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[370a] of the food for himself alone in a quarter of the time and employ the other three-quarters, the one in the provision of a house, the other of a garment, the other of shoes, and not have the bother of associating with other people, but, himself for himself, mind his own affairs?”1 And Adeimantus said, “But, perhaps, Socrates, the former way is easier.” “It would not, by Zeus, be at all strange,” said I; “for now that you have mentioned it, it occurs to me myself that, to begin with, our several natures are not [370b] all alike but different. One man is naturally fitted for one task, and another for another. Don't you think so?” “I do.” “Again, would one man do better working at many tasks or one at one?” “One at one,” he said. “And, furthermore, this, I fancy, is obvious—that if one lets slip the right season, the favorable moment in any task, the work is spoiled.” “Obvious.” “That, I take it, is because the business will not wait upon the leisure of the workman, but the workman must [370c] attend to it as his main affair, and not as a by-work.” “He must indeed.” “The result, then, is that more things are produced, and better and more easily when one man performs one task according to his nature, at the right moment, and at leisure from other occupations.” “By all means.” “Then, Adeimantus, we need more than four citizens for the provision of the things we have mentioned. For the farmer, it appears, will not make his own plough if it is to be a good one, [370d] nor his hoe, nor his other agricultural implements, nor will the builder, who also needs many; and similarly the weaver and cobbler.” “True.” “Carpenters, then, and smiths and many similar craftsmen, associating themselves with our hamlet, will enlarge it considerably.” “Certainly.” “Yet it still wouldn't be very large even if we should add to them neat-herds and shepherds and other herders, [370e] so that the farmers might have cattle for ploughing,2 and the builders oxen to use with the farmers for transportation, and the weavers and cobblers hides and fleeces for their use.” “It wouldn't be a small city, either, if it had all these.” “But further,” said I, “it is practically impossible to establish the city in a region where it will not need imports.” “It is.” “There will be a further need, then, of those who will bring in from some other city what it requires.” “There will.” “And again, if our servitor goes forth empty-handed, not taking with him any of the things needed by those

1 It is characteristic of Plato's drama of ideas to give this kind of rhetorical advantage to the expression of the view that he intends to reject. In what follows Plato anticipates the advantages of the division of labor as set forth in Adam Smith, with the characteristic exception of its stimulus to new inventions. Cf. Introduction xv.

2 Butcher's meat and pork appear first in the luxurious city, 373 C. We cannot infer that Plato was a vegetarian.

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