According to James Madison’s “Federalist #10” essay, a large republic is superior to a smaller one because of its potential to “break and control the violence of factions.” Madison’s implies that factions are inevitable, given the nature of man to group together based on similar opinions/beliefs. Aristotle’s “Book IV” draws similar parallels to Madison’s “Federalist #10” in regards to favoring a government ruled by a large middle class. Aristotle argues for a government composed by the middle class as this form prominently captivates the virtue of the mean while promoting the habit of obedience, and producing top legislators.
Aristotle discusses the significance of attaining a happy virtue within in a regime as it directly affects the life of the citizens. According to Aristotle “[…] the happy life is the life according to virtue lived without impediment, and that virtue is a mean […]” (Aristotle Book IV Part IX.) This implies that an elated life is grounded upon the interests of the middle class as it balances the views of the rich versus that of the poor. He continues with “then the life which is in a mean, and in a mean attainable by every one, must be the best.” This conclusion makes it clear that the principles of virtue of the mean favor the majority and should be the same as the characteristic of the principles of the regime as it is best suited to define the life of the city.
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...nd in the same party” (Madison Federalist #10.) Madison argues that a mean is not necessarily for all circumstances as smaller regimes tend to posses the same interests easier than the large ones. However, the influence of factions will remain inevitable in both a large government as well as a small one as the nature of man will always lean in favor of their shared interest.
In conclusion, Aristotle makes it evident that the best form of government is ruled by the mean of either extreme as its behavior compasses a happy virtue, obeys reason, and produces the best legislatures. Neither democratic nor oligarchic principles can apply to the common interest of the citizens as one generally dominates the other and diminishes their moral. Both authors clearly support a regime composed of the mean in which serves as a happy medium that is attainable by the majority.
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