it is the leading-string, golden and holy, of “calculation,” entitled the public law of the State; and whereas the other cords are hard and steely and of every possible shape and semblance, this one is flexible and uniform, since it is of gold. With that most excellent leading-string of the law we must needs co-operate always; for since calculation is excellent, but gentle rather than forceful, its leading-string needs helpers to ensure that the golden kind within us may vanquish the other kinds.
In this way our story comparing ourselves to puppets will not fall flat, and the meaning of the terms “self-superior” and “self-inferior” will become somewhat more clear, and also how necessary it is for the individual man to grasp the true account of these inward pulling forces and to live in accordance therewith, and how necessary for the State (when it has received such an account either from a god or from a man who knows) to make this into a law for itself and be guided thereby in its intercourse both with itself and with all other States.
Thus both badness and goodness would be differentiated for us more clearly; and these having become more evident, probably education also and the other institutions will appear less obscure; and about the institution of the wine-party in particular it may very likely be shown that it is by no means, as might be thought, a paltry matter which it is absurd to discuss at great length but rather a matter which folly merits prolonged discussion.Clinias
Quite right: let us go through with every topic that seems important for the present discussion.
Tell me now: if we give strong drink to this puppet of ours, what effect will it have on its character?Clinias
In reference to what particular do you ask this question?Athenian
To no particular, for the moment: I am putting the question in general terms—“when this shares in that, what sort of thing does it become in consequence?” I will try to convey my meaning still more clearly: what I ask is this—does the drinking of wine intensify pleasures and pains and passions and lusts?Clinias
And how about sensations and recollections and opinions and thoughts? Does it make them likewise more intense? Or rather, do not these quit a man entirely if he becomes surfeited with drink?Clinias
Yes, they quit him entirely.Athenian
He then arrives at the same condition of soul as when he was a young child?Clinias
So at that moment he will have very little control of himself?