republic (books 6 - 10)
being an enemy of the people sees this, then, my friend, as
the oracle said to Croesus,
"By pebbly Hermus's shore he flees and rests not, and is not
ashamed to be a coward."
And quite right too, said he, for if he were, he would never
be ashamed again.
But if he is caught he dies.
And he, the protector of whom we spoke, is to be seen, not
"larding the plain" with his bulk, but himself the overthrower
of many, standing up in the chariot of State with the reins in
his hand, no longer protector, but tyrant absolute.
No doubt, he said.
And now let us consider the happiness of the man, and
also of the State in which a creature like him is generated.
Yes, he said, let us consider that.
At first, in the early days of his power, he is full of smiles,
and he salutes everyone whom he meets; he to be called a
tyrant, who is making promises in public and also in private!
liberating debtors, and distributing land to the people and his
followers, and wanting to be so kind and good to everyone!
Of course, he said.
But when he has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest
or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he
is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the
people may require a leader.
To be sure.
Has he not also another object, which is that they may be
impoverished by payment of taxes, and thus compelled to de-
vote themselves to their daily wants and therefore less likely
to conspire against him?
And if any of them are suspected by him of having notions
of freedom, and of resistance to his authority, he will have
a good pretext for destroying them by placing them at the
mercy of the enemy; and for all these reasons the tyrant
must be always getting up a war.
Now he begins to grow unpopular.
A necessary result.
Then some of those who joined in setting him up, and who
are in power, speak their minds to him and to one another,
and the more courageous of them cast in his teeth what is
Yes, that may be expected.