Esteemed friend, citizen of Athens, the greatest city in the world, so outstanding in both intelligence and power, aren’t you ashamed to care so much to make all the money you can, and to advance your reputation and prestige – while for truth and wisdom and the improvement of your soul you have no care or worry?
The reason is that they utter these words of theirs not by virtue of a skill, but by a divine power – otherwise, if they knew how to speak well on one topic thanks to a skill, they would know how to speak about every other topic too.
And the love, more especially, which is concerned with the good, and which is perfected in company with temperance and justice, whether among gods or men, has the greatest power, and is the source of all our happiness and harmony, and makes us friends with the gods who are above us, and with one another.
Thus our State, which is also yours, will be a reality, and not a dream only, and will be administered in a spirit unlike that of other States, in which men fight with one another about shadows only and are distracted in the struggle for power, which in their eyes is a great good.
In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme. It is also in the interests of a tyrant to keep his people poor, so that they may not be able to afford the cost of protecting themselves by arms and be so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for rebellion.
Hence, in a constitutional government the fighting-men have the supreme power, and those who possess arms are the citizens.
Slavery and rebellion are inseparable correlates. Hence, rivalry for power and exaggerated distrust pervade the entire organism from top to bottom.
Wherever the creative power of desire is, there springs the soil’s own seed. But do not forget to wait.
Nature knows two fundamentally different ways of adaptation, which determine the further existence of the living organism the one is by increased fertility, accompanied by a relatively small degree of defensive power and individual conservation; the other is by individual equipment of manifold means of self-protection, coupled with a relatively insignificant fertility.
Only what is really oneself has the power to heal.