republic (books 6 - 10)
you described as rushing at us with might and main, that the
painter of constitutions is such a one as we were praising; at
whom they were so very indignant because to his hands we
committed the State; and are they growing a little calmer at
what they have just heard?
Much calmer, if there is any sense in them.
Why, where can they still find any ground for objection?
Will they doubt that the philosopher is a lover of truth and
They would not be so unreasonable.
Or that his nature, being such as we have delineated, is akin
to the highest good?
Neither can they doubt this.
But again, will they tell us that such a nature, placed under
favorable circumstances, will not be perfectly good and wise if
any ever was? Or will they prefer those whom we have re-
Then will they still be angry at our saying, that, until philoso-
phers bear rule, States and individuals will have no rest from
evil, nor will this our imaginary State ever be realized?
I think that they will be less angry.
Shall we assume that they are not only less angry but quite
gentle, and that they have been converted and for very shame,
if for no other reason, cannot refuse to come to terms?
By all means, he said.
Then let us suppose that the reconciliation has been effected.
Will anyone deny the other point, that there may be sons of
kings or princes who are by nature philosophers?
Surely no man, he said.
And when they have come into being will anyone say that
they must of necessity be destroyed; that they can hardly be
saved is not denied even by us; but that in the whole course
of ages no single one of them can escape--who will venture to
But, said I, one is enough; let there be one man who has a
city obedient to his will, and he might bring into existence the
ideal polity about which the world is so incredulous.
Yes, one is enough.
The ruler may impose the laws and institutions which we
have been describing, and the citizens may possibly be willing
to obey them?