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Spinoza demonstrates in his Treaties how the society in which monarchical dominion finds place, as also that in which the dominion is aristocratic, should be ordered, so as not to lapse into a tyranny, but to preserve inviolate the peace and freedom of the citizens. Read it in its entirety here. (This text was prepared by Jon Roland of the Constitution Society.)

 

FROM THE EDITOR'S PREFACE TO THE POSTHUMOUS WORKS OF BENEDICT DE SPINOZA.

OUR author composed the Political Treatise shortly before his death [in 1677]. Its reasonings are exact, its style clear. Abandoning the opinions of many political writers, he most firmly propounds therein his own judgment; and throughout draws his conclusions from his premisses. In the first five chapters, he treats of political science in general --in the sixth and seventh, of monarchy; in the eighth, ninth, and tenth, of aristocracy; lastly, the eleventh begins the subject of democratic government. But his untimely death was the reason that he did not finish this treatise, and that he did not deal with the subject of laws, nor with the various questions about politics, as may be seen from the following "Letter of the Author to a Friend, which may properly be prefixed to this Political Treatise, and serve it for a Preface:" --

FormatTEXT | PDF | A Political Treatise 
Etext Prepared by Jon Roland of the Constitution Society