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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

573                              POLITICAL SCIENCE.

Aristotle proposes in the eighth book to consider the vari-

ous causes of political changes, the peculiar sources of the

destruction of each particular polity, the course which the

changes take in each of them, and the ways of saving each

of them from the influence of these injurious causes.    The

general cause of revolutions is the same that gives rise to a

difference in forms of polity ; it is a general agreement in

what is just and equal, with a difference in carrying such views

into practice.    Thus,  democracy arises from thinking that

those who are equal in some respects should be absolutely

equal ; and oligarchy, from thinking that inequality, which

exists as it respects property, should be extended so as to

, include inequality in civil status.    Hence, men in the former,

as being equal, claim to have an equal share of everything,

and in the latter, as being unequal, claim to have more than

the others.    For the more is inequality.    Thus, they have

some reason in  their claims  but  are   absolutely in  error.

With the best reason would those engage in civil strife who

are persons of the greatest worth, and yet they do this less

than any others ; for it is especially reasonable that these,

and these only, should be absolutely unequal to others.   (Ch.

The changes of polity arise in two ways : sometimes the
strife turns on the point whether the form shall be changed ;
sometimes the parties would prefer the existing polity, but
wish to administer it themselves, or to make it more intense
or less so, as for instance, to lower the tone of an oligarchy
or raise it, to make a democracy more or less democratical.
Again, the strife aims at changing a particular provision of
the polity, as, for instance, at abolishing or establishing a cer-
tain magistracy ; so some say that in Lacedaemon Lysander
aimed at destroying the royal power, and King Pausanias at
destroying the ephorate. (4, S-) Democracy is safer and
more free from civil strife than oligarchy, for the latter is
liable both to strife between the members of the oligarchy
and between them and the dcmus. But in democracies the
only strife is with the oligarchy ; between the parts of the