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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

526                              POLITICAL  SCIENCE.
come so corrupt that all will wish for general license. All
the wealthy, for instance, all that are pursuing their callings in
peace, must feel their interests to be at stake, and will main-
tain them if possible. No body of men ever became so cor-
rupt as to rush into ruin ; it is the predominance of evil, and
the hopelessness of good, which destroy a state. It would
be truer to say that loss of morals, looseness of principle, will
destroy any state ; even a despot could not maintain his
power, if all his officers were worthless and saw no advantage
to themselves in adhering to his cause. Montesquieu's great
mistake consists in thinking that any state can long maintain
itself in a general decay of morals, but he is right in conceiv-
ing that a democracy without virtue would perish soonest.
$268.
We proceed to consider some other results and characteris-
otber influences tics of different polities, but shall class them
of diatom politics.  under the generai heacjs of absolute and free
government. Then it would be necessary for the sake of
completeness to take into account also the simplicity of man-
ners and life, the amount of wealth in the community and its
distribution, the vitality or deadness of religious faith, with
other influences widely acting on national life. There is also,
as we have discovered already, a great difference between a
large community acting through its representatives and a
small city-state, where, if the relative strength of opposing
and jealous classes be not manifest to all the citizens, the
greatest political disorders may exist together with all the
immoralities that grow out of suspicion, resentment, and con-
stant intrigues. Civil war is everywhere full of evils, but no
such deep degradation of any state with a wide territory could
equal that of the city-states of Greece as it is depicted by the
great historian of the Peloponnesian war (Thucyd. iii., 82, 83).
Rome shows us the necessity of cautio'us separation of the
causes lying in the polity itself, from those which change the
character of society proceeding from some other quarter.
The early government of Rome after the consuls were set up