Politics by Aristotle
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More than 2,350 years ago, Aristotle, one of the greatest thinkers in the world history, wrote a book about politics. It was an important document considering the time when it was written. Nowadays, people in the free world have learned to take for granted the benefits of democracy. However, during the time of ancient Greece, democracy was merely an idea that was still in its infancy. It took great sacrifices and hard work for men like Aristotle to give birth to an idea that people could come together and work for the common good.
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In the present time, men and women living in a free society are already accustomed to the benefits of living under a just and humane society. As a result, most of them are not grateful enough for the things that they enjoy as citizens of a democratic form of government. However, for those who are thankful that they live in a country that allows its citizens to become the best that they could be, they must also remember that these ideas did not originate from the United States or Great Britain. The powerful and society shaping idea of democracy came from ancient Greece.
Aristotle was one of the greatest contributors when it comes to crafting a theoretical framework that would soon help in spreading the value of democracy all over the world. In this particular document, Aristotle was able to demonstrate his keen sense of observation and impressive analytical skills. Aristotle started the discussion by reminding his readers that any type of association or community-building process must begin with realization that it was built to produce a common good. It is important to point out the significance of Aristotle’s statement. It is the best way to attract individuals and families to come together in order to create some type of cooperative work,so that all the members of the group can be assured that their needs will be met.
Aristotle was correct in assuming that unity is a prerequisite in building communities and governments. However, this idea was not yet clear in ancient times. Due to the numerous bad experiences that individuals had to go through, it was easy to understand why they were not going to easily hand over security and future of their families to the leaders that they cannot trust.
Aristotle’s brilliance was made evident when he attempted to persuade his fellow citizens that they could gain so much in creating a society governed by law. As mentioned earlier, Aristotle reminded the people who would listen to him that if they worked together as one, they would be going to expect nothing but the best. In the minds of ordinary people during this period, the most important concern was food security and the need to acquire important materials needed for their trade or for the comfort of their loved ones.
Aristotle gave them the assurance that they could expect great things from a society that is organized to work as one. Aristotle made another interesting point when he decided to lay down the principles explaining the importance of coming together and creating a community characterized by the need to help each other.
First, Aristotle told his readers that it was natural for people to come together and work as one team. He said that an individual who was not part of a community was unable to live a fruitful life. Aristotle compared this problem to an organ in the body that has been cut-off and separated. Without contribution of other organs, the one that was separated ceases to function.
Second, Aristotle said that the state was prior to the family. He was able to come to this conclusion by observing that no one has survived without assistance and nurture that comes from a community. It is therefore in the best interest of man that he is under the authority of the state.
Finally, Aristotle made a claim that it was only through the unity and decision to come together as one; that members of a society can expect a prudent and effective management of wealth. In other words, an individual or a family that does not want to submit under a city-state form of government cannot expect to acquire enough wealth to provide for those in need, and to gather enough resources so that they can defend themselves from those who are going to take away their freedom.
It is hard to imagine a society in modern times that had to be persuaded when it comes to adopting a government that is characterized by people working together to accomplish a great goal. However, when Aristotle was committing his ideas to the paper, the world has not yet known the significance of democracy. Thus, Aristotle had to persuade people that it was beneficial for them to work together as one. Aristotle had to convince them through an intellectual exercise, wherein he pointed out that it was natural for men and women to be linked together to accomplish a specific goal. Aristotle said that a closer examination of human history would reveal that a human being was unable to function well without support of a family or community. In fact, the best and the brightest people are unable to create or contribute something significant without the help of others. Aristotle was able to persuade his readers and listeners to make the necessary effort towards unity and capacity to work for the things that will result in the common good.
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