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[347c] for they are not covetous of honor. So there must be imposed some compulsion and penalty to constrain them to rule if they are to consent to hold office. That is perhaps why to seek office oneself and not await compulsion is thought disgraceful. But the chief penalty is to be governed by someone worse1 if a man will not himself hold office and rule. It is from fear of this, as it appears to me, that the better sort hold office when they do, and then they go to it not in the expectation of enjoyment nor as to a good thing,2 but as to a necessary evil and because they are unable to turn it over to better men than themselves

1 Cf. Aristotle Politics 1318 b 36. In a good democracy the better classes will be content, for they will not be ruled by worse men. Cf. Cicero, Ad Att. ii. 9 “male vehi malo alio gubernante quam tam ingratis vectoribus bene gubernare”; Democr. fr. 49 D.: “It is hard to be ruled by a worse man;” Spencer, Data of Ethics, 77.

2 The good and the necessary is a favorite Platonic antithesis, but the necessary is often the condicio sine qua non of the good. Cf. 358 C, 493 C, 540 B, Laws 628 C-D, 858 A. Aristotle took over the idea, Met. 1072 b 12.

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