This Maxim is interesting in that it flies in the face of ‘popular’ wisdom. After all, who has not fantasized at one point or another about being the boss? But if we are to follow the teaching of Delphi we should look closer at this phenomenon. To rule implies controlling something, and if we are ruling ourselvesthen that is not a bad thing. But this maxim is not speaking about self-control; we have other maxims that do that. This Maxim is speaking about controlling others and their lives and choices and that is where the danger is that we should be wary of.
We cannot live other people’s lives for them and ultimately a ruler creates the rules by which people live their lives – controlling those lives. This is a responsibility that is not lightly entered into and Plato has as his ideal, a Republic – where representatives of those who are ruled are the ones doing the ruling. It is interesting to note that Plato has the rulers of his ideal state not benefitting from the act of ruling so as to not be corrupted by the power. For it is the power of the ruler that can be misused; and the misuse of power is what this Maxim tells us to fear.