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[832a] and despots,—and that though, in some cases, they are not ill-natured, but merely ill-fortuned.

Clinias
How so?

Athenian
Well, how could I describe otherwise than as utterly unfortunate men who are compelled to go through life with hunger1 always in their own souls?

Clinias
This, then, is one cause: what is the second cause you speak of, Stranger?

Athenian
You are right in reminding me.

Megillus
One cause, as you assert, is this lifelong insatiable pursuit, which wholly engrosses each man, and hinders each and all from rightly practicing military operations. [832b] Be it so: now tell us the second cause.

Athenian
Do you think that I am delaying to do so because I am at a loss?

Megillus
No; but we think that, owing to a sort of hatred against the character you describe, you are castigating it more severely than is required by the argument now on hand.

Athenian
Your rebuke is just, Strangers; you want, it seems, to hear what comes next.

Clinias
Only say on.

Athenian
There lies a cause, as I affirm, in those non-polities which I have often mentioned2 in our previous discourse,—namely, democracy, [832c] oligarchy, and tyranny. For none of these is a polity, but the truest name for them all would be “faction-State”; for none of them is a form of voluntary rule over willing subjects, but a voluntary rule over unwilling subjects accompanied always by some kind of force; and the ruler, through fear of the subject, will never voluntarily allow him to become noble or wealthy or strong or brave or in any way warlike. These, then, are the two main causes of nearly everything, and certainly of the conditions we described. [832d] The polity, however, for which we are now legislating has escaped both these causes; for not only does it enjoy a great amount of leisure,3 but the citizens also are free from one another's domination, and as a consequence of these laws of ours they will be the least likely of men to be money-lovers. Hence it is both natural and logical that of all existing polities this type alone should welcome the system above described, which combines military schooling with sport, when we have rightly completed that description.

Clinias
Very good.

Athenian
The next step, then, is to remind ourselves, [832e] with regard to all gymnastic contests, that all such as afford training for war should be instituted, and should have prizes assigned to them, but all that do not do so must be set aside. What these contests consist in, it will be well to have described and ordained at the beginning. First, then, should we not ordain contests in running and speed in general?

Clinias
We should.

Athenian
Most important of all things for war is, no doubt, general activity of the body, of hands as well as feet—activity of foot for flight and pursuit,

1 i.e. for gold. Cp. Virgil's “auri sacra fames.”

2 Plat. Laws 712c ff., Plat. Laws 713e ff.

3 Cp. Plat. Laws 806d, Plat. Laws 828d, Plat. Laws 828e, etc.

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