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[347a] because he who is to exercise the art rightly never does what is best for himself or enjoins it when he gives commands according to the art, but what is best for the subject. That is the reason, it seems, why pay1 must be provided for those who are to consent to rule, either in form of money or honor or a penalty if they refuse.”

“What do you mean by that, Socrates?” said Glaucon. “The two wages I recognize, but the penalty you speak of and described as a form of wage I don't understand.2” “Then,” said I, “you don't understand the wages of the best men [347b] for the sake of which the finest spirits hold office and rule when they consent to do so. Don't you know that to be covetous of honor and covetous of money is said to be and is a reproach?” “I do,” he said. “Well, then,” said I, “that is why the good are not willing to rule either for the sake of money or of honor. They do not wish to collect pay openly for their service of rule and be styled hirelings nor to take it by stealth from their office and be called thieves, nor yet for the sake of honor, [347c] for they are not covetous of honor. So there must be imposed some compulsion and penalty to constrain them to rule if they are to consent to hold office. That is perhaps why to seek office oneself and not await compulsion is thought disgraceful. But the chief penalty is to be governed by someone worse3 if a man will not himself hold office and rule. It is from fear of this, as it appears to me, that the better sort hold office when they do, and then they go to it not in the expectation of enjoyment nor as to a good thing,4 but as to a necessary evil and because they are unable to turn it over to better men than themselves [347d] or to their like. For we may venture to say that, if there should be a city of good men5 only, immunity from office-holding would be as eagerly contended for as office is now,6 and there it would be made plain that in very truth the true ruler does not naturally seek his own advantage but that of the ruled; so that every man of understanding would rather choose to be benefited by another than to be bothered with benefiting him. This point then I [347e] by no means concede to Thrasymachus, that justice is the advantage of the superior. But that we will reserve for another occasion.7 A far weightier matter seems to me Thrasymachus's present statement, his assertion that the life of the unjust man is better than that of the just. Which now do you choose, Glaucon?” said I, “and which seems to you to be the truer statement?” “That the life of the just man is more profitable, I say,” he replied.

1 Cf. 345 E, Aristot. Eth. Nic. 1134b 6.

2 Plato habitually explains metaphors, abstractions, and complicated defintions in this dramatic fashion. Cf. 352 E, 377 A, 413 A, 429 C, 438 B, 510 B.

3 Cf. Aristotle Politics 1318 b 36. In a good democracy the better classes will be content, for they will not be ruled by worse men. Cf. Cicero, Ad Att. ii. 9 “male vehi malo alio gubernante quam tam ingratis vectoribus bene gubernare”; Democr. fr. 49 D.: “It is hard to be ruled by a worse man;” Spencer, Data of Ethics, 77.

4 The good and the necessary is a favorite Platonic antithesis, but the necessary is often the condicio sine qua non of the good. Cf. 358 C, 493 C, 540 B, Laws 628 C-D, 858 A. Aristotle took over the idea, Met. 1072 b 12.

5 This suggests an ideal state, but not more strongly than Meno 100 A, 89 B.

6 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 unwilling to accept it.”

7 εἰσαῦθις lays the matter on the table. Cf. 430 C. The suggestiveness of Thrasymachus' defintion is exhausted, and Socrates turns to the larger question and main theme of the Republic raised by the contention that the unjust life is happier and more profitable than the just.

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