>>238585>It can get a bit tedious, but it definitely gives you some insight.
Yeah I bought the abridged version for that reason, it condenses like 5 volumes down to a single book. I figure I can always go back and read the whole thing later if I feel like undertaking the project.>>238589>Ironic given that it was written for the average person and was a best-seller. Literary standards have collapsed.
You have to consider that writing for the "average person" back then meant someone who was well-bred and educated, just not necessarily landed nobility. It was taken for granted that your average illiterate turnip farmer wouldn't be reading it, which basically accounted for the majority of the human population. For most of human history civilizations have made a distinction between the public, or the literate and genteel portion of the populace, and the masses, which encompassed the laborers, slaves, etc. All of the classical democracies/republics that the Enlightenment ideas were modeled after made the same assumption. Athens is usually used as the prime example of an ideal democracy, but they still had a caste system, where only the aristocracy were considered citizens who could vote. Rome was the same way; only members of the nobility were considered actual Roman citizens. It's why Roman citizenship was so coveted. As all of these societies gradually expanded the concept of "the public" to include their slaves, freedmen, commoners, women, foreigners, etc, they gradually began to deteriorate and degenerate until sooner or later they fell apart and got conquered. The modern Western democracies and republics modeled after them are following the same trajectory.