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[562b] “How is that?” “The good that they proposed to themselves1 and that was the cause of the establishment of oligarchy—it was wealth,2 was it not?” “Yes.” “Well, then, the insatiate lust for wealth and the neglect of everything else for the sake of money-making was the cause of its undoing.” “True,” he said. “And is not the avidity of democracy for that which is its definition and criterion of good the thing which dissolves it3 too?” “What do you say its criterion to be?” “Liberty,4” I replied; “for you may hear it said that this is best managed in a democratic city,

1 Their idea of good. Cf. 555 b προκειμένου ἀγαθοῦ. Cf. Laws 962 E with Aristot.Pol. 1293 b 14 ff. Cf. also Aristot.Pol. 1304 b 20αἱ μὲν οὖν δημοκρατίαι μάλιστα μεταβάλλουσι διὰ τὴν τῶν δημαγωγῶν ἀσέλγειαν. Cf. also p. 263, note e on 551 B (ὅρος) and p. 139, note c on 519 C (σκοπός).

2 Cf. 552 B, and for the disparagement of wealth p. 262, note b, on 550 E.

3 Zeller, Aristot. ii. p. 285, as usual credits Aristotle with the Platonic thought that every form of government brings ruin on itself by its own excess.

4 Cf. Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, p. 43 “The central idea of English life and politics is the assertion of personal liberty.”

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