Thought for the Day – August 31st, 2013


(for quote in Greek, see below)
Aristotle. Politics. 350 BC. Book V, Section 1314a (15-20)
FULL QUOTE (GREEK): “…τρισὶν εἴδεσιν. στοχάζεται γὰρ ἡ τυραννὶς τριῶν, ἑνὸς μὲν τοῦ μικρὰ φρονεῖν τοὺς ἀρχομένους (οὐθενὶ γὰρ ἂν μικρόψυχος ἐπιβουλεύσειεν), δευτέρου δὲ τοῦ διαπιστεῖν ἀλλήλοις (οὐ καταλύεται γὰρ πρότερον τυραννὶς πρὶν ἢ πιστεύσωσί τινες ἑαυτοῖς: διὸ καὶ τοῖς ἐπιεικέσι πολεμοῦσιν ὡς βλαβεροῖς πρὸς τὴν ἀρχὴν οὐ μόνον διὰ τὸ μὴ ἀξιοῦν ἄρχεσθαι δεσποτικῶς, ἀλλὰ καὶ διὰ τὸ πιστοὺς καὶ ἑαυτοῖς καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις εἶναι καὶ μὴ καταγορεύειν μήτε ἑαυτῶν μήτε τῶν ἄλλων)”
FULL QUOTE (ENGLISH): “…tyranny aims at three things, one to keep its subjects humble(for a humble-spirited man would not plot against anybody), second to have them continually distrust one another (for a tyranny is not destroyed until some men come to trust each other, owing to which tyrants also make war on the respectable, as detrimental to their rule not only because of their refusal to submit to despotic rule, but also because they are faithful to one another and to the other citizens, and do not inform against one another nor against the others); and the third is lack of power for political action (since nobody attempts impossibilities, so that nobody tries to put down a tyranny if he has not power behind him).”


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