Whenever I read Socrates, I wonder why I read anything else. I do not mean Socrates is the only author worth reading, but rather that the depth and sophistication of his ideas seems to nearly eclipse the normative (and comparative) trash I regularly find in the news or on the cyberspace :-p
When I read Socrates I am reminded of the weighty matters of Dunya – wisdom, truth, justice, integrity, love, happiness, and community. These things matters, and they are issues one is more likely to misunderstand just to the degree that one is likely to claim to understand them. confusing…
I do not claim to understand them. Yet I live many days as if my understanding is sufficient. This should be sufficient evidence that it is not.
My master once said money and honor have no attraction for them; good men do not wish to be openly demanding payment for governing and so to get the name of hirelings, nor by secretly helping themselves out of the public revenues to get the name of thieves. And not being ambitious they do not care about honor. Wherefore necessity must be laid upon them, and they must be induced to serve from the fear of punishment. And this, as I imagine, is the reason why the forwardness to take office, instead of waiting to be compelled, has been deemed dishonorable. Now the worst part of the punishment is that he who refuses to rule is liable to be ruled by one who is worse than himself SubhanaAllah yet proven many times. And the fear of this, as I conceive, induces the good to take office, not because they would, but because they cannot help — not under the idea that they are going to have any benefit or enjoyment themselves, but as a necessity, and because they are not able to commit the task of ruling to any one who is better than themselves, or indeed as good. For there is reason to think that if a city were composed entirely of good men, then to avoid office would be as much an object of contention as to obtain office is at present…” Socrates