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The mutual rights of parents and children are not the same as those between brothers; the obligations of members of a comradeship not the same as those of fellow-citizens; and similarly with the other forms of friendship. [3] Injustice therefore also is differently constituted in each of these relationships: wrong is increasingly serious in proportion as it is done to a nearer friend. For example, it is more shocking to defraud a comrade of money than a fellow-citizen; or to refuse aid to a brother than to do so to a stranger; or to strike one's father than to strike anybody else. Similarly it is natural that the claims of justice also should increase with the nearness of the friendship, since friendship and justice exist between the same persons and are co-extensive in range. [4]

But all associations are parts as it were of the association of the State. Travellers for instance associate together for some advantage, namely to procure some of their necessary supplies. But the political association too, it is believed, was originally formed, and continues to be maintained, for the advantage of its members: the aim of lawgivers is the good of the community, and justice is sometimes defined as that which is to the common advantage. [5] Thus the other associations aim at some particular advantage; for example sailors combine to seek the profits of seafaring in the way of trade or the like, comrades in arms the gains of warfare, their aim being either plunder, or victory over the enemy or the capture of a city1; and similarly the members of a tribe or parish2 [And some associations appear to be formed for the sake of pleasure, for example religious guilds and dining-clubs, which are unions for sacrifice and social intercourse. But all these associations seem to be subordinate to the association of the State, which aims not at a temporary advantage but at one covering the whole of life.] combine to perform sacrifices and hold festivals in connection with them, thereby both paying honor to the gods and providing pleasant holidays for themselves. For it may be noticed that the sacrifices and festivals of ancient origin take place after harvest, being in fact harvest-festivals; this is because that was the season of the year at which people had most leisure. [6] All these associations then appear to be parts of the association of the State; and the limited friendships which we reviewed will correspond to the limited associations from which they spring. 10.

Now there are three forms of constitution, and also an equal number of perversions or corruptions of those forms. The constitutions are Kingship, Aristocracy, and thirdly, a constitution based on a property classification, which it seems appropriate to describe as timocratic, although most people are accustomed to speak of it merely as a constitutional government or Republic. [2] The best of these constitutions is Kingship, and the worst Timocracy. The perversion of Kingship is Tyranny.

1 Literally ‘plunder or victory or a city’; the last words may refer either to colonists or exiles who obtain a new abode by conquest, or to civil war; but the expression is improbable, and perhaps should be emended to ‘or to defend the city.’

2 The bracketed sentences, as Cook Wilson points out, look like an interpolated fragment of a parallel version.

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