My initial impression of Socrates was not favorable. It seemed to me that had I known him, I would have been secretly hoping to see him slip on a banana peel. Having progressed a little farther, I came to the conclusion that he may have seemed arrogant simply because he was speaking with people whose intellects and morals he held little regard for.
Finally, he earned respect for this:
Yes, I said, now I understand: the question which you would have me consider is, not only how a State, but how a luxurious State is created; and possibly there is no harm in this, for in such a State we shall be more likely to see how justice and injustice originate. In my opinion the true and healthy constitution of the State is the one which I have described. But if you wish also to see a State at fever heat, I have no objection. (emphasis mine)The State he described was small and simplistic, where citizens would work hard during the summer in order to have winters of modest ease and comfort; a place where everyone could easily obtain the necessities - food, clothing, shelter - but at the same time "they will take care that their families do not exceed their means; having an eye to poverty or war."
It surprised me to realize that the community Socrates describes greatly resembles the Amish. Is it just me, or does the simple wisdom of Socrates' original State get routinely overlooked, ignored by readers that have eyes only for the dazzle of the Republic that follows?