Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who believed that humans are political and yet rational, and
that he could find the best way to govern ourselves. He lived in a time of chaos (431 BC) and
wanted to know how we could live a more stable life.
Aristotle examined 158 political communities and classified them in terms of whether there was
rule by a single person, rule by few, or rule by many. He found all of these were good forms of
government if the rulers worked toward the common good and governed in a lawful manner. If
they acted arbitrary for its own interests, their government could be seen as a bad or “perverted”
government. Aristotle viewed democracy as a perverted form of government in which the poor,
being the majority, governed in their own interest by taking away the property of the rich.