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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

POLITICAL CHANGES.                              585
which they take now ; for now, in some city-states, they take
an oath in words such as these : "I swear that I will bear a
hostile mind towards the demus," whereas they ought to act
in just the contrary character, and swear, " I will not wrong
the demus." (to § 20.)
The most important rule for conserving a constitution, ac-
cording to Aristotle, is that which, at his day, was entirely
neglected—to conform the education to the character of the
o
polity. For there is no value in the most useful laws,
agreed upon by all who live under a polity, unless manners
and training are in conformity with it; looking towards the
popular side if the constitution is popular, and towards the
oligarchic side if it is an oligarchy. For the want of self-
restraint belonging to an individual belongs to the state. To
be educated, however, in conformity with a polity, is not to
learn how to do that which would please the oligarchy or the
democracy, but that by means of which one can live under an
oligarchic or a democratic constitution. But, as things are
now, the sons of rulers in an oligarchy live in luxury, while
those of the poor become inured to bodily exercise and toil,
which makes them more willing and able to engage in new
political schemes. And in democracies, even the most demo-
cratical, the interests of the state are not observed, on account
of a prevailing false conception of liberty. Into this concep-
tion two elements enter—that the majority should have the
power, and that there should be liberty. Justice is thought
to consist in equality, and equality means that whatever seems
best to the majority that is to have force of law, while freedom
and equality are made to consist in every .individual's doing
as he will. But this is evil. For it ought not to be thought
to be a slavery to live in conformity with the institutions, but
a means of safety. (§§ 20-22.)
In the very important book of his Politics of which we have
given a partial sketch, Aristotle nowhere speaks of the recon-
struction of a government already overturned by revolution,
nor among his precepts for sustaining a government against
revolutionary forces does he go much beyond rules of policy.