Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Republic Πολιτεία

By Plato

One of the world’s most influential books and Plato’s most famous work, The Republic—and most of philosophical dialogues of the time—were simplified versions of more profound thought. Written to make these more complicated concepts understandable to the common person, they used human personalities to make them more interesting and entertaining. More fiction than fact, more dramatic than true, they did not pretend to report literal fact; but instead, challenged the readers (or more often hearers) to think for themselves and understand on the most personal of levels.
Plato described the Athens of his time as, “two cities, one of the poor, the other of the rich, the one at war with the other.” It was a democracy, but a democracy that had killed his teacher, Socrates and one in which the poorer citizens had gained control of the government and was voting to highly tax the rich and distribute these vast funds to themselves. This led to an almost universal tax evasion which destroyed the poor’s confidence in democracy, the rich and middle classes conception of it as only “empowered envy.”
This discussion extends with vivid relevancy from ancient Greece down through the ages of almost every government and lives today as one of the most important issues of our own time.

Quotes from Republic Πολιτεία

“good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws”

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

Themes: Law and Order

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“I would teach children music,physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.”

Chapters: 27. No Trace

Themes: Music Education

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“In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill... we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one.”

Chapters: 58. Goals Without Means

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“In the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen...to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right”


Themes: Basic Goodness

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“Let parents then bequeath to their children not riches but the spirit of reverence.”

Chapters: 25. The Mother of All Things

Themes: Family

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“The excessive increase of anything causes a reaction in the opposite direction;… dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme form of liberty.”

Chapters: 77. Stringing a Bow

Themes: Democracy Freedom

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“the most important part of a task is the beginning, for that is the time when character is formed, when impressions readily taken.”

Chapters: 76. The Soft and Flexible

Themes: Strategy

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“The rulers of the State are the only ones who should have the privilege of lying either at home or abroad; they may be allowed to lie for the good of the State.”


Themes: Lies

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“Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses.”

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

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“Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of the world have the spirit and power of philosophy, the human race will never see an end of trouble. Only when political greatness and wisdom meet will cities and nations rest from their evils and see the light of day.”


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Quotes about Republic Πολιτεία (5 quotes)

“Plato's most important dialogue, The Republic consists in the construction of an ideal commonwealth, the earliest of Utopias. One of the conclusions arrived at is that the rulers must be philosophers... If this is true, we must decide what constitutes a philosopher, and the consequent discussion is the most famous part of The Republic, and has perhaps been the most influential.”

Bertrand Russell 1872 – 1970 CE
“20th century Voltaire”
from History of Western Philosophy

Themes: Philosophy

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“the renewed study of the Greek classics was bringing the creative and fertilizing spirit of Plato to pear upon the Western mind. In England, Sir Thomas More produced a quaint imitation of Plato's Repbulic in his Utopia, setting out a sort of autocratic communism”

H. G. Wells 1866 – 1946 CE
A father of science fiction and One World Government apostle
from Outline of History

Themes: Shambhala

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“Reading the Socratic dialogues one has the feeling: what a frightful waste of time! What's the point of these arguments that prove nothing and clarify nothing?”

Ludwig Wittgenstein 1889 – 1951 CE
One of the world's most famous philosophers

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“Greatest of all dialogues, of course, is the Republic, being the fullest exposition of Plato's philosophy, and in its earlier parts a dramatic conflict of personalities and idea... Their form entitles them to as high a place in the annals of literature as their content has given them in the history of thought.”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Life of Greece

Themes: Conflict

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“If you are you interested in the puzzles of the mind, read the Parmenides. If you are you interested in anything, read the Republic. Here you will find metaphysics, theology, ethics, psychology, theory of education, theory of statemanship, theory of art; here you will find feminism, communism and socialism with all their virtues and difficulties, eugenics and libertarian education, aristocracy and democracy, vitalism and psychoanalysis—what shall you not find here?”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE via Shan Dao
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time, 1968

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