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[347d] or to their like. For we may venture to say that, if there should be a city of good men1 only, immunity from office-holding would be as eagerly contended for as office is now,2 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

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

2 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.”

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