Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

See other formats

2                                 POLITICAL SCIENCE.

generally destroy their cnvn power by factions, and dfcgust
the lower classes by haughtiness ; or one faction unite* with
these against another, thus modifying and perhaps destroying
the constitution.

A different subject comes before us when aristocracy, as a
power or order in a state, existing ty the sitfr </ff///fTf
is called up for consideration. Some of the must vi
nations have had an infusion of this dement in their c"ii<titu-
tions, and the relations of a nobility to royal power and in
democracy, as well as the exact place it has occupir*! in «le«
veloping national character and strength, are sec*»ml in im-
portance to few subjects in political science, After briefly
treating of aristocratical governments we will consider this,
so far as it has not been considered already in connection
with other forms of government*

In Greece, as we have seen, a basil fits* or king of tin* rarlkr
Aristocracy or uii- type, must have existed in evtrry imii*|u<nrlrnt
gudiy m Greece, community of the earliest historic and prehis-
toric ages, with a body of privileged men by his Mile, the
chief men of the little state, In almost every city-state a time
came when the kingly power ceased, «uui the chief power
passed into the hands of a moderate number of families of an*
cient descent and of considerable possession*. The genealo-
gies of the well-born sometimes went back into the mythic
period. Thus a man of Gythium in Laconia, to whom honors
are decreed by the people of the place, is described on an
inscription as being a descendant in the thirty-ninth genera-
tion from the Dioscuri, and in the forty-first from Hercules,
The distinction made by Aristotle (Pol., iii,, 5, $ 4), between
aristocracy—so called because the government is in the hands
of the best, or because they govern for the greatest good of
the state and of their associates—and oligarchy % which aims
at the interests of the wealthy, may be neglected by us as we
consider the states which are governed by a privileged few,
When these few are of ancient extraction, of considerable