Socrates... did not conceal his contempt for some of
the weaknesses of democracy, and this... greatly influenced the political
thinking of his disciple Plato. Socrates openly taught that the principal
fault of democracy was that it did not require proof of special knowledge in
its leaders, that it surrendered the direction of the people’s destinies to
men without adequate experience in government, and that on the question of the
morality of justice of a policy it treated the opinions of all citizens as
equal in value. Not unnaturally, these unorthodox sentiments were viewed with
alarm by the democrats, still politically insecure...
Socrates... sought to uncover errors in conventional views, and by the use
of inductive argument — the attempt to arrive at general conclusions through
striking particular illustrations taken from the life of the common people —
to draw a pattern of life consistent with truth and virtue... The apparent
harmony of the universe led Socrates to believe that it is ordered by a Divine
Spirit and he held... that the soul is immortal. His belief that he himself
was inspired by a divine voice... [brought him to his death]. He was a great,
good, wise, inspiring... man.
Ironically, he was condemned to death for "impiety" (ungodliness
or irreverence towards the Supreme Being; contempt of the divine character and
authority; [definition from the original Noah Webster dictionary]). What, in
fact, caused his death was his rejection of the current democratic leadership.
He was too bold in exposing their inconsistencies, and they wanted him out of
the way. The accusation of impiety was a ruse to make them look good and
Socrates look bad so that the democratic vote for his death would follow.
Alma taught that "the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own
nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit
that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom
according to that which is just and true." (Alma 29:8) The wisdom shared
and example lived in Socrates’ life foreshadowed that of Christ. His death
was for similar reasons. He wore no shoes, left no writings, dressed humbly,
cared for the common people, had a great many disciples at the time of his
death in 399 B.C., and died because he would not compromise on the principles
Today, many proclaim democracy as the way for the world to be governed —
not realizing that the greatness of this land of the free is that we are a
republic. Democracy, taken to its limit, is mobocracy. Our inspired
constitution protects us against this conspiratorial trickery, and most have
lost the vision of this inspired document. Let us repent and focus on the
wisdom and inspiration given to our founding fathers and the wise sages of the
past. But most especially let us focus on the inspiration He will give us as
we come unto Him, who inspired them and Socrates. Otherwise, we will go
through the worst world war ever to regain our freedoms, and many will have to
die as Socrates — standing for correct principles.
Ref: the first two paragraphs above are taken from the Americana
Encyclopedia. The bracketed words and the last three paragraphs are mine.