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[1264b] [1] But again, if Socrates intends to make the Farmers have their wives in common but their property private, who is to manage the household in the way in which the women's husbands will carry on the work of the farms? And if the property and the wives of the Farmers are to be common . . . 1

It is also strange that Socrates employs the comparison of the lower animals to show that the women are to have the same occupations as the men, considering that animals have no households to manage. Also Socrates' method of appointing the magistrates is not a safe one. For he makes the same persons hold office always; but this occasions rebellion even among people of no special distinction, much more so then among high-spirited and warlike men. But it is clear that he is compelled to make the same persons govern always, for the god-given admixture of gold in the soul is not bestowed on some at one time and others at another time, but is always in the same men, and Socrates says that at the moment of birth some men receive an admixture of gold and others of silver and those who are to be the Artisans and Farmers an admixture of copper and iron. And again, although he deprives the Guardians of happiness, he says that it is the duty of the law-giver to make the whole city happy. But it is not possible for the whole to be happy unless most or all of its parts, or some of them, possess happiness. For happiness is not a thing of the same sort [20] as being an even number: that may belong to a whole but not to either of its parts, but happiness cannot belong to the whole and not to its parts. But yet, if the Guardians are not happy, what other class is? For clearly the Artisans and the general mass of the vulgar classes are not.

The Republic discussed by Socrates therefore possesses these difficulties and also others not smaller than these.

And almost the same holds good of the Laws also, which was written later, so that it will be advantageous to make some small examination of the constitution described in that book as well. For in the Republic Socrates has laid down details about very few matters—regulations about community of wives and children and about property, and the structure of the constitution (for the mass of the population is divided into two parts, one forming the Farmer class and the other the class that defends the state in war, and there is a third class drawn from these latter that forms the council and governs the state), but about the Farmers and the Artisans, whether they are excluded from government or have some part in it, and whether these classes also are to possess arms and to serve in war with the others or not, on these points Socrates has made no decision, but though he thinks that the women ought to serve in war with the Guardians and share the same education, the rest of the discourse he has filled up with external topics, and about the sort of education which it is proper for the Guardians to have.2

1 A passage has been lost here.

2 The last clause, ‘and about—to have,’ has almost certainly been misplaced by a copyist, and should come near the beginning of the sentence, after ‘about property.’

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