Socrates believes that the good of the city outweighs the good of the individual. Consequently, the object of his educational system is to produce citizens who are loyal to the city and who best fill the city's needs. The city's educational system identifies particularly talented individuals so they may be trained as auxiliaries (warriors), guardians, or even philosopher-kings. All children are educated identically until the age of eighteen when those destined to be producers (laborers and craftsmen) end their education. The remaining students are trained physically and militarily. Those destined to be warriors are separated from the guardians, the future rulers. The guardians are educated for several more years, until the very best, the most loyal to the city, are given further education as potential philosopher-kings.
The education system is rigidly controlled. Although literature and arts are important parts of education, only moral literature is allowed. Literature must not imitate life or be dramatic because such literature will confuse citizens and make them less useful in their particular roles. Education, especially for the guardians and warriors, is designed to encourage the good of the city as a whole, rather than the good of the family or the individual.