Plato's striking assertion that "until philosophers are kings or kings philosophers cities will never rest from their evils--no, nor the human race" is often quoted and indeed is provocative enough to be worth quoting. But its exact truth is open to question. For if the great prophets like Jesus and Buddha, invested with higher power in virtue of their special missions as they were, could not make a single city rest from its evils, not even all their followers, how is it possible that men not so invested could do so? What they could unquestionably do would be to limit the area and strength of those evils as well as to provide conditions which would tend to discourage their future growth. Just as the world was saved by the work of Jesus and Buddha from becoming measurably worse than it did become, so would it be possible for the king-philosophers to bring about a similar result in their own ways and lands.
-- Notebooks Category 13: Human Experience > Chapter 2: Living in The World > # 546