They have seen sufficiently the madness of the many, and that no one who minds the business of the cities does virtually anything sound, and that there is no ally with whom one could go to the aid of justice and be preserved. Rather–just like a human being who has fallen in with wild beasts and is neither willing to join them in doing injustice nor sufficient as one man to resist all the savage animals–one would perish before he has been of any use to  city or friends and be of no profit  to himself or others.  Taking all this into the calculation, he keeps quiet and minds his own business–as a man in a storm, when dust and rain are blown about by the wind, stands aside under a little wall.  Seeing others filled full of lawlessness, he is content if somehow he himself can live his life here pure of injustice and unholy deeds, and take his leave from it graciously and cheerfully with fair hope.

 

Republic 496c-e

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