Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER I: Plato's Romance - Socialistic Fallacies
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CHAPTER I: Plato’s Romance - Yves Guyot, Socialistic Fallacies 
Socialistic Fallacies (London: Cope and Fenwick, 1910).
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Politico-economic romances—Common features—Government by the wisest: abolition of private interest—Castes—Plato and the warrior caste—Conception realised by the Mamelukes in Egypt—Police—Xenophon — Plotinus — Monasteries, their principles: separation of the sexes, contributions of the faithful.
Von Kirchenheim, in his book “Die ewige Utopie,” has traced the history of politico-economic romances after Sudre, Reybaud, Moll and others. These works all present a family likeness and are founded on the ancient conception of a golden age, an Eden, an ideal existing in a far distant past—a conception which survives in such writers as Karl Marx, Engels and Paul Lafargue, who would have all the ills of humanity date from the moment when the communism of primitive societies came to an end. All these conceptions seek to confer the governing power upon the wisest: Plato gives it to the philosophers, and the same idea reappears in Auguste Comte. They are all founded upon the suppression of private interest as the motive of human actions, and the substitution of altruism (to use the word coined by Auguste Comte), to attain which their authors abolish private property, and those among them who are logical set up the community of women.
Nearly all these writers constitute castes. Plato proclaims the necessity of slavery and declares that the occupations of a shoemaker and a blacksmith degrade those who follow them. Labourers, artisans, and traders form a caste whose duty it is to produce for warriors and philosophers and to obey them. In the “Republic” the caste of warriors only possesses property collectively, the abolition of private property being in Plato's opinion the best means of preventing the abuse of power. The annual unions between men and women are to be decided by lot, controlled by expert magistrates, careful to ensure the most favourable conditions for the reproduction of the species, the army being treated like a stud.
We saw a caste organisation of this kind for three centuries in Egypt, a college of Ulemas and a corps of Mamelukes recruited from among children with no family ties, all exploiting the miserable fellahs until they were completely exhausted.
In his “Laws,” in which he attempts to work out his conception in detail, Plato fixes the number of citizens at 5,040, each with a share in the public lands, the equal produce of which is sufficient to support one family. These lands are indivisible and inalienable, and are transmitted by hereditary succession to the son who is appointed to receive them. The State is divided, in honour of the twelve months of the year, into twelve districts, in which numerous officials, as well as the councils, reside. The police enter into the minutest details of the life of every individual; until the age of forty travelling is forbidden. The police must see to it that the number of citizens shall neither increase nor diminish. The industrial occupations are followed by slaves controlled by a class of free labourers without political rights; commerce is left to strangers. A citizen of the Platonic city may not possess precious metals or lend out money at interest. Moreover, if Plato, in order to put his conceptions of the State into practice, reverts to individual property, he continues to proclaim that “the community of women and children and of property in which the private and the individual is altogether banished from life”1 is the highest form of the State and of virtue.
Plato’s speculations exercised no influence upon the legislation and the politics of antiquity.
Xenophon, on the contrary, set forth the conception of an ideal monarchy in the Cyropaedia, everything being conceived upon a utilitarian basis.
Three centuries after Christ, Plotinus, who was ashamed of having a body, and desired to free the divine element which was in him, dreamed of founding in Campania a State upon the model conceived by Plato—this desire remained in the region of dreams.
Communism was only carried out in monasteries, whose existence was based upon the two principles of separation of the sexes and contributions of the faithful.
Plato, Laws v. 739 (Jowett's translation).