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[338c] For I think that you will speak well.” “Hearken and hear then,” said he. “I affirm that the just is nothing else than1 the advantage of the stronger.2 WeIl, why don't you applaud? Nay, you'll do anything but that.” “Provided only I first understand your meaning,” said I; “for I don't yet apprehend it. The advantage of the stronger is what you affirm the just to be. But what in the world do you mean by this? I presume you don't intend to affirm this, that if Polydamas the pancratiast is stronger than we are and the flesh of beeves3 is advantageous for him,

1 For this dogmatic formulation of a definition Cf. Theaetetus 151 E.

2 To idealists law is the perfection of reason, or νοῦ διανομή, Laws 714 A; “her seat is in the bosom of God” (Hooker). To the political positivist there is no justice outside of positive law, and “law is the command of a political superior to a political inferior.” “Whatsoever any state decrees and establishes is just for the state while it is in force,”Theaetetus 177 D. The formula “justice is the advantage of the superior” means, as explained in Laws 714, that the ruling class legislates in its own interest, that is, to keep itself in power. This interpretation is here drawn out of Thrasymachus by Socrates' affected misapprehensions (cf. further Pascal, Pensees iv. 4, “la commodite du souverain.” Leibniz approves Thrasymachus's definition: “justum potentiori utile . . . nam Deus ceteris potentior!”).

3 The unwholesomeness of this diet for the ordinary man proves nothing for Plato's alleged vegetarianism. The Athenians ate but little meat.

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