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By Allan Bloom

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If the tyrant is virtuous, or Is willing to listen to a virtuous adviser, then the fundamentals for the transition are present. This is what Isocrates indicates, and thereby demonstrates that he is no starry-eyed dreamer. It would be a false notion which assumed that Isocrates believed that by a gradual spreading of his form of education things would naturally improve. He knew well that for every good man that grew up in a corrupt community there were ten base men. their capacities, the only course for the city was downward.

Isocrates is surely not equal to Alexander; there are evi- dent differences between what Isocrates proposed and what Alexander did. To study or read Isocrates in terms of what happened after- wards is to reject Isocrates' thought a priori; it is to see the events which occurred under the Macedonian hegemony as all correct, good, or Inevitable and Isocrates as only interesting to the extent which he may have helped to bring about those events. In other words, such an approach to Isocrates implies the suspension of the critical attitude appropriate to the scholar-.

111. 78.. ^icocles 24-25. 49 as previously mentioned, Isocrates' explicit statement about the possible legitimacy of monarchy. We must look more closely If we want a clear statement concerning monarchy. Legitimate monarchy must be something different and opposed to tyranny. It must be a rule characterized by wise counsel directed to the good of the whole; only such a monarchy would conform to the minimal standards erected by Isocrates. He directs himself to the exclusive discussion of monarchy In his speech To Hicocles, a tyrant of Salamis in Cyprus.

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