Plato is a renowned philosopher who presented diverse concepts on different topics that affect humans and human interaction. In his argument, Plato affirms that acquisition of wealth only brought short-lived happiness, but in the long-term, it was detrimental to the existence of a just society. The struggle to acquire wealth and gain material prosperity leads to conflicts in the society, especially among the rich and the poor. In Republic, Plato defends wealth and material prosperity from a moral perspective, rather than an economic perspective.

Contrary to popular opinion that wealth brings happiness, Plato presents a different view toward wealth and material prosperity in his widely acclaimed literature, Republic. The quest for wealth and material prosperity brings disaccord in the society and promotes tyrannical governments. Leaders who recently come into power often enjoy increased wealth. They are bound to do anything within their power to hold onto that power, even if it means war (Plato 423a). Leaders should lead, and not accumulate wealth.

Plato had a particular distaste for wealth and material prosperity. Even so, he emphasized that both wealth and poverty are dangerous in the societal context, because lavishness and redundancy riddles wealth, while the vice of dire workmanship characterizes poverty (Plato 422a). Plato believes that wealth results from consumption from the poor, meaning that the wealthy in society become wealthier from the sweat of the poor. As such, Plato affirms that wealth does not necessarily mean prosperity of the society as a whole, but the success of a few members of the society, the rich. Eventually, they end up creating a dysfunctional and unharmonious society because of the resultant inequality.