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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

596                             POLITICAL SCIENCE.
demonstrate, there must be destructive influences at work in
every nation, which are apt to get the better of the conserva-
tive influences sooner or later, Every form of civilization
contains some worm in the bud, every nation suffers for its own
misdeeds ; it is, in short, the weakness and short-sightedness
of human nature acting on a large scale, to which national
decay is due.
Without denying the justice of these remarks, we will en-
quire what are the leading causes likely to bring on national
decay, and whether a nation can have a hope of reform, when
once its course is thus doxvnward.
I. The cause from which evil is more commonly appre-
s which are hcnded is the increasingly unequal distribution
hon." ""* of property in a country, as it continues its in-
Unequai aistribu- clustry through ages.    There will be a few very
tioa of property.      rich persons and a vast muititude of very poor,
with a middle class more or less numerous, according to the
varying success of their labors.    The rich, for want of other
investments, will monopolize the land,   receiving it in pay-
ment of debts, or being content with a small interest on their
money.    The proletarian class must live from hand to mouth,
without much intelligence, exposed to great temptations, be-
coming weak in body and in mind through the influence of
unhealthy food and lodgings, a prey to diseases, a prey to
demagogues.    The unity of society is destroyed by this un-
equal distribution of wealth ; one part, the upper class, can
have no great intercourse or sympathy with their antipodes,
and thus there is no political security.    Hope must abandon
such a society and vigor of action ; how can it live when these
are gone ?   The freedom of a government has little influence
in checking these evils.    It makes the successful more suc-
cessful, because he can go anywhere and devote his capital
to any use.    It rather brings on inequalities sooner than an-
other sort of government.    L. Marcius Philippus affirmed, in a
public speech at Rome, that there were not two thousand
property-owners in the state; (Cic., de off,, ii., 21, 73)> an(*
Pliny the elder  says  that " broad farms (latifundid) have