XVIII.17 On political laws among peoples who have not the use of money

What most assu­res the liberty of peo­ples who do not till the land is that they know nothing of money. The yield of the hunt, of fishing or of live­stock can­not be gathe­red in suf­fi­cient quan­tity, nor kept long enough, for a man to be in a posi­tion to cor­rupt eve­ry­body else ; whe­reas when there are signs of wealth a per­son can accu­mu­late those signs and dis­tri­bute them to who­me­ver he wishes.

Among peo­ples who have no money, each per­son has few needs, and satis­fies them rea­dily and equally. Equality is thus man­da­tory, and their chiefs are not des­po­tic.