Democracy: stored up in heaven; but unhappily has not yet been communicated to us.
Plato, of course, detested democracy. To him it was the rule of doxa over philosophia, of opinion over knowledge. The Greek for rule was kratos, and demos was ‘the people’, but many other ancient (and modern) writers gave it a pejorative sense, simply the majority as the mob – a powerful, selfish, fickle, and inconsistent beast. His pupil Aristotle took a more tempered view in his book The Politics, as we will see. While democracy was for him a necessary condition for good government, it was far from a sufficient condition. If we are talking of justice and of good government then we are talking of a complexity of different concepts, values, and practices, and a complexity that never remains the same.