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[520a] which they are severally able to bestow upon the community, and that it itself creates such men in the state, not that it may allow each to take what course pleases him, but with a view to using them for the binding together of the commonwealth.” “True,” he said, “I did forget it.” “Observe, then, Glaucon,” said I, “that we shall not be wronging, either, the philosophers who arise among us, but that we can justify our action when we constrain them to take charge of the other citizens and be their guardians.1 [520b] For we will say to them that it is natural that men of similar quality who spring up in other cities should not share in the labors there. For they grow up spontaneously2 from no volition of the government in the several states, and it is justice that the self-grown, indebted to none for its breeding, should not be zealous either to pay to anyone the price of its nurture.3 But you we have engendered for yourselves and the rest of the city to be, as it were, king-bees4 and leaders in the hive. You have received a better [520c] and more complete education5 than the others, and you are more capable of sharing both ways of life. Down you must go6 then, each in his turn, to the habitation of the others and accustom yourselves to the observation of the obscure things there. For once habituated you will discern them infinitely7 better than the dwellers there, and you will know what each of the ‘idols’8 is and whereof it is a semblance, because you have seen the reality of the beautiful, the just and the good. So our city will be governed by us and you with waking minds, and not, as most cities now which are inhabited and ruled darkly as in a dream9 by men who fight one another [520d] for shadows10 and wrangle for office as if that were a great good, when the truth is that the city in which those who are to rule are least eager to hold office11 must needs be best administered and most free from dissension, and the state that gets the contrary type of ruler will be the opposite of this.” “By all means,” he said. “Will our alumni, then, disobey us when we tell them this, and will they refuse to share in the labors of state each in his turn while permitted to dwell the most of the time with one another in that purer world12?” [520e] “Impossible,” he said: “for we shall be imposing just commands on men who are just. Yet they will assuredly approach office as an unavoidable necessity,13 and in the opposite temper from that of the present rulers in our cities.” “For the fact is, dear friend,” said I, “if you can discover a better way of life than office-holding

1 Noblesse oblige. This idea is now a commonplace of communist orations.

2 αὐτόματοι Cf. Protag. 320 A, Euthyd. 282 C. For the thought that there are a few men naturally good in any state cf. also Laws 951 B, 642 C-D.

3 Cf. Isoc.Archidamus 108ἀποδῶμεν τὰ τροφεῖα τῇ πατρίδι. Stallbaum refers also to Phoenissae 44. For the country as τροφός see Vol. I. p. 303, note e on 414 E.

4 Cf. Polit. 301 D-E, Xen.Cyr. v.1.24, Oecon. 7.32-33.

5 For τελεώτερον . . . πεπαιδευμένους Cf. Prot. 342 Eτελέως πεπαιδευμένου.

6 They must descend into the cave again. Cf. 539 E and Laws 803 B-C. Cf. Burnet, Early Greek Philos. 89-90: “it was he alone, so far as we know, that insisted on philosophers descending by turns into the cave from which they had been released and coming to the help of their former fellow-prisoners.” He agrees with Stewart (Myths of Plato, p. 252, n. 2) that Plato had in mind the Orphic κατάβασις εἰς Ἅιδου to “rescue the spirits in prison.” Cf. Wright, Harvard Studies, xvii. p. 139 and Complete Poems of Henry More, pp. xix-xx “All which is agreeable to that opinion of Plato: That some descend hither to declare the Being and Nature of the Gods; and for the greater Health, Purity and Perfection of this Lower World.” This is taking Plato somewhat too literally and confusing him with Plotinus.

7 For μυρίῳ cf. Eurip.Androm. 701.

8 i.e. images, Bacon's “idols of the den.”

9 Plato is fond of the contrast,ὕπαρ . . . ὄναρ. Cf. 476 C, Phaedr. 277 D, Phileb. 36 E, 65 E, Polit. 277 D, 278 E, Theaet. 158 B, Rep. 574 D, 576 B, Tim. 71 E, Laws 969 B, also 533 B-C.

10 Cf. on 586 C, p. 393.

11 Cf. on 517 C, p. 131, note 3.

12 The world of ideas, the upper world as opposed to that of the cave. Cf. Stallbaum ad loc.

13 Cf. Vol. I. p. 80, note b on 347 C.

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