Thursday, June 21, 2007


The Republic, Book II, 376b-c

(speaking about how dogs love what is familiar and hate what is different)
But surely the love of learning is the same thing as philosophy or the love of wisdom?
It is.
Then, we may confidently assume in the case of a human being, too, that if he is to be gentle toward his own and those he knows, he must be a lover of learning and wisdom?
We may.
see, the deal is, those in power don't want us gentle towards each other, they want our first loyalty to be for the State. ~stacy

Book II, 377b
You know, don't you, that the beginning of any process is most important, especially for anything young and tender? It's at that time that it is most malleable and takes on any pattern one wishes to impress on it.
Then shall we carelessly allow the children to hear any old stories, told by just anyone, and to take beliefs into their souls that are for the most part opposite to the ones we think they should hold when they are grown up?
We certainly won't.
Then we must first of all, it seems, supervise the storytellers. We'll select their stories whenever they are fine or beautiful and reject them when they aren't. And we'll persuade nurses and mothers to tell their children the ones we have selected, since they will shape their children's souls with stories much more than they shape their bodies by handling them. Many of the stories they tell now, however, must be thrown out.
377e When a story gives a bad image of what the gods and heroes are like...
378a ...But even if it were true, it should be passed over in silence, not told to foolish young people. And if, for some reason, it has to be told, only a very few people - pledged to secrecy and after sacrificing not just a pig but something great and scarce - should hear it, so that their number is kept as small as possible.
my kids are no fools ~s
379a You and I, Adeimantus, aren't poets, but we are founding a city. And it's appropriate for the founders to know the patterns on which poets must base their stories and from which they mustn't deviate. But we aren't actually going to compose their poems for them.
379c Therefore, since a god is good, he is not - as most people claim - the cause of everything that happens to human beings but of only a few things, for good things are fewer than bad ones in our lives. He alone is responsible for the good things, but we must find some other cause for the bad ones, not a god.
380b ...We won't allow poets to say that the punished are made wretched and that it was a god who made them so. But we will allow them to say that bad people are wretched because they are in need of punishment and that, in paying the penalty, they are benefited by the gods.
383c Whenever anyone says such things about a god, we'll be angry with him, refuse him a chorus, and not allow his poetry to be used in the education of the young, so that our guardians will be as god-fearing and godlike as human beings can be.
go back and substitute every word "god" with "government" ~s

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