Shoot, Maybe We Just Picked the Wrong Autocrat, Socrates?

Plato, The Statesman 301c-d

Friend: “So, when a ruler acts neither according to laws nor custom but pretends instead to play the part of someone who understands that the best things must be done even against the laws and this imitation arises out of desire and ignorance, shouldn’t that kind of a person be called a tyrant?

Soc. Why wouldn’t he?

Friend. “So then, we say, a tyrant has come and then oligarchy, aristocracy and democracy in turn, since people take it hard when one person is in charge. We disbelieve that a single person could ever be worthy of this kind of power enough to want and to be able to rule with virtue and knowledge, providing justice and fairness rightly to everyone. Instead, we  know he will offend, and kill and harm anyone of us he wants to at any point. Otherwise, we admit that if someone arose who were able to do this, we would greet them happily and have them live with us directing out state alone in a perfectly just way.

Soc: How could it be any other way?

ΞΕ. Τί δ᾿, ὅταν μήτε κατὰ νόμους μήτε κατὰ ἔθη πράττῃ τις εἷς ἄρχων, προσποιῆται δὲ ὥσπερ ὁ ἐπιστήμων ὡς ἄρα παρὰ τὰ γεγραμμένα τό γε βέλτιστον ποιητέον, ᾖ δέ τις ἐπιθυμία καὶ ἄγνοια τούτου τοῦ μιμήματος ἡγουμένη, μῶν οὐ τότε τὸν τοιοῦτον ἕκαστον τύραννον κλητέον;

ΣΩ.Τί μήν;

ΞΕ. Οὕτω δὴ τύραννός τε γέγονε, φαμέν, καὶ βασιλεὺς καὶ ὀλιγαρχία καὶ ἀριστοκρατία καὶ δημοκρατία, δυσχερανάντων τῶν ἀνθρώπων τὸν ἕνα ἐκεῖνον μόναρχον, καὶ ἀπιστησάντων μηδένα τῆς τοιαύτης ἀρχῆς ἄξιον ἂν γενέσθαι ποτέ, ὥστε ἐθέλειν καὶ δυνατὸν εἶναι μετὰ ἀρετῆς καὶ ἐπιστήμης ἄρχοντα τὰ δίκαια καὶ ὅσια διανέμειν ὀρθῶς πᾶσι, λωβᾶσθαι δὲ καὶ ἀποκτιννύναι καὶ κακοῦν ὃν ἂν βουληθῇ ἑκάστοτε ἡμῶν· ἐπεὶ γενόμενόν γ᾿ ἂν οἷον λέγομεν ἀγαπᾶσθαί τε ἂν καὶ οἰκεῖν διακυβερνῶντα εὐδαιμόνως ὀρθὴν ἀκριβῶς μόνον πολιτείαν

ΣΩ.Πῶς δ᾿ οὔ;

SYRACUSE IN SICILY Tyrant HIKETAS 287BC Ancient Greek Coin ZEUS EAGLE NGC  i68761 - $718.80 | PicClick
Tyrant Hiketas of Sicily 287 BCE

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