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POLITICAL CHANGES.                             581
any property qualification, and the people chooses ; those who
are eager for office by their demagogical arts bring things to
such a pass that the people become lords even over the laws.
It would cure, or at least abate this evil, if the tribes should
choose each a part of the magistrates instead of the whole
demus choosing them by a collective vote." (ch. 4.)
After detailing the causes of political changes in oligar-
chies (ch. 5} and aristocracies (ch. 6), Aristotle passes on to
consider the means which lie within the reach of these poli-
ties for their own conservation (ch. 7). He then examines
the causes of political change in monarchies and tyrannies
(ch. 8), as well as their power of self-preservation (ch. 9).
He closes this important book of his politics by examining
Plato's theory of revolutions, and criticises especially the
order of succession which is assigned to different polities in
the eighth book of the republic. We have space only for a
brief review of the chapter touching the ability of republics
to resist revolutionary changes.
If we know how polities are corrupted or destroyed, we
Aristotle on keep- know> the means by which they may be pre-
bg off revolutions. served. In all well-constituted polities the high-
est care is needed that no illegality be allowed, and especially
in a democracy. Deviation from law undermines a state
imperceptibly, as small expenses often incurred waste prop-
erties. The changes escape remark because they do not take
place all at once, and the understanding is cheated by them.
Another thing to be avoided is the use of those political
sophisms which are employed for the purpose of imposing on
the people. (Pol., viii., or 5, 7,  I, 2.) Many aristocracies
and some oligarchies owe their permanence not to the safety
of those polities themselves, but to the wisdom of the magis-
trates in their treatment of both those who have a part in
the government and those who have no part. Again, a
short term of office is an 'aid against factions, as thus? a
greater number can enjoy power. Aristotle mentions the
term of six months, common afterwards in the republics of
mediaeval Italy. Another way of preserving polities from