Page:Aristotle - The Politics, 1905.djvu/25

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17
Analysis

the true cause of a sedition. One common cause is the aggrandizement of a particular class ; another is a feud between rich and poor when they are evenly balanced and there is no middle-class to mediate. As to the manner of effecting a revolution : it may be carried through by force or fraud (c. 4).

cc. 5-12. Revolutions in particular States, and how revolutions may be avoided.

(a) In Democracies revolutions may arise from a persecution of the rich ; or when a demagogue becomes a general, or when politicians compete for the favour of the mob (c. 5). (b) In Oligarchies the people may rebel against oppression ; ambitious oligarchs may conspire, or appeal to the people, or set up a tyrant. Oligarchies are seldom destroyed except by the feuds of their own members ; unless they employ a mercenary captain, who may become a tyrant (c. 6). (c) In Aristocracies and Polities the injustice of the ruling class may lead to revolution, but less often in Polities. Aristocracies may also be ruined by an unprivileged class, or an ambitious man of talent. Aristocracies tend to become oligarchies. Also they are liable to gradual dissolution ; which is true of Polities as well (c. 7).

The best precautions against sedition are these : to avoid illegality and frauds upon the unprivileged ; to maintain good feeling between rulers and ruled ; to watch destructive agen cies ; to alter property qualifications from time to time ; to let no individual or class become too powerful ; not to let magistracies be a source of gain ; to beware of class-oppression (c. 8). In all magistrates we should require loyalty, ability, and justice ; we should not carry the principle of the constitution

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