republic (books 6 - 10)
to be said on the other side; hence in democracies almost
everything is managed by the drones.
Very true, he said.
Then there is another class which is always being severed
from the mass.
What is that?
They are the orderly class, which in a nation of traders is
sure to be the richest.
They are the most squeezable persons and yield the largest
amount of honey to the drones.
Why, he said, there is little to be squeezed out of people
who have little.
And this is called the wealthy class, and the drones feed
That is pretty much the case, he said.
The people are a third class, consisting of those who work
with their own hands; they are not politicians, and have not
much to live upon. This, when assembled, is the largest and
most powerful class in a democracy.
True, he said; but then the multitude is seldom willing to
congregate unless they get a little honey.
And do they not share? I said. Do not their leaders de-
prive the rich of their estates and distribute them among the
people; at the same time taking care to reserve the larger
part for themselves?
Why, yes, he said, to that extent the people do share.
And the persons whose property is taken from them are
compelled to defend themselves before the people as they best
What else can they do?
And then, although they may have no desire of change, the
others charge them with plotting against the people and being
friends of oligarchy?
And the end is that when they see the people, not of their
own accord, but through ignorance, and because they are de-
ceived by informers, seeking to do them wrong, then at last
they are forced to become oligarchs in reality; they do not
wish to be, but the sting of the drones torments them and
breeds revolution in them.
That is exactly the truth.
Then come impeachments and judgments and trials of one