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Old 09-12-2019, 10:23 PM   #31
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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Originally Posted by atomiclich View Post
As the title said has anyone ever made a backround that would be based on the Plato's "ideal/utopian" republic? It would not be hard to translate these ideals to later ages (Transhumanist colony living on Platos Republics principles might be intresting).

Ok, I'm lazy because i'm asking has someone "done-this-before".

--Mika P.
Arguable The Republic is just the old principle of separating the sword from the purse to keep the merchants from raiding and the warriors from taking bribes. Many societies, perhaps most, adopt this at least nominally and some go to ridiculous lengths about it. Europe has long been more practical. It has always had societies of fighting merchants even if those were not the majority and Athens was among them (Sparta however...). But it also had societies that tried to enact this separation, including sumptuary laws, and social cachets for being part of a "pure" warrior and political class as opposed to fighting from time to time. There are still traces of that even in America; not only can police not loot crime scenes but soldiers have to turn in loot even if it was the property of legitimate enemies. And of course often you can bribe a politician with an art object, or a concession to his clients when you couldn't do so with cash.

So The Republic is not a Utopia in the sense of not reflecting real societies. What it is that it's disadvantages are to great to make up for the problems it averts.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:45 AM   #32
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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Arguable The Republic is just the old principle of separating the sword from the purse to keep the merchants from raiding and the warriors from taking bribes.
Yes. It's the principal-agent problem and Plato's solution to it. He actually has quite a lucid explanation of the gains from trade and the productivity of a market economy early on. But then he supposes that the result wealth will attract thieves, robbers, and invaders; that you need protectors; and that you have to avoid those protectors trying to enrich themselves at the expense of the "protected." It's really the mirror image of the problem of how you prevent the democratic majority from voting to enrich themselves at the expense of productive capital.

Jane Jacobs writes about this in her short book Systems of Survival, which is about the need for the warrior ethic and the trader ethic to coexist, even though each regards the other as immoral.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:02 PM   #33
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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Yes. It's the principal-agent problem and Plato's solution to it. He actually has quite a lucid explanation of the gains from trade and the productivity of a market economy early on. But then he supposes that the result wealth will attract thieves, robbers, and invaders; that you need protectors; and that you have to avoid those protectors trying to enrich themselves at the expense of the "protected." It's really the mirror image of the problem of how you prevent the democratic majority from voting to enrich themselves at the expense of productive capital.

Jane Jacobs writes about this in her short book Systems of Survival, which is about the need for the warrior ethic and the trader ethic to coexist, even though each regards the other as immoral.
Uh-uh, that's where I got this. I think Jacobs goes overboard. Like I said there are several examples of societies of fighting merchants and not only are they often better at both fighting and trading than caste societies (Traders learn strategy and logistics by doing, Guardians often only learn tactics and not always that well), they also often sound like much nicer places to live. But than I suppose she would call that "knowledgeable flexibility". Her "Monstrous Hybrids" were when the rules for the one were used for the other. Though she may not have realized how often caste societies turn into monstrous hybrids (if Traders can't get status they make it for themselves, if Guardians have no supply of money they interfere in the market).

"Shun Trading" and "Shun Force" is first of all, "Thou shalt not Steal" (a merchant can pack heat on the road but using it in the market is armed robbery, a guardian has nothing to sell except the power of his office and that belongs to someone else). For Guardians it is also a matter of being ostentatious, respecting hierarchy and making rich use of leisure. Some Guardian tasks after all are not to be done by a more senior guardian (no judge can be an executioner because it will make the state less impersonal, and I doubt it was Queen Elizabeth's lifelong dream to leave her throne to be a guard at a woman's prison). So it is not just trading tasks that are shunned but guardian ones with less status.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:36 PM   #34
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

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"Shun Trading" and "Shun Force" is first of all, "Thou shalt not Steal" (a merchant can pack heat on the road but using it in the market is armed robbery, a guardian has nothing to sell except the power of his office and that belongs to someone else). For Guardians it is also a matter of being ostentatious and making rich use of leisure. Some Guardian tasks after all are not to be done by a more senior guardian (no judge can be an executioner because it will make the state less impersonal, and I doubt it was Queen Elizabeth's lifelong dream to leave her throne to be a guard at a woman's prison). So it is not just trading tasks that are shunned but guardian ones with less status.
Conversely, as a trader, I shun tasks with less monetary return, at least within my particular sphere.
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Old 09-13-2019, 01:14 PM   #35
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

Probably the least believable is the "philosopher-king". Though there have been Kings who were pretty good, or at least reasonably handy philosophers, (Alfred comes to mind) the realities of Kingship make it rather difficult to reconcile. At that Alfred, to a large degree was using scholarship as an operating tool to give birth to an infant civilization which is a Kingly task as well as a philosophical. Loving knowledge is all very well for a King but "intelligence" is more important than generic "knowledge" (the government of Britain would care more about the fact that Kim Philby is a traitor than the fact that Francis Bacon did not write the works of Shakespeare). Living a simple life is just not what Kings do unless they are required to slum it on a military campaign. While a King can go overboard on ostentation, a simple life is just not kingly and those kings who pretend to it are posing anyway which is not very simple.
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Old 09-24-2019, 04:17 AM   #36
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Default Re: Has anyone ever tried to create campaign based on Plato's Repuplic?

...late developing thought...

Doesn't 2000AD's //Mega-City One// have aspects of the Republic? Certainly the judges seem to be one of the most straightforward attempts that I'm aware of to create the guardian class in popular fiction.
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