Maxim Ethics: Plato's Rules to Obtain the Good Life .
Plato describes ethical maxims through stories, parables, and examples in the Republic. The people that are used as examples throughout the Republic are segregated into three groups: gold, which are the rulers of the city, silver, which represent the guardians, and bronze which signify the commoners. All the people of the city have their maxims or conducts of living to have the good life. They all have wisdom, courage, moderation, and harmony. Each class in some way uses each of these to achieve living the good life. .
In Book II through VII of the Republic, Socrates talks about the guardians of the Luxurious City. The nature of these guardians of the city is tremendously imperative. They must be determined enough to defend the city, but their aggressiveness must be tempered by philosophy to make them placid and sensible, preventing them from turning on the masses. The guardians are to understand their role in the city which is to keep the harmony between all the citizens. Socrates says "isn"t it the laws concern to make any one class in the city outstandingly happy but to contrive to spread happiness throughout the city by brining the citizens into harmony with each other through persuasion or compulsion and by making them share each other the benefits that each class can confer on the community" (519-E). .
The rulers are to be all knowing. They know the difference between right and wrong. They are to have full knowledge of wisdom. Philosophy should be used in all the decisions of the rulers for the best results. "Until philosophers rule as kings or those who rule are now called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophize, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide, while the many natures who at present pursue either one exclusively are forcibly prevented from doing so, cities will have no rest from evils" (473-D, E).