- Freedom is the defining principle of democracy.
- Democracy is when there is a majority of free, poor men who have authority to rule, while oligarchy is when it is in the hands of the wealthy and well-born, who are a minority.
- The following arrangements are usually considered consistent with democracy:
1. Election to all offices from among all the citizens.
2. Rule of all over each and of each over all in turn filling magistrates by lot, or at least those not requiring knowledge and technical skill not having a financial requirement for holding magistracies, or at least the smallest possible requirement.
3. The same person not repeating the same magistracy, or only rarely, except for military offices.
4. Having the terms of magistracies be short, wherever possible.
5. Choosing jurors from all citizens to adjudicate all matters, or most matters, especially the most important ones.
6. The assembly having authority over all matters or the most important matters, while magistrates have authority over none, or as few as possible.
7. Providing pay for all service in government, or for all functions that exercise authority.
8. Making no distinctions according to a citizen’s birth, poverty, or occupation no public offices held for life.
- Multiple types of democracy happen to exist, despite some people saying there is only one type...
… A fourth type is the last type to arise in cities. Since cities have become far larger than before and have public revenue from which to pay subsidies for public service, everyone is now able to participate. Even the poor have the leisure for public service thanks to the payments. Their private business and affairs are not an impediment for their public service, but such things are an impediment for the rich, who therefore frequently avoid service in the assembly or the courts. In this way the multitude of the poor wins authority over the system of government, not the laws.
- The final type of democracy, in which everyone is in the partnership, is not easy for every city to maintain, nor is it easy for this type to endure because its laws and its habits are not well composed. Demagogues expand its citizen body by allowing in those of illegitimate birth or born to only one citizen parent. If the rabble grow too numerous, they create disorder and can provoke the notable members of the population to resistance against the democracy. This type of democracy is made stronger by introducing institutions to mix everyone up together, as Cleisthenes did at Athens (*). This type of democracy promotes disorderly living, with a lack of control over women, children, and slaves, and a toleration for everyone living as he pleases, for the many prefer living like this to living with prudence and moderation.
- The final type of democracy is a tyranny.
- Some democracies, like tyrannies, rest on force and are not directed toward the common advantage.
- To endure, a democracy, like an oligarchy, needs both the rich and the poor. A democracy that destroys the well-off becomes unstable. Where the people have authority over the laws, demagogues tear the city in two by fighting with the rich. Instead, they should do the opposite and appear to speak on the behalf of the rich.
- Ultimate democracy, like unmixed and final oligarchy, is really a tyranny divided [among a multitude of persons].
(*) In many systems of government, citizens are legally drawn from the ranks of foreigners [that is, both of their parents do not have to be citizens]. In some democracies, citizens need only have a citizen mother, and even illegitimate children (nothoi) can be citizens in many places. Cleisthenes of Athens made citizens of metics [resident foreigners], who had been foreigners or slaves, following the expulsion of the tyrants from Athens [near the end of the sixth century].
With two exceptions (the existence of slaves and women being "controlled") I believe I can second all of the above. Now, what do you think of democracy?