David Ben-Gurion on Plato

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The purpose of this article is to clarify the relationship between David Ben-Gurion's political thinking, his political practice and his interpretation of some aspects of Plato's political philosophy. Ben-Gurion ascribed to Plato three main political values: activism, or the ability to reject existing norms and mold society after the moral laws of man; a striving to create a unified society; and the ideal of a society based on justice. These values also form the bedrock of Ben-Gurion's Zionism. The "Jewish Revolution"-as he called the profound changes brought by the Zionist movement-is an active effort to control Jewish destiny. Its main goal is to create a unified people and realize moral norms. Activism and unity were also, as the article tries to demonstrate, the central guiding principles of Ben-Gurion's practice as a political leader, as exemplified in his reliance on pioneering and in fostering a strong political centre of authority.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-245
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Modern Jewish Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Ben-Gurion, David, 1886-1973 ; Plato, Platonism


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