Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Unjust Prevail

I have spent much time reading recently, as though that's anything new. Plato's Republic has consumed some of that time, and I find many of its arguments quite amusing. This one is more saddening than anything, primarily because it is still true.
"First of all, in private contracts: wherever the unjust is the partner of the just you will find that, when the partnership is dissolved, the unjust man has always more and the just less. Secondly, in their dealings with the State: when there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income; and when there is anything to be received the one gains nothing and the other much. Observe also what happens when they take an office; there is the just man neglecting his affairs and perhaps suffering other losses, and getting nothing out of the public, because he is just; moreover he is hated by his friends and acquaintance for refusing to serve them in unlawful ways. But all this is reversed in the case of the unjust man."-- Plato, The Republic, Book I
It is ironic that what the public needs most are just partners, just income tax payers, just servant leaders. However, what the public praises the most are "scrupulous" partners, tax preparers that can "get them money", and politicians who will do anything just to be doing "something," even if that something destroys what prosperity a nation still has. Are you praising the just people in your life? Are you being a just person?

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