GLAUCON: Now that we have determined the nature of justice, education, and proper governance, is it finally time for us to go home?
THRASYMACHUS: We have left out the most pernicious evil that can be visited upon a citizenry.
GLAUCON: Warfare? Lack of investment in marble infrastructure? Converting all programs for the commonweal into block grants?
THRASYMACHUS: No, I speak of political correctness, the greatest scourge we know of, aside from plague. And pestilence. And those other things you mentioned.
SOCRATES: What do you mean when you speak of that which is correct politically?
THRASYMACHUS: You know, politically correct. It’s when something is… politically correct.
SOCRATES: A politician may decry a deleterious policy in front of the populace, and yet still vote for it. Or a politician may make nonsensical promises that are yet popular enough to ensure their election. Is this what you mean by “politically correct”?
GLAUCON: Or perhaps doing the bidding of your wealthy patrons, to ensure their continued support?
THRASYMACHUS: No, I mean like how I don’t think we should let any Thebans into Athens because they’re all criminals, and I don’t think different races should mix, but I can’t just say that because it’s politically incorrect.
GLAUCON: It’s also super bigoted. And what do you mean about races mixing? Aren’t we all Greek?
THRASYMACHUS: You see? I can’t say it because it’s not politically correct.
SOCRATES: You claim that you cannot say it, and yet you just said it. Therefore, it is not true that it cannot be said.
THRASYMACHUS: Well, okay, yeah, you can say it, but then everyone will censor you.
SOCRATES: Has any official censor of Athens levied a fine upon you for saying this?
THRASYMACHUS: No. Do we even have censors? Or is that something the Romans do a few centuries from now? I always get ancient cultures mixed up.
GLAUCON: What’s a Roman?
SOCRATES: Who then is in a position to punish you for indulging in bigotry?
THRASYMACHUS: Okay, maybe I’m not punished, but everyone in the agora will say that I’m racist and that I shouldn’t say insulting things about Thebans.
SOCRATES: Well, as I have already established in our rather lengthy dialogue, one cannot trust the opinion of the masses.
THRASYMACHUS: Thank you. Finally, someone understands how the most oppressed people in Athens are the wealthy male Athenian landowners.
SOCRATES: But in this case it sounds like those who object to your statements have no power over you. It is as if you are the one in a position of privilege, and yet you are driven to pretend that you are not.
GLAUCON: Can we just leave this jerk and go home, Socrates? We’ve been talking for hours.
SOCRATES: In fact, it is as if you know that you are wrong, and yet rather than seek that which is right, you complain whenever others point out how wrong you are.
THRASYMACHUS: Look, if I just admit I’m wrong, can we drop it?
SOCRATES: This returns us to our original topic of the nature of justice. Now, you will recall that the distinction between—
THRASYMACHUS: Please make him stop.
GLAUCON: I can’t. This is all your fault.
THRASYMACHUS: I regret being a literal sophist.