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584                               POLITICAL SCIENCE.
heritance, for in this way estates will be more nearly equal,
and more of the poor will become affluent,    (to § 13.)
After recommending that, in an oligarchy and a democracy
both, it is best to give equality or even pre-eminence in minor
political employments to a class which is not predominant in
the state—to the rich in democracies, to the poor in oligar-
chies (§ 13), Aristotle remarks that all things in the laws of a
polity conforming to its nature tend to preserve it. Above all,
ought the portion of the community that wishes to uphold the
polity be made stronger than that which would prefer its
overthrow. Especially should the middle between extremes
be sought for and secured—that which governments deviating
from their true type neglect—for many seemingly democratic
Institutions destroy democracies, and many of the oligarchic
kind destroy oligarchies. Some persons, thinking that the
excellence of a polity is one and simple, push things to an
extreme. (§ 17.) But both oligarchy and democracy,
although at a remove from the best form of government, can
do their work tolerably well as they are ; while, if either of
them becomes more intense and true to its own type, the pol-
ity will, in the first place, become worse, and at the end
will become no polity at all. The lawgiver, therefore, and
the political man ought to understand well what democratic
institutions save democracies, and what oligarchic ones save
oligarchies. Now, since neither of them can exist and flour-
ish without the wealthy and without a demus, and since by
an equality in property a polity must be changed, do not they
who destroy either part of the citizens by laws favoring the
superiority of the other (?) destroy the polity itself ? Faults are
committed under both kinds of governments. In democracies
the demagogues err when they make the will of the common
people superior to the law, since, by attacking the wealthy,
they divide the state in twain. Far from this, they should al-
ways seem to take the part of the wealthy, and so should the
heads of an oligarchy seem to advocate the cause of the poor.
And in the latter of these constitutions the oaths that they
ought to take should be opposite in their import to those