And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny. Illustration by Zohar Lazar As this dystopian election campaign has unfolded, my mind keeps being tugged by a passage in Plato’s Republic. It has unsettled — even surprised — me from the moment I first read it in graduate school. The passage is from the part of the dialogue where Socrates and his friends are talking about the nature of different political systems, how they change over time, and how one can slowly evolve into another. And Socrates seemed pretty clear on one sobering point: that “tyranny is probably established out of no other regime than democracy.” This rainbow-flag polity, Plato argues, is, for many people, the fairest of regimes. The very rich come under attack, as inequality becomes increasingly intolerable. And it is when a democracy has ripened as fully as this, Plato argues, that a would-be tyrant will often seize his moment. Perhaps. Plato, of course, was not clairvoyant. So much of this was welcome.
Related: Direction of US democracy
• Mediation - Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)- Resources