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[421a] since, if we yield, the farmer will not be a farmer nor the potter a potter, nor will any other of the types that constitute state keep its form. However, for the others it matters less. For cobblers1 who deteriorate and are spoiled and pretend to be the workmen that they are not are no great danger to a state. But guardians of laws and of the city who are not what they pretend to be, but only seem, destroy utterly, I would have you note, the entire state, and on the other hand, they alone are decisive of its good government and happiness. If then we are forming true guardians

1 Note the “ab urbe condita” construction. For the thought cf. 374 B. Zeller and many who follow him are not justified in inferring that Plato would not educate the masses. (Cf. Newman, Introduction to Aristotle's Politics, i. p. 160.) It might as well be argued that the high schools of the United States are not intended for the masses because some people sometimes emphasize their function of “fitting for college.” In the RepublicPlato describes secondary education as a preparation for the higher training. The secondary education of the entire citizenry in the Laws marks no change of opinion (Laws 818 ff.). Cf. Introduction p. xxxiii.

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