How Plato’s Philosophy Can Overcome A Tyrannical Society

Plato (on the left) and Socrates take time out to philosophise on how best to diminish the oppressive effects of tyranny.

I share with you a fascinating and thorough essay on Tyranny’s attempts to subjugate Philosophy throughout history.

“This essay provides an answer to the question that so many of us are presently asking: In the face of seemingly invincible fascistic tyranny, what can we do? To uninformed people, philosophy appears to be a completely powerless, merely academic discipline. In this essay philosophy’s real essence will be divulged: an immeasurably powerful force that’s actually able to overcome tyranny. It is indeed heartening to comprehend philosophy’s potency to outmaneuver and overpower despotism.

It requires a discerning mind to grasp how philosophy is able to conquer unrestrained repressive power. But the potency philosophy possesses to overcome tyranny is real–not some ethereal metaphysical conjecture meant to soothe and befuddle the credulous.

We’ll first locate philosophy within a larger domain: the Perennial Tradition. 1 Following that, we’ll see how modern tyranny is attempting to destroy the genuine teaching and learning of Platonic philosophy. Last, we’ll examine precisely how philosophy is able to conquer tyranny and what part we can play in this cosmic struggle.”

~ Norman D. Livergood, How Philosophy Overcomes Tyranny

Continue to read: How Philosophy Overcomes Tyranny

Read: Plato’s Biography


  1. I think philosophy is mainly valuable to the individual, as a means of personal liberation. I don’t think it can transform whole cultures or societies.

  2. Jason Cooper says:

    Hi NP, but what if most people, especially those in the position of power embraced philosophy? à la Plato’s Philosopher Kings perhaps?

    It may be an individual thing, but if philosophy was somehow universally instigated what would be the effects on a social scale?

    However, my questions seem to be bordering on the Utopian, as we may never know the answer to them in this current stage of human evolution towards superficiality and materialism.