Page:Aristotle - The Politics, 1905.djvu/27

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characteristic features of democracy are combined (c. i). Liberty is the first principle of democracy. The results of liberty are that the numerical majority is supreme, and that each man lives as he likes. From these characteristics we may easily infer the other features of democracy (c. 2). In oligarchies it is not the numerical majority, but the wealthier men, who are supreme. Both these principles are unjust if the supreme authority is to be absolute and above the law. Both numbers and wealth should have their share of influence. But it is hard to find the true principles of political justice, and harder still to make men act upon them (c. 3). Democracy has four species (cf. Bk. IV, c. 4). The best is (i) an Agricultural Democracy, in which the magistrates are elected by, and responsible to, the citizen body, while each office has a property qualification proportionate to its importance. These democracies should encourage agriculture by legislation. The next best is (2) the Pastoral Democracy. Next comes (3) the Commercial Democracy. Worst of all is (4) the Extreme Democracy with manhood suffrage (c. 4).

It is harder to preserve than to found a Democracy. To preserve it we must prevent the poor from plundering the rich ; we must not exhaust the public revenues by giving pay for the performance of public duties ; we must prevent the growth of a pauper class (c. 5).

(B) The modes of founding Oligarchies call for little explanation. Careful organization is the best way of preserving these governments (c. 6). Much depends on the military arrangements ; oligarchs must not make their subjects too powerful an element in the army. Admission to the governing body should be granted on easy conditions. Office should be made a burden, not a source of profit (c. 7).

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