In Book III Socrates goes on to talk about what the education and lifestyle the citizens in his kallipolis will have. In doing so, Socrates expels fear of death, lamentations of men in literary works, falsehoods including imitations, and vices out of his city. This is to support Socrates’s argument that if people are just, graceful and harmonious, then they must be brought up that way and not be exposed to examples of injustice, disgrace and disharmony. In order to make that happen, stories of injustice and other bad things, and especially stories of gods or sons of gods doing these bad things must be censored or retold differently (368a-392c). (At this point, I cannot help but be reminded of 1984 and Animal Farm, the part where in the book the past gets edited to be in favour of the government. Republic must be a source for many dystopian novels, political theories, etc…) Next, we see Socrates arguing that if the stories themselves are to be adjusted to fit what is just and virtuous, then the tone/style in which the stories are told must be fixed too. Socrates goes back to his original idea that if an individual does well in one occupation, then he/she must stick with this occupation and not dabble in others, or in other words, be a ‘mediocre jack of all trades’. From this, Socrates results that no one in his city should imitate another, and similarly in story-telling, the poet should not try to imitate voices other than his/her own. Although Socrates does not say that it is unjust to be a poet who can imitate anything (he even says that he will treat the pleasure-giving poet like a god (398b)), he certainly does not wish any of kallipolis’s citizens to have that talent. Furthermore, Socrates talks about music, and through this dialogue with Glaucon and Adeimantus, Socrates excludes all other styles of music except for two, to suit his argument. And these music harmonies are supposed to be pure. Lastly, they talk about health and love, following the same method as before, a dialectic form of expressing ideas and agreement (mostly) on the ideas, at the same time eliminating what Socrates believes to be impure from his idealized city. They come to an end where the guardians of kallipolis will live on the taxes collected from the citizens, and everything will be strict and systematic with housing, education, and lifestyle.
Everything sounds nice and idyllic, but there’s going to be flaws with this city. Without ever being exposed to injustice or pain, how will people be able to define happiness and justice?