Socrates underlying elitist views seems to conflict with many of the ideals that Americans relentlessly stress. To set up a society that categorizes people into three distinct groups would be absolute tyranny in the eyes of an American citizen. With ideals such as the American dream drilled into our heads year after year, the average citizen does not see themselves as a guardian, true ruler, and least of all a producer. The selfishness that goes along with the level of individual success necessary for a standard citizen to feel accomplished has no place in Socrates society. Despite whether this ideal society is possible, Socrates manages to leave out the unpredictable elements of human nature that cannot be weeded out with time. Human beings desire things they can’t have, sometimes things they can’t even know. America is a country of people that have decided to go for the things they couldn’t have, which brings me to my point that if Socrates’ city were to ever take root in the world, the last place it would be is America. In class, Mackin laughed a bit and mentioned that no one in the group has argued against Socrates’ categorization of people and his blunt approach to certain citizens being fit for nothing but “blue collar” work ( in a sense). I believe this is because we are all Americans, as well as musicians. Despite the constant support of the ideals that people are equal and we should all support each other and believe that all of us have the potential to be great, few Americans actually live what they speak. An argument could be made that most of of society is structured off of capitalism and greed, which leaves absolutely no room for equality and giving. The musician aspect of the members of our class leaves most of us in agreement with Socrates’ society. As musicians, it would be silly for us to believe that anyone could do our job just as well as we could with the right amount of training. To admit and support such a belief would be forfeiting everything that we value in our career, as well as forfeiting our actual career. If anyone could become a musician that was good enough to be the great masters and geniuses in the art form as we know it, our very way of life would be endangered. Our placement of interest and the fact that we have focused our lives into one path does not mean that we could be just as qualified and successful were we to go into any other field. I am certain that if I were to be made a professional athlete over a professional musician, I would either be maimed or killed. Regardless of hours spent training or the best coaches available, my natural talents make me more specified for music, and if I were to be put against someone who’s natural talents lie in sports, I honestly don’t think I would ever be able to compete with them in an real world situation. If Socrates weren’t correct in some way, then people such as Mozart and Michael Jordan would have been duplicated time after time, and their existence would have had no true purpose or influence. The perception of American values does not correlate with the values held by Americans, which would lead to a strange structure where his society could work in small areas in the country but would never be able to be the main system of American government.
Socrates’ Society in Modern America