Timocracy and Honor
Plato produced the earliest surviving text using the term in the rule-by-honor sense. In The Republic, he describes four forms of unjust state, with timocracy as the second-most preferable of the four and closest to the ideal society. The city-state of Sparta provided Plato with a real-world model for this form of government. Modern observers might describe Sparta as a totalitarian or one-party state, although the details we know of its society come almost exclusively from Sparta's enemies. The idea of militarism often attaches to the honor-oriented timocracy.
This form of timocracy is very similar to meritocracy, in the sense that individuals of outstanding character or faculty are placed in the seat of power.
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Famous quotes containing the word honor:
“I made him a low curtsy and thanked him for the honor he intended me, but told him I had no kind of ambition to be his upper servant.... I then asked him how many offices he had allotted for me to perform for those great advantages he had offered me, of suffering me to humor him in all his whims and to receive meat, drink, and lodging at his hands; but hoped he would allow me some small wages, that I might now and then recreate myself with my fellow servants.”
—Sarah Fielding (17101768)