POLI 201 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Liberal Democracy, Tyrant, Oligarchy

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Published on 17 Feb 2017
Who Rules
Aristotle formulated the ancient typologies of government
These typologies included three ‘lawful’ forms of government and three ‘perverted’ forms
of government
Lawful governments rule for the common good while perverted governments rule in the
private interest of the governors
One person
A few people
Many people
The one
Monarchies are lawful regimes because the monarch rules in the interest of the people
The monarch listens to the concerns of his subjects and becomes aware of their needs,
leading the government to work for the people
Tyrannies are perverted because a tyrant rules in his own interest
Laws made by a tyrant are made with the sole purpose of enriching and empowering the
The few
Aristocracies are lawful because the group of elites govern in the interests of the
common good
Oligarchies are perverse because they govern in their own interest, passing laws or
pursuing objectives that improve their condition without the consideration of the common
The many
A polity is a mixed regime that possesses both democratic and aristocratic elements,
giving both the people and the elites some say
This is the best regime because it gives everyone more stakes in the polls and the least
risk of failing
Democracies are perverse because the common man acts in his own interest, mostly
because the majority is in the lower or middle class and passes laws that gives them
more resources and drains the wealthy without consideration of what is good for society
Rank ordering
According to Aristotle, the regimes can be ordered from best to worst as such
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