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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Rebecca Kingston

Political theory 13 november 2013. Aristotle. Polity or the mixed regime. I. Introduction. Recap • Just and unjust regimes; class politics;regime change. • Rule of law,superior judgments of the many over that of one individual, economic activities of the general population and its links to political capabilities. II. The Mixed Regime or politeia • Basic problem: most cities will have to settle for less than perfect democracies or oligarchies BUT most of these are inherently unstable given the pervasiveness of class warfare. • Class warfare in part an outcome of competing conceptions of justice. • Democratic justice = freedom and equality for all. Health care for all people regardless of their social or economic position. competing with it is oligarchy. • Oligarchic justice=distribution on the basis of merit. it's fair that people should have excess to more extensive care and education if they have the capacity. even if it means not every one has access. Aristotle kinda agrees and not agrees. Class conflict can lead to political breakdown of the city. (e.g.: syria). • one should seek a way to promote stability as he says : ◦ IV, 11: ‘What regime is best and what way of life is best for most cities and most human beings, judging with a view neither to virtue of the sort that is beyond private persons, nor to education, in respect to those things requiring [special advantages provided by] nature and an equipment dependent on chance, nor to the regime that one would pray for, but a way of life which it is possible for most to share in, and a regime of which most cities can partake?’ ▪ So aristotle is suggesting that it should provide to more people. ◦ IV, 12, 1297a6 “The better the mixture in the polity, the more lasting it will be.” ▪ mixed in what way? ancient models of discovery in different way. Not talking about selecting legislature, it defines many theorist in classical era, which is combing different ideas of different constitutions. in the typology is shown as good form of democracy, but later it the polity becomes a mixture of democracy and oligarchy(1V,8,1293B35) . They both are justified. ◦ 1294b35 “In a polity that is finely mixed, the regime should be held to be both- and neither. And it should be preserve through itself, not from outside- through itself not because those wishing its preservation are a majority (since this might be the case even in a base regime), but because none of the parts of the city generally would wish to have another regime.” ▪ it has to be self sufficient and self preserving. so some degree of consensus, or legitimacy and self sufficiency. ▪ Mixed regime is a type of mixed regimes. ◦ Theoretical basis for preference. • Mixture of : • a) laws/constitutional structure (3 ways this can be done); in Book 4 chap 9 ◦ Putting both together (e.g.. jury duty example-to both pay the poor for service ad fine the wealthy for lack of service), ◦ Find some mid-point between the two- a median between high and low property qualifications. ◦ Taking aspects of both-eh oligarchic modes of election but without property or income qualification. • b) class composition- better if a larger middle class –why?; ◦ Book 4-11; "what is moderate and middling is best" why ? ▪ 1- party because of effects of wealth on character - overly everything makes it hard to understand reason. ▪ 2- party due to the constraints of having to work for a living book 4 chap 6 1292b26 - They have other priorities, middle class is better with equality and friendship ▪ 3- Most conducive to a sense of equality and friendship. ◦ But what does he means by 'middle class'? Aristotle is most concerned about the socio economic status. if you are too concerned you will be working to hard or not going to have the moderate attitude needed for citizenship. Has something more in mind, where these concerns are a lesser, talking about a class that is comfortable with what they are not in competition. • c) conceptions of justice ◦ Combine democratic preference for numerical equality and oligarchic preference for proportionate equality- V,1. Decmocracy is more liberal. there is some combination of numerical equality as long as the meddling elements are substatial. ◦ Types of policies? -1V,14,1297B35 AND 1V,14, 1298B5- different functions for those chosen by election and those chosen by lot; combine principles of selection (both lot nd election), combine facet of undifferentiated treatment and equity. ◦ -Can this be adapted to thinking about accommodation in a multicultural context? in question of cultural accommodation - it seems clear that to do justice they require a combination of individual rights (charter of right- every one deserves the same treatment) and some importance of recognizing different cultures. arguably to best accommodate one must mix individual rights and importance of different cultures. Aristotelian terms- notion of secular equality - trying to impose homogeneity,
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