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platos republic

Explain how Socrates finds out what justice is and how that discovery shows why it is better to be just than to be rich and powerful.


For Plato, justice is about balance ... everyone doing the task which for which he/she is best suited.  When this happens there will be no factions, no strife, and this will work for the betterment of all.  This sense of balance works for the state and for the individual (remember that Plato is discussing the macrocosm because it is easier to get a grip on than the microcosm).

Wealth and power almost inevitably lead to and unjust (out of balance) state, and this inevitably leads to injustice which is good for neither the state nor the individual.  Wealth and power might be good for the one/few, but it can never lead to the just state (which would be for the good of all).

This is a very complicated topic, and this is only a start.  I have listed one source below, but there are many on the internet that can help you understand this more fully.

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