In his dialogue “De re publica,” Marcus Tullius Cicero explained, though the fictionalized voice of Scipio Africanus, that there are three basic types of government. The first is the monarchy, in which the king rules. The second is the aristocracy, in which a select class of privileged delegates rules. The third is the democracy, in which the people rule themselves. Each type of government has its strengths and weaknesses, and through those weaknesses, a cyclical process occurs in which one type of government devolves into the next.