Cinzia Arruzza

From Democracy to Tyranny: Plato, Trump, and the Misuses of a Philosophical Trope

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Trump; Plato; Tyranny; Democracy; Election.

Several political commentators have resorted to comparisons between Donald Trump and the tyrant of Plato's "Republic" in order to identify the causes of his election and to highlight the limits and dangers of the excess of democracy. In this paper I criticize this use of Plato's critique of tyranny on two accounts. First, I argue that Plato's critique of tyranny articulates a straightforward anti-democratic argument that should not be uncritically adopted by democratic commentators. Second, I show that Trump's election was characterized by both a conjunctural and a systemic deficit of democracy, rather than by its excess.

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