Aristotle 's Views On Democracy Essay

996 Words Nov 14th, 2016 4 Pages
In his work, Politics, Aristotle credits a city-state’s constitution as being its only enduring identity when he remarks “when the constitution changes its form, it would seem that the city-state too cannot remain the same” (1276b). Democracy is among the several different types of constitutions Aristotle recognizes. Democracy is what Aristotle describes as a “deviant constitution.” This type of constitution is deviant because it is for the benefit of the poor, but not for its common profit. Though democracy is the most moderate deviant constitution and arises from polity. City-states in which the poor, or those who do not possess much property, are in authority are defined as democratic. However, Aristotle tries to remedy this popular yet ambiguous definition of democracy. Take, for example, city-states in which the rich are a majority and the poor a minority. It is merely a “coincidence that the few have authority in oligarchies and the many democracies, a result of the fact that everywhere the rich are few and the poor many” (1279b34). Aristotle then concludes that democracy is wholly distinguishable by poverty and wealth and says “whether a minority or majority, whenever the poor rule, the constitution is necessarily a democracy” (1279b40). Though he describes it as deviant, Aristotle postulates that the many can be good judges when he remarks that “the view that the multitude rather than the few best people should be in authority would seem to be held…for the many,…

Related Documents