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[1319b] [1] The last kind of democracy, because all the population share in the government, it is not within the power of every state to endure, and it is not easy for it to persist if it is not well constituted in its laws and customs (but the things that result in destroying both this state and the other forms of constitution have been nearly all of them spoken of before1). With a view to setting up this kind of democracy and making the people powerful their leaders usually acquire as many supporters as possible and admit to citizenship not only the legitimate children of citizens but also the base-born and those of citizen-birth on one side, I mean those whose father or mother is a citizen; for all this element is specially congenial to a to democracy of this sort. Popular leaders therefore regularly introduce such institutions; they ought however only to go on adding citizens up to the point where the multitude outnumbers the notables and the middle class and not to go beyond that point; for if they exceed it they make the government more disorderly, and also provoke the notables further in the direction of being reluctant to endure the democracy, which actually took place and caused the revolution at Cyrene2; for a small base element is overlooked, but when it grows numerous it is more in evidence. [20] A democracy of this kind will also find useful such institutions as were employed by Cleisthenes3 at Athens when he wished to increase the power of the democracy, and by the party setting up the democracy at Cyrene; different tribes and brotherhoods must be created outnumbering the old ones, and the celebrations of private religious rites must be grouped together into a small number of public celebrations, and every device must be employed to make all the people as much as possible intermingled with one another, and to break up the previously existing groups of associates. Moreover the characteristics of a tyranny also are all thought to be democratic, I mean for instance licence among slaves, which may really be advantageous for the popular party up to a point, and among women and children, and indulgence to live as one likes; a constitution of this sort will have a large number of supporters, as disorderly living is pleasanter to the mass of mankind than sober living.

But it is not the greatest or only task of the legislator or of those who desire to construct a constitution of this kind merely to set it up, but rather to ensure its preservation; for it is not difficult for any form of constitution to last for one or two or three days. We must therefore employ the results obtained in the inquiries that we have made already4 into the causes of the preservation and the destruction of constitutions, and attempt in the light of those results to establish the safety of the state, carefully avoiding the things that cause destruction, and enacting such laws both written and unwritten

1 In Book 5.

2 In N. Africa. Diodorus (Diod. 14.34) describes a revolution there in 401 B.C., when five hundred of the rich were put to death and others fled, but after a battle a compromise was arranged.

3 See 1275b 36 n.

4 Book 5.

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