Simple Republic Book 8 (under construction)

Then Polemarchus and Adeimantus put in their word. Glaucon: What are your 'four constitutions'? Yes, we hear of many curious forms of government among them. Yes, the States grow out of human characters. How would they address us? Yes. What do the Muses say next? You have rightly conceived the origin of the change. The form of government which you describe is a mix of good and evil. Adeimantus: I think that in the spirit of contention which characterises him, he is like Glaucon. Adeimantus: Yes, that is the type of character which answers to timocracy. And how does the son come into being? Yes, they give us plenty of them, and their complaints are so like themselves. What is an oligarchic government? Yes, but what are the characteristics of this government, and what are its defects? You mean that they would shipwreck? A city cannot be shipwrecked because the rule of a city is the greatest and most difficult of all How discreditable! Anything but well. Yes, that is an evil which also first begins in this State. He seemed to be a ruler, but was only a spendthrift. Just so, Socrates. Most true, he said. Yes, he said; nearly everybody is a pauper who is not a ruler. Of all changes, the conversion of the ambitious youth into the avaricious one is the fastest and most sure. Yes the individual out of whom he came is like the State out of which oligarchy came. Yes, money is highly valued by him as well as by the State. Correct. Had he been educated he would never have made a blind god director of his chorus, or given him chief honour. True. Yes, and they will be strong in him too.

Can we any longer doubt, then, that the miser and money-maker answers to the oligarchical State?

There can be no doubt.

Next comes democracy.

Yes, he said, I am quite aware that this is their way of talking. Yes, that is the nature of democracy, whether the revolution has been effected by arms, or whether fear has caused the opposite party to withdraw. 'Tis said so Clearly. There will. He will be sure to have patterns enough. For the moment, yes. Yes We know her well. Very true. Yes, the change in him is visible enough. Very true Yes that is the way with him. Yes, he is all liberty and equality. Quite true How? What good? Yes; the saying is in every body's mouth. How so? Yes, a very common occurrence. Certainly not. How? Yes Quite true Why not, as Aeschylus says, utter the word which rises to our lips? When I take a country walk, I often experience what you describe. But what is the next step? True. Yes, the natural order. As we might expect. Yes A very just comparison. Yes, by all means Very true Why, there is little to be squeezed out of people who have little. True, but then the multitude is seldom willing to congregate unless they get a little honey. Yes, to that extent the people do share. What else can they do? Yes, that is quite clear. Inevitably. Yes, let us consider that. He must. Yes, he said, and a rare purgation. If he is to rule, I suppose that he cannot help himself. Yes, that is the alternative. They will flock to him, of their own accord, if he pays them. Yes, and he also praises tyranny as godlike; and many other things of the same kind are said by him and by the other poets. If there are sacred treasures in the city, he will confiscate and spend them and reduce the taxes which he would otherwise have to impose upon the people. Then he and his boon companions, will be maintained out of his father's estate. Yes, he said; they cannot help themselves. By heaven, then the parent will discover what a monster he has been fostering in his bosom; and, when he wants to drive him out, he will find that he is weak and his son strong. Yes, he will, having first disarmed him.