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The Philosopher-King Paradox

While it is indubitably true that we would all be much better off were society to be placed under the stewardship of an enlightened Philosopher-King, there still remains one question to be answered before we sign over our self-governance: how are we to identify such an enlightened individual, if we are ourselves unenlightened? All dictators claim to be benevolent dictators; history shows us that most (if not all) were not. Either we are incapable of telling the difference, or we don’t need to. That’s some catch, that Catch-22 — the best there is.