Plato - An insight into the Life of the Philosopher
When Plato was born before Christ in Athens in 427, the city was facing turbulent political developments. In the course of the Peloponnesian war, Athens lost its supremacy to Sparta in 431 before Christ. The aristocrats, including Plato's family, see the reason for this defeat in the government.
The latter had introduced democracy into Athens and had significantly curtailed the influence of the aristocracy. An incredible affront to the Athenian upper class, which had been in power for centuries. So it goes without saying that the aristocrats quickly sympathize with Sparta as it becomes clear that the military regime there would abolish democracy after the victory over Athens and restore the old form of government.
When the new government was established, two brothers of Plato's mother were among them. But the so-called 30 tyrants can't hold their own for long. Because of their arbitrary rule, the citizens of Athens quickly rebel against the new regime.
Politics is a constant topic at Plato's parents' home. They would like to see their son also hold a political office. For this reason, Plato receives an excellent education that should pave his way to the top. But his interests lie in another area.
Following in the footsteps of his great role model Homer, Plato wrote his own texts at a young age and even took part in poetry competitions. His interest in taking an active part in what was happening politically is finally extinguished by the rule of the 30 tyrants.
For Plato, the fact that these 30 tyrants were overthrown by the democrats only a short time after their accession to the government is a clear sign that the upper classes had failed in their task of ruling justly. Nevertheless, he sticks to his opinion that even democracy cannot be the right form of government. He is of the opinion that there must be a strict separation between above and below in society. That power must come from the best and not from the masses of the population.
As an anti-democrat, he remains critical of the government in Athens throughout his life. But this view is not the only reason to turn for politics its back forever. The acquaintance of Socrates certainly contributed to this.