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When we had come to this point in the discussion and it was apparent to everybody that his formula of justice had suffered a reversal of form, Thrasymachus, instead of replying,1 said, “Tell me, Socrates, have you got a nurse?” “What do you mean?” said I. “Why didn't you answer me instead of asking such a question?” “Because,” he said, “she lets her little 'snotty' run about drivelling2 and doesn't wipe your face clean, though you need it badly, if she can't get you to know3 the difference between the shepherd and the sheep.” “And what, pray, makes you think that?” said I. “Because you think that the shepherds [343b] and the neat-herds are considering the good of the sheep and the cattle and fatten and tend them with anything else in view than the good of their masters and themselves; and by the same token you seem to suppose that the rulers in our cities, I mean the real rulers,4 differ at all in their thoughts of the governed from a man's attitude towards his sheep5 or that they think of anything else night and day than [343c] the sources of their own profit. And you are so far out6 concerning the just and justice and the unjust and injustice that you don't know that justice and the just are literally7 the other fellow's good8—the advantage of the stronger and the ruler, but a detriment that is all his own of the subject who obeys and serves; while injustice is the contrary and rules those who are simple in every sense of the word and just, and they being thus ruled do what is for his advantage who is the stronger and make him happy [343d] in serving him, but themselves by no manner of means. And you must look at the matter, my simple-minded Socrates, in this way: that the just man always comes out at a disadvantage in his relation with the unjust. To begin with, in their business dealings in any joint undertaking of the two you will never find that the just man has the advantage over the unjust at the dissolution of the partnership but that he always has the worst of it. Then again, in their relations with the state, if there are direct taxes or contributions to be paid, the just man contributes more from an equal estate and the other less, and when there is a distribution [343e] the one gains much and the other nothing. And so when each holds office, apart from any other loss the just man must count on his own affairs9 falling into disorder through neglect, while because of his justice makes no profit from the state, and thereto he will displease his friends and his acquaintances by his unwillingness to serve them unjustly. But to the unjust man all the opposite advantages accrue. I mean, of course, the one I was just speaking of,

1 Thrasymachus first vents his irritation by calling Socrates a snivelling innocent, and then, like Protagoras (Protagoras 334), when pressed by Socrates' dialectic makes a speech. He abandons the abstract (ideal) ruler, whom he assumed to be infallible and Socrates proved to be disinterested, for the actual ruler or shepherd of the people, who tends the flock only that he might shear it. All political experience and the career of successful tyrants, whom all men count happy, he thinks confirms this view, which is that of Callicles in the Gorgias. Justice is another's good which only the naive and innocent pursue. It is better to inflict than to suffer wrong. The main problem of the Republic is clearly indicated, but we are not yet ready to debate it seriously.

2 κορυζῶνταL. and S., also s.v. κόυζα. Lucian, Lexiphanes 18, treats the expression as an affectation, but elsewhere employs it. The philosophers used this and similar terms (1) of stupidity, (2) as a type of the minor ills of the flesh. Horace, Satire i. 4. 8, ii. 2. 76, Epictet. i. 6. 30ἀλλ᾽ αἱ μύξαι μου ῥέουσι.

3 Literally, “if you don't know for her.” For the ethical dative cf. Shakespeare Taming of the Shrew, I. ii. 8 “Knock me here soundly.” Not to know the shepherd from the sheep seems to be proverbial. “Shepherd of the people,” like “survival of the fittest,” may be used to prove anything in ethics and politics. Cf. Newman, Introduction Aristotle Politics p. 431, Xenophon Memorabilia iii. 2. 1, Suetonius Vit. Tib. 32, and my note in Class. Phil. vol. i. p. 298.

4 Thrasymachus's real rulers are the bosses and tyrsnts. Socrates' true rulers are the true kings of the Stoics and Ruskin, the true shepherds of Ruskin and Milton.

5 Cf. Aristophanes Clouds 1203πρόβατ᾽ ἄλλως, Herrick, “Kings ought to shear, not skin their sheep.”

6 This (quite possible) sense rather than the ironical, “so far advanced,” better accords with ἀγνοεῖς and with the direct brutality of Thrasymachus.

7 τῷ ὄντι like ὡς ἀληθῶς, ἀτεχνῶς, etc., marks the application (often ironical or emphatic) of an image or familiar proverbial or technical expression or etymology. Cf. 443 D, 442 A, 419 A, 432 A, Laches 187 B, Philebus 64 E. Similarly ἐτήτυμον of a proverb, Archil. fr. 35 (87). The origin of the usage appears in Aristophanes Birds 507τοῦτ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἐκεῖν ἦν τοὔπος ἀληθῶς, etc. Cf. Anth. Pal. v. 6. 3. With εὐηθικῶν, however,ὡς ἀληθῶς does not verify the etymology but ironically emphasizes the contradiction between the etymology and the conventional meaning, “simple,” which Thrasymachus thinks truly fits those to whom Socrates would apply the full etymological meaning “of good character.” Cf. 348 C, 400 E, Laws 679 C, Thucydides iii. 83. Cf. in English the connexion of “silly” with “selig”, and in Italian, Leopardi's bitter comment on “dabbenaggine” (Pensieri xxvi.).

8 Justice not being primarily a self-regarding virtue, like prudence, is of course another's good. Cf. Aristotle Eth. Nic. 1130 a 3; 1134 b 5. Thrasymachus ironically accepts the formula, adding the cynical or pessimistic comment, “but one's own harm,” for which see 392 B, Euripides Heracleid. 1-5, and Isocrates' protest (viii. 32). Bion (Diogenes Laertius iv. 7. 48) wittily defined beauty as “the other fellow's good”; which recalls Woodrow Wilson's favourite limerick, and the definition of business as “l'argent des autres.”

9 For the idea that the just ruler neglects his own business and gains no compensating “graft” cf. the story of Deioces in Herodotus i. 97, Democ. fr. 253 Diels, Laches 180 B, Isocrates xii. 145, Aristotle Pol. v. 8/ 15-20. For office as a means of helping friends and harming enemies cf. Meno 71 E, Lysias ix. 14, and the anecdote of Themistocles (Plutarch, Praecept. reipub. ger. 13) cited by Goodwin (Political Justice) in the form: “God forbid that I should sit upon a bench of justice where my friends found no more favour than my enemies.” Democr. (fr. 266 Diels) adds that the just ruler on laying down his office is exposed to the revenge of wrongdoers with whom he has dealt severely.

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