Aristotle's Five Types Of Democracy

996 Words 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 …show more content…
The first type is based on equality, and in this type, the “the poor enjoy no more superiority than the rich and neither is in authority but the two are similar” (1291b31). The second type is marked by office delegation on the basis of property assessments. The people must amass some wealth to hold office. In both the third and fourth types, the law rules. However, in the third type, only uncontested citizens participate in office, wheres in the fourth type, all citizens participate. Finally, the fifth type of democracy is “not a constitution at all” (1292a35) because the law does not rule. In this type, the multitude has authority rather than the law. The multitude becomes a monarch, one person composed of …show more content…
The deliberative component deals with public affairs, the judicial component with deciding lawsuits, and the executive component with public order. Aristotle further elaborates on democratic justice. Democratic justice is equality for equals and inequality for unequals, because what is “just is just for certain people” (1280b16). Democracy “arose from those who are equal in some respect thinking themselves to be unqualifiedly equal; for because they are equally free, they think they are unqualifiedly equal” (1301a28). Aristotle concludes that democratic justice is based on numerical quality, not merit. Though the concept of proportional justice is enduring, the democratic constitution may undergo change, and this is what Aristotle next comments on. He states that they undergo change because of the “wanton behavior popular leaders who sometimes bring malicious lawsuits against individual property owners” (1305a20) which causes them to join forces and form

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