Aside

An Ancient Lie

Socrates: “Citizens, we shall say to them in our tale, you are brothers, yet God has framed you differently. Some of you have the power of command, and in the composition of these he has mingled gold, wherefore also they have the greatest honor; others he has made of silver, to be auxiliaries; others again who are to be husbandmen and craftsmen he has composed of brass and iron; and the species will generally be preserved in the children.… An oracle says that when a man of brass or iron guards the State, it will be destroyed. Such is the tale; is there any possibility of making our citizens believe in it?”

Glaucon: “Not in the present generation; there is no way of accomplishing this; but their sons may be made to believe in the tale, and their son’s sons, and posterity after them.”

from The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen J. Gould