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[3] These friendships then involve a superiority of benefits on one side, which is why parents receive honor as well as service.1 The claims of justice also, therefore, in these relations are not the same on both sides, but proportionate to desert, as is the affection bestowed. [4]

The friendship between husband and wife again is the same as that which prevails between rulers and subjects in an aristocracy; for it is in proportion to excellence, and the better party receives the larger share [of good],2 whilst each party receives what is appropriate to each; and the same is true of the claims of justice on either side. [5]

Friendship between brothers is like that between members of a comradeship: the two parties are equal in station and age, and this usually implies identity of feelings and of character. The counterpart of fraternal friendship is that which exists under the timocratic form of constitution; since the ideal of Timocracy is that all citizens shall be equal and shall be good, so that they all rule in turn, and all have an equal share of power; and therefore the friendship between them is also one of equality. [6]

Under the perverted forms of constitution friendship like justice can have but little scope, and least of all in the worst: there is little or no friendship between ruler and subjects in a tyranny. For where there is nothing in common between ruler and ruled, there can be no friendship between them either, any more than there can be justice. It is like the relation between a craftsman and his tool, or between the soul and the body [or between master and slave3]:

1 Sc., because their children cannot fully repay their services in kind.

2 The word ‘good’ looks like an interpolation. The sense seems to require ‘a larger share of affection’ ( φιλίας, or φιλήσεως, understood); it is clear throughout that in an unequal friendship the superior party receives not more but less benefit (though more affection) than the inferior. In 10.5 the conjugal association is compared to the aristocratic polity in virtue of the fact that the superior party has more power, not more benefit; and from 10.3 it appears that when the ruling class takes all or most of the benefits for itself, the government is no longer an aristocracy but an oligarchy.

3 These words are better omitted, as they anticipate what comes below.

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