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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

ARISTOCRACY.                                        H
of the despotism of the government This happened to the
oligarchies in Cnidus and in Chios. Changes of polity are
caused also both in an oligarchy and in a commonwealth
(politeia) by chance or change of circumstances, In those
states where the offices of senator, judye and magistrate de-
pend on a fixed amount of property ; for in many places the
original amount or property qualification had been fixed upon
with reference to the circumstances of the time—so that in
an oligarchy the few, and in a commonwealth the middle
class, could have a share in the government But at length,
owing to the prosperity caused by peace or by some other
source of good fortune, the properties became worth many
times their old price, whether by some sudden enhancement
or in a gradual unpcrceived way, and thus all the citizens could
partake of all offices in the state, Revolutions and internal
strifes arise in oligarchies from such causes. It maybe added
in the general way that both democracies and oligarchies
sometimes pass over not into the opposite polities, but into
those within the same species, as from legal democracies and
oligarchies into arbitrary ones and from these into those*
$ ii, 12.)
Aristotle proceeds to consider revolutions in aristocracies
(viiL or VM 6); on which we need not dwell, since substantially
the same influences, only with a less destructive energy, are
at work here as in oligarchies. Revolutions arise here from
the smallncss of the minority who have access to public af-
fairs, so as to exclude a part of the citizens, who are in most
respects their equals ; from the outraged feelings of eminent
men who arc put below others, their inferiors in everything
but aristocratic rank ; from the extremes of opulence and
misery to be found in states of this kind ; from a single all*
grasping man like Pausanias of Sparta; from allowing the
principal persona in the state to accumulate too large pro-
perties; from unperceived and insensible causes.
The Greek oligarchies and aristocracies were in a situation,
owing to the small size of the city-states, to feel influences
from neighboring states of aa opposite constitution with