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“Do you know,” said I, “to whom I think the saying belongs—this statement that it is just to benefit friends and harm enemies?” “To whom?” he said. “I think it was the saying of Periander or Perdiccas or Xerxes or IsmeniasCf. Thompson, Meno xl. the Theban or some other rich man who had great power in his own conceit.”It is a Socratic paradox that “doing as one likes” is not power or freedom unless one likes the good. Cf. Gorgias 467 A, 577 D.“That is most true,” he replied. “Very well,” said I, “since it has been made clear that this too is not justice and the just, what else is there that we might say justice to be?”Cf.
—the advantage of the established government. This I presume you will admit holds power and is strong, so that, if one reasons rightly, it works out that the just is the same thing everywhere,Thrasymachus makes it plain that he, unlike Meno (71 E), Euthyphro (5 ff.), Laches (191 E), Hippias (Hippias Major 286 ff.), and even Theaetetus (146 C-D) at first, understands the nature of a definition. the advantage of the stronger.” “Now,” said I, “I have learned your meaning, but whether it is true or not I have to try to learn. The advantageous, then, is also your reply, Thrasymachus, to the question, what is the just—though you forbade me to give t
or to their like. For we may venture to say that, if there should be a city of good menThis suggests an ideal state, but not more strongly than Meno 100 A, 89 B. only, immunity from office-holding would be as eagerly contended for as office is now,The paradox suggests Spencer's altruistic competition and Archibald Marshall's Upsidonia. Cf. 521 A, 586 C, Isocrates vii. 24, xii. 145; Mill, On Representative Government, p. 56: “The good despot . . . can hardly be imagined as conseting to undertake it unless as a refuge from intolerable evils;” ibid. p. 200: “Until mankind in general are of opinion with Plato that the proper person to be entrusted with power is the person most unwillin<