the Director of Education and the Guardians of the Law." (835a). This committee must become "legislators of the times and nature and conditions of the choral contests and of dancing in general." (835a). Also; games must be devised which permit the unmarried citizens to become acquainted with one another. The Directors of Choruses, together with the Guardians of the Law, wi l l be the body responsible for the legislation needed in this regard. (772a). A third example of the Guardians acting in concert with other o f f i c i a l s as a legislative body is the regulation of festivals and sacrifices. The "interpreters, and priests and priestesses, and prophets shall meet, and, in company with the Guardians of the Law, ordain those things which the legislator of necessity omits." (828a). -96-There are other instances where the Guardians, either by them-selves or in committee with other magistrates, are required to act as "lawgivers". They must make regulations concerning the construction of buildings (779d); they must pass laws dictating which forms of dance and song are appropriate to various state occasions (S16c); and they w i l l have to attend to the "innumerable l i t t l e matters" of legal procedures (846c, 055c-d, 871c, 957a). Every time Plato foresees the need for legislation to supplement his own, he assigns the responsibility to the Guardians of the Law. Even where he includes other magistrates in the legislative process, the Guardians must also be present. I can find no passage in Laws in which Plato assigns legislative authority to any o f f i c i a l s other than the Guardians. (The exception to this rule is the Nocturnal Council, which is considered below.) As well as their legislative duties the Guardians have special supervisory powers: they must supervise the import and export of a l l goods (847d); they must supervise the important festivals and contests (835a); they must see that no citizen accumulates too much wealth (754d-e); and they must supervise the enforcement of the law which exiles a l l children born of a union between citizen and slave. As well they have special duties regarding family law: they are responsible for the care of orphans (924b-c); they must reassign property when a citizen dies without heirs (877d); they enforce the rules regarding the marriage of heiresses (926b-d); they hear charges regarding the mistreatment of parents (932a-b); and they are responsible for maintaining modesty and propriety at funerals (959c). The Guardians usually carry out these duties as a board, or else in smaller groups ranging from three to fifteen members. -97-Lastly the Guardians have certain judicial powers,. They act as a court to hear cases where a litigant has resisted a court judgement against him (958c); along with the select judges they hear a l l cases involving the death penalty (855c); and they are the court before which the select judges and euthnois are tried. (967e, 948a). Also they may fine a man for improper expenditure at a wedding or a feast (755b, 959d), and they sometimes form a court of arbitration between magistrates and citizens. (784b). Plato never gives a generalized description of the functions served by these o f f i c i a l s - except in what is implied by their t i t l e -Guardians of the Law. There are I think, two senses in which this board of elders "guards the Law". First, they are in many instances responsible for seeing that the laws are enforced. Thus they "guard" the registers of property and see that the laws concerning the family are observed. But any citizen in Plato's state may bring a charge of misconduct against any o f f i c i a l or fellow citizen (856c); also an audit of every o f f i c i a l ' s activities is conducted at the termination of his services. The purpose of this audit is to assess his conduct during his tenure of office; charges may be laid for any misconduct. Thus Plato has built institutions into his legal code which are specially designed to ensure that the laws are obeyed. While the Guardians of the Law also serve this purpose in some instances, i t is not the main sense in which they "guard the laws." The second sense in which they are guardians is paradoxical. They are empowered to issue laws and regulations on their own i n i t i a t i v e ; they are also empowered to amend at least some of the laws which were passed by previous legislators. They are empowered to revise and supple-ment the legal code as the state encounters new circumstances and -98-experiences problems not envisaged by previous legislators. To reinvoke the language of Statesman, the Guardians have the authority to issue "bulk prescriptions" concerning what is the "just and honourable" course of action for an individual to take in a particular situation. The Guardians must be given this authority because no legislator can ever imagine every circumstance which his legislation must cover. "Do you imagine that there ever was a legislator so foolish as not to know that many things are necessarily omitted (from his code of law) which someone coming after him must correct, i f the constitution and order of govern-ment is not to deteriorate"? (769d). The second sense in which the Guardians must "guard" the laws then, is that they must "correct" them, so that they might better achieve the purposes for which they were designed. The reason that this might be thought paradoxical - or worse, contradictory - is that Plato elsewhere insists that the law has a greater claim to authority than do the rulers (715). How is this possible when the rulers are empowered to "correct" and amend the laws? If the Guardians are given this power, how can we be sure that they w i l l not use the laws to strengthen their own position - to further their own interests? Plato's answer is the Nocturnal Council! The Nocturnal Council 1• It's Membership Plato introduces the Nocturnal Council at 951d: "This shall be a mixed body of young and old men, who shall be required to meet daily between the hour of dawn and the rising of the sun. They shall consist, in the f i r s t place of the priests who have obtained the rewards of virtue, and, in the second place, of guardians of the law, the ten eldest being chosen; the general superintendent of education shall also be a member, as well the last appointed as those who have been released from the office; and each of them shall take with him as his companion a young man, whomsoever he chooses, between the ages of thirty and forty» (951d-e). Unfortunately Plato gives us a second description of the Council's membership just a few pages later: what is unfortunate is that the two passages are different. The second description includes the ten oldest guardians, and " a l l those who have obtained prizes of virtue." "And the council was also to include those who visited foreign countries in the hope of hearing something that might be of use in the preservation of the laws, and who, having come safely home, and having been tested in these same matters, had proved themselves worthy to take part in the Assembly." (961a). This second passage differs from the f i r s t in three ways. (1) Plato omits the Director of Education and a l l his predecessor in office: (2) he includes " a l l " who have been granted awards of virtue (instead of just the priests who had been so rewarded); and (3) he in-cludes the special envoys or "spectators" who go abroad for the purpose of studying foreign laws and constitutions. The last mentioned is consistent with the f i r s t passage (at 951d-e) because Plato there says that these spectators must report to the Council upon their return and participate in its discussions. There seems to be no way of reconciling the second difference: are only the priests, or are a l l who have been awarded for their virtue, to s i t on the Council? Probably anyone who receives such a great honour would be eligible, he would certainly be well qualified; but the issue appears to be of l i t t l e consequence anyway The important difference between the two passages is the omission of the Director of Education from the second one. This is very likely an oversight because of the high esteem with which Plato regards this office; he describes i t as "the greatest of a l l the great offices of -100-state." (765G). Again, when speaking of wise men who may v i s i t I'lagnesia in order to study its laws, Plato says that such visitors should go "unbidden to the doors" of Magnesia's wisest and most virtuous citizens. And of these he singles out the Director of Education as one of the citizens most worthy of such visitors. The o f f i c i a l that Plato appoints to oversee the state's educational system must obviously be one of the wisest of the guardians. Despite the passage at 961, I think i t is very probable that the Educator is an important member of the Nocturnal Council. 11. The Council's Educational Function The account that Plato gives us of the function served by the Nocturnal Council is somewhat general and unspecific. Ule have seen that the Council is to be a "mixed body of young and old men"; Plato has this to say about the relationship between the elder and the junior Councillors: the younger guardians, who are chosen for their natural gifts, (are) placed in the head of the state, having their souls a l l f u l l of eyes, with which they look about the whole city? They keep watch and hand over their perceptions to the memory, and inform the elders of a l l that happens in the city; and those whom we compared to the mind, because they have many wise thoughts - that is to say, the old men - take counsel, and making use of the younger men as their ministers, and advising with them - in this way both together truly preserve the whole state. (964e-9S5a). I ' J O W this passage suggests that the younger men w i l l , in one way or another, serve as the assistants of their elders. This suggestion is never elaborated however; we are never told in what sense the alder men wi l l "make use of the younger men as their ministers." But the passage also contains another suggestion: the young men have earlier been compared to the "noblest senses" - to the "eyes and ears" - of an organic creature; here Plato says that they must have "their souls a l l -1 01 = f u l l of eyes with which they look about the whole c i t y . " At f i r s t glance this might appear to explain the sense in which the young men are the "ministers" of their elders; i t might seem that Plato is assigning ths junior Councillors some sort of police duty. But this, I think, would be to misunderstand Plato's metaphor. The younger members of the Council are the "eyes and ears" of the state in the sense that they are i t s students; they "look about the whole c i t y " not as police, but as students of government. They must study the whole community; the project i s a stage in the study of the art of ruling. Plato in fact leaves no doubt that the younger Councillors are students, and that the elder Councillors are their teachers. When f i r s t introducing the Council he has this to say about i t s activities; ( i t s members) shall always be holding conversation and discourse about the laws of their own city or about any specially good ones which they may hear to be existing elsewhere; also about the kinds of knowledge which may appear to be of use and will throw light upon the examination, or of which the want w i l l make the subject of laws dark and uncertain to them. Any knowledge of this sort which the elders approve, the younger men shall learn with a l l diligence. (951e-952a). So the Council, among other things, is certainly an institution for the higher education of i t s younger members. It must study laws, both domestic and foreign; and i t must also pursue those studies which w i l l throw light upon i t s main concern - legislation. In fact any subjects which the elder members think important must be studied diligently by their younger "ministers". That these younger members of the Nocturnal Council are students of statesmanship, that they are the "select few" who w i l l later in their lives become the expert statesmen that Plato relies on in Republic and Statesman - this becomes evident when the whole educational system of Laws is compared to the system in Republic. Laws. like Republic, provides I -102-for advanced studies for those students who show themselves particularly adapted to statesmanship. The curricula in the two dialogues are closely parallel; both combine theoretical studies with practical experience in government. The parallel between the two dialogues i s somewhat d i f f i c u l t to establish only because Republic is primarily concerned with the education of the rulers, whereas Laws is primarily concerned with the lower level of education which a l l citizens are to receive. We have already seen that the educational system in Laws is designed for citizens as opposed to merchants, tradesmen and slaves. Citizens must be trained in the art of citizenship because that art cannot be practiced as a "secondary occupation." (846d). The other' residents of the city w i l l be educated in different arts, but a l l citizens are to receive the same education up to the age of twenty. From ten to thirteen years they study "letters"; from thirteen to six-teen years they take up lyre-playing. (81 Da). What they study after the age of sixteen is nowhere stated explicitly, but i t is implied by the conjunction of several different passages. In the passage extending from 818a-820e, Plato says that a basic knowledge of mathematics is necessary for a l l citizens. Such studies make "the arrangements and movements of armies and expeditions" more i n t e l l i g i b l e , and "in the management of a household they make people more useful to themselves." (819c), A basic knowledge of Astronomy is also said to be helpful for a l l citizens, (820e-822d). As well as Mathematics and Astronomy the -103-state must teach Gymnastics. The importance of physical exercise is stressed by Plato for a l l ages, but, when they are young, citizens must be trained for military service. Their gymnastic training is very extensive: "we include under gymnastics a l l military exercises, such as archery and the hurling of weapons, and the use of the light shield, and a l l fighting with heavy arms, and military evolutions, and movements of armies, and encampings, and a l l that relates to horsemanship." (813e). As well Plato stresses the importance of wrestling (814a) and dancing (814e-817d). What Plato does not explicitly t e l l us is that education in Mathematics, Astronomy and Gymnastic is to occur between the ages of seventeen and twenty. However i t most certainly begins after the age of sixteen because the curriculum up to that age is described in detail. Also, i t must end at the age of twenty because at that age the young are eligible for military service. (785b). Those who have distinguished themselves in the schools, and who have proved to be the bravest warriors, w i l l carry on their education when they are finished their military service. Before introducing Mathematics and Astronomy into the curriculum for a l l citizens, Plato says this about these subjects: "Not everyone has need to t o i l through a l l these things in a s t r i c s c i e n t i f i c manner, but only a few, and who they are to be we wi l l hereafter indicate at the end, which wi l l be the proper place; not to know what is necessary for mankind in general, and what is the truth, is disgraceful to everyone: and yet to enter into these matters minutely is neither easy, nor at a l l possible for everyone}" (818a). 57 The teat at 785b contains a suggestion that is inconsistent with the rest of the text. Plato says that women are to be married between the ages of sixteen and twenty. Thus i t might seem that they are not to receive education in Mathematics, Astronomy and Gymnastic. Since Plato repeatedly says that women are eligible for military service, however, I think the 'marriageable ages' law is a mistake. If they are to serve in the armed forces they must be trained in Gymnastic. -104-Clearly Plato is saying that while everyone must have a basic knowledge of Mathematics and Astronomy (etc.), "only a few" need to study these matters "minutely" and "in a s t r i c t l y s c i e n t i f i c manner." Plato's promise that we wi l l be told at the end who is to receive this advanced educa-tion is f u l f i l l e d by the closing pages of the dialogue. At 968a Plato says that the Nocturnal Councillors must have gone through "the whole scheme of education proposed by us"; and at 965b he says that the Councillors must be "special persons...who have received a more careful training and education" than the ordinary citizens have. There are no grounds whatsoever for doubting that Plato intends this education for those who wi l l s i t on the Nocturnal Council. Thus Laws does provide for some system of higher education for the state's rulers. Everyone receives the same education up to age twenty, when "a few" are chosen for further studies. We are not told how long these studies are to last; nor whether they are to commence at age twenty, or whether a period of military service is to precede them. But we know that at age thirty some of those who have undergone this advanced training "are chosen for their natural gifts (and are) placed in the head of the state" - the Nocturnal Council. (964e). So, for a l l or some of the years between twenty and thirty, the most gifted of the youth are to study mathematics and the sciences. This part of the educational scheme in Laws corresponds very closely to the programme in Republic. There the f i r s t selection of the more gifted youth also occurs at age twenty; those chosen are to study mathematics and the sciences (Astronomy and Harmonics) in such detail that "the detached studies in which they were educated as children w i l l now be brought together in a comprehensive view of their connections -105-with one another and with reality." (Rep. 532). Up to age thirty then there is a substantial accord between the educational programmes of Republic and Laws. But to establish a parallel between the courses of studies provided in each dialogue for the thirty year old guardians is much more d i f f i c u l t . In Republic at this age, the young guardians are introduced to Dialectic. (Rep. 537). These studies w i l l lead to "the discovery of the real by the light of reason only"; they wi l l culminate in "the perception of the absolute good." (Rep. 532a). The young guardians have advanced from the study of mathematics and the sciences to the study of the Forms or Ideas; they have begun to study Philosophy. Now philosophical knowledge - knowledge of the Forms - is absolutely central to the education of the philosopher-kings in Republic; i t i s in virtue of their knowledge of the Forms - especially the Good -that they are f i t to rule. those who are verily and indeed wanting in the knowledge of the true being of each thing, and who have in their souls no clear pattern, and who are unable to look like painters at the absolute truth and to that original to repair, and having a perfect vision thereof to frame laws about beauty, goodness, and justice, i f not already framed, or to guard and preserve order where i t exists - are not such persons I ask simply blind? And shall they be our guardians when there are others who... know the very truth of each thing? (464c-d) The s p i r i t of this and other similar passages in Republic (501a-c for example) is clear enough; unless a guardian has "true knowledge of the true being of each thing," unless he has "a perfect vision" of Beauty, Justice, and Goodness, he will not be able to preserve or frame the laws which make the state as far as possible an accurate copy of these Ideas. In short, unless the guardians know what Justice and Goodness are, they wi l l never be able to create and preserve the good and just society. -106-Now a careful analysis of Plato's conception of philosophical knowledge, that i s , an analysis of the kinds of knowledge that Plato would teach the thirty-year-old guardians in Republic, is much beyond the competence of this paper. Indeed there is much interpretive controversy surrounding Plato's conception of philosophical knowledge; since my present purpose is only to establish a parallel between the curricula in Republic and Laws. I shall now return to Laws and examine it s curriculum. We saw that the junior members of the Nocturnal Council (at age thirty) sat on the Council as students; there they were to study the whole community, and there they were to study every aspect of legislation, both domestic and foreign. They were also to pursue "the kinds of knowledge which may be of use...or of which the want w i l l make the subject of laws dark and uncertain to them." (Laws 952a). It is now time to ask 'exactly what "kinds of knowledge" does Plato include in the young Councillors*course of studies?' Is this part of the educational programme in Laws dedicated to the acquisition of philosophical knowledge? Or have Plato's educational commitments changed? At the outset i t must be admitted that there at least appears to be some change. In Republic the Theory of Forms provides a guiding thread to the educational enterprise; in Laws the Forms are hardly mentioned, i f 56 indeed they are mentioned at a l l . 58 If the Forms play such an important role in the education of the rulers in Republic, then the fact that they are hardly mentioned in Laws must be accounted for. At least some Platonic scholars would contend that this difference should be explained by the liklihood that as Plato matured philosophically he came to abandon his Theory of Forms. The main grounds in support of this con-tention are the real problems that Plato finds in his own Theory, chiefly in Sophist. Parmenides and Philebus. If Plato did abandon the Theory of Forms before he wrote Laws, then he may no longer hold the view that only the philosopher (who alone understands "the true being of each thing") is f i t to rule. The philosopher's unique qualification for office was his -107-In fact whether or not knowledge of the Forms ("knowledge of the true being of each thing") plays any role in the education of the state's rulers in Laws is a matter of controversy. Plato nowhere explicitly says that the junior members of the Nocturnal Council must study the Forms, yet he has a great deal to say about the necessity of them possessing knowledge of the one and the many virtues. (963b-965a). And he says the same about the good and the honourable: "are our guardians only to know that each of them is many, or also how and in what ways each of them is one?" (966a). And in general, "let us proceed to enquire whether in the case of things which have a name and also a definition to them, true knowledge consists in knowing the name only and not the definition." (964a). Kow to Plato these problems about the one and the many (virtues, goods, etc.) are philosophical problems; evidently philosophical knowledge (of the Forms?) is to play some role in the education of the rulers. knowledge of the forms; i f the existence of these objects of knowledge is subsequently repudiated by Plato himself, then the philosophers'title to govern may have been undermined. The relevance of this issue to my thesis i s straightforward; i f i t is true that Plato abandoned the Theory of Forms, i t may be for this reason that Laws substitutes the sovereignty of law for the rule of philosopher-kings. Because an examination of Sophist. Parmenides. Philebus. etc. is beyond the scope of this paper, I am not in a position to answer the question 'Did Plato abandon the Theory of Forms?' I shrill argue however, that even i f Plato did abandon his Theory, he did not abandon the view that the philosopher is in possession of certain kinds of knowledge which are indispensable to good government. Thus even i f the Forms have been abandoned, the philosophers t i t l e to govern remain intact. -108-Fortunately Plato gives us a good indication of exactly what role this knowledge should play. The explanation begins immediately after Plato has told us that the Nocturnal Council must " t e l l us what i s the aim of the state and (also)... what law or what man will advise us to this end." (962b), Plato then adds: we must assume, as the argument implies, that this (Nocturnal) Council possesses a l l virtue; and the beginning of virtue is not to make mistakes by guessing at many things, but to look steadily at one thing, and on this to fix a l l our aims. ... Then now we shall see why there i s nothing wonderful in states going astray - the reason is that their legislators have such different aims; nor is there anything wonderful in some laying down as their rule of justice, that certain individuals should bear rule in the state, whether they be good or bad, and others that the citizens should be rich, not caring whether they are the slaves of other men or not. The tendency of others, again, is towards freedom; and some legislate with a view to two things at once, - they want to be at the same time free and the lords of other states; (962d-e). So the Nocturnal Council must "possess a l l virtue"; and the beginning of virtue is for the state to have one aim or end of it s legislation. Other states go astray because "their legislators have such different aims" - freedom, riches, mastery over other states, etc. Now the aim on which the Council should fix a l l i t s attention is the process of teaching virtue; "the laws generally should look to one thing only; and this, as we admitted, was rightly said to be virtue." (963a). But: we were saying that there are four kinds of virtue, and as there are four of them, each of them must be one. Certainly. And further, a l l four of them we c a l l one; for we say that courage is virtue, and that prudence is virtue, and the same of the two others, as i f in reality they were not many but one, that is, virtue. (963c). The Nocturnal Council then must know that the aim of the state (and of every one of it s laws) is the production of virtue. In order to know whether a particular law does or does not aim at virtue, the Council -109-must have an adequate knowledge of what virtue i s . But this is a d i f f i c u l t matter. In order to know what virtue i s , one must know in what respects the four virtues are different from one another, and what is more d i f f i c u l t , one must know in what respect the four separate virtues are one. That i s , one must know in what respect each is a virtue. Then, as would appear, we must compel the guardians of our divine state to perceive, in the f i r s t place, what the principle i s which is the same in a l l the four (virtues) -the same, as we affirm, in courage and in temperance, and which, being one, we c a l l as we ought, by the single name of virtue. (965d). This problem - that virtue is both one and many - is certainly familiar .to the student of the early dialogues. Its reappearance here in the closing pages of Laws means that Plato s t i l l requires a special kind of knowledge in his guardian-rulers; he is saying that they must be able "to perceive...what that principle is which is the same in a l l the four (virtues)...and which, being one, we call...by the single name of virtue." Apparently Plato is saying that his guardians must know the "real nature" of virtue. Plato also t e l l s why the guardians must possess this knowledge: Did we not say that a workman or guardian, i f he be perfect in every respect, ought not only be able to see the many aims, but he should press onward to the one? This he should know, and knowing, order a l l things with a view to i t . (965c). Now the "aim" for Plato's guardians is virtue. The statesman must know the "one idea" or "principle" which is virtue, so that he can "order a l l things (in the state) with a view to i t . " If the guardian has no adequate knowledge of virtue, the city is "unguarded (and) should experience the common fate of c i t i e s in our day." (964d). But virtue is not the only thing that the guardians must know: -110-what about the good and the honourable, are we to take the same view? Are our guardians only to know that each of them is many, or also how and in what ways they are one? (966a) The very important point that Plato makes in these passages is that the guardians must have perceived Virtue and Goodness i f they are to order the state in the image of these "ideas". So in Laws the statesman's t i t l e to rule i s s t i l l based on knowledge; he must know "that principle... which, being one, we call...by the single name of virtue". These passages from the closing pages of Laws make i t quite certain that Plato s t i l l believed in the possibility of extensive moral knowledge and understanding; he s t i l l believed that a few (the Nocturnal Councillors at least) could know much more about virtue and justice and goodness than the many know. These "ideas" they should know, and knowing them, they should order a l l things "with a view" to them. This doctrine - that the guardian must know the one "idea" which is virtue, so that he can "order a l l things with a view to i t " - this doctrine i s precisely the one that we found in Republic; and this parallel between Republic and Laws is an important one. In both dialogues Plato believes that the guardians' fitness to rule i s based on their knowledge of the real nature of things, especially of virtue and goodness. In both dialogues the rulers must know the one "idea" which i s virtue (and the "one idea" which is Goodness) in order that they may imitate these "ideas" when they are ordering the state, or when they are trying to preserve order where i t already exists. The fact that Plato requires this kind of knowledge from his Nocturnal Councillors has importance to more than one question, but it s relevance to my immediate concern is straightforward: the junior members of the Nocturnal Council are there as students of what the elder members already - I l l -know; in other words, between the ages of thirty and forty, the most gifted of the young guardians in Laws w i l l endeavour to understand "what i s and what is not well according to nature". (966b). Their studies are designed to lead them to the perception of the "one principle" which i s virtue, and the "one idea" which is goodness. In Republic Plato says that the thirty-year-old guardians must study Dialectic, the process which leads them to a knowledge of the "real ideas", which w i l l lead them to "the perception of the absolute good". So the schemes for educating the rulers in both dialogues have very similar objectives, i.e. knowledge of virtue and goodness. It remains to enquire whether or not in Laws. Plato s t i l l believes that the dialectical process is the best means of reaching this objective. Although Plato describes Dialectic differently in different dialogues, the one feature that seems to be common to a l l of his descriptions, i s that at the end of the dialectical process the mind of the dialectician has grasped the truth about the real nature of a thing. In Republic the dialectician begins with "scientific hypotheses" and moves to the real ideas; in Symposium he begins with the sensible, and ends up knowing the "ideal"; in Sophist and Statesman he 'divides' the 'whole* into i t s parts, and .'collects* the 'elements' into the 'whole*, but the end result in these two dialogues is a true "portrait" or "definition" of the Sophist and Statesman. What is common to a l l these accounts of the dialectical process is that the process is conducted for the sake of gaining knowledge about the real nature of the subject under investigation. Although Plato does not explicitly say that the junior members of the Nocturnal Council will study Dialectic, he does say (when -112-considering their education) that the most "exact way of considering or contemplating anything (is)...being able to look at the one idea gathered from many different things", (965c). This project of beginning with the "many things" and moving to the "one idea" which can be gathered from them, is certainly very close to the process which Plato has elsewhere called Dialectic. And in Lawsj as elsewhere, the process i s conducted for the sake of gaining knowledge of the real nature of things (of virtue and goodness); this is precisely the result that the dialectical process is designed to achieve. Fortunately Plato also gives us some indication in Laws of what the starting point of the dialectical process might be. He says that the young members of the Council shall study, "the laws of their own city... (as well as) any especially good ones they may hear to be existing elsewhere; also (they must know) about (any) other kinds of knowledge which...will throw light upon this examination, or of which the want wi l l make the subject of laws dark and uncertain to them." (951e-952a). Obviously i t is legislation which provides the focal point to their studies; they must examine both domestic and foreign legal codes, and they must also study any other subjectswhich "may throw light upon this examination". It is not hard to imagine why the study of law is a suitable beginning to the dialectical process; i f we remember that the object of a l l of Plato's legislation is the promotion of virtue, i t is easy to see how the study of law could lead to an understanding of the "one principle" which is virtue. For as the student comes to understand the exact purpose or aim of many different laws, he gradually becomes acquainted with the many different parts or elements of virtue (and with the many different virtues). From his knowledge of the many different -113-virtuss, and with the aid of dialectic, the student w i l l eventually comprehsnd "that principle which is the same in a l l the four (virtues)*» and which, being one, we call...by the single name of virtue" (Laws 965a). In short from the study of many different laws, the student is supposed to "gather" the "one idea" which is virtue. Although the point is never made explicitly, I think i t is quite certain that the student members of the Nocturnal Council w i l l be engaged by a method of study which is very close to the process which in Republic. Plato has called D i a l e c t i c . ^ 31 have now argued that the guardians in Laws must possess knowledge of the real nature of justice, virtue, and goodness, and that the student guardians must be guided to this knowledge through the study of Dialectic. Plato's reference to the "one idea" which is virtue (965c), to the "one principle" which is virtue (965d), to the "many different virtues" (963b-965e), and to the "one" and the "many" goods (966a) - these references seem to cast some doubt on the claim that Plato abandoned his Theory of Forms. There may, however, be over-riding reasons in some of the other dialogues for believing that he had abandoned the Theory. If so, reasons might be found for the apparent reappearance of the Forms in Laws. I am not going to take a side on this issue; I leave the problem to those more dirsctly concerned with Plato's epistemology than I. What I do want to note however is that evsn i f Plato did abandon the Theory of Forms, he did not abandon his belief that the philosopher -the student of Dialectic - possesses knowledge of virtue and goodness that is indispensable to good government. It is the philosopher who knows what virtue i s ; and he who is in possession of this knowledge is the only one who is in a position to "order a l l things (in the state) with a view to i t (virtue)". Even i f Plato did abandon his early belief that the Forms are the objects of knowledge and of philosophical activity, he did not abandon his view that a few (philosophers) can possess knowledge which is v i t a l to ordering (or preserving order in) the community. Thus even i f the Theory of Forms has been abandoned, the philoso-phers' t i t l e to government remains intact. -114-So the thirty-year-old guardians in Laws wi l l be engaged by the study of Dialectic for the sake of gaining knowledge of the "one idea" which is virtue; they must also know how and in what ways the good is both one and many. So far the educational provisions for this age group in Laws are in substantial agreement with the more detailed descrip-tion of the curriculum in Republic. But in Laws when Plato says that the good is both one and many, i t is not at a l l clear that his conception of the good is the same as i t was in Republic. Both dialogues proclaim that students of government must apprehend the good, but in Republic at least, the good is not an ordinary object of knowledge; i t is not just one Form among the many Forms. It is described as "the highest object of knowledge", and as "the end of the intellectual world"; the dialectical process is supposed to culminate in "the perception of the absolute good". Also, knowledge of the Good and knowledge of the other Forms (including virtue) seem to be interdependent (Rep. 506a; 509b; 511b-c). Apparently the philosopher cannot know what virtue is (for instance) until he has already comprehended the good. But this conception of the good and of philosophical knowledge 'seem* to be missing from Laws. Plato only once mentions that his guardians must know the good (966a); he makes this comment immediately after a lengthy discussion on the importance of knowing the "one idea" which is virtue. But there is no suggestion that the young guardians must study the "real nature" or "essence" of each of many different things in order to perceive the good; nor is there any suggestion that having perceived the good, they w i l l only then be able to gain f u l l knowledge of the other Ideas (such as virtue), by seeing them in the "light" of the good. Does this mean that Plato now thinks that the "one idea" which is virtue i s knowable -115-without reference to the good? Does i t mean that Plato now places less emphasis on knowledge of the many other Ideas, each of which - in Republic - was dependent upon and was a part of, the good? Does i t mean that the guardians in Laws will not be lovers of knowledge, truth, and reality, in the tradition of the philosopher-guardians of Republic? Does i t mean that Plato's curriculum has perhaps become less philosophical and more political? I think that we would be forced to accept the conclusion that Laws places less emphasis on philosophical knowledge than does Republic were i t not for the one part of the curriculum in Laws that I have so far not considered. Immediately after saying that the guardians must know that the good is both one and many, Plato asks: And may not the same be said of a l l good things - that the true guardians of the laws ought to know the truth about them, and be able to interpret them in words, and carry them out in action, judging of what is and what is not well according to nature? Certainly. (966b). So the guardians must have a knowledge of " a l l good things"; the next question is this: Is not knowledge of the Gods which we have set forth with so much zeal one of the noblest sorts of knowledge; - to know what they are and how great i s their power...? We refuse to admit as guardians anyone who has not laboured to obtain every possible evidence that there is respecting the Gods. (966c). Plato next reminds us of the "evidence" which he has already cited respecti the Gods. Are we assured that there are two things which lead men to believe in the Gods...? What are they? . One is the argument about the soul... - that i t i s the eldest and most divine of a l l things...the other was an argument from the motion of the stars and of a l l things under the dominion of the mind which ordered the universe. (966d-e). -116-i\iow Plato has devoted the whole of Hook Ten to these "arguments"; because of their complexity, I can only reproduce them here in barest outline. Also i t is not clear that Plato actually gives two independent "proofs" for the existence of the Gods, rather the two seem to be merged into one. The argument(s) begin by defining soul as "the motion which can move i t s e l f " (896a); since "a thing which is moved by another (cannot) ever be the beginning of change. ..must not the beginning...of motion be... the self-moving principle?" (B94e-895a). So soul, by definition, is the beginning of motion. i f this is true do we s t i l l maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the f i r s t motion and the moving power of a l l that i s , or has become, or w i l l be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in a l l things? Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has most satisfactorily been shown to be the eldest of a l l things. (896a). So "soul is prior to the body: (696c); i t "orders and inhabits a l l things" (696a); i t "directs a l l things in heaven and earth and sea" (896); i t "controls...the whole world" (697b). Now: i f the soul carries round the sun and moon and a l l the other stars, does she not carry round each individual (one) of them? (898d). Plato's question here i s this: i f the soul "controls" or "carries round" the whole universe, does she not also "carry round" each object in the universe? Plato has Cleniasanswer the question affirmatively. Then of one of them (objects in the universe) let us speak and the same argument w i l l apply to them a l l . Which w i l l you take? Everyone sees the body of the sun, but no one sees his soul, nor the soul of any other body living or dead; and yet there is reason to believe that this nature, unperceived by any of our senses, is circumfused around them a l l , but is perceived by the mind. (69oe). -117-The point here applies to a l l things in the universe - to every body "living or dead"; the point is that every object has a "soul", and though i t cannot be perceived "by any of our senses", "this nature" can be "perceived by the mind." Plato next says that these "souls" are Gods: And this soul of the sun, which is therefore better than the sun..., ought by every man to be deemed a God. ... And (the souls of the) stars too, and of the moon, and of the years and months and seasons, must we not say in like manner, that since a soul or souls having every sort of excellence are the causes of a l l of them, these souls are Gods. (899a-b). Whether or not this is a "proof" for the existence of the Gods is presently unimportant; what is important is that Plato is saying that the universe is "ordered", that a soul or God "controls" the motions or "actions" of the universe as a whole, as well as the "actions" or "motions" of each object in the universe. Plato sums up his conception: The ruler of the universe has ordered a l l things with a view to the excellence and preservation of the whole; and each part, as far as may be, has an action and a passion appropriate to i t . Over these, down to the least fraction of them, ministers have been appointed to preside, who have wrought out their perfection with infintesimal exactness. And one of these portions of the universe is thine own, unhappy man, which, however l i t t l e , contributes to the whole, and in order that the l i f e of the whole may be blessed; you are created for the sake of the whole, and not the whole for the sake of you. (903b-c). Mow Plato has made several important points in these pages from Rook Ten. Soul is defined as "the motion which can move i t s e l f " . Body is that which is "moved by another"; bodies are "born to obey the soul, which is the ruler". (896b). Further every object in the universe, "down to the least fraction of them", is "inhabited" by soul; the soul "carries round" each object; i t is responsible for i t s "actions", for i t s behaviour. While these souls cannot be perceived "by any of our senses", they can - n a -"be perceived by the mind". We are also told that the souls of individual objects are the "ministers" of the "mind of nature", who has created everything in the universe in order that "the l i f e of the whole may be blessed". So when Plato says that his guardians must "labour to obtain every possible evidence there i s respecting the Gods" (966c), he is saying that they must understand how the universe is "ordered...with a view to the excellence and preservation of the whole", and that they must understand how "each part, as far as may be, has an action and a passion appropriate to i t " . Knowledge of the Gods i s "one of the noblest sorts of knowledge" (966b) because i t is knowledge of "the order ...of a l l things under the dominion of the mind which ordered the universe" (966e); because i t is knowledge that everything in the universe is created "for the sake of the whole and not the whole for the sake of i t " ; because i t i s the knowledge that what happens in the universe happens as a result of "an intelligent w i l l accomplishing good". (967a). Now this notion of the "good or "excellence" of the whole universe is important. Plato t e l l s us at 966a that his guardians must have a knowledge of 'the one and the many goods'. At 966e we are told that everything in the universe is ordered; at 967a that this ordering is done by an intelligence (God) whose goal is the accomplishment of the good. This God or "mind of nature" appoints "ministers" to preside over each object or "portion" in/of the universe. These subordinate Gods or minds are responsible for the behavior of the objects they "inhabit"; they direct their "actions" with a view to the good of the whole universe. These Gods cannot be apprehended by the senses, but they can -119-be preceived by the mind; in other words, they are knowable. To possess knowledge of these Gods is to possess knowledge of the order they create; i t is to have knowledge of the contribution that each "portion" of the universe makes to the good of the whole. So to possess knowledge of the subordinate Gods - the "appointed ministers" - this is to know the good of the objects they inhabit; i t is to have knowledge of the many good things. Knowing the "mind of nature" on the other hand, is to know the good of the whole; i t is to know the one good which He easily accomplishes. So in Laws, as in Republic, what can be apprehended by the mind, and more important, what the young guardians must be taught, is knowledge of the one and thB many goods. Every individual sees and hears what happens in the universe, but what the young guardians must come to know is the good of what happens. What they must be taught is the place of every object and event in Plato's ordered (organic) universe. , Now I am claiming here that Plato's educational objective in Laws is very similar to what i t was in Republic. In Republic the object-ive was knowledge of the Forms or Ideas; especially of the "highest object of knowledge" - the Good. In Laws we are told that the Guardians must possess knowledge of the one idea which is Goodness (966a); but on the basis of this one remark we have not been sure that knowledge of the Good in Laws bears any important resemblance to knowledge of the Good as i t was described in Reoublic. In Republic the Good "fuses the power of being known into a l l things known" (509b); and "no one who is ignorant of the Good w i l l have a true knowledge" of the other Forms (511b). So in Republic the Good is a special object of knowledge; Plato would teach the young guardians knowledge of the Good in order that they might then come to know a l l of the other Ideas - in order that they might be able to -120-comprehend "the whole of reality". Now in Laws, although we are told that the guardians must possess knowledge of the one and the many goods, and also that they must possess knowledge of the one and the many virtues, we have found l i t t l e reason for believing that Plato would s t i l l require of his student guardians that they possess knowledge of a l l or most of the many real Ideas. Thus i t has not been clear that the educational programme in Laws is dedicated to producing lovers of Knowledge, Truth and Reality in the tradition of Republic. However, i f Plato's account of knowledge of the Gods in Laws X does not directly t e l l us that the thirty-year-old Nocturnal Councillors must study the many real Ideas, that account does make i t clear that they must possess knowledge of "the order...of a l l things under the dominion of the mind which ordered the universe" (966e); i t does make i t clear that they must possess knowledge of a l l that exists and happens in the universe; i t does make i t clear that they must possess very extensive knowledge of what we might c a l l "the science of things"; in short, i t does make i t clear that they must indeed be lovers of Knowledge, Truth and Reality. It must s t i l l be conceded that in Laws Plato has not placed the emphasis on knowledge of the Ideas that he did i n Republic; on the other hand, he places a great deal of emphasis on knowledge of the Gods, and in so far as this amounts to knowledge of everything that exists and happens in the universe, I think we are quite justified in concluding that even i f knowledge of the Forms is not the focal point of the educational programme in Laws, nevertheless that programme does share quite similar objectives with the one in Republic. Certainly the exact nature and extent of the similarities and dissimilar-i t i e s between the two programmes is yet to be worked out; a comprehensive -121-comparison of the two curricula would require a very careful analysis of Plato's conception of philosophical knowledge - knowledge of the Forms - as i t is worked out in Republic. I have already apologized once for omitting such an analysis; the problem is simply too broad for an adequate treatment in a paper on Plato's p o l i t i c s . At this stage of the argument suffice i t to say that Plato's educational objective in both dialogues is to give his young statesmen a comprehensive under-standing of that ordered system which in Republic he has called "Reality", which in Laws he has called "the universe", and which in both dialogues he has called the Good. In Republic i t is the Forms which must be known; in Laws i t is the Gods. There is a difference here, and indeed much philosophical mileage might be made of this apparent shift in Plato's epistemological thought. But from the standpoint of educational theory, I suspect that the differences between Republic and Laws may be quite minimal.^ If Republic and Laws then have more or less similar educational objectives, the two dialogues also agree in the respect that both would use the hypotheses of science as "steps or points of departure" in the realization of their objectives. In Laws Plato says that knowledge of the Gods - knowledge of the one and the many goods - can be achieved "with the help of astronomy and the accompanying arts of demonstration". (967a). This is explained in the following way: from the fact that the fin Since in Republic i t is the Forms which can be apprehended by the mind and in Laws i t is the Gods which can be apprehended by the mind, i t may at f i r s t glance be tempting to believe that Plato has now deified the Forms. Such a suggestion is however untenable. In Republic a particular Form is imperfectly represented in many different things; in Laws every particular object is governed by i t s own soul. If the soul of a thing were merely a deification of the Idea of the thing, then each object would not have i t s own soul, rather a l l the objects of that Kind or Form would be ruled by the one soul or God. -122-sun and the stars move with "numerical exactness", we can infer that "mind was the orderer of the universe" (967c). So from the hypotheses of science (hypotheses, as opposed to knowledge, which science does not possess) we can infer the existence of an intelligence which has ordered everything in the universe with a view to the good of the whole. In Republic Plato says that the thirty-year-did guardians w i l l use the hypotheses of science to arrive at the perception of "the f i r s t principle of the whole" - to arrive at knowledge of the Good. In Republic this process is called Dialectic; in Laws the term Dialectic is not used in connection with the jump from s c i e n t i f i c belief to knowledge of the Gods, but so far as I can understand what Plato says in both dialogues, he seems to have very similar beliefs about the relevance of s c i e n t i f i c truth to knowledge of the good. In Republic the hypotheses of science are described as "points of departure into a world which is above hypotheses"; the dialectician must "use the hypotheses, not as f i r s t principles, but l i t e r a l l y as hypotheses...in order that he may soar beyond them to the f i r s t principle of the whole". (Rep. 511b). In Laws astronomical truths are said to imply the existence of order in the universe; they imply the existence of an orderer, and they also imply the existence of the good which He brings about. And in both Republic and Laws the guardians at age thirty will have just completed a ten-year period of training in mathematics and the sciences. So in both dialogues Plato has very similar objectives, and in both dialogues he prescribes very similar courses of study for the realization of his objectives. Given these similarities between the educational commitments of Republic and Laws I think i t is safe to assume that Plato considers the -123-junior members of the Nocturnal Council in Laws to be students of philosophy. In fact Plato comes very close to making this point explicit when he sums up his conception of the young Councillors' education: he who has not contemplated the mind of nature which is said to exist in the stars, and gone through the previous training (in the Sciences), and seen the connection of music with these things, and harmonized them a l l with laws and institutions i s not able to give a reason of such things as have a reason. And he who is unable to acquire this in addition to the ordinary virtues of a citizen, can hardly be a good ruler of a whole state; but he should be the subordinate of other rulers. (967e-968a). So a guardian must have "contemplated the mind of nature", etc., i f he i s to be "able to give a reason of such things as have a reason"; unless he can acquire this a b i l i t y "to give a reasoned account of a l l that admits thereof" (Taylor's translation), he w i l l not be a good ruler. Now this ability to give a "reasoned account" of things i s , for Plato anyway, precisely the ability that the philosopher has. I think there is no doubt that Plato's system of advanced education in Laws is designed to create rulers who are philosophers very much in the tradition of Republic. The junior members of the Nocturnal Council must acquire knowledge of the one and the many virtues; they must acquire knowledge of the one and the many goods; they must know that every "portion" of the universe contributes to the good of the whole; they must have perceived the connection of music with these things; they must have harmonized the state's laws and institutions with a l l of this knowledge; and they must be able to give a reasoned account of a l l that admits thereof. So I do not think that Plato places less emphasis on philosophical knowledge in Laws than he does in Republic: i f the Ideas or Forms seem to receive less attention in Laws, this may be because Plato has.revised or abandoned -124-his Theory of Forms, or i t may be because in Lams he focuses his educational attention on the programme of studies which a l l citizens are to receive, prefering to give only the briefest outline of the course of studies which is designed for the future rulers of the state, and which he has already described once in Republic. Or, again, i t may be that Plato quite seriously intends to do what he says he w i l l do in the next to last speech in Laws - namely leave the Nocturnal Council with a significant measure of discretion over the curriculum to be studied by i t s junior members. (952aj 96Bd-69a). But even i f i t were clear that knowledge of the1Forms was not the objective of the programme in Laws, i t is at least clear that the programme is designed to produce rulers who can "give a reasoned account of a l l that admits thereof"; i t is clear that the programme is designed to produce philosophers. So I do not think that Plato's educational commitments have changed; I think Laws leaves no doubt that Plato always believed that philosophers are the only ones who are f i t to rule. One fi n a l point: the whole of Plato's educational programme seems to be founded on his belief that the universe can only be understood as an organic whole. Whether or not one agrees with this oonception, i t must be granted that i t is ideally suited for educating the kind of rulers who w i l l preserve the p o l i t i c a l and ethical principles on which Plato's theories of government and society are based. It is obvious throughout Plato's p o l i t i c a l writings that he has an organic theory of the state; what better way of teaching and preserving this tradition than to teach the state's future rulers to understand the whole universe on the organic model? -125-111. The Council's P o l i t i c a l Function The account that Plato gives us of the p o l i t i c a l function to be served by the Nocturnal Council begins when he has finished with writing legislation: "now our work of legislation is pretty nearly at an end; but in a l l cases the end does not consist in doing something or acquiring something or establishing something, - the end will be attained and fin a l l y accomplished, when we have provided for the perfect and lasting continuance of our institutions; until then our creation is incomplete". (960b). Plato repeats the point a few lines later. We s t i l l must find some way of "producing the quality of uhchangeableness" in our laws and institu-tions: "we have s t i l l to see how we can implant in them this irreversible nature". (960d). That the Nocturnal Council is to give the state this permanence we are told immediately; but how this can be accomplished is only unfolded gradually. "Then, returning to the council, I would say further, that i f we let i t down to be the anchor of the state, our city, having everything which is suitable to her, w i l l preserve a l l that we wish to preserve. ... Know, Cleinias, that everything, in a l l that i t does, has a natural saviour, as of an animal the soul and the head are the chief saviours. The soul, besides other things, contains mind, and the head, besides other things.contains sight and hearing; and the mind, mingling with the noblest of the senses, and becoming one with them, may be truly called the salvation of a l l . " (961d). So the Council must be the "saviour" of the city: the saviour of an animal i s i t s mind and senses. By analogy, in the Kocturnal Council, "mind" must be "mingled" with the senses, in order that i t (mind) might secure the "salvation" and "preservation" of the whole state. -126-Noui the "salvation" of an animal is a relatively simple matter: but how is the community to be kept alive and healthy? How can the laws and institutions which Plato has already designed be safeguarded against misuse? How can we ensure that the laws and constitution w i l l serve the purposes for which they are designed? We shall see that Plato gives the same answer in Laws as he gave in Republic. He begins this way: "with what is that intellect concerned which, mingling with with the senses, is the salvation of ships in storms as well as in f a i r weather? In a ship, when the pilot and sailors unite their perceptions with the piloting mind, do they not savs both themselves and their craft?" (961e). The senses of the ship'screw are "mingled" with the "piloting mind" in order to secure the salvation of the ship. Plato next considers two further examples of the same point: "What aim would the general of an army, or what aim would a physician propose to himself, i t he were seeking to attain salvation?" (961e). The general aims at "victory and super-ior i t y in war; the physician and his assistants aim at producing health in the body". (961e-62a). Now a general who is ignorant of "superiority in war", or a physician who is ignorant about the health of the body, cannot be said to possess the understanding or intellect which w i l l bring about the "salvation" of the army or patient* Equally: "If a person proves to be ignorant of the aim to which the statesman should look, ought he, in the f i r s t place, to be called a ruler at a l l ; and further w i l l he ever be able to preserve that of which he does not even know the aim?" Impossible! (962b). Now "we have already said that the mind of the pilot, the mind of the physician and of the general look to that one thing to which they ought to look; and now we may turn to the mind p o l i t i c a l of which we wi l l ask a question: "0 wonderful being, and to what are you looking?" (963b). -127-Ths answer of course, is that the aim of the p o l i t i c a l art is the production of virtue. (963a). The laws and institutions which are created and revised by the legislator must a l l aim at producing virtue in the souls of the citizens. Having argued that the aim of government is virtue, Plato con-tinues the analogy, begun at 961d, between the state and an organic creature: Do we not see that the city is the trunk, and are not the younger guardians, who are chosen for their natural gifts, placed in the head of the state, having their souls a l l f u l l of Byes with which they look about the whole city? ...and those whom we compared to the mind, because they have many wise thoughts - that is to say, the old men - take counsel, and making use of the younger men as their ministers, and advising with them, - in this way both together truly preserve the whole state. (964e-965a). Now Plato has compared the "salvation" of the state to" the "salvation" of a li v i n g creature; the state must have some institution, analogous to the head, in which the "mind" is mingled with "the noblest of the senses". Thus the Nocturnal Council is made up of younger men, who are the "eyes and ears" of the p o l i t i c a l animal, and also of older men, who are i t s "mind". This analogy with "rational beings" is designed to explain the function served by the Council. It is also a perfect echo of Republic. There the state is said to be the individual "writ large"; just as the soul has three parts, the state has three component classes. The guardians are the wisdom - the ruling element - in the state; their function is analogous to the rational element within the human soul. In Laws Plato says that the Nocturnal Council must be made to "resemble the head and senses of rational beings"; the Council must exercise "such a guardian power". (964e). -126-So the Nocturnal Council w i l l be "the head of the state"; as such i t is responsible for securing the "salvation" of the whole community: i f our settlement of the country is to be perfect, we ought to have some institution which, as I was saying, w i l l t e l l us what is the aim of the state, and w i l l inform us of how we are to attain this, and what man or what law w i l l advise us to this end. Any state which has no such institution is likely to be devoid of mind and sense, and in a l l her actions w i l l proceed by mere chance. (962c). So in order to provide for the salvation of the state, the Council must know that the aim of government is virtue; i t must also know how this end is to be achieved, or more specifically, i t must know "what law or what man w i l l advise us to this end". This passage helps to explain the f i r s t thing that Plato has to say about the Council, namely, that i t must "produce the quality of unchangeableness" in the state's laws and institutions; that i t must give them an "irreversible nature". (960b-d). We already know that this ' i r r e v e r s i b i l i t y of law' principle cannot mean that the original code of law must never be changed, for the Guardians of the Law have been authorized to "correct" the legal code. (769d). Now in this passage Plato t e l l s us that the Nocturnal Council w i l l be an institution which i s responsible for deciding whether or not particular laws help to achieve the aim of the state, which is the teaching of virtue. The Council is described as "the assembly of those who review the laws" (95ld); apparently i t w i l l review the state's legal code in order to ensure that particular laws are the best available means for achieving the end of the state, which, once again, is virtue. So when Plato says that the Nocturnal Council must give the state's laws and institutions an "irreversible nature" hs appears to mean that the Council must provide -129-for the "lasting continuance" of the aim of the state's legal code. Apparently the Council w i l l s i t as a kind of legislative court: i t w i l l scrutinize the legislation enacted by the Guardians, making sure that i t is consistent with the aims of the original code of law and consti-tution. It must be the judge of which laws produce virtue and of which laws do not. Only by creating an institution such as this can we provide for the "lasting continuance" of a l l the laws and institutions we have established. The Nocturnal Council is the "head of the state" because i t is i t s "mind"; i t is responsible for securing the preservation or salvation of the whole community, because i t is responsible for ensuring that the state does serve i t s original purpose, namely producing virtue in the souls of i t s citizens. Although Plato never makes the point explicit, the power that the Council must enjoy i f i t is to serve this function i s what we now c a l l the veto power. It must be empowered to veto any legislation which is enacted by the Guardians; i t may exercise this power on the gcounds that the proposed law is repugnant to the aims and s p i r i t of the state's constitution and original code of law. Plato's way of arranging (distributing) the state's legislative power then is this: the Guardians are responsible for writing legislation, but a l l their laws are subject to ratification by the Nocturnal Council. Now we know that the Nocturnal Councillors must have "shared in the whole scheme of education proposed by us" (968a); we know that the nocturnal . assembly of the magistrates is a council of philosophers. But the ten senior Guardians are automatically seated on the Council (961 a), and the implications of this arrangement are obvious. In order to be eligible to serve as a Guardian of the Laws, a citizen w i l l have to be qualified to eventually serve on the Nocturnal Council. In other words the -130-Guardians of the Laws must themselves be educated in the tradition of Republic; they must themselves be experts in the art of ruling. If the Guardians as well as the Councillors have received "the whole scheme of education proposed by us", i t may be the case that not only does the Nocturnal Council serve as a check upon the Guardians, but the Guardians may also serve as a check upon the Council. We have seen that the Guardians may either amend or supplement the original code of law, however Plato nowhere gives any indication that the Council is authorized to write new legislation. We know that the Council may veto any legislation which is enacted by the Guardians, but there i s no indication that the Councillors are themselves empowered to i n i t i a t e the legislative process. However i f ten of the Councillors also s i t on the board of Guardians, i t is obvious that at least these ten Councillors may themselves propose new laws or amendments to the Guardians. But presumably, even in this case, at least a majority of the thirty-seven Guardians must approve of a new legislative proposal before i t is presented to the Council far ratification. If the Council has only the ratification power - i f i t may not i n i t i a t e new legislation within i t s own chambers - then the Guardians do "moderate" the powers of the Council. The Guardians do serve as a check on the Council's powers, because their approval, as well as the Council's, is necessary before a legislative proposal assumes the f u l l force of law. It is admittedly not clear whether Plato intends the Guardians to serve as a check upon the Council, but his praise of the Spartan constitution in Book Three certainly lends i t s e l f to just this interpretation. The reason for the success of Sparta, and the reason for the failure of her sister c i t i e s , is that the Spartan constitution, unlike the others, divided the "kingly -131-of f i c e " into "distinct elements", each of which would "moderate" the powers of the other offices. Further the general tone of Laws - especially at B75 - suggests that "no man" should be above the laws; that even training in " p o l i t i c a l science" is an insufficient check upon government. If the powers of the Council are not checked by some other institution -i f the Council may enact legislation without the approval of the Guardians -then the Nocturnal Councillors would in effect be above the law. There would be nothing to prevent them from "making the continuance of their power... the f i r s t and principle object of their laws". (714d). In the absence of any indication to the contrary, I think we must assume that Plato did intend to make each of his legislative institutions serve as a check upon the other. Now I am arguing here that the constitution Plato writes in Laws provides for a system of checks and balances on legislative power; that the Nocturnal Council w i l l "moderate" the powers of the Guardians of the Law, and vice-versa. But I am also arguing another important point; I am arguing (against Barker) that the legislative branch of Plato's government - the Council together with the Guardians - though i t i s bound by the aims, purposes, and s p i r i t , of the constitution and original legal code, is nevertheless authorized to amend that code. The textual evidence I have so far cited in defence of this claim consists of the one instance where Plato says that the Guardians of the Law may have to amend one of the original laws (the law governing sexual behaviour at 840c), and of the one instance where Plato says that the Guardians w i l l undoubt-edly have to "correct" the legal code from time to time. (769d). There is however one more passage which makes i t clear that Plato's legislators w i l l enjoy the amendment power. I have not introduced the passage earlier -132-because this time i t seems to be the Nocturnal Council that is instructed to do the amending. When discussing the question of sending out ambassadors or "spectators" for the purpose of studying foreign laws and institutions, Plato notes that: There always are in the world a few inspired men whose acquaintance is beyond price, and who spring up quite as much in ill-ordered as in well-ordered c i t i e s . These are they whom the citizens of a well-ordered city should ever be seeking out, going forth over land and sea, to find him who is incorruptible - that he may establish more firmly the institutions in his own state which are good already, and amend what is deficient; for without this enquiry and examination a city w i l l never continue perfect any more than i f the examination i s ill-conducted. (Laws 951b-c). So the purpose of sending out these observers is to "establish more firmly" the already good institutions of the state, and also to "amend what is deficient". Plato goes on to say that when a citizen who holds this "office of spectator" returns home, "let him go to the assembly of those who review the laws". (951b). There is no doubt that Plato is here referring to the Nocturnal Council, which is always "holding conver-sation and discourse about the laws of their own city, or about any specially good one they may hear to be existing elsewhere". (952a). Also Plato's "spectators" are themselves members of the Nocturnal Council (961a); so when Plato says that a spectator will study foreign laws in order that "he may...amend what i s deficient", the passage seems to imply that i t i s the Council that w i l l do the amending. If the pass-age is read in this way, i f i t is taken as meaning that the Council may amend the laws on i t s own authority, and without the approval of the Guardians, then the passage contradicts my suggestion that the approval of the Guardians and the Council is required for any changes to the legal code. But given that Plato has twice previously assigned the amendment -133-power to the Guardians, and given the f a c t that the overlap i n member-ship between the two i n s t i t u t i o n s provides the C o u n c i l l o r s with a means of i n i t i a t i n g the amendment process, I do not think that t h i s passage m i t i g a t e s against my suggestion that the approval of both l e g i s l a t i v e i n s t i t u t i o n s i s necessary f o r any changes to the e s t a b l i s h e d l e g a l code. We would c e r t a i n l y expect that the Nocturnal C o u n c i l l o r s would f r e q u e n t l y be instrumental i n improving or c o r r e c t i n g the laws; but, once again, P l a t o ' s c o n s t i t u t i o n already provides them with a means f o r doing j u s t t h i s . So P l a t o ' s saying at 951b that the Cou n c i l may "amend what i s d e f i c i e n t " i n the l e g a l code does not i t s e l f imply that the C o u n c i l may change the law without the approval of the Guardians. But whatever i s to be s a i d f o r or against my i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of P l a t o ' s amendment proce-dures, one t h i n g i s p e r f e c t l y c l e a r ; the l e g i s l a t i v e branch of government i n P l a t o ' s law-state i s not only authorized to "supplement" the o r i g i n a l 61 code, i t i s also authorized to amend i t . "The laws concerning "dances and s a c r i f i c e s " are an exception to the normal amendment procedures. These laws can only be changed with the unanimous consent of the Assembly. (772). Although P l a t o does not e x p l a i n why t h i s should be an exception to the r u l e , the only reason that I oan imagine i s that i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r case, any improvements i n the law could only be minor, and that i n the case of ceremonies, i t i s more important to preserve t r a d i t i o n than to achieve p e r f e c t i o n . Also the laws concerning the education of the young might appear to be an exception. At 797-798 P l a t o argues th a t the " s p o r t s " and "amusements" of childhood should remain unchanged from generation to generation, because i f the "plays of c h i l d h o o d " are changed the c h i l d r e n w i l l grow up w i t h a d e s i r e f o r new "laws and i n s t i t u t i o n s " . P l a t o says that the l e g i s l a t o r must promote a "reverence f o r a n t i q u i t y " , but t h i s does not mean that the laws i n t h i s area should never be changed i n any d e t a i l whatsoever: i t does not r e q u i r e t h a t the l e g i s l a t o r should never introduce a new " s p o r t " or "game". C e r t a i n l y P l a t o wants the customary "amusements" preserved whenever p o s s i b l e , but he also i n s t r u c t s the Nocturnal C o u n c i l to study "education and nurture". (925b). Surely t h i s enquiry would be conducted with an eye to p o s s i b l e improvements i n the o r i g i n a l laws and customs. -134-Rut i f Plato's government may amend the law, i t may not amend i t in just any way. For the same principle that governs legislation which is supplementary to the original code, wi l l also govern any amendments to that code. That i s , the amendment must not have the effect of reversing the bona-fide end which the original law was designed to serve. Fortuna-tely Plato provides an example of how one of his laws might be amended such that i t meets this requirement. The example i s the law governing sexual relations: Our citizens ought not to f a l l below the nature of birds and beasts in general, who are born in great multitudes, and yet remain until the age for procreation virgin and unmarried, but when they have reached the proper time of l i f e are coupled, male with female, and lovingly pair together, and live the rest of their lives in holiness and innocence, abiding firmly in their original compact; surely we will say to them (the Magnesian citizens) you should be better than the animals. But i f they are corrupted by other Hellenes and the common practice of barbarians, and they see with their eyes and hear with their ears of the so-called free love everywhere prevailing among them, and they themselves are not able to get the better of the temptation, the Guardians of the Laws, exercising their function as law-givers, shall devise a second law against them. (Laws 840d-Now the " f i r s t law" is not actually formulated here, but clearly i t w i l l be designed to make sexual relations outside of marriage i l l e g a l . Plato's "second law" is somewhat surprising; he says that the citizens: w i l l be ashamed of frequent intercourse, and they w i l l find pleasure, i f seldom enjoyed, to be a less imperious mistress. They should not be found out doing anything of the sort. Con-cealment shall be honourable, and sanctioned by custom, and made law by unwritten prescription; on the other hand to be detected shall be esteemed dishonourable, but not to abstain wholly. In this way there w i l l be a second legal standard of honourable and dishonourable, involving a second notion of right. (84la-b). Apparently the second law w i l l not require total abstinence from extra-marital relations, rather i t w i l l only require discretion. Indulgence is not to be considered dishonourable, but detection i s . These may be rather rare sentiments from the pen of Plato, but this certainly is the -135-doctrine he is urging: in the matter of love we may be able to enforce one of two things; either (1) that no man shall venture to touch a person of the free-born or noble class except his wedded wife, or sow the unconsecrated or bastard seed among harlots or in barren and unnatural lusts (homosexuality); or at least (2) we may be able to abolish altogether the connection of men with men; and as to women, i f any man has to do with any but those who come into his house duly married by sacred rights, whether they be bought or acquired in any other way, and he offends publicly in the face of a l l mankind, we shall be right in enacting that he shall be deprived of a l l civic honours and privileges, and be deemed to be, as he truly i s , a stranger. (841d-e). Mow I am offering the above as an example of how Plato thinks that a law might be amended such that i t is s t i l l consistent with the aims of the original legislators. In this case Plato specifies his aim by distingu-ishing three sorts of love: (1) love of body, (2) love of the soul, and (3) a mixed sort which i s made up of both. (B37b). He continues: " i s i t not rather clear that we wish to have in the state the love which is of virtue and which desires the youth to be the best possible; and the other two, i f possible, we should hinder?" (B37e). So the laws governing sexual relations are designed to encourage citizens in the love of the soul and to discourage them from the love of the body. Now i t is clear that Plato's second law is consistent with his. original purpose. It may be less clear however that the second law is different in any important way from the f i r s t . The only difference appears to be that 'one rnusn't get caught'. Out I think there is a more substantial difference; for the second law would only punish those who indulge their appetites indiscretely. Presumably, i f one shows some appropriate measure of discretion, but is somehow discovered anyway, he wi l l not be subject to penalty. The second law is not directed against 'he who is discovered' but i t is directed against 'he who offends publicly'. -136-So far as I know this i s the only occasion in Laws where Plato explicitly shows how the guardians might be forced to amend one of the original laws. I think that Plato considers the example in order to ill u s t r a t e how government can be bound by the original code, and yet s t i l l be authorized to amend i t . He explicitly says that the guardians are authorized to amend this law, and yet i t is evident that they may not amend i t in any way whatever. They could not for instance, amend i t in such a way that i t permitted every sort of sexual behaviour. This would be to abandon the aim of the original law, which was to encourage the citizens in the love of soul and virtue. I have cited this example because I think i t shows the sense in which Plato's guardians will be "fettered by law". Now the view I am urging here is that Plato's Nocturnal Council is an institution whose p o l i t i c a l function w i l l be the preservation of the aims and s p i r i t of the states constitution and original code of law. I have argued that in this capacity i t w i l l enjoy a veto power over legislation that is enacted subsequent to the original code, and also that i t w i l l be authorized to "review" the original code i t s e l f with an eye to making any improvements that i t might think necessary. The Council is granted these powers in order that i t might give the states laws and institutions an "irreversible nature"; in order that i t might preserve the s p i r i t and aims of the legal code which Plato - the original legislator -has written. What the Council must do is interpret Plato's legal code; i t must understand and preserve i t s basic aims. It i s , I think, fascinating to observe the very close parallel between the function of the Nocturnal Council and one of the most important functions served by some courts of modern democracies, -137 especially by the Supreme Court of the United States. Hamilton, in Federalist #78. describes the duty of the high court: The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution i s , in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law, It therefore belongs to them to ascertain i t s meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words the constitution ought to be preferred to the statute.^ 2 Hamilton then, sees the court as the interpreter of law; the court must ascertain the "meaning" of the constitution; and i t is i t s duty "to declare a l l acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the constitution 63 void". The court w i l l enjoy thB power of "construing the laws according to the s p i r i t of the constitution";^ where there is an "irreconcilable variance" between the s p i r i t of the constitution and a statute, i t is the duty of the court to declare the statute null and void. The U.S. Supreme Court has in fact very often lived up to the role that Hamilton thought i t should have. And i t has done so in the face of Hamilton's admission that "there is not a syllable in the (constitutional) plan under consideration that empowers the national 65 courts to construe the laws according to the s p i r i t of the constitution". As early as 1803 Mr. Justice Marshall declared that the court must uphold the constitution at the expense of a repugnant statutei Certainly a l l those who have framed written constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently, the theory of every such government must be that an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void. The Federalist, ed. by B.F. Wright, Harvard University Press, 6 3 Cambridge, 1961, p. 492. Federalist, p. 491. \i Ibid, p. 506. 66 U.S. Supreme Court ReportsMarburv vs. Madison, 1803, p. 73. -138-The idea shared by Hamilton and Marshall - and by Plato - is that where a society i s governed under the authority of a constitution, the s p i r i t of that constitution is the fundamental law of the land. Obviously Hamilton and Marshall also agree with Plato's sentiments in Republic; "some living authority w i l l always be required in the state having the same idea of the constitution which guided you when as legislator you were laying down the laws". (Rep. 497d). Perhaps the most famous instance in which the U.S. Court has relied on the " s p i r i t " of the constitution occurs in Yick Wo vs. Hopkins; here the ccurt i s dealing with the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of the equal protection of the laws. Mr. Justice Matthews goes behind the letter of the constitutional guarantee, and declares that "the equal protection of the laws is a pledge en of the protection of equal laws". A very recent example of the court acting as the guardian of the s p i r i t of the constitution is to be found in the Abortion cases. The court allows that "The constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. (Nevertheless) the court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain 6 8 areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the constitution". Now i f the Nocturnal Council and the Supreme Court are alike in that each must serve as the interpreter and guardian of the state's constitution, there are also important differences between the American and Platonic institutions. Most notable is the fact that Plato's Nocturnal Council is not in our sense of the term a judicial body (although i t must of course judge the constitutionality of legislation). The Council does not act as the interpreter of the law only in the event of a state or 67 U.S. Supreme Court Reports, Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, 1886, p. 369. 6 8 Ibid. Roe vs. Wade. 1973, p. 36-7. -139-private appeal; rather i t s i t s in judgement of a l l legislative acts that are supplementary to the original code. Also, unlike the Supreme Court, the Council may propose amendments to the original code. (On the other hand the U.S. Supreme Court is something more than a judicial body, as is so often noted by i t s c r i t i c s . It is in fact a Nocturnal Council for the U.S.; the concept of 'judicial institution' does not capture the f u l l range of i t s powers.) So the Nocturnal Council is not exactly a judicial body; i t is in fact much more than that, i t is the wisdom or "mind" or ruling element in the state. We have seen that i t is a Council of philosophers; we have seen that the Councillors must be the guardians of "the aim of the state"; we have seen that they must possess knowledge of the one and the many virtues towards which every act of government should aim. If my interpretation of the Council's function here is sound,, i f Plato did intend the Council to serve as the interpreter and guardian of the constitution, then we can f i n a l l y understand from Book Twelve of Laws, what Plato was unable to make completely clear in either Republic or Statesman; that i s , we can now understand the exact sense in which Plato would make philosophers into kings. We know that Plato's Council of philosophers is the "mind" of the state; and we know that the bearing of sovereign authority is the proper function of mind. By understanding the Council's p o l i t i c a l function, by understanding the exact nature of the powers and duties that Plato would give to the eldest and wisest of philosophers, we have learned something very important about Plato's theory of government, and about his conception of the art of ruling. We have learned that the p o l i t i c a l power that Plato would give to those who have best mastered the art of statesmanship is the power to give a fi n a l 140-interpretation of the meaning and purposes of the states constitution. Thus Plato is quite serious when he says that he w i l l "hand over the c i t y " to the Nocturnal Council (969b); in assigning the Council authority over the constitution, he has l e f t i t with the power to give a fi n a l determination of the states ultimate goals and objectives. This is the power that should be given to philosophers because i t is the power that is usually held by kings. -141-The Orthodox View Reconsidered The traditional interpretation of Plato's p o l i t i c a l philosophy holds that by the time he wrote Laws. Plato had abandoned hope of ever realizing the ideal he had outlined in Republic. The ideal that is supposed to have been abandoned i s the government of philosopher kings. For the rule of philosophy Plato has substituted the rule of law; for the philosopher kings, selected because of their educational and moral qualifications, Plato has substituted a government which i s elected by a l l citizens; and for the Guardians of Republic, who are unfettered by law, Plato has substituted the Guardians of Laws, whom he describee as the servants and slaves of the law. The orthodox view holds that in Republic, law is either absent from the state altogether, or else is present only minimally; whereas in Laws, not only does Plato make regulations covering nearly every aspect of l i f e , he also says that law is the highest authority in the state. Mot only must the rulers obey the laws, they must obey laws of which they are not the authors. According to Barker anyway, the law-state w i l l contain no institution which i s authorized to change or supplement the code of law which Plato himself has written?^ The state described in Republic i s thought to be Barker reconciles this interpretation of Laws with a fact which directly contradicts i t - the Guardians are explicitly empowered to both amend and supplement Plato's code of law -by appealing to the text 772a-b. Barker admits that "the Guardians of the law may not only be i t s servants but ... (they) may also be i t s reformers. But this power is apparently only to last for the f i r s t few years after the foundation of the colony; and after that time there shall be no more changes" (Greek P o l i t i c a l Theory, p.304). Now Barker admits on the next page that i t is "not clear whether Plato means this provision (no changes in the laws after the f i r s t few years) to relate to the whole body of law, or only to the laws concerning dances and sacrifices", (p.305). In the Jowett, Taylor and Saunders translations there appears to be nothing unclear about the text at a l l . The point arises after Plato has mentioned that there w i l l be naked dances for the states 142-Plato's p o l i t i c a l ideal.-though i t i s an "unattainable ideal"; the state described in Laws is only the "second-best" alternative - but i t is a r e a l i s t i c alternative. unmarried citizens in order that they may become acquainted with one another. Jowett translates the sequel thus; The Directors of Choruses w i l l be superintendents and regu-lators of these games, and they, together with the Guardians of the Laws, w i l l legislate in any matters which we have omitted: for, as we said, where there are numerous and minute details, the legislation must leave out something. And the annual officers who have experience and who know what is wanted, must make arrangements and improvements year by year, until such enactments and provisions are sufficiently det-ermined. A, ten years experience with dances and sacrifices. i f extending to a l l particulars, w i l l be quite sufficient; and i f the legislator be alive they shall communicate with him, but i f he be dead then the several officers shall refer the omissions which come under their notice to the Guardians of the Laws, and correct them until a l l is perfect; and from that time there shall be no more change, and they shall establish and use the new laws with the others which the leg-islator originally gave them, and of which they are never, i f they can help, to change aught; or, i f some necessity over-takes them, the magistrates must be called into counsel, and the whole people, and they must go to a l l the oracles of the Gods; and i f a l l these are agreed, in that case they may make the change, but i f they are not agreed, by no manner of means, and anyone who dissents shall prevail, as the law ordains. (772 a-d). There are no important variations between Jowett's translation; and those of Taylor and Saunders. In a l l three translations Plato explicitly attaches the "ten years of experience" clause to the laws dealing with "dances and sacrifices". He does not say, or suggest, that ten years w i l l be ample time to establish an entire code of law that w i l l thereafter require no improve-ment or change. The entire passage deals only with "dances and sacrifices"; to generalize the point any further is surely to read something into the text that is not there. Also, i f the passage is interpreted as covering a l l the laws of the state, i t is d i f f i c u l t to imagine why Plato never mentioned a time limit in at least some of the very numerous passages where he says that the Guardians w i l l have to amend or supplement the original code. In any event Barker admits that the point may not be meant to cover a l l legislation; yet his interpretation of the dialogue proceeds upon the assumption that the passage is so generalized. Even i f the text were ambiguous, that ambiguity could hardly serve as evidence for Barker's claim that the state contains no sovereign power which has authority over the law. (Greek P o l i t i c a l  Theory, p.330). -143-Now my argument so far has been directed to showing that the traditional reconciliation of the apparent doctrinal differences between Republic and Laws rests on a misunderstanding of both dialogues. I want to argue, in other words, that the traditional interpretation of Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory is wrong on both ends: i t misunderstands Republic and i t misunderstands Laws. I want to argue that the two dia-logues are philosophically consistent, and that they stand in no partic-ular need of reconciliation. The mistake that i s traditionally made about Republic l i e s in interpreting Plato as a totalitarian. It i s usually held that Plato's ideal state would be ruled by one or a few individuals who would be completely unfettered by law. I have argued in Chapter Two that although Republic does not fully describe the relationship between the ruler and the law, Plato does say enough to make i t perfectly clear that his govern-ment is to be bound by the s p i r i t of the laws, and by the aims of the constitution. Plato not only says that the "guardians must themselves obey the law", he also says that they must "imitate the s p i r i t of them in any details which are entrusted to their care" (Republic 458c). If the point of the f i r s t demand i s simply that the rulers must obey the prevailing code of law, I take the point of the second demand to be that they must abide by the " s p i r i t " of the original code when they are acting as legislators; that i s , when they are revising or supplementing the original code. Similar passages occur at 425e and 427a; here Plato says that he is omitting certain "details" from his code, because these can be worked out by subsequent legislators, provided they understand and preserve the laws which Plato does establish. Plato also says that -144-the state w i l l always contain some "living authority" which understands (and which w i l l presumably, preserve) the original "idea of the con-stitution" (497c-d). There i s no di f f i c u l t y in identifying those laws and principles which Plato would instruct his guardians to preserve; he w i l l "order" the state's rulers to avoid the extremes of poverty and wealth, to preserve the educational system "in i t s original form", to preserve the principles of 'one man to one job* and 'promotion according to merit', etc. I think that there can be no reasonable doubt that Plato's rulers - even in Republic - w i l l be bound by the s p i r i t and purposes of the state's laws and constitution. The mistake that i s traditionally made about Laws is in the interpretation of the saying that the law must have a higher authority than do the rulers. This doctrine i s usually understood as meaning that the rulers w i l l not have the authority to amend or supplement the original code of law in any way. In Chapter Four I have argued that this interpretation of Laws is inconsistent with Plato's conception of a •mixed constitution'; and that Plato's praise of the Spartan constitu-tion also mitigates against this interpretation. I have also cited numerous passages from Laws in which Plato says quite clearly either that the Guardians w i l l have to supplement the original code, or else that they may have to amend i t ; and I have also argued that in under-standing the bicameral relationship between the Guardians of the Law and the Nocturnal Council, we understand the exact sense in which Plato's rulers can be fettered by the laws and constitution, and yet at the same time, be authorized to amend any of those laws, including the constitution. So the rulers in Plato's law-state, though they are bound by the 145-s p i r i t , aims, and purposes of the original code of law, are nevertheless authorized to amend that code. This means that the government in Laws is in much the same position with respect to the law as is the govern-ment in Republic. Plato does not discuss the question of amendment in Republic, but at least one passage may indicate that the guardians would be authorized to amend the original code. Plato says that "the guardians w i l l not disturb any of the fundamental laws of the state" (Republic 445e); however this comment is to be construed, i t seems to imply that the guardians may "disturb" some of the original laws. And i f Plato says l i t t l e about amending the law in Republic, he says a great deal about the subject in Statesman. Much of the argument in Statesman i s directed to showing that the true king and statesman must have f u l l authority to amend both his own laws and those enacted by previous legislators. But Republic says, i f Statesman does not, that the rulers w i l l be bound by the s p i r i t of the original legal code. And this i s just the position that we have found in Laws. In both Republic and Laws then, the rulers are empowered to pass legislation so long as they "pre-serve" and "imitate" the original code of law; and in both dialogues the state is to contain some institution which understands and preserves the original "idea of the constitution". Plato's position in Republic is much less developed, and is much less clear, than i t i s in Laws, but I think there is nc question of inconsistency between the two works. In fact, given Republic's general commitments to law and to the constitution, and given the passage in which Plato t e l l s us that the state must always contain some "living authority" which holds to the "idea" or " s p i r i t " of the constitution and original code of law, I think we can safely venture to say that Republic anticipates the mature constitutional theory of -146-Lauis to a rather remarkable extent. My conclusion then i s this: with respect to the relationship between the rulers and the law, a l l three of Plato's dialogues are in substantial agreement. In Republic the rulers are said to be fettered by the " s p i r i t " of the legal code; in Statesman they are granted the power of amendment; in Laws Plato has managed to write a constitution which embodies both of these principles. On this issue anyway there i s simply no reason to believe that in Laws Plato has abandoned the ideals of Republic and Statesman. If I have shown that the "sovereignty of law" principle does not compromise the ideal theory of government worked out in Republic, there remain two other instances in which Laws might be thought to abandon the ideals of Republics (1) in Republic Plato implies that the rulers w i l l be chosen by the wise, whereas in Laws they are to be elected by the Assembly of a l l citizens; and (2) in Republic there are s t r i c t educa-tional qualifications for the rulers, whereas in Laws no such qualif-ications are in evidence. In order to deal with the latter problem, in order to show that the guardians of the law-state are expert rulers in the tradition of Republic and Statesman. I have had to argue two points: f i r s t , and most important, i t has been necessary to show that the Nocturnal Council is an integral and efficacious part of Plato's government. Few of Plato's c r i t i c s have failed to identify the Noc-turnal Councillors with the philosopher-kings of Republic, but so far as I know, none of these c r i t i c s has been able to reconcile the presence of the Council with the saying that government must be subordinate to 70 the law. If this saying means that this Council of Philosophers must 70 The orthodox interpretation of Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory holds that the Nocturnal Council i s inconsistent with the rest of -147-obey and never change the law, then i t has no real power; i t is not truly sovereign over the community's affairs, and the state is subject to the rule of law instead of the rule of philosophy. But I hope that my explanation of the Council's governmental function shows that Plato really has done what he says he w i l l do in his closing speech in Laws; he says that he w i l l "hand over the c i t y " to his "divine assembly" — the Nocturnal Council, (969b). The Council really is the "head of the state"; i t s members really are the rulers; and i t really is vested with legal sovereignty: I say these things because i t is this Council of philosophers that is ultimately responsible for determining what is "the good, just and profitable" course of action for individual citizens, and for the state as a whole. The Guardians of the Laws may propose legislation, but i t i s the Council that must give or refuse to these proposals the f u l l force of law. Plato's law-state is ruled by experts because i t is ruled by the Nocturnal Council. Laws. Edward Zeller (Plato and the Older Academy, translated by Alleyn and Goodwin, London, 1888, p.539-40) says that: "As the rest of the government i s in no way based on this council of the wise, and as the council i s not incorporated into the organism of the state by any definite o f f i c i a l sphere of action, there is a certain ambiguity and uncertainty about the whole scheme". Sabine (p.85) says that the Council "not only f a i l s to articulate in any way with the other institutions of the state, but ( i t ) also contradicts the purpose in planning a state in which law is supreme". Barker (p.349) says that the Council i s to control "in ways that are never explained, a system of p o l i t i c a l machinery into which ( i t is) never fitted". Levinson (In Defence of Plato. Harvard University Press, 1953, p.517, note 38) thinks that the Council contradicts the whole fabric of Plato's state. Morrow (p.512) disagrees with the orthodox view, but thinks that the Council must provide "wisdom and philoso-phical guidance without being vested with legal sovereignty". -148-The second point I must argue in order to show that the state described in Laws i s ruled by experts, is that the Guardians of the Laws are themselves "true kings and statesmen"; that they have them-selves received the education that Plato outlines in both Republic and Laws. This argument i s more straightforward! although Plato does not explicitly mention any educational qualifications for membership on the board of Guardians, he does say that the Nocturnal Council must have "received the whole scheme of education proposed by us" (968a). Gut the ten senior Guardians are automatically seated on the Council; so in order to be eligible to serve as a Guardian, a citizen must also be eligible to eventually serve as a Nocturnal Councillor. In other words, the Guardians must themselves have undergone the f i f t y years of education that Plato proposes; they are themselves experts in the art of government. Their service as Guardians of the Laws is in fact, the f i n a l stage in their education. After graduating from Plato's system of higher education at age forty, and after a further ten years of practical experience at government, at age f i f t y they are qualified to attend to the day-to-day legislative needs of the state, subject to the scrutiny of the Nocturnal Council. After twenty years of experience in this capacity, they are f i n a l l y qualified to serve on the board which Plato describes as the "mind" of the community - the Nocturnal Council. As well as their educational qualifications, the rulers in Laws must have distinguished themselves as virtuous and law-abiding citizens. At 715d Plato says that we must "entrust the government in your state to... he who is most obedient to the law". A specific example of Plato implementing this rule is to be found (once again) in the law governing -149-sexual conduct. He who disobeys this law ''shall be deprived of a l l civ i c honours and privileges" (041e); in other words, a citizen who offends against this law (or against nearly any other law) is disqual-i f i e d from holding public office. There should be no doubt then that the rulers in Laws must have an unblemished character and must be masters of the art of ruling. The third and f i n a l sense in which Laws might be thought to abandon the principles and ideals of Republic l i e s in the fact that the Guardians in Laws are elected to office by the Assembly of a l l citizens, in this regard I have shown that Plato considers only mem-bers of one of the four property classes as 'citizens', and that there is reason to believe that this would constitute roughly one-third of the total population (848a). Plato restricts the number of citizens in this way because citizenship is i t s e l f an art, one which requires a full-time commitment: He who has to secure and preserve the public order of the state has an art which requires much study and many kinds of knowledge, and does not admit of being made a secondary occupation (846d). Earlier Plato has described the kind of study that is necessary for acquiring this art; he says that a citizen must have received "that education in virtue from youth upwards, which makes a man eagerly pursue the ideal perfection of citizenship and (which) teaches him rightly how to rule and how to obey" (643e). So those who s i t in the Assembly, those who elect the Guardians of the Laws, are, according to Plato anyway, fully qualified to exercise their function as electors. (950c) If one considers the qualifications of the electors, and the qualifications of those nominated as Guardians, i t is possible to -150-appreciate the fact that Plato does not regard these elections as a democratic element in his mixed constitution. Also i t is worth r e c a l l -ing here a point made earlier; any citizen who proves to be disobedient to the laws of the state w i l l lose his "civic privileges". He is considered to be a "stranger"; he has forfeited his right to vote in the Assembly. However i t is s t i l l surprising that the Guardians of the Laws do not themselves f i l l vacancies within their ranks. Even i f the members of the Assembly are qualified to choose their rulers wisely, would not the Guardians and the Nocturnal Councillors be even better judges of virtuous character and p o l i t i c a l expertise? I think that i t is characteristic of Plato's philosophical method that this question should arise. On the one hand Plato explicitly gives the responsibility of electing the Guardians to the Assembly, but with the other hand he implicitly gives the power of selection to the Nocturnal Council. I think that Plato wants us to wonder why the Guardians should be elected; because when we look into the question, we find that the Assembly can do l i t t l e more than ratify the selections made by the Nocturnal Council. Plato's sleight of hand i s accomplished in this way: a Guardian must have undergone "the whole scheme of education proposed by us"; this means that, among other things, he must have studied the many laws, constitu-tions, and theories of government in order that he might "gather" that "one idea" or "principle" which i s virtue. It means, in short, that he must have been a junior member of the Nocturnal Council. Since these junior "ministers" are selected by the members of the Council them-selves (961b), the Council in effect i s able to choose those who w i l l -151-serve as Guardians upon reaching their f i f t i e t h year. Should there be a surplus of candidates, the Assembly would then choose among them; but the real selection of Guardians is made at an earlier stage by the Council of philosophers. As we would expect from reading Republic, the philosopher-rulers are to choose their own successors. Once again then, Plato has not compromised the principles of Republic; he has not adapted his early ideal to the vagaries of actual p o l i t i c a l l i f 8 } he has not given up hope of realizing the ideal form of government that he f i r s t introduced in Republic. Laws is not a "second-71 72 ary or relative ideal"; nor i s Republic an "unattainable ideal". What we find in Laws i s a comprehensive set of legal and constitutional proposals which are designed to embody and to implement the p o l i t i c a l , moral, and educational, principles of Republic and Statesman. Far from giving up hope of realizing his ideal, I think that in Laws Plato shows us exactly how i t might be realized. The constitution he proposes i s more or less r e a l i s t i c ; even the orthodox c r i t i c s seem to agree with me on this point. What they have failed to recognize however, is that this constitution, i f enacted, would establish the government of phil«= osopher-kings. In conclusion I want to make a passing comment about Plato's idealism. I have argued that the 'sovereignty of law' principle i s continuous through Republic. Statesman and Laws, and also that the government Plato proposes in a l l three dialogues w i l l be a government of philosopher-kings. If this interpretation of Plato's p o l i t i c a l 11 Barker, p. 295 Saunders, p.28. -152-theory i s sound, then what of the saying in Statesman that "the p o l i t i c a l ideal i s not f u l l authority for laws, but rather f u l l auth-ority for a man who understands the art of kingship and (who) has kingly a b i l i t y " (Statesman 294a); and what of the saying in both States- man and Laws that the rule of law i s only "second best" to the rule of "the true king and statesman" (Statesman 301c-e; Laws 875d)? To put the question more directly; i f Plato always hBld the view that law should be the highest authority in the state, and i f his p o l i t i c a l ideal was not " f u l l authority for the laws", but rather f u l l authority for the philosopher kings, then what part does the idealism play in Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory? I think that the answer to this question i s that Plato never was a p o l i t i c a l i d e a l i s t , though he did concede what is obvious, that the ideal way of governing a state is to grant absolute authority to ah all-wise, ever-virtuous, super-human, individual who could provide his subjects with "peace and reverence and order and justice never f a i l i n g " (Laws 713e). I say that Plato never was an idealist because he never did argue in favour of dictatorship by the best of philosophic minds. In Chapters Two and Three I have tried to show that neither Republic nor Statesman says or implies that the state should be ruled by a bene-volent autocrat. I insisted on this point earlier because I now want to claim that Plato never did think that the ideal form of government was possible; that he never did intend to grant " f u l l authority to a man who understands the art of kingship and (who) has kingly a b i l i t y " . I think that Statesman and Laws both contain arguments (most notably the Myth of Cronos) which are designed to eliminate Utopian thought -153-from serious p o l i t i c a l theory; which are designed to show that omnis-cient rulers are appropriately studied only by theology. The trouble with p o l i t i c a l idealism, as Plato points out in a l l three dialogues, i s that p o l i t i c a l supermen are hard or impossible to find. In their absence we must settle for the "second best" method of government, which is the rule of law and ordinance. If the Age of Cronos were upon us, that is i f the Universe were other than i t i s , 'there would be no need of p o l i t i c a l constitutions', there would be no need of governments and laws, and there would be no need of settling for the second best method of government. But Plato was not an idealist; he knew that a ruler who "possesses absolute and irresponsible power w i l l never remain firm in his principles, or persist in regarding public good as primary in the state, and the privategoods as secondary". (Laws 875c). In Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory idealism plays the part of the straw-man. CHAPTER VI Up to this point I have been mainly concerned with one partic-ular aspect of Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory; I have examined each of Republic Statesman, and Laws with an eye to answering one central question: 'What is Plato's view of the relationship between government and the law'? The traditional answer to this question, of course, i s that at different stages of his philosophical career Plato viewed the relationship between the ruler and the law in different ways. The preceding chapters of this paper have been largely devoted to a refutation of this claim. In Chapters Two and Three I have argued that in Republic and Statesman Plato's rulers w i l l not be "unfettered by law" in the sense that the orthodox view maintains; and in Chapters Four and Five I have argued that in Laws Plato's government will not be altoge ther subservient to the law in the manner that Platonic scholars have traditionally supposed. But i f my arguments this far have been mainly directed towards a critique of the orthodox interpretation of Plato's p o l i t i c a l theory, I have also recommended a different interpretation; i f I have been mainly concerned with showing that the rulers in both Republic and Laws are in substantially the same pesition with respect to the law, I have also been urging the view that Plato always favoured a constitutional form of government. I have argued that in Republic Plato outlined the general features and principles of the constitution that he later works out in some detail in Laws. In this chapter I want to abandon my dispute with Zeller, Barker, Sabine, Saunders, etc; I want instead to focus c r i t i c a l attention on the constitution and form of government that Plato has worked out in Laws, and which on my interpretation i s -155-already implicit in both Republic and Statesman. Now in the course of arguing against the orthodox interpretation, I have necessarily focused my attention on Plato's treatment of the state's legislative power. In particular I have argued two points: (1) that Plato's constitution provides for a system of checks and balances within the legislative branch of government; in other words, that his constitution distributes the legislative power between two institutions; and, (2) that although Plato's legislators w i l l be bound by a consti-tution and fundamental code of law, they w i l l nevertheless be authorized to amend that constitution and code of law. In this chapter, however, i f we are to focus c r i t i c a l attention on Plato's overall theory of government — upon the constitution that he would impose on the state — we must also examine his treatment of the other traditional govern-mental powers; most importantly, we must examine his treatment of the state's executive and judicial powers. Now in examining Plato's theory of government in terms of legislative, executive and judicial powers, I am, of course, following a method of classifying governmental powers that has become traditional in p o l i t i c a l theory ever since the middle of the seventeenth century. There i s , however, no evidence to indicate that this tri-power theory of government was at a l l familiar to Plato. In fact, I shall argue in this chapter, that, although Plato understood and provided for each of these three governmental powers or functions, he nevertheless did not divide his government into three separate branches, rather into two: the teaching power and the magisterial power. I shall argue that Plato's alternative to the legislative-executive-judicial trichotomy raises -156= some very interesting questions about the philosophical distinctions which underlie the later theory; I shall argue that whereas the separation of powers doctrine f i r s t advocated by Montesquieu and Locke identifies three distinct functions of government, Plato quite correctly recognizes only two. Lastly I shall argue that although the separation of powers doctrine, complete with i t s system of governmental checks and balances, i s designed as a safeguard against governmental tyranny, nevertheless Plato's method of distinguishing or separating govern-mental powers provides the citizen with what may be an even more effective guarantee of freedom, I think that Plato's constitution could be more effective at preventing governmental tyranny because under that constitution governmental powers are distributed on s t r i c t l y functional grounds. This being the case, i t is very unlikely that one branch of government would be in any position to encroach upon or usurp the powers of the other, thus subjecting the state to a greater or lesser degree of tyranny. But a l l of this is yet to be argued: i f I am to make my case we must return to Laws and discover exactly to which institutions, and to which o f f i c i a l s , Plato would assign the powers that are traditionally exercised by governments. Since the legislative-executive-judicial trichotomy i s the most familiar way of analysing the internal structure of government, and since I have already discussed Plato's treatment of the state's legislative power, I now propose to examine Plato's system of government for the location of i t s executive and judicial powers. The functional distinction between legislative and executive powers i s at f i r s t glance straightforward^ the legislature i s res-ponsible for making the law, while the executive branch i s responsible -157-for the execution of the laws. Locke describes the executive function in this way: Because the laws that are once, and in a short time made, have a constant and lasting force, and need a perpetual execution, or an attendance thereunto: Therefore i t i s necessary there should be a power always in being, which should see to the execution of the laws that are made and remain in force. And thus the legislative and executive power come often to be separated. So the executive branch of government i s supposed to implement or execute the laws passed by the legielative branch; but Locke goes on to say that as well as this magisterial power, the executive department must also enjoy a certain measure of discretionary power: Many things there are which the law can by no means provide for, and those must necessarily be l e f t to the discretion of him that has the Executive power in his hands, to be ordered by him as the public good and advantage should require: nay, 'tis f i t that the laws themselves should in some cases give way to the executive power.... This power to act according to discretion for the public good without the prescription of the law, and sometimes even against i t , i s that which is called PREROGATIVE. For since in some governments the lawmaking power i s not always in being, and is usually too numerous, and so too slow for the dispatch requisite to execution: and because also i t is impossible to foresee, and so by laws to provide for, a l l accidents and necessities that may concern the public, or to make such laws as w i l l do no harm i f they are executed with an inflexible rigour on a l l occasions and upon a l l persons that may come in their way, therefore there i s a latitude l e f t to the executive power, to do many things of choice which the laws do not Now this explanation of what Locke calls executive "prerogative" i s important here because Locke has now authorized the executive branch of government to do much more than execute the law; he has authorized the executive magistrate to act "without the prescription of the law, prescribe. 73 74 Locke, SecondTreatise. Chapter XII, Para. 144. Ibid. Para. 159-60. -158= and sometimes even against i t " . Although the idea i s expressed in different language, much the same sentiment is echoed by Montesquieu, Madison and the other advocates of the "separation of powers' doctrine. A 1969 report by a U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the separation of powers, for instance, clearly reflects and illustrates Locke's conception of executive prerogatives although this report deals with several different instances of executive discretionary powers, in the interest of brevity, I shall quote only from that section of the report which is entitled Legislative Powers of the Presidents Although the Constitution in Article I grants " a l l " legislative powers of the Federal Government to the Congress, Presidents since Washington have exercised a form of "legislative power" of their own. These powers exist in part because of delegations from Congress authorizing the issuance of regulations which have the force of public law. Federal regulations constitute perhaps the greatest bulk of law produced by the government, exceeding in great measure the number of statutes of general application enacted by Congress each year. Separation of powers issues arise when the delegation by Congress is extremely broad and, in effect, presents few i f any standards to guide the executive branch. Broad delegations amount to a conferral of near-plenary legislative power to the particular agency over the subject matter within i t s jurisdiction... In addition to delegated legislative authority, the President exercises a form of legislative power through the issuance of Executive Orders. Between 1907, when Executive Orders were f i r s t numbered, until Dec. 31, 1968, a total of 11,442 have been issued. In addition i t is estimated that perhaps 15,000 Executive Orders were issued prior to 1907. Executive Orders, when relating to "housekeeping" requirements of the executive branch raise no constitutional problem. They amount to no more than directions by the President to his subordinates as to how they are to carry out their statutory and constitutional functions. As such they rest on the constitutional authority of Article I I . However an Executive Order may amount to an exercise of legislative power, which the Constitution grants exclusively to Congress. Executive Orders have been issued on occasion to bypass the ordinary legislative process when the President wishes not to share the decision making with the Congress, Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, made by i t s Subcommittee on Separation of Powers} U.S. Printing Office, 1969, Washington, p.15. -159-The Subcommittee Chairman, Sen. Sam Ervin, goes on to give examples of Executive Orders that have been clear exercises of the 76 legislative power. He cites the "steel mills" case of 1952; Executive Order 11387 of Jan. 1, 1968,which "subjected foreign investments to s t r i c t limitations and controls"; and Executive Order 11246 which " i n -augerated an equal employment programme for businesses doing govern-ment contract work which duplicated the jurisdiction given to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by the C i v i l Rights Act of 1964, and which imposed different standards and different sanctions than those contained in the prior legislative act". What the Ervin Committee Report illustrates rather nicely, I think, i s the necessity and extent of executive discretionary power. Locke said that "there are many things which the laws can by no means provide for"; Congress in the United States has in many instances seen f i t to delegate "near-plenary legislative power" to particular agencies within the executive branch; the U.S. Constitution under Article II authorizes the Executive magistrate to issue "Executive Orders". Under the British constitutional system the executive branch may issue what are termed "Orders-in-Council". Most p o l i t i c a l theorists since Locke have sanctioned the issuance of executive orders or directives; and the history of governments in the western world ever since Locke's time makes i t abundantly clear that p o l i t i c a l practice, in this instance anyway, has been true to the s p i r i t of prevailing p o l i t i c a l theory. If the Executive branch of government is primarily responsible for execu-ting the law, i t is also responsible in many instances for making the law. 7 6 Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. vs Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 72 S. Ct. 863, 96L. Ed. 1153 (1952). -160-Noui I have explained the bifunctional nature of the executive branch of government in order that I might be able to show that Plato distinguishes these two different executive functions, and that he assigns each to a different branch of his government. I shall try to show that Plato assigns the 'execution' or 'implementory' function to his auxiliary o f f i c i a l s , and that he assigns a l l of the state's impor-tant discretionary powers to his rulers, that i s , to the Guardians of the law and the Nocturnal Councillors. Let us begin by examining the nature of the powers that are given to the auxiliary magistrates. First, th8 astynomoi (city wardens), agoranomoi (market wardens), and the agronomoi (country wardens). The authority of the agoranomoi covers the city's markets, including the temples and fountains located in the markets. They must see that the streets are kept clean, that no damage is done to the buildings and fountains, and that whatever damage might be done i s promptly repaired (759a, 764b). They are also to look after the water supply in the markets and fountains; there w i l l be aquaducts or conduits to bring water from the surrounding mountains, and the agronomoi along with the astynomoi must see that there i s ample clean water available at a l l times (763d, 764b). The astynomoi w i l l also have responsibility for the city's sewage system (779c). The astynomoi are also responsible for maintaining order in the public streets and buildings; they must see that "no injury is done by men or other animals" (759a). This means that they have authority to fine persons who violate the building and sanitary codes, or who damage public property (764c). They may deport beggars (936c), punish cases of public slander (935b), punish acts of violence in the streets, and punish -161-someone who f a i l s to come to the aid of a victim of such violence (879c, 861c); they help the officers in charge of children maintain order on the playgrounds (794b)j they must assist in the search for stolen pro-perty (954b); and they judge cases involving minor claims of damage by one person against another (844c, 845c). The agoranomoi are also responsible for enforcing a rather intricate set of market regulations. They are to allot s t a l l s for the sale of various wares (849c); they must enforce the laws requiring a l l citizens to bring a certain portion of their produce to market for sale to non-citizens (849a-c); they must prevent the sale of adulterated or spurious goods (917a); they must see that a vendor does not charge different prices for his wares on a given day (917b-c); and they must enforce the regulations dealing with a f a i r profit margin (920b-d). A particular duty that Plato assigns his astynomoi i s to super-vise the alien craftsmen in the city, ensuring that they abide by the 'one man to one craft' principle (847a). They may also adjudge disputes regarding wages, quality of workmanship, and any other grievances of citizens up to the amount of f i f t y drachmae (847b). They may also hear cases involving larger amounts when a foreign visitor is involved (953b). They and the agoranomoi must meet casual foreign traders, ensuring that they do not import any "innovations" into the city (953a); and they would certainly be involved in the application by an immigrant for metic status (850b). The agronomoi have similar duties in the country. They must supervise the building of moats and fortifications to guard the rural population against foreign invasion (760e); they must look after roads (761a)j take measures to control the flow of rainwater down the mountain -162-slopes, making sure that the fields are not eroded, and that there is an ample supply of water available for agricultural purposes (761 a-b)o They w i l l also be in charge of the building and maintaining of fountain houses, gymnasia, and rural shrines. And naturally the agronomoi are responsible for maintaining order in the countryside. They must enforce the agricultural laws in general} for income tax purposes they must make reports to the Guardians concerning the amount harvested (955a)} they supervise the non-citizen craftsmen, determining how many tradesmen are needed, and where these craftsmen w i l l be situated so as to best serve local needs (946e). Lastly they may hear c i v i l disputes up to the amount of thrBB minae (761e); and they must apprehend exiles who return without authorization (88ld-e). Now i t i s obvious that these o f f i c i a l s , astynomoi, agoranomoi, and agronomoi, serve the state in many different capacities} they are at least police o f f i c i a l s , immigration officers, supervisors of public works, and supervisors of certain areas of the state's economic l i f e . It i s also evident that their duties are executive in nature} they are responsible for implementing, enforcing, and supervising the laws and regulations made by the government. But i t i s also evident that the range of their discretionary power is limited. In no instance in Laws does Plato even come close to suggesting that these o f f i c i a l s w i l l be authorized to set policy or make regulations that cannot for various reasons be embodied in the; state's legal code. Perhaps the greatest discretionary power that Plato allows these o f f i c i a l s i s in determining whether or not foreign traders w i l l be allowed to s e l l their goods in -163-the city's markets. They also enjoy discretionary powers in their capacity as supervisors of artisans, and in their capacity as judges of minor c i v i l disputes. But in a l l of these instances i t is clear that they w i l l be guided by quite specific laws and regulations which are written by the Guardians of the Law. In fact Plato makes i t perfectly clear that whenever there is any need for policy decisions —- for supplementing the legal cods with regulations and directions of a detailed or transitory nature — the state's 'wardens' must consult the Guardians, who w i l l then issue the necessary orders. Perhaps Plato's clearest statement of this principle occurs in the context of regula-ting r e t a i l trade: And therefore, in respect of the multifarious occupations of r e t a i l trade, that i s to say, in respect of such of them as are allowed to remain, because they are quite necessary to the state, about these the Guardians of the law shall meet and take counsel with those who have experience of the several kinds of r e t a i l trade, as we before commanded concerning adul-teration (which is a matter akin to this), and when they meet they shall consider what amount of receipts after deducting expenses, w i l l produce a moderate gain to the r e t a i l trades, and they shall fix in writing and s t r i c t l y maintain what they find to be the right percentage of profit; this shall be seen to by the wardens of the agora and by the wardens of the city, and by the wardens of the country. (920 a-c) Now the principle which underlies this passage is important. Obviously the legal code cannot specify exactly what is f a i r profit on the sale of every different commodity and service. Not only is the task too detailed for the law, but there w i l l also be significant fluctuations of supply and demand, which w i l l necessitate nearly constant adjustments in the determination of f a i r profit margins. So the legal code cannot supply the wardens with the necessary direction; but those who exercise the state's legislative power w i l l also be responsible for issuing the -164-direction that the law cannot supply. If the wardens are responsible for executing the state's r e t a i l trade policies, i t is the Guardians of the Laws who enjoy discretionary power over the determination of that policy. The same principle is evident in the area of public works. Plato says that the astynomoi shall supervise the construction and maintenance of public buildings; they should ensure that the city i s kept clean, that no one trespasses, that no one neglects the care of public buildings, that rain water is drained adequately, etc. The astynomoi must take care of "matters which may have to be administered either within or without the city", but "the Guardians of the Law shall pass any further enactments which their experience may show to be necessary, and supply any other points in which the law may be deficient" (779d). Once again the Guardians are responsible for setting policy, while the astynomoi are responsible for "administering" those policies. There are, of course, many other instances in Laws where Plato makes i t clear that only the Guardians are authorized to determine state policy — whether that policy i s specified in the form of written law, or whether i t is a matter requiring the exercise of what Locke calls executive prerogative. Jurisdiction over the state's f i s c a l policy —- over the raising of revenues, and the expenditure of public funds — is probably one of the clearest examples of the Guardian's executive powers. They shall have possession of the registers in which each citizen must report the worth of his property, the amount of revenue from the sale of his crops, his expenses, etc. (745a-d; B50aj 855b;). The Guardians must ensure that no citizen accumulates more wealth than the law permits; and they must ensure that no estate f a i l s for the -165= want of financing. As well they must oversee the care and construction of public buildings (779c-d); they are in charge of foreign trade, determining what products may be imported and exported (847c-d); and they must, in association with the market wardens, supervise and regulate the conduct of r e t a i l trade (849e; 917e; 918a; 920a-c). With respect to the raising of taxes, Plato's text ie somewhat ambiguous. We are told that a l l citizens and metics must report their annual profits and expenses to the country wardens in order that the "public of f i c e r s " might levy the appropriate taxes (955d-e). We are nowhere explicitly told that the "officers" Plato has in mind are the Guardians, but i f taxes are to be levied by some o f f i c i a l s other than the Guardians, there i s no doubt that they would have to do so in accordance with the laws and regulations issued by the Guardians. The Guardians have supervisory powers over virtually every other part of the public purse -r e t a i l and foreign trade, expenditures, collection of fines, seizure of excess capital, etc. I think is i s reasonable to conclude that the Guardians have executive powers over f i s c a l matters in general; I think i t i s th8 Guardians who are responsible for the preparation of expen-diture and revenue estimates, and for the determination of annual economic pr i o r i t i e s . Another example of the Guardians' executive powers is in the area of etate education. Plato's constitution provides for the appointment of a single "Director of Education"; but this o f f i c i a l w i l l be chosen from among the Guardians, and there are numerous passages in Laws which indicate that he must work in close consultation with the board from which he is chosen (801d; 829d; B35a). Under the supervision of the -166-Guardians the Educator must appoint and supervise numerous minor o f f i c i a l s (813c), issue instructions to teachers (611d), select appro-priate literary materials for the schools (Bile), censor music and poetry intended for public audiences (936b), and in general supervise the whole system of state education (765d; 936a). There are also other examples of matters over which the Guar-dians enjoy executive powers. The state's family law i s of special con-cern to Plato} in thie area the Guardians have numerous specific duties, and they are also instructed to advise the supervisors of marriage, the supervisors of children, etc. (748c} 794b} 929e} 932b). We have already eeen that the Guardians are responsible for overseeing the department of public works, the military, and the police department} in addition they must make the regulations necessary to the conduct of religious festivals and sacrifices, athletic contests, and a l l state ceremonies and holidays. Concerning the most dramatic of executive powers - ths war power - Plato is surprisingly and unfortunately silent. He remarks at 955b that no "faction of the state" should declare war upon, or establish an alliance with, any parties "without the authority of the state"; but besides this reference Plato simply does not say to whom he w i l l entrust the responsibility for national security. From Statesman however we learn that the power to declare war, and to form alliances, i s the province of the statesman, as opposed to the general, who merely "takes decisions on military strategy once war has been declared" (Statesman 304e). Plato makes his point with a questions Which is the art which possesses the knowledge and capacity to form a reasoned decision whether to fight or settle a dispute on friendly terms? (304e) -167-The answer, naturally,is that this i s the province of the art of states-manship. Although Plato does not consider the question in Laws, i t i s , I think, impossible to form any conclusion except that the war power resides either with the Guardians of the Law or the Nocturnal Council. Although i t i s only a guess, I suspect that this function would in fact be assigned to the Nocturnal Council. Such a grave decision as whether or not to commit the state to war, i s a responsibility that I think Plato would assign to the state's wisest and most senior statesman - the Nocturnal Councillors. This assembly is called the "mind" of the states i t i s responsible for the "salvation" and "preservation" of the whole community. Although I do not want to read too much into Plato's meta-phorical language here, I think that providing for national security i s the duty of the state's "mind"; I think that executive control of the states armed forces i s necessary to that institution which must provide for the "salvation" of the state. In the absence of any definite word from Plato, perhaps another reason for thinking that the war power would be vested in the Council, as opposed to the Guardians, i s that Plato has gone into great detail concerning the Guardians' duties - and he does not mention the war power - whereas he is notoriously inexplicit about the exact duties of the Council. Had Plato intended this function for the Guardians, presumably he would have declared his intention when discussing the areas in which the Guardians would be associated with the Generals, such as the importing of materials necessary for military purposes. In any case the point i s not crucial; whether the Council, the Guardians, or both, are to be 'commanders-in-chief of the armed forces, i t is virtually certain that the government - not the military -168-or the Assembly of a l l citizens - w i l l exercise executive reponsibility for national security. Now in the preceding paragraphs I have been arguing that the Auxiliary o f f i c i a l s in Plato's state - the country wardens, city wardens, market wardens, judges, generals, supervisors of marriage, etc., -while these o f f i c i a l s are responsible for the enforcement, implementa-tion, and execution of the state's laws, they do not enjoy a l l of the powers that have come to be traditionally associated with the executive branch of government. Specifically I have argued that Plato'.s Auxil-iaries take no share in the determination of state policy; that they enjoy only lower-level discretionary powers; that they are not author-ized to formulate that very wide range of regulations and directives which cannot for various reasons be embodied in legislation, but which nevertheless constitute an integral part of the state's regulatory power. So while the Auxiliary o f f i c i a l s in Plato's state are undoubtedly responsible for the execution of the state's legal code, they do not enjoy executive powers in the modern sense of that term. If under executive powers we include such governmental functions as the power to regulate the state's economy, the power to direct and maintain a system of state education, the power to form alliances with other states, -in fact, i f by executive powers we mean those powers that under the British and American constitutional systems are held by the head of state and his cabinet ministers, - then under Plato's form of constitu-tional government, executive powers in this modern sense have been distributed between the Guardians of the Law and the Nocturnal Council. Now what i s immediately interesting about this method of ar-ranging or distributing governmental power is that Plato has placed a -169-very significant portion of what uie nowadays term 'executive power' in the hands of the same institutions and o f f i c i a l s that already yield the state's legislative power. A l l of the powers that are today assoc-iated with the standard cabinet portfolios - defence, finance, external affairs, justice, education, public works, etc., - a l l of these powers Plato gives to the Guardians and the Nocturnal Councillors. And with one exception - the Minister of Education - a l l of these executive powers wi l l be borne by the whole assemfely of Guardians, or else by the whole Nocturnal Council. Time and time again in Laws, when Plato i s assigning specific areas of executive responsibility to the Guard-ians, he gives the appropriate power to the whole board of thirty-seven members (748b-c; 794b} 799b} 649e} 917e} 920a-c} 929e are some examples). By making collegial responsibility the rule, and ministerial respon-s i b i l i t y the exception, Plato has placed a l l executive powers of a regulatory nature in precisely the same hands as those which hold the legislative power. In succeeding pages I shall have occasion to discuss the justification behind, and the implications of, this provision of Plato's constitution. Specifically I shall argue that Plato has dis-tributed governmental power along s t r i c t and appropriate functional lines; that his partial merger of the state's legislative and executive powers rests on sound philosophical and p o l i t i c a l principles; and that Plato's constitution does not neglect the freedom of the governed in the interest of creating a strong and efficacious government. But before I can introduce these arguments we must f i r s t examine Plato's treatment of the state's judicial power; in doing so we shall find that just as Plato has given some of the state's important executive powers -170-over to the legislative branch of government, so he has given some of i t s important jud i c i a l powers over to the legislative branch. With respect to Plato's treatment of the state's executive powers however, let me, for the present, only repeat the point I have already made. The Auxiliary o f f i c i a l s in Plato's state are responsible for the execution, implementation, and enforcement, of the state's legal code; in this sense the Auxiliary branch of Plato's government i s certainly the forerunner of the executive branch of modern governments. Neverthe-less Plato's Auxiliaries do not enjoy a l l of the powers that have been traditionally associated with the executive department. They have virtually no regulatory power; they are responsible only for carrying out the commands of the rulers, whether these commands be in the form of legislation, or whether they be in the form of executive ordinance. We might say that Plato's constitution provides for a comparatively weak executive branch; or else we might say that Plato distinguishes two categories or types of executive powers, giving the one to his Auxiliary o f f i c i a l s , and the other to his rulers. But more on this point after we have considered Plato's constitutional provisions for the state's judicial power. Plato's law provides for three different grades of courts; there are to be courts of original jurisdiction, and two levels of appeal courts. The courts of the f i r s t instance are to be presided over by "neighbors" of the disputing parties; the parties to the l i t i g a t i o n are allowed to choose from among their "neighbors and friends" (766e) a panel of "arbitrators" who w i l l serve as judges. The purpose of this court i s to attempt to bring about a reconciliation between the dispu-tants; i f the decision of the judges i s accepted by both parties, the -171-case is ended. But i f either party i s dissatisfied with the decision, a l l relevant documents, together with a written statement of the "arbitrators'"findings, are transmitted to a higher court. The f i r s t court of appeal Plato calls the "common courts" (762b? 77 846b; 847b). About the constitution of these courts^ we are told very l i t t l e , yet i t i s clear that they are to be popular courts, the judges being chosen by lot (768b). Perhaps the most important thing about these "common courts" i s that they do not enjoy the power of fi n a l j u r i s -diction. If anyone wishes to fight his case a third time in court, "let him bring his suit before the select judges" (956c-d). This i s evid-ently Plato's answer to the need for special judicial competence. These high court judges are to be elected by " a l l the officers of the state"; one judge shall be chosen "from each magistracy" (767c). Although the exact number of judges is not specified, there i s reason to believe 78 that the court would have some fifteen or sixteen members. It is easy to understand why Plato should select his Supreme Court Judges from among the city's magistrates; in the absence of a class of professional lawyers and jurists, the only experts in the law would be those c i v i c o f f i c i a l s who have become familiar with the ways in which the various laws have been applied and interpreted by previous courts. 77 Although they are also called " t r i b a l courts" (for example at 768b), I prefsr the designation "common courts" because, as Morrow shows (p.257-60), these courts are not intended to exercise jurisdiction only within the various tribes. Morrow, p.262. -172-Now Plato's t r i - l e v e l system of courts i s designed to deal with the great bulk of cases - both criminal and c i v i l - that are bound to arise in the ordinary course of civ i c l i f e . But there are also a sig-nificant number of special courts which have jurisdiction over special-ized mattere. Thus "offences against the state" w i l l be judged by the Assembly of a l l citizens (767e); cases involving the death penalty w i l l be heard by a court consisting of the Guardians of the Law and the Select 79 Judges (855c); cases of desertion and other military offences w i l l be heard by a military tribunal (943a-b); a family court w i l l hear cases where a father wishes to disinherit his son (929a-d); there i s also mention of divorce courts (929e - 930a); and f i n a l l y , we have already seen that the astynomoi, agronomoi, and agoranomoi have judicial powers over minor disputes. As well as a more or less complete and coherent system of courts, Plato also concerns himself with many of the important details of legal procedure. Although he more than once remarks that his regulations in this area are incomplete, he nevertheless does write a significant amount of procedural law. He makes regulations concerning the f i l i n g of suits, the conduct of preliminary hearings, the taking of oaths (which is nec-essary for the judges as well as for the witnesses), the powers of the court over the propriety and relevance of evidence, the competence of witnesses, the f i l i n g of suits for false testimony, and the amount of discretion given to the courts over the fixing of penalties. 79 This court has jurisdiction over temple robbing (854d-e), sedition (856b-c), treason (856e), premeditated homicide (671d), attempted homicide (877b), and probably certain cases of impiety (910c-d). = 173-Although many aspects of Plato's judicial system are interesting in their own right, an overall evaluation of that system i s obviously beyond the competence of this Chapter. In fact my interest in Plato's jud i c i a l system i s confined to establishing two points; f i r s t , that Plato's constitution does provide for a judi c i a l branch of government which i s clearly distinct from and independent of both the legislative and executive branches; and second, that like the Bri t i s h constitutional system, yet unlike the American system, Plato does not give the power to interpret, enforce, and apply the state's constitutional law unto the judicial branch of government, We have seen that Plato does provide his state with a comprehensive system of lower and higher courts; i t i s certain however that none of these courts i s authorized to hear cases 80 which involve constitutional questions. We saw in the last Chapter that Plato did understand and provide for this governmental function; he creates an institution - the Nocturnal Council - which i s instructed to interpret, preserve, and give expression to the "aims" of the constitu-tion; which i s authorized to render null and void any statute which i s repugnant to the s p i r i t of the constitution. 80 However Plato has a problem which he has not anticipated. The courts are not intended to hear cases which raise constitutional issues; however, as the history of the U.S. Supreme Court shows, both criminal and c i v i l cases - which Plato's courts are to hear -often raise constitutional problems. Although Plato mentions no such procedure, i t is obvious that he must provide some mechanism for elevating such cases for consideration by the Nocturnal Council. -174-Notu there i s certainly nothing unusual about Plato locating this governmental power - we might c a l l i t the power of 'constitutional review' - within the legislative branch of government. Rather i t is the American constitution - which gives this power to the courts -that is radical in this respect. Nevertheless the fact that Plato does give this power to the legislative branch rather than the judicial branch i s significant. For by giving the power of 'constitutional review* unto the legislator, Plato leaves his judges to serve only an auxiliary governmental function; and the fact that the judge is only an auxiliary to the ruler i s crucial for an appreciation of Plato's 81 method of distributing governmental power. In the preceding pages we have seen that Plato's constitution provides for a network of executive o f f i c i a l s and institutions (a c i v i l service); and also that i t provides for a judicial system which i s independont of both the leg-isl a t i v e and executive departments. Thus Plato's constitution does provide for what have since become the three traditional branches of government - legislative, executive and judicial. However Plato's method of distributing governmental power among theses three branches is quite different from the later tradition of Locke, Montesquieu, and Madison. In fact, although Plato does create independent legis-lative, executive, and judicial institutions, he would not recognize three distinct branches of government, because he would not share Madison's belief that there are three distinguishable functions - one to be served by each department. Plato considers both executive and 81 It is clear throughout Plato's p o l i t i c a l writings that the judge is the auxiliary of the ruler. The point is made most straightforwardly at Statesman 305b-c. -175-judicial magistrates to be the auxiliaries of the ruler; the judge -like the generals, the wardens, etc. - i s only to enforce and implement the laws and commands which are issued by the legislature. So notwith-standing the fact that Plato does create legislative, executive and judicial institutions, he does not divide his government into three branches - rather into two» the rulers and the auxiliaries. I now want to suggest that in order to fully appreciate Plata's method of dividing and classifying governmental powert we must understand this ruler-auxiliary distinction - which also appears in both Republic and States- man - in a particular way; I suggest that i t should be understood as a distinction between the teaching power and the police power. The reason I think that the powers which are held by the rulers in Plato's state should be classified or described as the teaching power is that the sole purpose for which these powers are to be used is the teachino of virtue. This is a point that Plato*repeats again and again in Laws, and i t i s a point that i s also stressed in both Republic and Statesman. The "absorbing preoccupation" of Plato's rulers i s the business of establishing "a true opinion concerning what i s good, just and profitable" in the soul of every citizen (Statesman 309c). It is also evident that Plato understands virtually every particular power that is exercised by the Guardians and/or the Councillors as necessary to the teaching of virtue - as part of the teaching power. There ore numerous obvious examples of this point. The Nocturnal Council is in part a teaching institution; i t i s responsible for the very important function of teaching philosophy and the art of government to those who w i l l one day become rulers. Also the Director of Education is chosen -176-from among the Guardians, and becomes a Nocturnal Councillor. Pre-sumably he is responsible to both assemblies; presumably both the Guard-ians and the Councillors w i l l have supervisory powers over the execution of his duties. If so, both institutions w i l l have at least indirect supervision of the whole system of state education. Also the Guardians have executive responsibility for a l l state ceremonies and dances, musical and poetic performances, athletic contests, and religious festivals and sacrifices. A l l of these state occasions are designed to serve educational purposes, musical performances encourage citizens in the love of temperance, justice^and virtue generally; athletic contests encourage an admiration of courage, endurance, and sportsman-ship; religious festivals and sacrifices produce humility and piety. Plato regards a l l of these as virtues which i t is the duty of govern-ment to teach. Although they are less obvious examples, the Guardians' special powers with respect to family law and the registers of property are also necessary parts of the teaching power. Control of the registers of property - and of economic matters in general - is a teaching function, because the extremes of property and wealth make the teaching of virtue impossible. And much the same can be said about family law. Those who are responsible for implanting a "true opinion concerning what i s good,just and profitable" must have special supervisory powers over family l i f e , because children must be raised in quite precisely determined ways, marriages between certain types of citizens must be encouraged (and others discouraged), families must be made to observe proper limits when they are grieving the loss of loved ones, or when -177-they are celebrating births and marriages, etc > The exercise of a l l these powers is a part of the process of teaching virtue because the family is one of the state's most important teaching institutions. Plato believes that "the most important part of right training occurs in the nursery*; he believes thbt children are apt to mature into much the same sort of persons as their parents. So control of family ..life is indispensable to those who would teach virtue. For Plato however the most important part of the state's teaching power i s i t s legislative power. Plato sees the writing of legislation as a teaching function because the aim or purpose of law must be the production of virtue in the souls of the citizens; because the legal code must instruct the ordinary citizen in the wise, just, temperate and courageous courses of action in every circumstance. Sut the laws must do even more than instruct; they must also persuade. Plato makes this point with the help of an example; he uses the law of marriage to il l u s t r a t e the difference between a law which only threatens and one which persuades as well as threatens. Then let me give the f i r s t law of marriage in a simple form; i t may run as follows: A man shall marry between the ages of thirty and thirty-five, or, i f he does not, he shall pay such and such a fine, or shall suffer the loss of such and such privileges. This would be thesimple law about marriage. The double law would run thus: A man shall marry between the ages of thirty and thirty-five, considering that in a manner the human race naturally partakes of immortality, which every man is by nature inclined to desire to the utmost; ... (men) are immortal, because they leave children's children behind them, and partake of immortality in the unity of generation. And for a man voluntarily to deprive himself of this g i f t , as he deliberately does who w i l l not have a wife or children, is impiety. He who obeys the law shall be free and shall pay no fine; but he who is disobedient and does not marry, when he has arrived at the age of thirty-five, shall pay a yearly fine of a certain amount, in order that he may not imagine his celibacy to bring, ease and profit to him; and he shall not -178-share in the honours which the young men in the state give to the aged. (721 b-d) Having shown us the two different laws, Plato draws his conclusion: Comparing now the two forms of law, you w i l l be able to arrive at a judgement about any other laws - whether they should be double in length even when shortest, because they have to persuade as well as threaten, or whether they shall only threaten and be of half the length. (721e) Having said that the law must persuade - or teach - as well as threaten, Plato goes on to say that this and every law in the state should be prefaced with a preamble. I imagine that a l l this language of conciliation which the legislator has been uttering in the preface to the law, was intended to create goodwill in the person whom he addressed, in order that, by reason of this goodwill, he might more intelligently receive his command, that is to say, the law. And therefore, in my way of speaking, this is more rightly described as the preamble, than as the matter of law. And I must further proceed to observe, that to a l l his laws, and to each separately, the legislator should prefix a pre-amble; he should remember how great w i l l be the difference between them, according as they have, or have not, such preambles, as in the case already given. (723a-b) So every one of Plato's laws wi l l have a preamble. In this preamble the legislator must explain the reasons behind his command; that i s , he must attempt to persuade his citizens to obey his law. Thus the leg-islator i s responsible for instructing the citizens in the proper course of action, and he i s also responsible, to the best of his a b i l -i t i e s , for persuading them to "intelligently receive his command". For these reasons his function is primarily educational; for these reasons Plato sees the legislator as a teacher of virtue; and for these reasons I have said that the state's legislative power is a part of i t s teaching power. I have now argued in this Chapter that Plato does not distribute the state's sovereign or regulatory powers between legislative, executive -179-and judicial departments; that instead he recognizes only two distinct governmental functions, the ruling element and the auxiliary element. I have indicated that Plato includes the judicial function in the auxiliary branch, and that he merges legislative powers with executive powers of a regulatory nature, placing both in the hands of the same o f f i c i a l s - the Guardians of the Law and the Nocturnal Councillors. I have also suggested that the two governmental functions that Plato does recognize might aptly be termed the teaching power and the police power. My main reason for saying that the powers exercised by Plato's rulers are best described as teaching powers is Plato's much repeated principle that the sole end for which the rulers may exercise their sovereignty is the teaching of virtue. Also when we examine the specific powers that Plato distributes between the Guardians and the Council, we see that each of them i s understandably a part of the state's teaching function. In saying that the auxiliary branch of Plato's government exercises the state's police power, I am well aware that this term i s sometimes used synonymously with the term 'executive power'. There is however an important functional difference between the executive power and the police power. With reference to Plato's constitution, for instance, under the category of police powers, we would want to include the powers held by military officers, judges, religious o f f i c i a l s , city, country and market wardens, etc. The function of a l l of these o f f i c i a l s is the enforcement and administration of the law. They must carry out and implement the commands of the rulers, whether those commands be in the form of legislation or in the form of executive ordinance. On the - lao-other hand, executive o f f i c i a l s - at least in the modern sense of the term - do much more than implement or execute the law; they are also responsible for issuing that very wide range of commands that cannot for various reasons be embodied in the legal code. Thus the executive power serves in part a ruling function; the police power serves only an implementory function. In recognition of this distinction (at least the s p i r i t of which i s decidedly Platonic) I have argued that Plato's auxiliary o f f i c i a l s do not exercise executive powers in the modern sense of the term; and I have described the powers they do exercise as police powers. In this Chapter then I have so far argued that Plato does not divide the states sovereign powers among the legislative, executive and judicial departments of government; and.that instead he recognizes only two distinct governmental functions - the teaching power and the police power. In saying that the rulers exercise the teaching power, I am not, of course, saying that they exercise the teaching power in addition to their legislative, executive and ju d i c i a l powers; I am not saying that the teaching power is a fourth power of government in a category with the other three. Rather I am suggesting that both the legislative and executive departments exercise a part of the teaching power; and that in giving his rulers f u l l legislative powers and some executive powers, Plato has combined the different elements of the teaching power within a single branch of government. But this categorization and centralization of governmental power invites an obvious question: 'does Plato's merger of legislative and executive powers into the teaching power mean that he has after a l l given his -181-philosopher-govemors so much power that the freedom of the governed has been sacrificed for the sake of a powerful and efficacious govern-ment?' This, of course, is just the question that would be raised by the advocates of the separation of powers doctrine. It i s probably Madison who speaks most persuasively on behalf of this doctrine; "the accumula-tion of a l l powers, legislative, executive and ju d i c i a l , in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition 82 of tyranny". Madison goes on to explain however that the separation of powers doctrine "does not require that the legislative, executive, and ju d i c i a l departments should be wholly unconnected with each other. (in fact)... unless these departments be so far connected and blended as to give to each a constitutional control over the others, the degree of separation which the maxim requires, as essential to a free government, 83 can never in practice be duly maintained". Madison sums up his con-ception in the following paragraph: The great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means - and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provisions for defence must in this, as in a l l other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place... This policy of supplying, by opposite and r i v a l interests, the defect of better motives, might be traced through the whole system of human affairs, private as well as public. We see i t particularly displayed in a l l the subordinate distributions of power, where the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner that each may be a check on Federalist -#47. p.336. Ibid #48, p.343. -162-the other - that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights. These inventions of prudence cannot be less requisite in the distribution of the supreme powers of the state. 4 Obviously Madison's concern in these paragraphs is with preventing each branch of the government from encroaching o n the powers of the other two. In order to accomplish this end, each department must be given a "constitutional control over the others"; in this way, "ambition must be made to counteract ambition". Certainly Plato's constitution provides for no such system of checks and balances upon governmental power. Nevertheless I shall argue that Plato's constitution should not "be pronounced the very defin-ition of tyranny"; that Plato has not centralized governmental power at the expense of liberty; that he has not jeopardized the freedom of the governed in the interest of placing a l l governmental power in the hands of expert rulers. In order to support these statements, i t is f i r s t of a l l necessary to point out that the separation of powers doctrine as outlined by Madison - and before him by Montesquieu, Locke, et. a l . - actually makes two distinguishable claims about the nature of free government. It claims in the f i r s t place that a merger of - or even an inadequate separation of - legislative, executive, and judicial powers is the very definition of tyrannical government; and i t claims in the second place, that in order to preserve the desired separation of powers, each of the three branches must be given the constitutional means and powers necessary for resisting e ncroachments by the other two. Federalist #51, p. 356. -163-I'iontesquieu explains the reasoning behind the f i r s t claim - that the three governmental powers must be exercised by different agencies -in this way: When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may arise lest the same monarch or senate 3hould enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner. "Again there is no liberty i f the judicial power be not separated from the legislative and executive. Were i t joined with the legislative the l i f e and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitary control; for the judge would then be the legislator. Were i t joined to the executivBgpower, the judge might behave with violence and oppression. Now the complexities of Montesquieu's arguments are numerous. Obviously citizens w i l l be subjected to different kinds and degrees of tyranny, depending on which of the three departments is merged with which of the other two. Yet I think there is a common objection against each of the three ways in which governmental powers might be mergBd. If either the legislativs or exscutivs powers is joined with the ju d i c i a l , or i f the legislative and executive powers are themselves merged, then "the l i f e and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control". The control would be arbitrary because in each of these three circumstances the citizen is subject to the wil l of men, as opposed to the rule of law. For instance i f the executive magistrate has also the legislative power, then he may enact tyrannical laws, and arbitrarily exempt himself from their application; or he may execute ordinary laws in an arbitrary fashion, because he need impose no legislative restrictions upon the exercise of his executive powers. Alternatively, i f the judge has also the legislative power, then he may write legislation giving his court arbitrary powers 'Montesquieu, L'Esprit des Lois, oook X1 , Chapt. 6. -1B4-over accused or disputing parties; but in fact, he needn't bother doing so, because he may also interpret and apply existing laws in any manner that he chooses. The last possibility is that the executive and judicial powers be merged; and in this, as in the other cases, the result is arbitrary power over the citizens. IF the executive magistrate has also the judical power, then he may exercise his coercive powers against any citizen that he wishes to accuse without f i r s t ascertaining the defend-ant's guilt through impartial judicial procedures. In such an instance judicial judgement would not likely conform to the letter of the law, but to the arbitrary w i l l of the persons having both executive and judicial powers. So the fundamental philosophical objection against a merger of any two of the three branches of government is that such a merger necessarily subjects the citizen to the arbitrary w i l l of those o f f i c i a l s who exercise two of the three governmental powers. Instead of being subject to the rule of law, the state is subject to the arbitrary w i l l of "human masters". This view of, and objection against, tyrannical government i s of course a familiar one; i t was f i r s t formulated by Plato. Although Plato did not name the three branches of government, and insist that each be separated from the others, he did warn against giving too much power to a single o f f i c i a l , or to a single assembly of o f f i c i a l s ; he did warn that "no soul of man wil l be able to sustain the temptations of arbitrary power" (691e); he did warn that "the state in which law is the subject and has no authority" i s on "the highway to ruin"; he did believe that 'the state in which the law is above the rulers and the rulers are the inferiors of the law has salvation and every blessing that the Gods can confer'' (71 5d); and he also believed that in order to provide for the -185-sovereignty of law, the state must contain no "great and unmixed powers", and that the "kingly office" must be divided into "distinct elements". (69le-693b). Now, once again, Plato did not name what have become the three traditional branches of government; and I am certainly not claiming that Plato was the f i r s t philosopher to formulate some version of the separation of powers doctrine. But i t i s true that Plato was concerned to structure his government in such a way that no "element" of the government could exercise arbitrary powers over the citizen. And what i s even more important, i t is also true that Plato did not place legislative and executive, or executive and ju d i c i a l , or legislative and judicial, powers in the hands of the same o f f i c i a l s . The Guardians and the Councillors share the legislative power, but they are not responsible for executing, enforcing or implementing their laws and ordinances; the country, city, and market wardens,; and a host of other*'auxiliary o f f i c i a l s , are instructed to implement and execute the state's laws and regulations, but they have no legislative or regulatory powers, and they have jud i c i a l powers over only very minor matters. (And at that their decisions may be appealed to the courts.) Finally, Plato's courts are empowered to make binding judicial decisions, but they have no share in the execution of their decisions, or in writing the legislation according to which they must make their decisions. So i f Plato did not actually formulate the separation of powers doctrine, he certainly did abide by the meaning and s p i r i t of the f i r s t principle on which that doctrine is based; namely, that the legislative, executive and judicial functions should be exercised by different governmental agencies. Now I argued above that the separation of powers doctrine makes two distinguishable claims about the nature and internal structure of i -186-free government. The f i r s t claim i s that i f the state i s to be free, then the legislative, executive, and judicial powers must be placed in different hands; the second i s that i f the desired separation of powers is to be maintained and preserved in practice, then each of the three branches of government must be given the constitutional means and power necessary for resisting encroachments by the other two. Plato's constitution cannot be said to satisfy this second requirement for two reasons. First he divides the government into two branches rather than three; and second, i f the ruling element in Plato's state has obvious ways of checking the powers of the auxiliary element, there i s simply no sense in which the auxiliary element - the police power - is able to check and limit the powers of the ruling branch - the teaching power. So Plato's constitution obviously does not satisfy Montesquieu's and Madison's second requirement for free government; I shall argue however that Plato devises an alternative means of achieving the same end - which is to prevent one part of the government fcom encroaching on the powers that are reserved for the other(s). I wi l l also at least suggest that Plato's constitutional alternative may be even better designed for guarding against the various forms of governmental tyranny. The relevant difference between Plato's and Madison's constitutional theories then is that Plato would not have his executive and judicial institutions serve as a check upon the powers of the legislative branch. The Guardians and the Council are undoubtedly in a position to check the powers of the auxiliary branch; however i t must be admitted that the state's executive and judicial o f f i c i a l s are in no position to check the regulatory or teaching powers exercised by the Guardians and the Nocturnal Councillors. And certainly this would ;be precisely the objection that Montesquieu, Locke, and Madison would raise against Plato's constitution. -1ES7-but i f Plato has not provided for executive and judicial checks on the •  state's legislative power, nevertheless his constitution does not leave this power unchecked. Indeed we saw in the last Chapter how the Guardians and the Council were intended to - and probably would - serve as an effective check upon each other's legislative powers. However in this Chapter we have noticed that as well as their legislative powers the Guardians and Councillors also enjoy what Locke called the power of executive prerogative, or what I have called executive powers of a regula-tory nature. fJow I think that the s p i r i t or idea behind Plato's constitution leaves no doubt that each of these institutions would also serve as a check upon the other's executive powers. We have already seen how this might be accomplished with respect to the legislative powerj there would be no special d i f f i c u l t y in establishing governmental proced-ures that would ensure that the same degree of "moderation" was observed with respect to executive powers. In fact the overlap in membership between the Guardians and the Council would be particularly useful for the purpose of checking, "mixing", or "moderating" executive powers. 'Because each institution has ten of i t s members sit t i n g in the other assembly, each w i l l be fully cognizant of the executive decisions, policies and ^regulations made by the other institution. Plato does not explicitly say that both the Guardians and the Council are authorized to rescind any executive decrees issued by the other institution; nor does he explicitly say that either assembly may effectively veto any legislative proposals made by i t s opposite number. jut, once again, the s p i r i t of Plato's constitution requires just these methods of checking and balancing governmental powers. The law w i l l have authority over the rulers only in -138-the event that the state's constitutional law guards against the creation of any "great and unmixed pouters"; only in the event that i t provides for checks on executive as well as on legislative powers. So Plato does not attempt to limit the powers of government, or to secure the freedom of the governed, by giving to each of the legisla-tive, executive and judicial departments a constitutional control over the other two. Nevertheless the state's constitution does limit governmental power; there w i l l be effective controls set upon every agency of government, upon every governmental power. In lieu of a system of inter-departmental checks and balances, Plato has distributed govern-mental power along s t r i c t l y functional lines; instead of distributing the state's sovereign power among legislative, executive, and judicial institutions, such that each department might be in a position to check the powers of the other two, Plato has denied the executive and judicial departments any important share of the state's regulatory power. Instead he has concentrated this power within a single branch of the government, within which he as installed a system of checks and balances; within which he has provided for a further distribution of governmental powers. Now i t is very important to notice that within this regulatory or ruling branch of government - within the teaching power - Plato has once again distributed power along functional lines. In other words, Plato has distributed the teaching power between the Guardians and the Councillors because these two institutions are designed to serve different governmental functions. If the Guardians are supposed to "set in motion the great enterprises of state", i f they are supposed to provide the energy and i n i t i a t i v e necessary to the management of state affairs, the Council, -189-on the other hand, is supposed to ensure that the affairs of state are managed according to the meaning and purposes of the state's constitution. To oversimplify the point somewhat, we might say that the Guardians are in fact the state's managers and rulers, whereas the Nocturnal Council -as the guardian of the constitution - serves primarily a checking function. Now I have claimed that Plato's constitution distributes governmental power among legislative, executive, and judicial institutions, and again between the Guardians and the Council, on purely functional grounds. I have also argued that the Nocturnal Council serves as a check on both the executive and legislative powers of the Guardians; i f this i s true then in the Nocturnal Council we have an institution which provides exactly the same kind of checks, upon exactly the same govern-mental powers, as does the judicial branch of government under Madison's constitutional system. So in this respect Plato's constitution is re-markably similar to the American constitution. In fact with respect to the presence of checks and balances upon governmental powers, the only important difference between Plato's and Madison's constitutions is that Plato does not provide for an executive check upon legislative powers. I have above tried to show that Plato systematically distributes govern-mental power on s t r i c t l y functional grounds, in order that I might now be able to show why he has not divided the state's regulatory or teaching power between legislative and executive institutions; in other words, why he has not divided the state's sovereign powers between two institutions similar in nature to a parliament and a president in counsel with his cabinet ministers. The reason I think is simply that Plato does not see a functional distinction between the powers that are exercised by what -190-we recognize as the legislative and executive branches; he does not see a functional distinction between the powers of a contemporary parliament and the powers of a contemporary head of state in counsel with his cabinet. The traditional distinction between the legislative and executive departments was probably f i r s t formulated by Locke, who basically cites two reasons for separating legislative and executive powers. First "the law making power is not always in being, and i s usually too numerous, and so too slow" to successfully manage and direct every aspect of the commun-ity's affairs (this is especially true with respect to national security and economic matters); and second, " i t is impossible to see, and so by laws to provide for, a l l accidents and necessities that concern the 86 public". But Locke has certainly not based his legislative-executive distinction, (or more accurately, his 'powers of parliament-powers of the presidsnt' distinction), upon any functional differences between these two governmental institutions'. He says f i r s t that the legislature is "usually too numerous" to manage every aspect of the state's business; but this difference between the legislative and executive branches is certainly not a functional difference, and of course the problem that Locke brings up might easily be solved in the obvious way - by creating a small and continuous legislature. Secondly Locke says that the legis-lature cannot possibly anticipate " a l l (of the) accidents and necessities .that may concern the public"; but in saying this, Locke quite rightly points out that the legislature must foresee and "by laws provide for", many such "accidents and necessities". He points out, in other words, 'For the whole passage from which these quotes are selected, see supra. P« 172. -191-that the function of the chief executive magistrate is not different from the legislative function, except perhaps, that the executive magis-trate must provide for public "accidents and necessities" through flexible and often transitory regulations, as opposed to the more rigid and enduring forms of legislation. But this i s to point to a difference between how the executive magistrate and the legislature provide for the community's needs; i t i s not to point to a difference between what the legislative and executive departments must do; i t is not to draw any functional distinction between the two branches of government. In so far as the executive branch is responsible for executing, enforcing, and implement-ing the state's laws or rules, i t serves a different function than does the legislative branch, which must make the rules. But to the extent that the executive branch i s i t s e l f empowered to make the rules, i t serves the same function as does the legislative branch, though sometimes i t w i l l serve this function in ways that are different from the legislature's So Plato gives a l l the state's regulatory or rule-making power to the Guardians and the Council - to the legislative branch - because he does not see any functional distinction between the writing of legislation and the writing of more flexible and discretionary regulations or directives. He says that the purpose of legislation i s to 'instruct the citizen in the proper course of action'; but the executive regulations necessary for conducting the economy, providing for national security, and maintaining internal peace and order, serve exactly the same purpose. Whether the policies and rules of government are embodied in legislation, or whether they are issued in the form of executive ordinance, their purpose or function is one and the same - they instruct us in the "good , just and -192-profitable" courses of action. Now I have said that Plato does not divide the state's sovereign power between two distinct legislative and executive institutions because he does not see any functional difference between the powers that are now exercised by these institutions. In fact, had Plato lived after Locke and Madison, I think i t is very probable that he would have strongly disapproved of their method of dividing governmental powers between the legislative and executive departments. I think Plato would have disapproved on the grounds that such a division i s likely to produce different factions and interests within the government i t s e l f . To distribute the state's sovereign powers between different institutions and o f f i c i a l s , such that each has those powers which are commensurate with the function he/it i s designed to serve, is most certainly necessary i f the state i s to enjoy any measure of p o l i t i c a l liberty. The alter-native i s to place a l l or nearly a l l governmental powers in the hands of the same o f f i c i a l s ; or, to put the point another way, the alternative i s to give government arbitrary power over the citizen. But to divide the same governmental function between different institutions - to distribute governmental power on non-functional grounds - is to invite rivalry and factionalism into the councils of government. I think, in fact, that Madison comes very close to admitting as much in The Federalist. In order to prevent one branch of the government from enciroaching upon the powers of i t s sister branches, Madison says that each department must be given the constitutional means of limiting the powers of the other two. But he also acknowledges that "the provisions for defence B7 must...be made commensurate with the dangers of attack" , and that 5 7 Federalist #51, p. 356. -193-"in republican government the legislative authority necessarily predomin-88 ates". Madison also at least suggests that the judiciary is the least to be 89 feared, and is the least "in danger of attack". Thus Madison's main constitutional problem was to find a way of preventing legislative encroachments upon executive powers, and his second most d i f f i c u l t constitutional problem was to prevent executive encroachments upon legislative powers. Thus i t is with respect to the division of powers between parliament and the president that i t is most important to give "to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments by the other"; i t i s in this constitutional area that i t is most important to ensure that "the interests of the man" are "connected to the rights of the place"; i t i s here that i t is most important to supply "by opposite and r i v a l interests the defect of better motives"; i t is here that "the private interests of every individual" must act as an effective "sentinel over 90 the public rights". proposals; I think the danger is that governmental o f f i c i a l s w i l l make the preservation (and i f possible the extension) of their respective powers the f i r s t and principle object of their governmental programmes and ini t i a t i v e s . If the "interests of the man" are "connected" to inter-ests of the office, then what is to prevent the man from putting the interests of his office ahead of the interests of the state as a whole? And what is even worse, what i s to prevent the o f f i c i a l from masking Now I think that there is a certain danger inherent in Madison's 88 89" 90" Ibid. Ibid., #48, p. 344. Ibid., #51, p. 356. -194-his personal p o l i t i c a l interests in the rhetoric of high constitutional principles? Madison's programme is to structure the government such that i t contains " r i v a l and opposite interests", each of which i s to act as a check upon the selfish nature of the others. Madison i s , in fact, very much the pluralist; he believes that opposite, but equally powerful, selfish interests w i l l check or cancel one another. But wil l a govern-ment of r i v a l , selfish interests secure the predominance of the public or common interest? Or wi l l i t only serve to impede the achievement of public as well as private interests? May not the executive interest -the President - for example, veto a piece of legislation which, though i t serves a recognizable public good, i s nevertheless, sincerely or insincerely, said to be a legislative ©ruferoachment on executive jurisdictions? And may not the legislature, through i t s control of the public purse, refuse to finance some beneficial executive i n i t i a t i v e , just because that i n i t i a t i v e io seen to be an encroachment upon legislative powers? Now I have posed here what I hope i s an interesting series of questions} but I shall not attempt to really argue on behalf of what I think are the most probable answers to these questions. Instead I shall content myself with the observation that i f Madison's government of "opposite and ri v a l (and "private")interests" i s apt to encourage faction-alism and unnecessary division within the government, then the problem results directly from Madison's non-functional distribution of govern-mental power. I would also suggest that i f the 'rival interest' form of government is not apt to encourage governmental o f f i c i a l s to put the public interest ahead of their "connected" private and o f f i c i a l interests, then i t i s not apt to be an adequate guarantee of p o l i t i c a l liberty, because when the state's laws and policiesare formulated with an eye on the con--195-f l i c t i n g i n t e r e s t s of the governors, then the c i t i z e n has become a s l a v e to s e l f - s e e k i n g masters. I do not want to exaggerate the extent to which the d i v i s i o n of powers between l e g i s l a t i v e and executive i n s t i t u t i o n s poses a t h r e a t to the p u b l i c good and to the l i b e r t y of the goverened; the American c o n s t i t u t i o n has now endured through two c e n t u r i e s , and the United States remains an exemplar of f r e e government. Yet I think that P l a t o ' s c o n s t i t u t i o n a l system might suggest some ways i n which the American c o n s t i t u t i o n might be improved! and a c r i t i c a l comparison between the American c o n s t i t u t i o n , and the B r i t i s h c o n s t i t u t i o n (under which the executive magistrates are a l s o members of parliament) might help i n s e t t l i n g the disagreement between P l a t o - who would merge the powers of parliament with the powers of the executive magis-t r a t e - and Madison - who would separate the two powers, g i v i n g to each a check over the other. Does the d i v i s i o n of powers between the P r e s i d e n t and Congress help to prevent the l e g i s l a t i v e and executive departments from encroaching on each other's powers? Or does i t a c t u a l l y serve to encourage such _ehe roachments by b l u r r i n g the f u n c t i o n a l d i s t i n c t i o n between the two departments; by d i v i d i n g the one governmental power between two governmental agenciesalong no very c l e a r or d e f i n i t e l i n e s ? Does t h i s d i v i s i o n " o f governmental power help to secure the l i b e r t y of the governed? Or does i t only serve to encourage f a c t i o n a l i s m , and to d i v i d e the government when i t might otherwise act i n concert f o r the achievement of p o s i t i v e p u b l i c goods? We saw i n Chapter Four that P l a t o would give h i s s t a t e a mixed form of c o n s t i t u t i o n . We saw that P l a t o was concerned about g i v i n g h i s govern-ment too much power! that he was a l s o concerned about g i v i n g h i s c i t i z e n s too much freedom; and that he would t h e r e f o r e w r i t e a c o n s t i t u t i o n which -196-would combine the best elements of democracy with the best elements of monarchy. In this Chapter I have tried to show in specific terms how Plato's constitution does limit the powers of government, and how i t thereby guarantees some measure of freedom for the governed. To this end I have argued that Plato does not give arbitrary powers to any governmental institutions or o f f i c i a l s ; that he has separated the power to make the laws, from the power to execute and enforce the laws, and that he has separated both of these powers from the power to settle disputes according to the laws. I have also argued that Plato's con-stitution imposes a system of checks and balances which cavers every governmental power. In the Nocturnal Council we find an institution which serves as the guardian of the state's constitution, and which there-fore provides precisely the same check upon executive and legislative powers as is provided in the American constitutional system by the judicial branch of government. Plato does not provide for an executive check on legislative power, but I have suggested that in f a i l i n g to provide for this check, Plato may have done more to guarantee, than to threaten, the liberty of the governed. In either case however, Plato's constitution cannot "justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny"! Plato has not neglected the freedom of the governed in the interest of placing a l l governmental power in the hands of a few experts. Even i f the division of power between legislative and executive institutions i s thought to be an effective and necessary check against governmental self-seeking, in the Nocturnal Council we find an institution which is instructed to review every piece of legislation, and every executive order that is issued by the government. Thus the Nocturnal Council i s -197-given an even greater checking power than is the judicial branch of government under Madison's constitutional system. Thus whatever is to be said about the absence of an executive check on the legislative power under Plato's system, his constitution has not ignored the liberty of the governed. Plato's distribution of power between legislative, executive, and judicial institutions, and his distribution of power within the legislative or teaching branch of government, are both designed as safeguards of p o l i t i c a l liberty. And I think that history may have shown us that i t is precisely these checks on governmental power that really are effective in securing freedom for the governed. p. 198 liIBLJ.OGRA.FIIY' ' A l l e n , R. E. Studies i n Pluto's. Motapbysics. New York: Routledge' and Kegan P a u l , 19657 Barker, Ernest. Greek. P o l i t i c a l Theory. London: Metheun and' Co. , 1957. Barker, Ernest. -The P o l i t i c a l Theories of P l a t o and A r i s t o t l e > London: • Metheun and Co., 19067 " : : ' Bosangvet, Bernard. A Companion t o Plato's R e p u b l i c . London: P i v i n g t o n s , . 1925. ~" ' " . • . , Corry, J . A..Democratic Government and P o l i t i c s . Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y , o f Toronto Press, 1946. Cromb.ie, 1. M. An Examinat .i on of Pla t o ' s D o c t r i n e s . New York: Routledge. and. Kegan "Paul, 1962. ~ ~~ : ' : " ' Cross, R. C., and Woozley, A. D. Pla t o ' s Republic. New York: M i c m i l l a n , 1964. Douglas, W. 0. The Anatomy o f L i b e r t y . New. York:, Trident' Press, 1963. Grube, G. M. A.. P l a t o ' s Thought. London: Metheun and Co., 1935. Gwyn, W. B. The Meaning of the Seperation of Powers .New Or leans :, Tulane U n i v e r s i t y Press,, 1965. Jaeger, W. ' Pa'ideia; The Ideals of Greek C u l t u r e . New York: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y : Press, 1944. " •. • • " Joseph, H. W. B. Knowledge and the Good i n P l a t o ' s Republic. London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y -Press',: 1948,'. ''•-.' Lederman,"w. R. The Courts, and the Canadian C o n s t i t u t i o n . Toronto: . McCeHand, and Stewart, 1964. : • • ..' •'.-•'. Levizis on,. R. B. In Defence of P l a t o . Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1953. Locke, John. The Second T r e a t i s e on C i v i l Government. New York: L i b r a r y of ' LibeTaT. A r t s , 1956. ; .~~ : . ~ ~ ; : ". • Montesquieu. • The S p i r i t of, the Laws. New. York: Haf'ner, 1949. Morrow, G. R. Pl a t o ' s Cretan C i t y . P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , ii/cO. ~" Murphy, M. R. The I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of P l a t o ' s Republic. Oxford: Clarendon PressTT9.51.' N e t t l e s h i p , R. L. Lectures on the Republic of Plato.. London: Macmillan, 1951."' •~r~.~~ r " _ p. 199 PL-ito. The Laws. Translated by l i . ' Jowett ( V o l . 5). London: Oxford U n i -v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1892. P l a t o . The Laws. Translated by A. E. T a y l o r . London: Dent, 1934. P l a t o . The Laws. Translated by T. J . Saunders. Penguin, 1970. P l a t o . The Republic. Translated by F. M. Cornford. New York: Oxford Univer s i t y P r e ss, 1964. P l a t o . The. Republic. Translated by H. D. D. Lee. London: Penguin, 1955. P l a t o . The Republic. Translated by B. Jowett ( V o l . 4 ) . London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1892. P l a t o . The Statesman. Translated by B. Jowett ( V o l . 3). London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1892. P l a t o . 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An Arbor: U n i v e r s i t y of Michigan Press, 19G0. " Thorson, T. L. P l a t o : T o t a l i t a r i a n or Democrat. Englewood C l i f f s , N.J. : P r e n t i c e H a l l , 1963. Tussman, Joseph. O b l i g a t i o n and the Body P o l i t i c . New York: Oxford Univer-s i t y P r e s s , 1960. . U. S. Supreme Court. . Reports, Marbury vs Madison. 5 ' U. S. 137 (1803). U. S. Supreme Court. Reports,.Roe vs Wade. 410 U. S. 113 (1973). p. 200 U. S. Supreme Court. Reports, Vick.Wo vs Hopkins. 118 U. S. 356 (1886). U. S. Supreme Court. Reports, Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. vs. Sawyer. • 343 1J. S. 579 (1952 ). ~~ V i l e , M. J . C. C o n s t i t u t i o n a l i s m and the Seperation of Powers. Oxford; Clarendon P r e s s , 1967. ~ V l a s t o s , G., ed. P l a t o . New York: Anchor, 1971. Von F r i t z , The Theory of the Mixed C o n s t i t u t i o n i n A n t i q u i t y . New York; Colombia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1958. ... ~~ Wright, B. F., ed. The F e d e r a l i s t . Cambridge: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r ess, 1961. Zel'ler, E. P l a t o and the . Older Academy. Translated by A l l e y n and Goodwin. London: 1888. 

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