Presented in the form of a discussion between Socrates and other leading personalities, the book concludes that the aristocratic state is the best form of government. It should be ruled by a philosopher king with a “soul of gold,” supported by a ruling caste, made up of soldiers (who have “souls of silver”), whose job in the state is to force on the majority the order established by the rulers. The majority of the people (who have “souls of “bronze”) are, in contrast to the first two classes, allowed to own property and produce goods for themselves.
"God proclaims as a first principle to the rulers, and above all else, that there is nothing which should so anxiously guard, or of which they are to be such good guardians, as of the purity of the race. They should observe what elements mingle in their offspring; for if the son of a golden or silver parent has an admixture of brass and iron, then nature orders a transposition of ranks."
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