Everywhere inequality is a cause of revolution, but an inequality in which there is no proportion — for instance, a perpetual monarchy among equals; and always it is the desire of equality which rises in rebellion.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Politics [Πολιτικά], Book 5, ch. 1, sec. 11 / 1301b [tr. Jowett (1865)]

Alternate translations:
  • "Inequality is always the occasion of sedition, but not when those who are unequal are treated in a different manner correspondent to that inequality. Thus kingly power is unequal when exercised over equals. Upon the whole, those who aim after an equality are the cause of seditions." [tr. Ellis (1912)]

  • "For party strife is everywhere due to inequality, where classes that are unequal do not receive a share of power in proportion (for a lifelong monarchy is an unequal feature when it exists among equals); for generally the motive for factious strife is the desire for equality." [tr. Rackham (1932)]

  • "Factional conflict is everywhere the result of inequality, at any rate where there is no proportion among those who are unequal (a permanent kingship is unequal if it exists among equal persons); in general, it is equality they seek when they engage in factional conflict." [tr. Lord (1984)]

  • "Faction, indeed, is everywhere due to inequality, when unequals do not receive what is proportionate (for example, a permanent kingship is unequal if it exists among equals), since people generally engage in faction in pursuit of equality." [tr. Reeve (2007)]

Added on 30-Jul-13 | Last updated 26-Jul-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Aristotle

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *