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The key institutions of any democratic form of government are electoral politics, the jury system, a mass medium, and public education. Plato is a
critic of Athenian democracy and therefore of the Athenian versions of these institutions, though he prudently implies his criticisms rather than directly
attacking them, by giving an alternative in his Republic and also in “Apology”. How does he treat jury trials, for instance, the kind of education given to all who
could pay by the Sophists, the mass medium of the drama? How persuasive and relevant are these criticisms in our time? Can democrats learn something
useful from his criticisms? Are there indeed problems with today’s mass media, jury trials, public education, and electoral politics? Would you defend
democracy against some or all of Plato’s arguments? If so, what is your defense?

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