Page:Aristotle - The Politics, 1905.djvu/18

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10
Analysis

Phaleas of Chalcedon made equal distribution of property the main feature of his scheme. This would be difficult to effect, and would not meet the evils which Phaleas had in mind. Dissensions arise from deeper causes than inequality of wealth. His state would be weak against foreign foes. His reforms would anger the rich and not satisfy the poor (c. 7).

Hippodamus, who was not a practical politician, aimed at symmetry. In his state there were to be three classes, three kinds of landed property, three sorts of laws. He also proposed to (i) create a Court of Appeal, (2) let juries qualify their verdicts, (3) reward those who made discoveries of public utility. His classes and his property system were badly devised. Qualified verdicts are impossible since jurymen may not confer together. The law about discoveries would encourage men to tamper with the Constitution. Now laws when obsolete and absurd should be changed ; but needless changes diminish the respect for law (c. 8).

cc. 9-12. The best existent states—Sparta, Crete, and Carthage—Greek lawgivers.

The Spartans cannot manage their serf population. Their women are too influential and too luxurious. Their property system has concentrated all wealth in a few hands. Hence the citizen body has decreased. There are points to criticize in the Ephorate, the Senate, the Kingship, the common meals, the Admiralty. The Spartan and his state are only fit for war. Yet even in war Sparta is hampered by the want of a financial system (c. 9).

The Cretan cities resemble Sparta in their constitutions, but are more primitive. Their common meals are better