Page:Aristotle - The Politics, 1905.djvu/36

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28
Man a Political Animal
I. 2 times. Wherefore men say that the Gods have a king, because they themselves either are or were in ancient times under the rule of a king. For they imagine, not only the forms of the Gods, but their ways of life to be like their own.

8When several villages are united in a single community, perfect and large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life. And therefore, if the earlier forms of society are natural, so is the state, for it is the end of them, and the [completed] nature is the end. For what each thing is when fully developed, we call its nature, whether we are speaking 9 of a man, a horse, or a family. Besides, the final cause and end of a thing is the best, and to be self-sufficing is the end 1253 a and the best.

Hence it is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal. And he who by nature and not by mere accident is without a state, is either above humanity, or below it; he is the

Tribeless, lawless, hearthless one,

whom Homer [1] denounces— the outcast who is a lover of war; he may be compared to an unprotected piece in the game of draughts.

Now the reason why man is more of a political animal than bees or any other gregarious animals is evident. Nature, as we often say, makes nothing in vain [2], and man is the only animal whom she has endowed with the gift of 1 speech [3] . And whereas mere sound is but an indication -

  1. Il. ix.63.
  2. Cp. c. 8. 12.
  3. 3 Cp. vii. 13. 12.