And the truth is, justice was something like that, as it seems, but not anything connected with doing what properly belongs to oneself externally, [443D] but with what’s on the inside, that truly concerns oneself and properly belongs to oneself, not allowing each thing in him to do what’s alien to it, or the classes of things in his soul to meddle with one another, but setting his own house in order in his very being, he himself ruling over and bringing order to himself and becoming his own friend and harmonizing three things, exactly like the three notes marking a musical scale at the low end, the high end, and the middle; and if any other things happen to be [443E] between them, he binds all of them together and becomes entirely one out of many, moderate and harmonized. Only when he’s in this condition does he act, if he performs any action having to do with acquiring money, or taking care of the body, as well as anything of a civic kind or having to do with private transactions; in all these cases he regards an action that preserves that condition and helps to complete it as a just and beautiful act, and gives it that name, and regards as wisdom the knowledge that directs that [444A] action. Anything that always breaks down that condition, he regards as an unjust action, and the opinion that directs that, he regards as ignorance. — Plato, Republic
Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.
We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an on-line journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude and prayer.