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CHAPTER LXXXIOf the Subordination of Men one to another

SINCE man is endowed with understanding and sense and bodily power, these faculties are arranged in order in him by the disposition of divine providence according to the plan of the order that obtains in the universe, bodily power being put under that of sense and intellect as carrying out their command, and the sentient faculty itself under the faculty of intellect. And similar is the order between man and man. Men pre-eminent in understanding naturally take the command; while men poor in understanding, but of great bodily strength, seem by nature designate for servants, as Aristotle says in his Politics,667667φύσει δοῦλοι, Politics I, v. with whom Solomon is of one mind, saying: The fool shall serve the wise (Prov. xi, 29). But as in the works of one man disorder is born of intellect following sense, so in the commonwealth the like disorder ensues where the ruler holds his place, not by pre-eminence of understanding, but by usurpation of bodily strength, or is brought into power by some burst of passion. Nor is Solomon silent upon this disorder: There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, a fool set in high estate (Eccles x, 5, 6). But even such an anomaly does not carry with it the entire perversion of the natural order: for the dominion of fools is weak, unless strengthened by the counsel of the wise. Hence it is said: A wise man is strong, and a knowing man stout and valiant: because war is managed by due ordering, and there shall be safety where there are many counsels (Prov. xxiv, 5, 6). And because he who gives counsel rules him who takes it, and becomes in a manner his master, it is said: A wise servant shall be master over foolish sons (Prov. xvii, 2).


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