Plato Theory of Communism and It’s Criticism

   The two methods adopted by Plato to achieve justice in his ideal include the negative and material method of communism. Plato believes that there are three obstacles in the establishment of an ideal state - ignorance, private property and private family. To overcome these obstacles, Plato provides the theory of education and the communist system. Ignorance can be removed by education but the system which he supports to abolish the institution of private property family is known as communism. Plato's communism removes the evil caused by the fusion of political power and economic gluttony.
      Plato wants to keep the guardian or guardian class free from the worries of property and family life through communism. Plato's purpose behind propounding this theory is to prevent selfless rulers from being deviated from the path of duty by falling prey to worldly attractions and character weaknesses, even after preparing selfless rulers through education. Plato calls communism a negative way of spiritual upliftment of society. He considers it as a material means of upliftment of the individual.
     Plato believes that the attachment of Kanchan and Kamini makes the patron class wealthy, selfish and attached. Therefore, it is very important to prevent the guardian class from deviating from the path of their duty. For this he proposes the principle of communism of property and wives.


Barker has said about this – “Communism is only a material and economic supplementary means of spiritual improvement, which Plato wants to implement first and foremost.”

  The meaning of communism

       Plato believes that the ideal state for soldiers and rulers should neither have their own family or house nor private property. The detailed plan that Plato has prepared to give a positive form to this purpose or idea is called Plato's communism or Plato's communist theory. Plato says that the patron or the members of the guardian class would be deprived of the right to marry and establish a private family. Husbands, wives and children will be the rights of the whole society or the state, not the rights of an individual or family. Everyone will have a common right in that. In order to produce a good child or a suitable child, a combination of a qualified man and a woman will be made, the members of the guardian class are also deprived of private property.

      According to Plato, all property (movable and immovable) will remain under the control of the state. According to Plato's plan, all the soldiers and rulers (guardian or guardian class) would have to be kept in barracks and they would have to eat together. The productive class would give some part of their produce to them so that their essential needs could be met. Plato has given the name of communism to wives and property to the system of collectivism.

  Plato's inspiration

        Plato's communist ideology is not a new and original ideology. The seeds of communism existed in Greece even before Plato. The visions of communism in Athens date back to the 5th century BC. In Athens the state had control over personal property. In Sparta, women were entrusted with the responsibility of governing the state in view of the interest of the state, boys were handed over to the state after the age of 7 years. Sparta had a system of public canteens and restaurants. The citizens of Sparta used to send a portion of their produce to the common eateries. Collective farming was done in a city called Crete. The state also had its own forests and mines in the city of Athens. In Athens, Pythagoras believed - "Everyone has equal rights on the property of friends." It was the communist idea that a thinker named Euripides had also propounded the theory of women's communism even before Plato, Herodotus has described the communist practice of women in the discussion of Argathesianz.

     Plato's communist ideas were deeply influenced by the circumstances of the time. In the period of Plato, the rule was conducted in the interest of the property owners, the exploitation system was prevalent and the economic elements were dominant on the political environment. The condition of women in Plato's era was very pathetic. His role in the social sphere was negligible. They were confined to the boundary wall. Her duty was limited to the fulfillment of her husband's sexual desire, the production of children and their upbringing. Plato was worried about the plight of women. Therefore, he introduced the theory of communism of wives for the upliftment of women.

  Features of Plato's Communism

  The characteristics of communism related to Plato's property and wives are:-

    Quasi-communism:- Plato's communist system is applicable to only one section of society (the ruling class); Not on the productive class. In this, the guardian class will remain untouched by property and family, the productive class will have its property and family. Hence it is called quasi-communism.

  Complementary system of justice:- The main objective of Plato's theory of justice is to establish an ideal state. Plato has adopted two means - education and communism for the practicality of the theory of justice. Education plan is a spiritual and positive means of achieving justice; Whereas the communist plan is a material and negative way of achieving justice.

  Elite:- Plato puts only the upper class under the communist system. This system is only for the ruling class, the purpose of communism is to control the life of only a few rulers so that they can fulfill the work of social interest freely. Therefore Plato's communism establishes the rule of 'intellectual oligarchy'.

Political:- Plato's communism is political rather than economic. The purpose of Plato's communism was not to remove economic inequality but to remove the political defects of the time. Plato wanted the reins of governance to be in the hands of the philosophical ruler.

Ascetic:- Plato has asked the ruling and military class to renounce the attachment of property and family and become a sannyasin. He gives importance to the happiness of society rather than personal happiness. The life of Plato's ruling class is one of renunciation, not of material pleasures. Plato's communism is sadistic in which the ruling class renounces all economic comforts.

No change in economic structure:- Plato's communism keeps the productive class out of this system. The productive class remains the owner of its wealth. Plato wants to maintain the same economic structure in his communism.

Protector system for the unity of the state:- Plato presents a plan of communist system for the patron class to establish unity in the state. Plato's communist plan would inspire the guardian class to rule in the public interest by keeping them away from the attachment of Kanchan and Kamini. Women will also get an active opportunity to serve the state, this will increase the unity of the state.

  Types of Plato's Communism

 Plato's communism is of two types:-

  1. Communism of Property
  1. Communism of Wives

  Communism of property

       Plato has arranged under the communism of property that private property would be prohibited for the guardian class, that is, for the ruling and military class; They will not have any private land or private property. He will not even have a private house, but he will live in barracks built by the state, his residence will be open to all in which anyone can come at any time. Such a stipend would be given to them by the producers of the state that it would not be less for them nor left for private collection. They will dine at the tables collectively. They will be prohibited from touching gold and silver articles. They will serve and protect the country by getting detached from movable and immovable property. In this lies their salvation and by doing so they will become the protectors of the state. But whenever they earn land, house and money, they will start hating the other townspeople. They will masquerade; Will hate and instead of being the protector of the state, will become its enemy and autocratic person. People will hate him and he will hate people. They will be removed from the religion of their public interest. In this way they will pave the way for the annihilation of the nation.

  Some of the features of Plato's property communism are:-

  1. This communism is not for all citizens, but only for the ruling and military class. Although its objective is the welfare of the whole society, but it is not taken into practice by the whole society.
  1. Plato's communism regarding property is not a path of enjoyment but a path of renunciation. It inspires the ruling class of the society to leave the love of Kanchan and Kamini and be engaged in public welfare. In the words of Foster – “Plato’s patron class is not to take ownership of property collectively, but to give it up.
  1. Its purpose is political, not economic. Like the present communism, it does not remove economic inequality but removes political faults only.

  Arguments in favor of communism of property

  Plato has supported communism to property on the following grounds:-

  1.   Psychological basis:- According to Plato, the ruler and the soldier respectively represent the wisdom and courage element of the soul. Inspired by these elements, they make their definite representations. Inspired by these elements, if they want to fulfill their definite responsibilities, then they should not fall into the trap of the evil element of hunger. The system of private property adversely affects the liberal nature of man and makes the person selfish. If the system of private property is accepted for the philosophical ruler and the military class, then selfishness will increase in them and their conscience and courage will gradually become frustrated. According to Sabine- “The only way to free the rulers from greed is to deprive them of the right to call anything their own or private, and this remedy is possible only in Plato's system of property.” Therefore Plato's communism of property is a psychologically necessary condition for the ideal state.
  1. Political and practical basis:- Plato's theory of property is political on two grounds. One, it applies only to the ruling and military class, not to the productive class. Being confined to the ruling class, it is political. Second is that money has a very bad effect on the government. To overcome this evil, Plato frees the parent class from the right to property. According to Plato, when state power and private property combine, the state collapses. The ruling class misuses power for the lust of money. Therefore, Plato is in favor of giving political power only to the ruling class by eliminating the centralization of political economic power. This is also Plato's practical belief and political imperative. If the rulers are given freedom of personal property, then the ruling class will corrupt and convert the ideal state into a wealthy democracy. In this regard, Sabine has written – “As far as the soldiers and rulers are concerned, Plato was so convinced of the ill effects of money on the government that he had to find a way to remove this defect other than the destruction of his own property. Didn't appear."
  1. Moral Basis:- Plato does not believe that the existence of a person is only for self-fulfillment, according to it, by performing the duties with full devotion, staying within the limits of his eligible field of work and being an integral part of the society. Only by accepting existence can a person make his life meaningful. Plato's theory emphasizes on performing duties by making a person prudent and selfless.
  1. Philo sophical Basis:-Plato's communist theory of property is also justified on a philosophical basis. Plato has justified this on the basis of work specification. Plato says that the people who have the burden of governance should have a specific way of life. This style should be on the basis of work specific. The ruling class must be free from worldly temptations to achieve high ideals. Plato says that those who are burdened with governance, they should avoid all worldly elements that bind or create obstacles in their work, in the same way as a seeker or a sannyasin engaged in devotion to God should have house, water, children, property. Or one should stay away from worldly attachments and illusions.

The objectives of the communism of property

  The main objectives of Plato's wealth planning are:-

  1.   For the public interest:- Plato's philosopher king rules in the public interest. He keeps strict control over the military class and the productive class only in the context of public interest
  1. Efficiency for the parent class:- The scheme of communism of wealth frees the military class and the ruling class from economic worries and they can devote all their time and attention to the increase of their efficiency.
  1. For the unity of the state:- When the ruling class has private property, there is also mutual competition and jealousy among the ruling class regarding the property and this creates fear for the unity of the state. But the communist scheme of property does not allow such fear to arise in the ruling class and it proves to be the protector of the unity of the state.
  1. For social fraternity:- Plato's communism of property advises the patron class to adopt a sadistic attitude. Property will not be the right of any one, but will be the right of the whole society. This will not create a feeling of accumulating more or less wealth with anyone. The communism of wealth will give rise to the feeling of fraternity among the people.

  Criticisms of Property Communism

  Many criticisms of Plato's property communism have been made by Sabine, Barker, Popper and Aristotle :-

  (a) Criticisms made by Aristotle

  1. This notion disregards the basic instincts of human nature. It is the natural tendency of every human being to acquire private property and if an attempt is made to deprive him of this right, it will be against his nature.
  1. Aristotle considers communism against the ordinary experience of life.
  1. Aristotle also says that a common system of property can never increase social welfare.
  1. Aristotle also says that the development of the practice of personal property is a sign of the development of our civilization. Lack of personal wealth hinders the path of progress.
  1. This will destroy the best human possibilities of philanthropy and generosity because the person does charity work on the basis of private property only.
  1. Aristotle has proposed the idea that it would be better if property should be private but its use should be collective. This can benefit both the state and the individual.
  1. Due to enthusiasm and passion for personal wealth, man competes with others and develops his best qualities, but this will not happen if there is no private property.
  1. This plan of Plato does not involve majority and hence it will fail and this will lead to division of the state and the possibility of split, jealousy and discord will be strong.
  1. Aristotle believes that without wealth, the parent class will not be happy and how can the subjects be happy in a state in which the ruling class will not be happy. So Plato's communist state would be a sad state.
  1. Unity in the state should be promoted only by proper education and not by communism. Plato himself gives more importance to the spiritual remedy than the physical remedy. Therefore, communism is a secondary remedy.
  1. Plato persists in the tendency to bring more unity than necessary. He sacrifices the wishes of the people at the altar of the kingdom.

(b) Criticisms made by other scholars

  Obstacles in the development of virtues:- The arrangement of private property helps in the development of many virtues, such as the virtues of charity, kindness, benevolence, extreme etc. But Plato, by not paying attention to the demerits of private property, has deprived the patron class of it, which is unfair.

Against human nature:- Plato has done an act against human nature by eliminating private property. It is the natural tendency of human beings to acquire wealth. This develops many generous qualities of a person. So Plato has acted contrary to human nature.

Problem of equitable distribution:- In the absence of private property, it will be difficult to tell which person contributes to the society. This will create many problems of equitable distribution which will destroy the unity of the society.

Loss of motivation power of the person:- Proponents of private property believe that the attraction of property gives the person the motivation to do more and more work. With this inspiration, a person makes many new inventions, works hard. In its absence the inspirational power will be lost.

Amnological :- The number of private property is according to human nature. The person does all the activities only to acquire wealth. Plato goes against human nature by depriving the parent class of it. Therefore, Plato's theory of property is nonscientific.

Quasi-communism:- Plato includes only a particular class in this system rather than the entire social unit. Plato's communism is only for the ruling and military (patron) class. If personal property gives rise to differences, diversity, greed and attachment, then it is not prudent to give this right to the productive class.

Sacrifice human freedom:- Plato has suppressed human freedom in the name of communism. In Plato's system of communism, only the state will have the right to do what it wants. Plato has attacked the rights and freedoms of the individual by considering the individual as a mere instrument.

Problems of rulers deprived of property:- The members of Plato's patron class will also be deprived of knowledge of problems and motivations related to personal property, due to which they will have to face many problems in resolving the problems related to the property of ordinary people. The ruler can control the private property of the productive class only when he himself has knowledge about the merits and demerits of private property.

Improper physical treatment for spiritual diseases:- Plato has resorted to material means instead of finding any spiritual medicine to prevent spiritual diseases. The material things of the world are attached to the spiritual things, by the removal of which, if the evil is removed, then the good that is done by them will also go away. The material is the basis of spirituality and also the means for it. The removal of materiality would mean the end of these means.

Ascetic:- The scheme of communism of property keeps the guardian class propertyless in the name of public interest and ends property-related freedom and compels them to lead the life of an ascetic. In Plato's communism, the life of the individual is a life of renunciation, not the enjoyment of material pleasures. Plato's communism is sadistic in which the best people of the state give up economic comforts. Therefore communism is austere.
No mention of slavery: Plato has not discussed such an important principle as slavery in his theory of personal property. Plato does not mention any work to be done by slaves. Plato's view of slavery as unimportant makes it unimportant in itself.

One-sided view on property:- Plato builds his communist theory of property on the basis of the demerits of property, he has made a huge mistake of ignoring the properties of property. Despite many criticisms, it has to be recognized that Plato's communist theory of property is practical, logical and useful. This is the logical conclusion of his theory of justice. Greed for wealth gives rise to corruption and anarchy in the society. The desire for wealth is responsible for today's social disharmony, Plato had seen the social evils of the then Athens very closely and to remove those defects, he created this theory. Although some of his criticisms are logical, but even today it is undeniably true that Plato's communist theory is a very important contribution.

      Wives of communism

   Plato in his book Republic does not only prohibit private property for the patron class, but also presents the communist plan of his wives by abolishing the institution of the family. In order to build an ideal based on Plato's theory of justice, communism of the family is also necessary along with the communism of property. Plato considers a close relationship between family and property. In fact, the family's plan of communism is a logical extension of the communism of its property. Plato believes that if without the end of the family institution, the attempt to abolish personal property will be futile. Marriage and family are also forms of private property and this encourages greed and jealousy. Therefore, from the point of view of purpose, these two types of communism are complementary and complementary to each other. On Plato's importance of communism to the family or wives, 

Barker writes - "The day of the end of the family will be the day of unity for the state and freedom for the individual, and justice for both of them."

  Arguments in favor of wives' communism

   Political Basis:- Plato wanted women to be freed from the confinement of the boundary wall of the house and participate in the affairs of the state. Without the contribution of women, the state is deprived of half of its future patrons. He does not accept any distinction between men and women. She believes that there is no administrative work that a woman cannot do. He accepts only gender discrimination, but does not consider it a hindrance in government activities. Plato believes that women can participate in political, administrative and military functions and perform their duties properly. So Plato wants to free them from the captivity of the family.

Moral Basis:- Plato believes that the attachment to family and property corrupts the ruling class. Family affection is the reason for bondage. The concern of children makes a person selfish and misguides. The rulers follow unfair policies because of the fascination of families. This also leads to conflict between different families of the ruling class. It creates fear for the unity of the state. The family is a great obstacle in the unity of the state. The ruling and military classes may neglect their duties towards the state by being attached to the family. Therefore Plato supports this communism on moral grounds.

Basis of reproduction:- Plato scoffs at the then matrimonial custom and family system. At that time, human beings used to give birth to illegitimate children like animals and birds by careless intercourse, which was not useful in any way in the interest of the state. There was a pile of ugly and unworthy children in the state. To get rid of this problem, Plato realized that good citizens are necessary for an ideal state. For this, it is necessary to have cohabitation of only qualified men and women so that only the best children can be born. Plato considers the guardian or guardian class to be worthy of it and considers it necessary to produce children through temporary marriage relations among men and women of this class. But he takes care in this that the pair of women and men should be made keeping in mind their age and quality so that the best child can be born.

  Nature of Communism of Wives and its Explanation

    Form of State-Family:- Plato has supported the State-Family by abolishing the private family of the patron class. He had the problem of women's reform and at the same time wanted to produce the best children for the state. For this purpose he abolished the patron's private family and created a state-family.

Sex-Relationship:- Plato has tried to improve the sexual relations through the communism of wives to build his ideal, to remove the defects of the marital system of that time. The guardian class will also not be able to have a private wife. Everyone will be socialized. They will stay together in the barracks and eat together. Plato believes that only mature and superior males and females can give birth to the best children. Men and women who have shown excellence in the work of public service or in war, they will get the freedom to produce more children. Women and children will be social and not of any one individual.

The state will take full care of the upbringing of the children:- According to Plato, after the birth of the children, the state will take the responsibility of their upbringing. Mothers will feed their children under the care of the kingdom, but they will not have any personal knowledge of their children, the children will also have no knowledge of their mother.

Age of childbearing:- According to Plato, women will be allowed to have children from 20 to 40 years and men from 25 to 55 years. Men and women mature during this time. In this age of their cohabitation, only yogya children will be born. The state will only take care of the children born from the cohabitation of the best man and woman, the state will not take care of the children born out of the intercourse between the inferior men and women. The child who is born against the rules of the state, will either not be brought up by the state or will be buried in some unknown and dark place or will be destroyed by abortion before birth.

Knowledge of relations:- Plato says that children who come under the guardian class will be the participants of community life and in this community life their relations will also be community. The man will consider all those children as his son or daughter who are born from the month of his becoming a bride to the 10th month and those female children will consider that man as the father. He will call the children of these children as grandsons and they will call the men and women of the community as grandparents and all the children who are born in the breeding season of the same parent community will consider each other as brothers and sisters.

  Wives' aims of communism

The motives behind propounding the communism of wives according to Plato are:-

  Women's emancipation:- In the time of Plato, women were not allowed to participate in political and social work in Athens. They had to take care of the children living only within the boundary of the house. Marriage was considered a tool and wife a tool in producing children for the service of the state. Being confined within the limited circle of the family, his personality is frustrated. This also harms the society, because women are half the dormant power of the society. Plato has accepted that keeping in view the potential power of women, it is necessary to drive them out of the boundary wall. Plato said – “Family is such a tool where the talent of man is wasted and the mental strength of the wife is wasted in the stove.” Plato wanted to end this inferior life of women and see them in active politics.

Increase in the capacity of the parents:- The plan of communism of the family keeps them free from worrying about the daily needs of their family while protecting them from the ill effects of the family. In such a situation, the parent class will also be more capable of fulfilling its duty.

Balance of population:- One of the main objectives of the scheme of family communism is to maintain the population of the ideal city state within the ideal limits. According to Plato – “We will leave the number of marriages to the discretion of the rulers. They will always keep this goal in mind that even after the loss of population due to wars, epidemics etc., the population of citizens should remain as stable as possible and they will make all possible efforts that our state is neither large nor small in terms of population. Remain . .." 

According to Antoni Fallu – “Plato is socially aware of the explosive condition of the population.”

Race Reform:- The purpose of this communism of Plato is also to reform the race. Plato has clearly said that only able-bodied men and women will have sex. Ugly children will be killed or the state will not take care of them. Plato's objective of breed improvement could be accomplished by producing a healthy, fit, strong, brave and talented child. Therefore, Plato propounded the theory of family communism for the improvement of race.

Protecting the pure conscience of the rulers:- The ideal state of Plato will be ruled by uninterested, selfless, intelligent, philosophical rulers, but everyone knows that such rulers can deviate from the path of pure action and knowledge due to family attachment. Plato believed that Kanchan and Kamini could deviate the ruling class from their path. So he arranges communism to the family to protect the pure conscience of the ruling class.

Unity in the State:- The family generates the feeling of tere-mere among the individuals and due to this feeling, a struggle for power arises in the patron class. Plato considered it necessary to end this tendency of mutual conflict in the interest of the state. Therefore, Plato wants to establish political unity by tying all the men and women of the parent class in the form of a single family (state family) so that all the people of the society live in fraternity among themselves.

  Criticism of wives' communism

Plato's communism has been criticized on the following grounds:

     Family - A Historical Experience: Plato made a grave mistake by omitting the institution of the family. The state and society have been born out of the family. The family is the smallest unit of the state. The end of the family would be detrimental to the human society because :- (a) Family is a historical institution. It has the experience of ages behind it. To end it means to return to the era of barbarism. (b) Like the state, the family is also an institution born of human nature. It is totally unfair to kill the family in the name of the state. (c) The family is the first school of citizenship. It is the family that makes the child virtuous. In the family, qualities like cooperation, sympathy, kindness, benevolence and discipline are learned.

Plato's views on wife and family are not based on true facts:- Critics say that the natural tendency of a woman to love and nurture children can neither be transferred to the nursery nor Nor can the same love be found in those houses. In any case, the abolition of motherhood could never be an ideal state policy, but the encouragement of motherhood to take its rightful place in the state could have been the correct form of Plato's justice. Motherhood is something that no one can provide artificially except the mother. The relation of man and woman is also not like an animal relation, which joins only for the production of children. There is a purity in it and this relationship is for life. So Plato did not understand the reality behind family relations. That's why Aristotle called it an adulterous plan which no civilized human race would accept. Plato does not sacrifice mother's affection in the name of unity of the state.

What belongs to all, does not belong to anyone:- Aristotle alleges that in Plato's communism, if all the wives and all the children of the parent class belong to everyone, then in fact they belong to no one and therefore no one can follow their arrangement and rule. Can't care with as much love as they get in the family.

Crimes will be more:- Critics say that if the family and personal property are not there, then the relationship of father-son, mother-son, brother-brother will end and then problems, quarrels or crimes that are natural in the society will not be treated in a family way. Can be solved. In such a situation the crime will increase. Moral values ​​will decline in the society and citizens will be inclined towards more crimes.

Amnosological and impractical:- Plato's plan of communism of the family is by its nature antipsychological and impractical. This is the reason that this plan became invalid in the time of Plato, nor has it been implemented anywhere till today. Plato himself in his book 'Lodge' has recognized the system of permanent marriage and private family instead of temporary marriage.

Unnecessary scheme:- Aristotle is of the view that Plato mistakenly adopted the communism of the family as a means to establish justice because the defects which Plato talks about to remove such as greed, partiality etc. For him, it would have been appropriate to take recourse to the education system. These diseases are like moral diseases and cannot be cured by physical means.

Practical difficulties of the ruler without family:- Rulers who are ignorant and unaware of family relations have the right to resolve the family disputes of the productive class, but they will prove incompetent in this view, because they themselves have no experience of family life.

Possibility of unholy sexual relations:- In Plato's family communism, there is also such a possibility of sexual relations with which blood is also related. In this system, does not recognize father and daughter and brother and sister. Therefore, there is more possibility of unholy sex relationship which is against social norms. Morality can never support it.

No place for slaves:- Plato has completely excluded the slave class from this system. Slavery was the most important practice of that time. The slave had become a useful social class. It is totally wrong to ignore them.

Against the principle of justice:- According to Plato's principle of justice, every person should behave according to his natural quality, but Plato's family violates the principle of communism. The natural quality for women is the upbringing of children, but Plato deprives the women of the parental class from this natural act.

Obstacles in the development of individual's personality:- Plato considers the unity of the state as the end and considers the individual as his only means. He subjugates the institution of the family to the state to fulfill his selfish interests. Therefore, it hinders the development of the personality of the individual.

Against the laws of biology:- Plato's communist family system is against the laws of biology. There is no guarantee that the children of virtuous parents should also be virtuous. This method can be applied in animal science, not in biology.

 There is a difference between men and women:- Plato does not consider any difference between men and women except gender. Women are soft hearted, while men are hard hearted. There are many such differences between the two. Plato's communism of wives is neither desirable nor possible. Plato omits such an important institution as the family, which is impossible. As soon as the institution like family ends, the children will not be virtuous but will tend towards criminal tendency. This theory may be valid from the point of view of logic but it can never be valid from the point of view of morality, culture and psychology. Plato's greatest achievement is that he has emphasized the equality of women and men. All her efforts are for the upliftment of women. In this work the role of the family may prove to be very important, which Plato has neglected. It is an indisputable truth that the effort of the communist system is a very important contribution of Plato for the upliftment of women.

  Plato as the first communist

  Maxi wrote in his book 'Political Philosophy' that Plato is the main inspiration for communist ideas and the seeds of all communist and socialist ideas are found in the 'Republic'. But Prof. Natalship, Prof. Catlin, Prof. Barker, do not agree with Macri's view. According to Prof. Catlin, Plato's communism is neither heavenly nor international. It does not match modern communism at all. Modern communism as propounded by thinkers like Karl Marx and Lenin believes in a classless and stateless society. Mainly this ideology emphasizes on ending the exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie. In the opinion of Prof. Zayzi, there are many similarities between Plato and the Russian communists. Both consider personal wealth to be the root of all evil, both in favor of personal wealth and the end of poverty. Both want collective education and in the collective care of the children. Both consider art and literature as the only means of the state and both want to use all science and ideologies in the interest of the state. On this basis it is absolutely correct to consider Plato the first communist. But Taylor on the other hand has given opposite views. According to Taylor- "Neither socialism nor communism is found in the republic." To consider Plato the first communist, it becomes necessary to compare the modern ideology of communism with the ideology of Plato. There are some similarities and dissimilarities between the two concepts.


 There are some views in favor of Plato being the first communist, which is based on the similarity of the two ideologies. The main similarities between the two are:-

  Personal property is the root of all evil:- Both Plato and modern communism agree that private property is the cause of all defects in society. Therefore, it is necessary to arrange for public property in its place. Plato has brought himself closer to modern communism by depriving the patron class of personal property. All evils of society can be ended only by the end of personal wealth.

Faith in dictatorship:- Both communism believe in an authoritarian state or ruler for the benefit of the entire society. Plato establishes the dictatorship of a rational philosopher ruler who is above law and tradition. He keeps complete control over the productive and military class in the interest of society. Plato's philosophical ruler is omnipotent. Modern communists believe in the dictatorship of the proletariat. Therefore, both are in favor of dictatorship.

Belief in equality of men and women:- Both communists believe in equal ability and ability of men and women. According to Plato, there is no difference between men and women except gender. Women can also handle administrative positions as well as men. Modern communists also fully believe in women power.

Art and literature are instruments of the state:- Both communism regard art and literature as the only means which should only be in the interests of the state. That's why they talk of control over art and literature. They want to control and direct the spirit of poetry, the tone of music, even the rhythm of the instruments. Similarly, modern communists also talk of strict control over art and literature. If any art and literature is against the interests of the state, then it cannot be respected under any circumstances. Therefore, both are in favor of control over communist art and literature and they consider them as a means for the welfare of the state. This instrument must be pure.

Social justice is the sense of duty:- Both communism considers the interest of the individual in the interest of the society. They place more emphasis on duties. He is a supporter of the system of restrictions in the name of rights. Plato has called social justice to work in a suitable place according to one's ability. Modern communism also emphasizes that the right to eat belongs to the person who works for the society. Therefore, both communists give importance to duties as compared to rights.

Impractical:- Both communism are not in accordance with human nature and psychology, so they are not practical. Because of this defect, neither Plato's communist system has ever existed nor will it ever be. Similarly, the power by which modern communists talk about the establishment of communist society is also impractical. Today many communist systems of the world are on the path of collapse.

Belief in Collectivism:- Both the systems are collectivists. Both communisms believe in the supremacy of the community ignoring the individuality of the individual. In both the systems the individual is considered as a mere instrument. 8. End of economic competition: Both communism are in favor of ending the economic competition of the society. This, as Plato believes, is the cause of political discord. Modern communism also wants to create a sense of unity in the society by eliminating economic competition.

  On the basis of the above arguments, it can be said that Plato had sown the seeds of communism. Modern communist philosophy has been built on the basis of Plato's communist principles. From this point of view it is absolutely correct to call Plato the first communist.


    There are many differences between Plato's communism and modern communism, on the basis of which his idea of being the first communist has been refuted. Those bases are :-
  Half communism and full communism: Plato's communism is not applicable to the whole society but is limited only to the patron class. Plato has shown himself to be quasi-communist by keeping the productive class completely out of this system. Modern communism applies equally to people throughout society but does not include family communism. Modern communism operates by integrating every section of the society into itself. Hence there is a difference between the two.

Sannyasaism and Materialism:- Plato's communism is really austere. Plato makes rulers detached from material pleasures. In the words of Barker – “This is the way of surrender and that surrender is demanded of the best and only from the best.” Plato has deprived the patron class of all property because he considers private property as an obstacle in the performance of the duty of public welfare. The cornerstone of modern communism is materialism. Modern communism considers the increase in material comforts as its goal. Modern communism recognizes the desirability of wealth and emphasizes its distribution. Therefore, in Plato's communism, justice means a equitable distribution of functions, and in the context of modern communism, equitable distribution of state output.

Political Objective and Economic Purpose:- The goal of Plato's communism is political because it wants to establish good governance by eliminating misgovernance and corruption in the state on the basis of a particular type of economic plan. Plato's aim is to create political stability. The main goal of modern communism is economic. Modern communists seek equitable distribution of economic resources on the basis of a particular type of political system. Therefore, the goal of one is political and that of the other is economic.

Classless society and classless society:- In Plato's communism, classes exist, whose specificity of actions increases the unity of the state. Modern communism talks about the establishment of a classless society. There is no importance of classes in this.

Distinction in relation to family communism:- In Plato's communist system, along with the communism of property, the communism of wives has also been arranged. But no such system has been propounded in modern communism.
The distinction of city states and international: Plato's communism has been formulated keeping in mind the small city-states of Greece. Plato never talked about the world order. Therefore, their communism is based on regionalism. Karl Marx has composed his communist theory keeping in mind the economic and political developments of the whole world. He believes in the unity of the whole world. So modern communism is world class.
Differences in the role of philosophical rulers in communism: In Plato's communism, the governance will be headed by a philosophical ruler and common citizens will follow him, whereas in modern communism there is no place for a philosophical king. The workers' communist party controls the entire government system from dictatorship.

Means Difference:- Plato has not described any means for the establishment of his communism. Modern communists talk about the establishment of communism by the use of revolution or other violent means.

Difference in the number of classes:- Plato has described three classes in society - philosopher, soldier and producer, while Marx has explained only the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Therefore, according to Plato, there are three classes in society and modern communists talk about two classes.

Difference in relation to the importance of working class:- In Plato's communism, the working class does not get any important place, whereas in modern communism, the working class has been considered as the basis of revolution. Modern communist philosophy revolves around the working class.

Practical and impractical:- Plato's communism is completely impractical and can never be applied in practice. The same cannot be said about modern communism, because modern communism has been practically implemented in many countries. Although it failed in Russia, it still exists in China. Thus, modern communism is more practical than Plato's communism.

Circumstances Difference:- Plato's communism is a product of the conditions in Athens in the 5th century, whereas modern communism is the result of the industrial revolution that originated in Britain in the 19th century.

    Thus, on the basis of many inequalities, Taylor's statement is justified - "Despite a lot being said about socialism and communism in the Republic, in reality there is neither socialism nor communism in this book." Therefore it is completely wrong to consider Plato the first communist. There is no particular element in Plato, which corresponds to modern communism.


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  1. Very well elaborated each and every aspect of Plato's theory of communism and its relevance with modern communism.Thank you.


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