Cicero’s Republic: Three in One ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Yet, in this greatest of strengths also resides the deepest of weaknesses. When the people enjoy true liberty, they often fail to identify its source, admiring its effects rather than its causes. In particular, they misunderstand the necessity of virtue to the health of a society, misbelieving it the possession of the haughty and elite. “For when, on account of this mistaken notion of the common people, the State begins to be ruled by the riches, instead of the virtue, of a few men, these rulers tenaciously retain the title, though they do not possess the character of the best,” he laments. “For riches, names, and power, when they lack wisdom and the knowledge of how to live and to rule over others, are full of dishonour and insolent pride, nor is there any more depraved type of State than that in which the richest are accounted best.”
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/05/cicero-republic-three-in-one-bradley-birzer.html