Understanding the cycles of governments

Understanding the Cycles of Governments (Español )

Understanding the cycles of governments is key to the U.S.A.’s survival as a world power. This post is extremely important to maintain the U.S.A. in a democratic republic (we are already seeing the demagogues everywhere, so the end of this republic could happen at any time if we do not take the necessary steps to prevent it).

The Kyklos (Ancient Greek: κύκλος,IPA: [kýklos], “cycle”) is a term used by some classical Greek authors to describe what they saw as the political cycle of governments in a society. It was roughly based on the history of Greek city-states in the same period. The concept of “The Kyklos” is first elaborated in Plato’s Republic, chapters VIII and IX. Polybius calls it the anakyklosis, or “anacyclosis”.

According to Polybius who has the most fully developed version of the cycle, it rotates through the three basic forms of government, democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy, and the three degenerate forms of each of these governments, ochlocracy, oligarchy, and tyranny, respectively.

The cycle progresses as follows: originally, society is in anarchy, but the strongest figure emerges and sets up a monarchy. The monarch’s descendants who, because of their family’s power, lack virtue become despots, and the monarchy degenerates into a tyranny.

Because of the excesses of the ruler, the tyranny is overthrown by the leading citizens of the state who set up an aristocracy. They too quickly forget about virtue, and the state becomes an oligarchy. These oligarchs are overthrown by the people who set up a democracy. Democracy soon becomes corrupt and degenerates into mob rule, beginning the cycle anew.

All the philosophers believed that this cycling was harmful. The transitions would often be accompanied by violence and turmoil, and a good part of the cycle would be spent enduring the degenerate forms of government. Aristotle gave a number of options as to how the cycle could be halted or slowed:

Even the most minor changes to basic laws and constitutions must be opposed because over time the small changes will add up to a complete transformation.

-In aristocracies and democracies the tenure of rulers must be kept very short to prevent them from becoming despots.

The three basic government systems can be blended into one, a republic, taking the best elements of each (monarchy=>executive power, aristocracy=>judicial power, and democracy=>legislative power)

If any one individual gains too much power, be it political, monetary, or military, s/he should not be allowed to continue in politics (be banished from the polis).

Judges and magistrates must never accept money to make decisions.

-The middle class must be large (which, because of increasingly socialist welfare programs in the U.S., has been decreasing at an alarming rate. See communist-leaning article about this: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/12/12/pers-d12.html)

Most important to Aristotle in preserving a constitution is education: if all citizens are aware of law, history, and the constitution, they will endeavor to maintain a good government.

Polybius, by contrast, focuses on the idea of mixed government. His was that the ideal government is one that blends elements of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. Aristotle mentions this notion but pays little attention to it. To Polybius it is the most important, and he saw the Roman Republic as the embodiment of this mixed constitution and that this explained its stability.

In republican forms of government, the monarchies are represented by presidents, governors, mayors, etc. in the executive power;  the aristocracies are represented by judges, magistrates, and attorneys in the judicial power; and the democracies are represented by senators and representatives in the legislative power.

Ochlocracy (“rule of the general populace”) is democracy (“rule of the people”) spoiled by demagoguery (“tyranny of the majority”) and the rule of passion over reason, just as oligarchy (“rule of a few”) is aristocracy (“rule of the best”) spoiled by corruption, and tyranny is monarchy (“rule of the one”) spoiled by lack of virtue. Ochlocracy is synonymous in meaning and usage to the modern, informal term “mobocracy”, which emerged from a much more recent colloquial etymology.

How did our American Forefathers plan to keep our republic?

By ensuring checks and balances among the different powers. Our American Forefathers, such as James Madison, in one of the most famous of The Federalist Papers, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_No._51, explained the importance of not letting any one group take over two or more of these powers.  Unfortunately, we have let one group of people take over virtually all branches of government.  Lawyers, through attorney bars, have taken over all the powers of the government with catastrophic results to this nation as attested by anyone seeking justice in our current judicial system and as evidence shows.

How do we fix this problem?

DO NOT VOTE FOR ATTORNEYS IN THE LEGISLATURE.  Attorneys belong in the judicial system.


One thought on “Understanding the cycles of governments”

  1. re: “if all the citizens are aware of law, history, and the constitution they will endeavor to maintain a good government.”
    This rational statement presumes that people will (always?/usually?) make rational decisions and choices. Sometimes even educated and informed people make choices fueled by despair, resentment or vengeance. Disruptive destructiveness on personal and societal levels is the chaos factor that intrudes into the cycles of governance.

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