"As the builders say, the larger stones do not lie well without the lesser."
Here, Plato has made a metaphor relating building stone structures to the structure of society. The larger and lesser stones he is referring to are actually the upper and lower classes in society, with lower classes needed to help support the larger, upper classes. When he says "larger", he does not actually mean the upper class is larger than the lower class, but they hold more power over the lower classes. The social classes are like a pyramid, with lots and lots of peasants and poor citizens at the bottom needed to support the heavier, rich and powerful aristocrats. The peasants are the reason the aristocrats have power, because the aristocrats own the land that the poor workers farm on, thus giving them a source of income. This quote relates to Plato's beliefs and ideals because he believed their were three social classes in the city state, the rulers, guardians, and the workers. The rulers were the most intelligent of all of them and knew how to lead the government. The guardians kept order and fought against attackers, and the workers labored to keep the society running. If there was not such a large number of guardians or workers, the rulers could not be supported and the society would fail.
The quote listed above relates to ancient Greek government and society. It ties in with government because the Athenian government, where Plato lived, relies on many people to support it. In Athens, which is a direct democracy, all free men participate in voting on issues in their city state. They all gather to directly address issues and run a government, a huge task. It takes many small individuals to run Athens, all who contribute to one large goal. Also, the quote relates to ancient Greek social classes because the population of the poor, working class citizens outweighs the population of the rich, landowning aristocrats. The aristocrats would not be rich or have their power and influence without the workers because if there were no workers, the aristocrats could not make money from their farms.
"Plato." Google Images. 19 Spetember 2016