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Battle for the Footnotes

“But Plato's greatness as a sociologist does not lie in his general and abstract speculations about the law of social decay. It lies rather in the wealth and detail of his observations, and in the amazing acuteness of his sociological, intuition. He saw things which not only had not been seen before him, but which were rediscovered only in our own time … Another example is Plato's sociological and economic historicism, his emphasis on the economic background of political life and historical developments; a theory revived by Marx under the name 'historical materialism'.” -Karl Popper, “The Open Society and It’s Enemies: Vol I, The Spell of Plato
Was it really not until Marx that this idea was ‘rediscovered’? Compare Popper’s statement to the following excerpt from De Regimine Principum of Saint Thomas Aquinas,
“Again, if the citizens devote their lives to trade, the way will be opened to many vices. For, since the aim of traders is especially to make money, familiarity wi…