Essay on The Ideal Governments of Plato and Aristotle

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In Ancient Greece, people known as philosophers began contemplating the world in a different light. They had a different way of thinking than what was normal in the day. While others practiced paganism and worshipped the Gods of Olympus, philosophers thought about the body, the soul, and ways to create a better world. Greek philosophers are still known today and their works are still being read and taught. They have left a mark on this world. One topic that philosophers frequently discuss is politics and government. How could they make it less corrupt? Is the one they have now satisfactory or could it be better? What are the different forms of government and how do they connect to the individual person? Which one is the best? These …show more content…
His ranking of governments, in order from best government to worst is as follows – aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and tyranny. (Bloom, pg 416) To understand his ideal form of government, it is important to understand why he chose aristocracy as his ideal form of government. First, his requirements for the ideal city must be discussed. Plato believed that the best city would be one that possessed the ability to defend itself from attackers and to be ruled by a person who would strive for the good of the citizens. He used those requirements to weed out the governments that were ill suited for his utopia. Thus, he claimed that in a democracy, the people’s desire for liberty would cause political disorder, as the citizens would no longer wish to follow any of the laws written in the city’s constitution. A democracy was ruled out. An oligarchy, the rule of the rich, would not be satisfactory because the two distinct social classes within the city would always be attempting to overthrow the other. The government of the rich would lose the ability to properly govern the people because the fear of the poor would overshadow the fear of the enemy. A timocracy, though superior to the other forms of government was not the ideal one in the eyes of Plato. Plato argued that a timocracy, like Sparta, would fall apart because of monetary temptations. This would result in the rich man being valued over the poor man, which would

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