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Plato : POLITEIA

Persons of the dialogue: Socrates - Glaucon - Polemarchus
 - Adeimantus - Cephalus - Thrasymachus - Cleitophon

Translated by Benjamin Jowett - 68 Pages (Part 5) - Greek fonts
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POLITEIA part 5 of 5

Part 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

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This Part: 68 Pages


Plato notes @ ElpenorIs 'Republic' a proper translation for Politeia? A discussion

Politeia Excerpts: Paideia: What is the meaning of education?
Who is a philosopher?
We ought not to retaliate
Tyranny and slavery

Plato Anthology

As we might expect.

That, however, was not, as I believe, your question — you rather desired to know what is that disorder which is generated alike in oligarchy and democracy, and is the ruin of both?

Just so, he replied.

Well, I said, I meant to refer to the class of idle spendthrifts, of whom the more courageous are the leaders and the more timid the followers, the same whom we were comparing to drones, some stingless, and others having stings.

A very just comparison.

These two classes are the plagues of every city in which they are generated, being what phlegm and bile are to the body. And the good physician and lawgiver of the state ought, like the wise bee-master, to keep them at a distance and prevent, if possible, their ever coming in; and if they have anyhow found a way in, then he should have them and their cells cut out as speedily as possible.

Yes, by all means, he said.

Then, in order that we may see clearly what we are doing, let us imagine democracy to be divided, as indeed it is, into three classes; for in the first place freedom creates rather more drones in the democratic than there were in the oligarchical state.

That is true.

And in the democracy they are certainly more intensified.

How so?

Because in the oligarchical state they are disqualified and driven from office, and therefore they cannot train or gather strength; whereas in a democracy they are almost the entire ruling power, and while the keener sort speak and act, the rest keep buzzing about the bema and do not suffer a word to be said on the other side; hence in democracies almost everything is managed by the drones.

Very true, he said.

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