Plato’s Utopian vision portrayed an ideal world as if everyone lived and loved in peace beyond the fear of violence or personal possession. Plato claimed Athens’ political career was too insane for him, and nobody would be expected to live a decent life the way they had it all established for themselves (inappropriate democracy). It could be inappropriate if people did not follow the right direction. Since society has to exist to meet people’s needs and is not autonomous of one another or self-sufficient to supply oneself, the first goal which society should ensure is an economic end (Vaughn 357). People have various talents and abilities, and each should produce what they possess by default, which facilitates the division of labor in society’s structure.
There must also be all sorts of workers in the ideal city: fishermen, craftsmen, farmers, and even metalworkers, so nothing can be lacking in all the necessities which the ideal city entails. Plato, nevertheless, argues that a society which caters only to basic material needs will be too cruel because people still need to fulfill other interests of their nature. If society expands in the number, resources need to be increased, which may lead to the invasion of neighboring territory to meet the needs of everyone, thereby leading to war. Still, if people adopt the same concept of labor division, there would have to be war experts, who are solely in charge of war operations, whom Socrates would term the guardians of the city.
According to Plato, the main risk of being led by a political class which lacks moral virtues, is the violation of basic human rights. Instead of leaders delivering the required services to the people, they are busy enriching themselves at the expense of the society they are supposed to rule. Some of these basic rights include economic stability, healthcare, and education. Poor leadership will result in an unstable economy which is not able to sustain society. Poor healthcare and low education standards are also to be realized.
In my opinion, morally exemplary political leadership focusing on morality is important because it is capable of transmitting its ethical principles and moral values to the followers within their unit and serves as a moral role model in society. In their position as moral administrators, the leaders are often required to set up reward and punishment mechanisms to handle ethical actions and violations. It also promotes harmony, tranquility, and socio-economic development among communities.
Vaughn, Lewis. Philosophy Here and Now. 3rd ed., Oxford UP, 2018.