Friday, April 1, 2011

What is Polity?

What is Polity?

Aristotle's Polity (regime of political rule)

-Everyone is similar in birth and free

-Everyone knows what it is to rule and everyone knows how to be ruled

-All citizens are capable of holding office; everyone has the ability to rule - rule by the many

-Political rule seeks common benefit

-In any case, the deliberative part rules

-In polity, everyone has logos, so collectively, it is better

-The best constitution aims at the most choice worthy life.  Deliberation helps us make good choices, good choices lead us to choose virtuously, to choose virtuously is to flourish, and to flourish is best, because it is natural

Aristotle believes that there are six types of regimes; three good and three bad.  The order from worst to best is as follows: tyranny, oligarchy, democracy, polity, aristocracy, and kingship. 

He initially picks kingship as the best form of rule...ideally. His argument is that a king is the most virtuous person, therefore he only has the best decisions for his people at heart. He uses this same argument for aristocracy, as the aristocrats are more virtuous, because they have had more time to deliberate. 

But, as with many of his writings, he flip-flops. 

He chooses polity as the best regime, because having more people in power makes it harder to corrupt, therefore the people must be the most virtuous. He explains that the many -- the net many -- have more virtue than the elite few. He believes that through deliberation, there would be a bigger pool of virtue to draw on to make good decisions.