Aristotle: On tyranny

For tyranny aims at three things:

one, that the ruled have only modest thoughts (for a small-souled person will not conspire against anyone);

second, that they distrust one another (for a tyranny will not be overthrown before some persons are able to trust each other — hence they make war on the respectable as being harmful to their rule not merely because they claim not to merit being ruled in the fashion of a master, but also because they are trustworthy, both among themselves and with respect to others);

and third, an incapacity for activity, for no one will undertake something on behalf of those who are incapable so that not even a tyranny will be overthrown where the capacity is lacking.

—Aristotle, Politics


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