[Socrates and Rich man], On Being A ‘Gadfly’

In this dialogue, the Socratic method is about holding people accountable for their beliefs by questioning them as a guide, who is really wishing them ‘good thoughts’. Socrates compared himself to being a midwife in the sense he tries to guide others to having better thought like having a baby. In fact, he also is said to have called himself a Gadfly of Athens.

Socrates: How important is it to you?

Rich man: Money is a road to power, which I enjoy. It is a form of currency. It circulates like an electric current. And it has power like an electric current. But now, we must state the truth. It is an agreed upon system of coins and bills that a group uses to buy goods. This group is usually a recognized country like the USA that has dollars and coins.

S: Why do you want power?

Rm: Who doesn’t? I crave it. To me, there is never enough money or power. I think I crave the latter more.

S: What do you gain?

Rm: More power. I am in lust with it. I will never have enough. It is intoxicatingly everything.

S: Would you help people with your wealth and power? Maybe, by showing them how to built a well to hold water when they have no water?

Rm: I would need some help.

S: I have a friend who would show you, but you would have to pay a small price for it.

Rm: Would poor people pay me back?

S: I am sure they would when they are able. Do you want to think of other ways to help people?

Rm: Not particularly, but perhaps I could be persuaded for a small price.

S: What did you have in mind?

Rm: A small profit.

S: For you?

Rm: Maybe, and for them too.

S: What would you say to doing it for free?

Rm: I suppose I could afford it.

S: I imagine I could do better by talking to many rich people about it.

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