Archaeologists working on a site just outside Athens have discovered what they believe is a hitherto unknown chapter of Plato’s seminal work ‘The Republic’, a guide to the structure and governance of an ideal state.
The discovery has sent shockwaves through the philosophical community, particularly in its description of a concept Plato calls ‘tax’.
‘It’s rather hard to explain,’ explained Stefanos Oligopolous, Professor of Philosophy at Athens University, ‘as there’s no equivalent term in modern Greek. But basically, Plato’s idea is that when you earn money, you give some of it to the state to pay for public services. Apparently that way the system becomes self-sustaining, and doesn’t rely on handouts from other states.’
However, some have cast doubt on the veracity of the find, including Oligos Stefanopolous, Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Peloponessos (formerly Sparta Polytechnic).
‘Granted ‘The Republic’ contains some pretty authoritarian ideas that wouldn’t sit well in laid-back, modern Greece,’ he said. ‘But this? This is off the scale.’
Others have described the system as unworkable, including an Athenian cab driver who asked not to be named as he’s signing on as well as working.