Bringing the Just Man Back into World Politics
By JC Collins
“Until political power and philosophy entirely coincide… cities will have no rest from evils,… nor, I think, will the human race.”
(Plato, the Republic 473c-d)
The “Just Man” was a core theme of the Republic, a series of dialogues written by Plato in 380BCE. Book two of those writings puts forward the suggestion that the “Just Man” who is considered by the world to be “Unjust” is in fact more fulfilled and living in alignment with wisdom than the “Unjust Man” who is considered by the world to be a “Just Man”.
It is in essence a debate between whether the “Unjust” life is better than the “Just” life or vice versa. It was argued that the only reason men would be just is because they are afraid of the costs and punishment of not being just. Injustice with impunity was presented as the case for the “Unjust Man” to be happier than the “Just Man” because the “Unjust Man”, through acts of injustice, could obtain riches and favor in the world which the “Just Man” could not do while in service to justice.