Within Aristotle’s ideal state “the true purpose of government is to enable its citizen to live the full and happy life,” (“The Man” 32), the best government for Aristotle is one that allows individualism among its citizens, rather than rule in favor of the majority. In Plato’s view “A just state […] is achieved in a situation in which everyone knows one’s own job, where... ... middle of paper ... ... educated to become the best in the state. Aristotle’s ideal state only consists of free men, who choose a government to suit the personalized state, however, Plato structures the ideal state down to the last detail. While both Aristotle and Plato have ideas about the ideal state, the fluidity of Aristotle ideal state is more attainable than the improbable perfection of Plato’s utopia. Plato’s ideal takes governing over people to the extreme of raising perfect leaders.
If there was no form of sovereignty the guardians, who are the upper class citizens, would go after all their wants and desires freely. This would cause pandemonium and violence within the state. Plato states that, “a city whose future rulers are least eager to rule will necessarily be the best governed and freest from strife, and the one with opposite rulers the worst” (520d). By this Plato means that the people who should keep the social classes in check and rule over the state should be people who are not interested in power, ruling over others, self-gain, or self-promotion. Plato says, "to become a good guardian, a man must be by nature fast, strong, and a spirited philosopher" (Plato 376e).
Two characteristics among a democracy include having a unique citizen that is right for the public, and allowing laws to protect everyone's fair play. Another type of government is an association under absolute control. Absolutism is the idea of governing by divine right, in which the ruler can come off as believing they are superior. This idea can be the cause of persuading rulers to be better than other parties. As stated in A History of Western ... ... middle of paper ... ...shed democracy ends due to Ralph not receiving enough respect from others, and lacking the ability in ruling efficiently.
This concept has to be taken a step further because in The Republic, Plato states that philosophers should be the rulers since they are the only ones who hold the form of the good. Plato seems to be saying that it is not enough to know the forms of tables or trees, one must know the greatest form--form of the good--in order to rule. The reasoning is: if you know the good, then you will do the good. Therefore, philosopher rulers are by far the most apt to rule. In The Republic, Plato builds around the idea of Philosopher Rulers.
Plato's Ideas of an Inefficient Democracy Plato's Republic describes precisely how he feels about society and what the true meaning of justice is within that society. Plato feels that a city can only function if each of pieces does its part and nothing else. He also thinks that a perfect society should run on a distinct social scale. This scale descends in the order from the philosopher kings to the guardians to the craftspeople. His ideal society would be run in the form of an aristocracy where the philosopher kings use the guardians to ultimately rule the lowly craftspeople.
Plato believed that everything had an ideal form, but Aristotle looked into the real world and studied that. Instead of inventing a system of government, Aristotle explored more of practical things that you can realistically put into effect. Aristotle’s main aim was to “consider, not only what form of government is best, but also what is possible and what is easily attainable”. Meaning that he wanted everyone to be able to relate and adapt to his form of power. He wanted people to be servant to his laws because if the law were an order, it would make a good society.
Aristotle on Politics The central concern of theorists is to establish a form of constitution that a society will likely succeed. Political success according to Aristotle is determined by the happiness of the citizens of the society. Aristotle’s vision of a perfect government all begins with the character of the citizenry leading to the happiness of a whole state. Through his studies, Aristotle came to the conclusion that in order to achieve a perfect constitution it is essential to break down a society into parts and observe each individually. Aristotle’s teachings were stressed on moderation in government and in life.
Aristotle and Socrates and Plato’s beliefs have similarities mainly evident in their denouncement of democracy for the state. The views of Socrates expressed and written by his pupil Plato are vastly philosophical in nature and he promotes the idea of questioning life to achieve insight. The philosophers who possess the absolute truth are the best equipped to rule society according to Plato and his Allegory of the Cave. Conversely, Aristotle takes a more political science approach of discussing and analyzing various constitutions to determine the best form of government, where the rational beings in a society are the natural rulers. Aristotle promotes the idea of rule based on law rather than simple superiority.
Private Property and the Rule of the Middle Class in Aristotle’s Politics In his discussions of constitutions and cities in Politics, Aristotle makes it very clear that his top priority is to provide people with the opportunity to pursue and achieve the good life. An integral part of this is the stability of the constitution. Although Aristotle explicitly states that a kingship is the best system of rule for any given generation, its lack of stability from one generation to the next disqualifies it from being the best in reality. In his attempts to find a constitution with stability, Aristotle comes to the decision that the middle class would be the ruler of such a constitution. This, he says, will minimize the corruption that can easily take place within the rich or the poor, and will ensure lasting stability.
In Plato’s Republic Book 1, Thrasymachus argues that morality is the advantage of the stronger. To support his view, Thrasymachus first claims that the governments, which are the stronger parties, always pass laws based on their own interest, and then argues that subjects must always obey these laws, therefore morality is the advantage of the stronger. Socrates gives two sets of counter arguments. First, by differentiating apparent advantage and actual advantage to the stronger, Socrates argues that the obedience to the laws by the subjects can be occasionally not in the actual interest of the rulers. Second, by claiming that all craftsmen only consider the welfare of the recipients of expertise instead of their own interest, Socrates asserts that a ruler, having an expertise of ruling, also only cares about the interest of the ruled, and thus morality is the advantage of the weaker.