Is Democracy, The Best Form Of Government?

Topics: Democracy, United States, Government, Political philosophy, President of the United States, United States Constitution / Pages: 7 (1607 words) / Published: Dec 12th, 2014
For centuries, mankind has been asking the question: “Who should rule, and what is the best system of government?” The answers have ranged from the rule of the one, to the rule of the few, to the rule of the many. This topic has long been the center of argument and has even started a few wars, such as the war of American Independence and the French Revolution. America and most of the Western world’s answer to these questions is democracy. That leads to another question, however, “Is democracy the best form of government?” In America, and most of the Western world today, the best government is democracy because of the freedoms that come with it. Philosophers Plato and Aristotle, however, would strongly disagree with that argument. To attempt …show more content…
To Aristotle, there are three just forms of government and that they have an unjust counterpart system. The three just governments are: monarchy, aristocracy, and politeia. Monarchy is the rule of one person for the benefit of the city. Aristocracy is the rule of the few, best, who rule for the benefit of the city. Politeia is the rule of the many for the common benefit of the city. The unjust counterpart to monarchy is tyranny, the unjust counterpart to aristocracy is oligarchy, and the unjust counterpart to politeia is democracy (Steinberger, …show more content…
Aristotle would argue that politeia is the best government for the good of the city. Politeia is the rule of the many for the common benefit of the city (Steinberger, 2000a). It is midway between democracy and oligarchy. Politeia more similar to democracy are called polity, and politeia more similar to oligarchy are called aristocracy (Steinberger, 2000a). Aristotle explains that politeia can be created in three ways. A combination of democracy and oligarchy, an average of the two, or a simple mixture of elements from the two can create politeia (Steinberger, 2000a). According to Aristotle, politeia is more difficult to achieve because it is uncommon for a large number of people to be outstandingly virtuous. For Aristotle, politeia is the ideal constitution because it benefits both the masses and the wealthy (Steinberger, 2000a). Aristotle’s politeia does not require the loss of personal freedom, nor does it require the censorship of education, and nor does it require the communal ownership of property and

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