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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


Part 5 Page 2

Then there is another class which is always being severed from the mass.

What is that?

They are the orderly class, which in a nation of traders sure to be the richest.

Naturally so.

They are the most squeezable persons and yield the largest amount of honey to the drones.

Why, he said, there is little to be squeezed out of people who have little.

And this is called the wealthy class, and the drones feed upon them. That is pretty much the case, he said.

The people are a third class, consisting of those who work with their own hands; they are not politicians, and have not much to live upon. This, when assembled, is the largest and most powerful class in a democracy.

True, he said; but then the multitude is seldom willing to congregate unless they get a little honey.

And do they not share? I said. Do not their leaders deprive the rich of their estates and distribute them among the people; at the same time taking care to reserve the larger part for themselves?

Why, yes, he said, to that extent the people do share.

And the persons whose property is taken from them are compelled to defend themselves before the people as they best can?

What else can they do?

And then, although they may have no desire of change, the others charge them with plotting against the people and being friends of oligarchy?

True.

And the end is that when they see the people, not of their own accord, but through ignorance, and because they are deceived by informers, seeking to do them wrong, then at last they are forced to become oligarchs in reality; they do not wish to be, but the sting of the drones torments them and breeds revolution in them.

That is exactly the truth.

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