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Under each of these forms of government we find friendship existing between ruler and ruled, to the same extent as justice. The friendship of a king for his subjects is one of superiority in beneficence; for a king does good to his subjects, inasmuch as being good he studies to promote their welfare, as a shepherd studies the welfare of his sheep; hence Homer called Agamemnon ‘shepherd of the people.’ [2] The friendship of a father for his child is of the same kind (only here the benefits bestowed are greater, for the father is the source of the child's existence, which seems to be the greatest of all boons, and of its nurture and education; and we also ascribe the same benefits to our forefathers). For it is as natural for a father to rule his children, and forefathers those descended from them, as for a king to rule his subjects. [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]: all these instruments it is true are benefited by the persons who use them, but there can be no friendship, nor justice, towards inanimate things; indeed not even towards a horse or an ox, nor yet towards a slave as slave. For master and slave have nothing in common: a slave is a living tool, just as a tool is an inanimate slave. [7] Therefore there can be no friendship with a slave as slave, though there can be as human being: for there seems to be some room for justice in the relations of every human being with every other that is capable of participating in law and contract, and hence friendship also is possible with everyone so far as he is a human being. [8] Hence even in tyrannies there is but little scope for friendship and justice between ruler and subjects; but there is most room for them in democracies, where the citizens being equal have many things in common.

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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