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1 The phrasing of this injunction recalls Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, in fine: “I'll fear no other thing/ So sore as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.” The securing of disinterested capacity in the rulers is the pons asinorum of political theory. Plato constructs his whole state for this end. Cf. Introduction p. xv. Aristotle, Politics 1262 b 27, raises the obvious objection that the transference from class to class will not be an easy matter. But Plato here and in 423 D-E is merely stating emphatically the postulates of an ideal state. He admits that even if established it will some time break down, and that the causes of its failure will lie beyond human ken, and can only be expressed in symbol. See on 546-547.
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