republic (books 6 - 10)
pains from his youth upward--of which the presence, more-
over, does no good, and in some cases the reverse of good--
shall we not be right in saying that all these are unnecessary?
Suppose we select an example of either kind, in order that
we may have a general notion of them?
Will not the desire of eating, that is, of simple food and con-
diments, in so far as they are required for health and strength,
be of the necessary class?
That is what I should suppose.
The pleasure of eating is necessary in two ways; it does
us good and it is essential to the continuance of life?
But the condiments are only necessary in so far as they
are good for health?
And the desire which goes beyond this, of more delicate
food, or other luxuries, which might generally be got rid of,
if controlled and trained in youth, and is hurtful to the body,
and hurtful to the soul in the pursuit of wisdom and virtue,
may be rightly called unnecessary?
May we not say that these desires spend, and that the
others make money because they conduce to production?
And of the pleasures of love, and all other pleasures, the
same holds good?
And the drone of whom we spoke was he who was sur-
feited in pleasures and desires of this sort, and was the slave
of the unnecessary desires, whereas he who was subject to
the necessary only was miserly and oligarchical?
Again, let us see how the democratical man goes out of
the oligarchical: the following, as I suspect, is commonly the
What is the process?
When a young man who has been brought up as we were
just now describing, in a vulgar and miserly way, has tasted
drones' honey and has come to associate with fierce and crafty
natures who are able to provide for him all sorts of refine-
ments and varieties of pleasure--then, as you may imagine,
the change will begin of the oligarchical principle within him