Simple Republic Book 9 (under construction)

Last of all comes the tyrannical man.

  • We must determine the nature and number of the appetites first.
  • Everyone has the unnecessary pleasures and appetites which I think are unlawful.
  • Which appetites do you mean? Yes Yes, that is how the tyrannical man is generated. Nay, I should not feel at all comfortable about his parents.   What sort of mischief? A small catalogue of evils They are the opposite extremes, for one is the very best and the other is the very worst. A fair invitation. I see that a tyranny is the wretchedest form of government, and the rule of a king the happiest. That is a very fair proposal. No city, can be more completely enslaved. Yes, he said, I see that there are—a few; but the people are miserably degraded and enslaved. Inevitably. He has the soul of a slave Utterly incapable. It is in the order in which they enter, by the criterion of virtue and vice, happiness and misery. The philosopher has greatly the advantage. He has known the taste of the other pleasures from his childhood. But the lover of gain in all his experience has not of necessity tasted the sweetness of learning and knowing truth. Nay,  all three are honoured in proportion as they attain their object. for the rich man and the brave man and the wise man alike have their crowd of admirers, and as they all receive honour they all have experience of the pleasures of honour; but the delight which is to be found in the knowledge of true being is known to the philosopher only. The only inference possible, he replied, is that pleasures which are approved by the lover of wisdom and reason are the truest. The wise man speaks with authority when he approves of his own life. Clearly that of the soldier and lover of honour; who is nearer to himself than the money-maker. Yes, the greatest; but will you explain yourself? Yes, he said; at the time they are pleased and well content to be at rest. Impossible. That is the inference. What are they, he said, and where shall I find them? Far purer, is the being of that which is concerned with the invariable. Far less. Yes. Of course. Unquestionably. Verily, Socrates, said Glaucon, you describe the life of the many like an oracle. Something of that sort must inevitably happen. Yes, he said, the same will happen with the spirited element also. Yes, certainly; the best is the most natural. Exactly. But when either of the two other principles prevails, it fails in attaining its own pleasure, and compels the rest to pursue after a pleasure which is a shadow only and which is not their own? True. And the greater the interval which separates them from philosophy and reason, the more strange and illusive will be the pleasure? Yes. And is not that farthest from reason which is at the greatest distance from law and order? Clearly. And the lustful and tyrannical desires are, as we saw, at the greatest distance? Yes. And the royal and orderly desires are nearest? Yes. Certainly. Inevitably. Yes. He will. Yes, he is third. Manifestly. Certainly. Yes; the arithmetician will easily do the sum. What a wonderful calculation! And how enormous is the distance which separates the just from the unjust in regard to pleasure and pain! Yes, human life is certainly concerned with them. Immeasurably greater. Yes, that was said. What shall we say to him? Of what sort? There are said of have been such unions. You suppose marvellous powers in the artist; but, as language is more pliable than wax or any similar substance, let there be such a model as you propose. Certainly, that is what the approver of injustice says. Yes, he said, that is quite what the maintainer of justice say. Yes, from every point of view. Not if he has any regard for my opinion. Yes, said Glaucon, far worse—I will answer for him. Has not the intemperate been censured of old, because in him the huge multiform monster is allowed to be too much at large? Clearly. And men are blamed for pride and bad temper when the lion and serpent element in them disproportionately grows and gains strength? Yes. And luxury and softness are blamed, because they relax and weaken this same creature, and make a coward of him? Very true. And is not a man reproached for flattery and meanness who subordinates the spirited animal to the unruly monster, and, for the sake of money, of which he can never have enough, habituates him in the days of his youth to be trampled in the mire, and from being a lion to become a monkey? True, he said. Such appears to be the reason. True, he said. Yes, he said, the purpose of the law is manifest. From no point of view at all. Certainly, he said. Clearly, he said.

    Certainly he will, if he has true music in him.

    Very true.

    Then, if that is his motive, he will not be a statesman.

    He will be a ruler in the city of which we are the founders, and which exists in idea only; for I do not believe that there is such an one anywhere on earth?