I have often referred to the natural cycle or evolution of systems of governance by noting the portrayal of it that Plato gives in The Republic. I didn’t know until this morning that the concept has a name: anacyclosis. If you live long enough you discover that everything has a name.
The usual context for invoking anacyclosis is for pointing out that democracy has long been known to be an imperfect form of government, one prone to degrading into undesirable forms of mob-rule. But I am particularly fascinated by the connection the fuller theory makes between democracy and the emergence of an economic middle class.
Our usual assumption is that a strong middle class stabilizes society, but according to the classical theory the middle class itself is destabilizing, leading first to competition between the rulers and the ruled, then to democracy (as a means of conflict resolution), then to rule by demagogues, then to political collapse and the return of tyranny.
I think the observation is true.