republic (books 6 - 10)
that when his son became a man he should himself be the ser-
vant of his own servants and should support him and his rab-
ble of slaves and companions; but that his son should pro-
tect him, and that by his help he might be emancipated from
the government of the rich and aristocratic, as they are termed.
And so he bids him and his companions depart, just as any
other father might drive out of the house a riotous son and
his undesirable associates.
By heaven, he said, then the parent will discover what a
monster he has been fostering in his bosom; and, when he
wants to drive him out, he will find that he is weak and his
Why, you do not mean to say that the tyrant will use vio-
lence? What! beat his father if he opposes him?
Yes, he will, having first disarmed him.
Then he is a parricide, and a cruel guardian of an aged
parent; and this is real tyranny, about which there can be
no longer a mistake: as the saying is, the people who would
escape the smoke which is the slavery of freemen, has fallen
into the fire which is the tyranny of slaves. Thus liberty,
getting out of all order and reason, passes into the harshest
and bitterest form of slavery.
True, he said.
Very well; and may we not rightly say that we have suffi-
ciently discussed the nature of tyranny, and the manner of
the transition from democracy to tyranny?
Yes, quite enough, he said.
ON WRONG OR RIGHT GOVERNMENT, AND THE
PLEASURES OF EACH
LAST of all comes the tyrannical man; about whom we
have once more to ask, how is he formed out of the
democratical? and how does he live, in happiness or
Yes, he said, he is the only one remaining.
There is, however, I said, a previous question which re-
I do not think that we have adequately determined the nat-
ure and number of the appetites, and until this is accom-
plished the inquiry will always be confused.
Well, he said, it is not too late to supply the omission.
Very true, I said; and observe the point which I want to
understand: Certain of the unnecessary pleasures and appe-
tites I conceive to be unlawful; everyone appears to have
them, but in some persons they are controlled by the laws