POLITICAL CHANGES. 579
demus themselves there is little of strife worthy to be men-
tioned. (§9-) . ...
The causes of strife and political changes are reducible to
three, according to Aristotle, (u. s., ch. 2.) These are the
feelings of those who engage in strife, their motives in so
doing, and the determining causes or the origin of the po-
litical disturbances. These determining causes are seven :
ambition, desire of riches (both awakening the desire of
becoming equal to others), insult, fear, superiority, contempt,
the disproportionate increase of the parties in the community.
Concerning this latter cause, he remarks that sometimes the
disproportion referred to grows up imperceptibly, as in
democracies the poorer classes may increase unawares.
Sometimes a single disaster may bring about the same result,
as at Tarentum, when the people were defeated and many
of the notables were slain a little after the Persian invasions
of Greece, the republic was changed into a democracy.
This may happen in democracies, but not so frequently as
under other polities.
The occasions of political overturnings are often trifling in
themselves. This remark, which has been cited already,
Aristotle fortifies by a number of historical illustrations.
Such occasions are seized on the more readily, when the par-
ties or factions are nearly equal and there is no considerable
party lying between the two. When, however, one faction
is decidedly superior to the other, the feeble one will not in-
cur the risk of open strife. " For this reason those who ex-
cel in personal worth scarcely ever stir up party strife, for
they are found to be few against many." (ch. 3, § 7-) As if
they would without scruple seize on the power of the state if
they felt themselves to be stronger than the other citizens !
The changes in democracies are chiefly due to the wanton
Changes in de- conduct of demagogues, who by their false
mocracies' accusations of wealthy individuals force them to
conspire together under the influence of * common fear, and,
again, in public matters lead the people on to rise against
state order. , Thus, in Cos, the democracy was overthrown by