who, being educated in a prison where eunuchs corrupt their hearts and debase their understandings, and where they are frequently kept ignorant even of their high rank, when drawn forth in order to be placed on the throne, are at first confounded: but as soon as they have chosen a vizier, and abandoned themselves in their seraglio to the most brutal passions, pursuing, in the midst of a prostituted court, every capricious extravagance, they would never have dreamed that they could find matters so easy.
The more extensive the empire, the larger the seraglio; and consequently the more voluptuous the prince. Hence the more nations such a sovereign has to rule, the less he attends to the cares of government ; the more important his affairs, the less he makes them the subject of his deliberations.
The Social Contract
J. J. Rousseau
We saw in the last chapter what causes the various kinds or forms of government to be distinguished according to the number of the members composing them: it remains in this to discover how the division is made.
In the first place, the Sovereign may commit the charge of the government to the whole people or to the majority of the people, so that more citizens are magistrates than are mere private individuals. This form of government is called democracy.
Or it may restrict the government to a small number, so that there are more private citizens than magistrates; and this is named aristocracy.
Lastly, it may concentrate the whole government in the hands of a single magistrate from whom all
others hold their power. This third form is the most usual, and is called monarchy, or royal government.
It should be remarked that all these forms, or at least the first two, admit of degree, and even of very wide differences; for democracy may include the whole people, or may be restricted to half. Aristocracy, in its turn, may be restricted indefinitely from half the people down to the smallest possible number. Even royalty is susceptible of a measure of distribution. Sparta always had two kings, as its constitution provided; and the Roman Empire saw as many as eight emperors at once, without its being possible to say that the Empire was split up. Thus there is a point at which each form of government passes into the next, and it becomes clear that, under three comprehensive denominations, government is really susceptible of as many diverse forms as the State has citizens.____________________
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Political Sociology:A Reader. Contributors: S. N. Eisenstadt - Editor. Publisher: Basic Books. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1971. Page number: 34.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.