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[369a] let us first look for its quality in states, and then only examine it also in the individual, looking for the likeness of the greater in the form of the less.” “I think that is a good suggestion,” he said. “If, then,” said I, “our argument should observe the origin1 of a state, we should see also the origin of justice and injustice in it.” “It may be,” said he. “And if this is done, we may expect to find more easily what we are seeking?” [369b] “Much more.” “Shall we try it, then, and go through with it? I fancy it is no slight task. Reflect, then.” “We have reflected,2” said Adeimantus; “proceed and don't refuse.”

“The origin of the city, then,” said I, “in my opinion, is to be found in the fact that we do not severally suffice for our own needs,3 but each of us lacks many things. Do you think any other principle establishes the state?” “No other,” said he. “As a result of this, [369c] then, one man calling in another for one service and another for another, we, being in need of many things, gather many into one place of abode as associates and helpers, and to this dwelling together we give the name city or state, do we not?” “By all means.” “And between one man and another there is an interchange of giving, if it so happens, and taking, because each supposes this to be better for himself.” “Certainly.” “Come, then, let us create a city from the beginning, in our theory. Its real creator, as it appears, will be our needs.” “Obviously.” [369d] “Now the first and chief of our needs is the provision of food for existence and life.”4“Assuredly.” “The second is housing and the third is raiment and that sort of thing.” “That is so.” “Tell me, then,” said I, “how our city will suffice for the provision of all these things. Will there not be a farmer for one, and a builder, and then again a weaver? And shall we add thereto a cobbler and some other purveyor for the needs of body?” “Certainly.” “The indispensable minimum of a city, then, would consist of four or [369e] five men.” “Apparently.” “What of this, then? Shall each of these contribute his work for the common use of all? I mean shall the farmer, who is one, provide food for four and spend fourfold time and toil on the production of food and share it with the others, or shall he take no thought for them and provide a fourth portion

1 Lit., coming into being. Cf. Introduction p. xiv. So Aristotle Politics i. 1, but iv. 4 he criticizes Plato.

2 “C'est tout reflechi.”

3 Often imitated, as e.g. Hooker, Eccles. Pol. i. 10: “Forasmuch as we are not by ourselves sufficient to furnish ourselves with a competent store of things needful for such a life as our nature doth desire . . . therefore to supply these defects . . . we are naturally inclined to seek communion and fellowship with others; this was the cause of men uniting themselves at first in civil societies.”

4 Aristotle says that the city comes into being for the sake of life, but exists for the sake of the good life, which, of course, is also Plato's view of the true raison d'etre of the state. Cf. Laws 828 D and Crito 48 B.

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