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Aristotle

Politics: A Treatise on Government

    Michelle Roix Almirayцитує4 роки тому
    gift of speech also evidently proves that man is a more social animal than the bees, or any of the herding cattle: for nature, as we say, does nothing in vain, and man is the only animal who enjoys it
    Michelle Roix Almirayцитує4 роки тому
    Voice indeed, as being the token of pleasure and pain,
    Michelle Roix Almirayцитує4 роки тому
    It is one of the most marked characteristics of Greek political theory that Plato and Aristotle think of the statesman as one who has knowledge of what ought to be done, and can help those who call him in to prescribe for them, rather than one who has power to control the forces of society.
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    Democracy, he explains, is the government not of the many but of the poor; oligarchy a government not of the few but of the rich. And each class is thought of, not as trying to express an ideal, but as struggling to acquire power or maintain its position.
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    Instead, then, of beginning with a state which would express man's ideal nature, and adapting it as well as may be to man's actual shortcomings from that ideal, we must recognise that the state and all political machinery are as much the expression of man's weakness as of his ideal possibilities. The state is possible only because men have common aspirations, but government, and political power, the existence of officials who are given authority to act in the name of the whole state, are necessary because men's community is imperfect, because man's social nature expresses itself in conflicting ways, in the clash of interests, the rivalry of parties, and the struggle of classes, instead of in the united seeking after a common good.
    Michelle Roix Almirayцитує4 роки тому
    Aristotle is right in seeing that political government demands equality, not in the sense that all members of the state should be equal in ability or should have equal power, but in the sense that none of them can properly be regarded simply as tools with which the legislator works, that each has a right to say what will be made of his own life.
    Michelle Roix Almirayцитує4 роки тому
    the ideal state power will be given to the man with most knowledge of the good; in other states to the men who are most truly capable of achieving that end which the citizens have set themselves to pursue.
    Michelle Roix Almirayцитує4 роки тому
    The causes of revolutions are not described as primarily changes in the conception of the common good, but changes in the military or economic power of the several classes in the state.
    Michelle Roix Almirayцитує4 роки тому
    middle class is strong, as only the middle class can mediate between the rich and the poor.
    Michelle Roix Almirayцитує4 роки тому
    constitution of a state is only the outward expression of the common aspirations and beliefs of its members, explains the paramount political importance which Aristotle assigns to education. It is the great instrument by which the legislator can ensure that the future citizens of his state will share those common beliefs which make the state possible
    Michelle Roix Almirayцитує4 роки тому
    The cure, therefore, of political ills is knowledge of the good life
    Michelle Roix Almirayцитує4 роки тому
    The Greek doctrine that the essence of the state consists in community of purpose is the counterpart of the notion often held in modern times that the essence of the state is force. The existence of force is for Plato and Aristotle a sign not of the state but of the state's failure.
    Michelle Roix Almirayцитує4 роки тому
    Platonic view that all men seek the good, and go wrong through ignorance, not through evil will, and so he naturally regards the state as a community which exists for the sake of the good life.
    Michelle Roix Almirayцитує4 роки тому
    study of one hundred and fifty-eight constitutions of the states of his day
    b9091601426цитує5 років тому
    for the word All is used in two senses; if it means each individual, what Socrates proposes will nearly take place; for each person will say, this is his own son, and his own wife, and his own property, and of everything else that may happen to belong to him, that it is his own. But those who have their wives and children in common will not say so, but all will say so, though not as individuals; therefore, to use the word all is evidently a fallacious mode of speech; for this word is sometimes used distributively, and sometimes collectively,
    b9091601426цитує5 років тому
    It seems also more advantageous for the state, that the husbandmen should have their wives and children in common than the military, for there will be less affection [1262b] among them in that case than when otherwise; for such persons ought to be under subjection, that they may obey the laws, and not seek after innovations.
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    Modesty with respect to the female sex, for this virtue requires you to abstain from her who is another's; liberality, which depends upon private property, for without that no one can appear liberal, or do any generous action; for liberality consists in imparting to others what is our own.
    b9091601426цитує5 років тому
    And whoever [1264a] would establish a government upon a community of goods, ought to know that he should consult the experience of many years, which would plainly enough inform him whether such a scheme is useful; for almost all things have already been found out, but some have been neglected, and others which have been known have not been put in practice.
    b9091601426цитує5 років тому
    and poverty is the cause of sedition and evil.
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    But it is more necessary than even to regulate property, to take care that the increase of the people should not exceed a certain number; and in determining that, to take into consideration those children who will die, and also those women who will be barren; and to neglect this, as is done in several cities, is to bring certain poverty on the citizens
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