“Everyone, in Socrates’s view, was by nature and training fitted for a certain job, and the mind and way of life of a good artisan were inevitably such as to preclude him from acquiring the knowledge, character, and powers of judgement which would make him an adequate guide in political affairs. Such a view contravened the whole basis of democracy as then understood at Athens, where the dogma that one man’s opinion is as good as another’s was acted on so unreservedly that anyone not a slave or metic might be appointed to office by lot. Politics, said Socrates, was a craft like any other. It needed natural gifts, but above all study and application. Class came into it accidently, and by no means exclusively.
In Xenophon (Memorabilia 3.6), we find Socrates thoroughly deflating Glaucon, Plato’s half-brother, who had political ambitions and the right personal connexions to gratify them, by asking him a few personal questions. How can he propose to take a leading part in government when (as quickly proves to be the case) he is ignorant of such essential facts of life as the source of the city’s revenues, the amount of its income and expenditure, its naval and military strength, the state of its frontier garrisons, or how far it is self-supporting and how far dependent on imports?” — p. 90, Socrates by WKC Guthrie,