The Day the Earth Stood Still redux

Pick up any paper, watch any newscast, or engage in any relevant conversation about the state of the world and you'll undoubtedly get an "expert" opinion on what is wrong and what needs to be done to rectify things. It seems that everyone either has the answer or simply enjoys pointing out the problem.

The frustrating thing is that lately, on top of all the world's ills, it seems that those in positions of power and/or influence are turning out to be more and more corrupt. Wall Street bigwigs, governors, evangelists... not a day goes by without someone being exposed for unethical practices. When will it end? When will the major decisions of the world be made by individuals of grand moral authority? Where are the philosopher kings?

Philosopher kings, you say? Well, a little history for those unfamiliar: Plato, in his famous treatise "The Republic," spoke of a great utopian society in which educated scholars made decisions for the greater good. The education of these so-called philosopher kings would not be light (nothing you could do through the University of Phoenix, for example). No, the schooling and preparation would last until a person was well into their 50's. At that point they would be well-versed, highly prepared, and morally bound to make the important decisions for society.

Well, I'm guessing Plato would be saddened to see how things are run in the modern world. The only prerequisite for public office today is the ability to get people to like or identify with you. There's no degree or preparatory path other than diving in and learning how to play the election game. With that said, at least the Supreme Court of the United States is close in context (let's hope a moral or ethical lapse never creeps into those hallowed chambers).

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