here i am, teaching plato's republic once again. i will assert flatly that it is the most disgusting book ever written by a famous philosopher. what i would like to do is write a book attacking and refuting and ridiculing it line by line, but publication of such a thing seems unlikely, and it would embroil me in long months of loathing.
really, western political philosophy has had many miserable or evil moments, many lurid or pathetic or desperate attempts to justify oppression of various sorts, from hobbes to hegel to marx, or the pitiable history of the attempts to establish the legitimacy of state power. but plato just goes straight for the extreme caste elitism, lies, eugenics, extreme censorship etc etc, on the basis of a metaphysics of world-hatred. the thing is sort of an amazing intellectual achievement, but it defends every aspect of what came to be modern totalitarianism. the people are animals, and must be broken. that he's doing this in the midst of the first democracy is essential info.