General And Specific Means Of Preserving Constitutions

We have next to consider what means there are of preserving constitutions in general, and in particular cases. In the first place it is evident that if we know the causes which destroy constitutions, we also know the causes which preserve them; for opposites produce opposites, and destruction is the opposite of preservation.

In all well-attempered governments there is nothing which should be more jealously maintained than the spirit of obedience to law, more especially in small matters; for transgression creeps in unperceived and at last ruins the state, just as the constant recurrence of small expenses in time eats up a fortune. The expense does not take place at once, and therefore is not observed; the mind is deceived, as in the fallacy which says that ‘if each part is little, then the whole is little.’ this is true in one way, but not in another, for the whole and the all are not little, although they are made up of littles.

In the first place, then, men should guard against the beginning of change, and in the second place they should not rely upon the political devices of which I have already spoken invented only to deceive the people, for they are proved by experience to be useless. Further, we note that oligarchies as well as aristocracies may last, not from any inherent stability in such forms of government, but because the rulers are on good terms both with the unenfranchised and with the governing classes, not maltreating any who are excluded from the government, but introducing into it the leading spirits among them. They should never wrong the ambitious in a matter of honor, or the common people in a matter of money; and they should treat one another and their fellow citizen in a spirit of equality. The equality which the friends of democracy seek to establish for the multitude is not only just but likewise expedient among equals. Hence, if the governing class are numerous, many democratic institutions are useful; for example, the restriction of the tenure of offices to six months, that all those who are of equal rank may share in them. Indeed, equals or peers when they are numerous become a kind of democracy, and therefore demagogues are very likely to arise among them, as I have already remarked. The short tenure of office prevents oligarchies and aristocracies from falling into the hands of families; it is not easy for a person to do any great harm when his tenure of office is short, whereas long possession begets tyranny in oligarchies and democracies. For the aspirants to tyranny are either the principal men of the state, who in democracies are demagogues and in oligarchies members of ruling houses, or those who hold great offices, and have a long tenure of them.

Constitutions are preserved when their destroyers are at a distance, and sometimes also because they are near, for the fear of them makes the government keep in hand the constitution. Wherefore the ruler who has a care of the constitution should invent terrors, and bring distant dangers near, in order that the citizens may be on their guard, and, like sentinels in a night watch, never relax their attention. He should endeavor too by help of the laws to control the contentions and quarrels of the notables, and to prevent those who have not hitherto taken part in them from catching the spirit of contention. No ordinary man can discern the beginning of evil, but only the true statesman.

As to the change produced in oligarchies and constitutional governments by the alteration of the qualification, when this arises, not out of any variation in the qualification but only out of the increase of money, it is well to compare the general valuation of property with that of past years, annually in those cities in which the census is taken annually and in larger cities every third or fifth year. If the whole is many times greater or many times less than when the ratings recognized by the constitution were fixed, there should be power given by law to raise or lower the qualification as the amount is greater or less. Where this is not done a constitutional government passes into an oligarchy, and an oligarchy is narrowed to a rule of families; or in the opposite case constitutional government becomes democracy, and oligarchy either constitutional government or democracy.

It is a principle common to democracy, oligarchy, and every other form of government not to allow the disproportionate increase of any citizen but to give moderate honor for a long time rather than great honor for a short time. For men are easily spoilt; not every one can bear prosperity. But if this rule is not observed, at any rate the honors which are given all at once should be taken away by degrees and not all at once. Especially should the laws provide against any one having too much power, whether derived from friends or money; if he has, he should be sent clean out of the country. And since innovations creep in through the private life of individuals also, there ought to be a magistracy which will have an eye to those whose life is not in harmony with the government, whether oligarchy or democracy or any other. And for a like reason an increase of prosperity in any part of the state should be carefully watched. The proper remedy for this evil is always to give the management of affairs and offices of state to opposite elements; such opposites are the virtuous and the many, or the rich and the poor. Another way is to combine the poor and the rich in one body, or to increase the middle class: thus an end will be put to the revolutions which arise from inequality.

But above all every state should be so administered and so regulated by law that its magistrates cannot possibly make money. In oligarchies special precautions should be used against this evil. For the people do not take any great offense at being kept out of the government- indeed they are rather pleased than otherwise at having leisure for their private business- but what irritates them is to think that their rulers are stealing the public money; then they are doubly annoyed; for they lose both honor and profit. If office brought no profit, then and then only could democracy and aristocracy be combined; for both notables and people might have their wishes gratified. All would be able to hold office, which is the aim of democracy, and the notables would be magistrates, which is the aim of aristocracy. And this result may be accomplished when there is no possibility of making money out of the offices; for the poor will not want to have them when there is nothing to be gained from them- they would rather be attending to their own concerns; and the rich, who do not want money from the public treasury, will be able to take them; and so the poor will keep to their work and grow rich, and the notables will not be governed by the lower class. In order to avoid peculation of the public money, the transfer of the revenue should be made at a general assembly of the citizens, and duplicates of the accounts deposited with the different brotherhoods, companies, and tribes. And honors should be given by law to magistrates who have the reputation of being incorruptible. In democracies the rich should be spared; not only should their property not be divided, but their incomes also, which in some states are taken from them imperceptibly, should be protected. It is a good thing to prevent the wealthy citizens, even if they are willing from undertaking expensive and useless public services, such as the giving of choruses, torch-races, and the like. In an oligarchy, on the other hand, great care should be taken of the poor, and lucrative offices should go to them; if any of the wealthy classes insult them, the offender should be punished more severely than if he had wronged one of his own class. Provision should be made that estates pass by inheritance and not by gift, and no person should have more than one inheritance; for in this way properties will be equalized, and more of the poor rise to competency. It is also expedient both in a democracy and in an oligarchy to assign to those who have less share in the government (i.e., to the rich in a democracy and to the poor in an oligarchy) an equality or preference in all but the principal offices of state. The latter should be entrusted chiefly or only to members of the governing class.

Aristotle: Politics, Book Five, Part 8, 350 B.C.E.

The Four Kinds Of Democracy And Their Classification

Of the four kinds of democracy, as was said in the in the previous discussion, the best is that which comes first in order; it is also the oldest of them all. I am speaking of them according to the natural classification of their inhabitants. For the best material of democracy is an agricultural population; there is no difficulty in forming a democracy where the mass of the people live by agriculture or tending of cattle. Being poor, they have no leisure, and therefore do not often attend the assembly, and not having the necessaries of life they are always at work, and do not covet the property of others. Indeed, they find their employment pleasanter than the cares of government or office where no great gains can be made out of them, for the many are more desirous of gain than of honor. A proof is that even the ancient tyrannies were patiently endured by them, as they still endure oligarchies, if they are allowed to work and are not deprived of their property; for some of them grow quickly rich and the others are well enough off. Moreover, they have the power of electing the magistrates and calling them to account; their ambition, if they have any, is thus satisfied; and in some democracies, although they do not all share in the appointment of offices, except through representatives elected in turn out of the whole people, as at Mantinea; yet, if they have the power of deliberating, the many are contented. Even this form of government may be regarded as a democracy, and was such at Mantinea. Hence it is both expedient and customary in the aforementioned type of democracy that all should elect to offices, and conduct scrutinies, and sit in the law-courts, but that the great offices should be filled up by election and from persons having a qualification; the greater requiring a greater qualification, or, if there be no offices for which a qualification is required, then those who are marked out by special ability should be appointed. Under such a form of government the citizens are sure to be governed well (for the offices will always be held by the best persons; the people are willing enough to elect them and are not jealous of the good). The good and the notables will then be satisfied, for they will not be governed by men who are their inferiors, and the persons elected will rule justly, because others will call them to account. Every man should be responsible to others, nor should any one be allowed to do just as he pleases; for where absolute freedom is allowed, there is nothing to restrain the evil which is inherent in every man. But the principle of responsibility secures that which is the greatest good in states; the right persons rule and are prevented from doing wrong, and the people have their due. It is evident that this is the best kind of democracy, and why? Because the people are drawn from a certain class. Some of the ancient laws of most states were, all of them, useful with a view to making the people husbandmen. They provided either that no one should possess more than a certain quantity of land, or that, if he did, the land should not be within a certain distance from the town or the acropolis. Formerly in many states there was a law forbidding any one to sell his original allotment of land. There is a similar law attributed to Oxylus, which is to the effect that there should be a certain portion of every man’s land on which he could not borrow money. A useful corrective to the evil of which I am speaking would be the law of the Aphytaeans, who, although they are numerous, and do not possess much land, are all of them husbandmen. For their properties are reckoned in the census; not entire, but only in such small portions that even the poor may have more than the amount required.

Next best to an agricultural, and in many respects similar, are a pastoral people, who live by their flocks; they are the best trained of any for war, robust in body and able to camp out. The people of whom other democracies consist are far inferior to them, for their life is inferior; there is no room for moral excellence in any of their employments, whether they be mechanics or traders or laborers. Besides, people of this class can readily come to the assembly, because they are continually moving about in the city and in the agora; whereas husbandmen are scattered over the country and do not meet, or equally feel the want of assembling together. Where the territory also happens to extend to a distance from the city, there is no difficulty in making an excellent democracy or constitutional government; for the people are compelled to settle in the country, and even if there is a town population the assembly ought not to meet, in democracies, when the country people cannot come. We have thus explained how the first and best form of democracy should be constituted; it is clear that the other or inferior sorts will deviate in a regular order, and the population which is excluded will at each stage be of a lower kind.

The last form of democracy, that in which all share alike, is one which cannot be borne by all states, and will not last long unless well regulated by laws and customs. The more general causes which tend to destroy this or other kinds of government have been pretty fully considered. In order to constitute such a democracy and strengthen the people, the leaders have been in the habit including as many as they can, and making citizens not only of those who are legitimate, but even of the illegitimate, and of those who have only one parent a citizen, whether father or mother; for nothing of this sort comes amiss to such a democracy. This is the way in which demagogues proceed. Whereas the right thing would be to make no more additions when the number of the commonalty exceeds that of the notables and of the middle class- beyond this not to go. When in excess of this point, the constitution becomes disorderly, and the notables grow excited and impatient of the democracy, as in the insurrection at Cyrene; for no notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye. Measures like those which Cleisthenes passed when he wanted to increase the power of the democracy at Athens, or such as were taken by the founders of popular government at Cyrene, are useful in the extreme form of democracy. Fresh tribes and brotherhoods should be established; the private rites of families should be restricted and converted into public ones; in short, every contrivance should be adopted which will mingle the citizens with one another and get rid of old connections. Again, the measures which are taken by tyrants appear all of them to be democratic; such, for instance, as the license permitted to slaves (which may be to a certain extent advantageous) and also that of women and children, and the aflowing everybody to live as he likes. Such a government will have many supporters, for most persons would rather live in a disorderly than in a sober manner.

Aristotle: Politics, Book Six, Part 4, 350 B.C.E.

Australia: The Madness Continues

Australian flag

During the month of Ramadan alone, the world witnessed 160 Islamic attacks in 29 countries, in which 1627 people were murdered and 1824 injured. Nevertheless, the dual efforts to deny any links between Islamic terrorism and Islam on the one hand, and the efforts to accommodate Islam to the greatest extent possible on the other, seem to continue unaffected by the realities of Islamic terrorism — in Australia, as well, which is experiencing its own share of sharia and jihad.

At the end of May, the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) called on the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade to:

“…include a recommendation in its report that disavows the notion that there is any inherent link between Islam and terrorism… The Committee should condemn any politician who refers divisively (expressly or implied) to any religious or ethnic group for the purpose of political gain.”

PHAA Chief Executive Michael Moore said that there is no inherent link between any religion and acts of terror:

“When you look at terrorism and the IRA, I don’t think many people blamed Christianity for terrorism when clearly there was an overlay. In fact there’s nothing ­inherent in Christianity that links to terrorism”.

Since when are public health officials qualified to make authoritative statements on the theology of Islam or its linkage to Islamic terrorism?

Muslim psychiatrist Tanveer Ahmed, would disagree. Speaking in June about the Australian media’s disproportionate focus on “Islamophobia” he said:

“While terrorism’s origins have many factors, Islamic terrorists, as heinous as their acts are, they are often merely doing what the scriptures are telling them.”

While Australian officials rush to declare that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, revealingly they have referred to Islam or Islamic culture to exonerate Muslims on several occasions. In April, despite pleading guilty to sexually assaulting eight women and girls on a beach in Queensland, a young Afghan man was acquitted. The reason for the acquittal: “Cultural differences”. According to the judge, “seeing girls in bikinis is different to the environment in which he grew up”. The teen received two years’ probation without being convicted of anything.

Similarly, in 2014 , a registered sex-offender and pedophile, Ali Jaffari, was accused of attempted child-abduction. However, Australian police dropped all charges against him, after a magistrate told prosecutors that he would have difficulties finding Jaffari guilty. According to news reports:

Magistrate Ron Saines said if he was hearing the matter, he would have reasonable doubt, citing “cultural differences” as one factor, which would result in the charges being dismissed.

In Australia, according to judges, women and children must accept sexual assaults because it is part of the “Islamic culture” of their attackers. It would seem that in parts of Australia, this “Islamic culture” has replaced the rule of law.

A recent taxpayer-funded study about domestic violence is an example of the trend, in certain parts of Australia, towards replacing Australian values with Islamic ones. According to the study, while refugees are grateful for, “peace, freedom, healthcare and education”, the “major point of contention” is the issue of women’s and children’s rights:

The three-year study, funded by the Australian Research Council, concludes: “Many refugees see some human rights, in particular those relating to women and children’s rights, as detrimental to their successful settlement in Australia.”

It says some refugees argue “women’s and child’s rights contravene the cultural values, norms and mores” of their ethnic groups.

The study called for “cultural sensitivity and understanding of the impact on male refugees and… feelings of alienation and disappointment”.

Domestic violence in Muslim households is already a hot topic in Australia. Keysar Trad, a former President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, told Sky News in February that an angry husband can beat his wife as “a last resort”. In April, the women’s branch of Islamic group Hizb Ut-Tahrir posted a video from an all-women’s event in Sydney to Facebook, in which two women demonstrated wife beating and called it “a beautiful blessing”.

Accommodating Islam in Australia takes other forms as well. For Ramadan this year, Muslim inmates of two maximum-security prisons in the State of Victoria were given taxpayer-funded microwave ovens in their cells for the month, so they could heat their food up after sunset, when they can break their fast. The issue apparently caused unrest among the non-Muslims in the jails.

In Auburn, female Muslim swimming pool users were given a separate curtained pool, so that they could swim without male pool users seeing them. Belgravia Leisure, which operates the facility, said, “the curtain was installed to overcome cultural barriers and encourage Muslim women to use the pool”. The company’s general manager, Anthony McIntosh, said it was “a move to make the pool accessible for all cultural groups”.

None of the above, however, seems to be enough to appease Muslim sentiments. In March, Anne Aly, Australia’s first female Muslim Member of Parliament, said that racial-discrimination laws should be expanded to cover insults based on religion as well. The Grand Mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, has voiced similar opinions.

In June, the Islamic Council of Victoria made a submission to a Parliamentary inquiry, requesting from the government:

“To create safe spaces urgently needed by Muslim youth to meet and talk about a range of issues in emotional terms, where they can be frank and even use words, which in a public space would sound inflammatory”.

In other words, Muslims should have a taxpayer-funded “safe space” where they can incite unhindered against Australians?

Some Muslims have decided to create a “safe space” on their own, segregated from the rest of Australian society. In Brisbane, the Australian International Islamic College is planning an exclusively Muslim enclave, including a mosque covering 1,970 square meters; a three-storey elder-care and residential building, 3,000 square meters of retail space and 120 residential apartments, in addition to new classrooms and a childcare center for 2,000 students. The existing site is already home to the college, which caters to students from kindergarten to 12th grade. So much for “multiculturalism”.

Clearly, the appeasement is not working. It never has. Appeasement, in fact, usually seems to have the opposite effect. Here are a few recent examples of how Australian policies have been working out lately:

In April, a Christian man in Sydney wearing a cross was attacked by a Muslim gang of youths, who, while screaming “Allah’, and “f**k Jesus”, threw his cross to the ground and violently assaulting him. According to Baptist Pastor George Capsis, this was the fourth such attack on a Christian in Sydney in the past six months.

In Sydney’s Punchbowl Boys High School — one of 19 schools in New South Wales identified as at risk of radicalizing Muslim students — students were “pressured to attend daily prayer meetings, lectures on the Koran and even cut their hair by peers badgering them to conform to Islam”.

The 19 at-risk schools all participate in an anti-radicalization program, but the principal of Punchbowl Boys High School, Chris Griffiths, a convert to Islam who has since been fired, had refused to participate in it; he said that he was “not comfortable with prayer groups being monitored or the school being ‘stigmatised'”.

Griffiths need not have worried. Those de-radicalization programs apparently do not work very well. In March, a Sydney teenager who was in a de-radicalization program pleaded guilty to planning a terrorist attack on Anzac Day in 2016. The teenager was accused of trying to obtain a gun for his intended April 25 attack; then, when that failed, a bomb manual.

In March, a teacher at Punchbowl Primary School quit her job after she and her family received death threats from the children in the primary school, with some of them saying they would behead her:

She said she was abused by students when she stopped them from hanging a Syrian flag in the classroom.

Many of the students also reportedly spoke of family members fighting in the war in Syria and pupils would walk out mid-way through a lesson to go and pray.

According to news reports, the teacher’s complaints to the New South Wales Department of Education were dismissed.

Jihad also came to Australia during the recent Ramadan. After ISIS had told its supporters to attack the infidels “in their homes”, Yacqub Khayre, an Australian Muslim, took that literally. On June 5, in a serviced-apartment block in an affluent Melbourne suburb, he took a woman hostage, killed another man, then, during the attack, called a television station and told them that his attack was for ISIS and al-Qaeda. But the Australian police are not easily fooled: they said at the time that terrorism was just “one line of inquiry”. Khayre, a Somali immigrant, was, it turned out, well-known by the authorities. He had, in fact, been acquitted of plotting a terror attack at a Sydney army base in 2010; had served sentences for arson and violent crimes, and had been paroled in November 2016.

Original article: Australia’s Failure to Address Terrorism

 

 

Guess how World War II started?

Ignoring a genocidal and imperialistic ideology.

Guess how World War III is going to start?

The same way.