The educational system proposed in Plato's Republic and our current educational system has both similarities and differences. His approach to education is much more authoritarian than ours is today. In order to provide protection and expansion in his republic, an army of guardians are selected to serve as rulers. A problem arises when he realizes that military rule could easily lead to a dictatorship. Plato then proposed an educational system in order to prevent a dictatorship by educating the guardians so that they will be gentle towards their own people, yet fierce towards their enemies. .
Plato believes strongly in the censorship of literature. He is concerned more with content rather than the form of literature. For example, he is greatly troubled by the poems of Hesiod and Homer that often portray gods and heroes as immoral, murderous, deceptive, vicious, unjust and feuding. According to Plato, these poems which are staples of Athenian education contain lies and portray gods and heroes performing indecent and immoral acts. Therefore, Plato aims to censor all immoral poetry containing vice of any kind, "false stories" with bad representations of gods or heroes that discourages courage by heightening the guardian's fear of death, encourages extreme laughter, inspires lying by anyone other than rulers, discourages moderation, and teaches that injustice is profitable. Literature that contains honesty, loyalty, moderation of desires, self-control, and that depict gods and heroes as models of good conduct are all acceptable for education. As far as style is concerned, Plato objects to mimesis or imitation. He feels that imitation will make a person become like the person they are imitating, and this is fine if it is the imitation of good people, but not when a person is imitating a bad person. He believes that imitative writing such as theatrical works of tragedy and comedy should be omitted from this just society.