Plato and Aristotle on Democracy

Powerful Essays
Aldi Myteberi

Question 1.

Democracy is a form of government where people choose leaders through elections and social construct that are based on the equality of everyone within the state. It is a form of government were majority and public opinions combine to choose leaders with respect to the social structure of a particular society, taking into consideration the social laws, rules, traditions, norms, values, and culture. Plato and Aristotle tow of the most influential figures in Greek philosophy. Both Plato and Aristotle were big critics of democracy as a poor form of government. Aristotle’s views about democracy hold that democratic office will cause corruption in the people, if the people choose to redistribute the wealth of the rich they will end up destroying the state and since the people have no knowledge about governance when they elect rulers they will err. In Plato’s thoughts on democracy were that it causes the corruption of the people through public opinion and creates rulers who do not actually know how to rule but only know how to influence the public. The main question that arises from such an observation is that do these forms of criticism hold true today? The most significant example of democracy today is that of the United States of America.
According to Aristotle, who writes in his book “Nicomachean Ethics that “ Democracy is the least wicked since its perversion of the constitutional type of government is only small”. Aristotle’s criticisms however are mostly based on hypothetical scenarios and types of democracy. To him a democracy which is ruled by law with a people who are not utterly degraded in not that bad a form of government and actually seems to praise it “that if the people are not utterly degraded, although individually they may be worse judges than those who have special knowledge as a body they are as good as better”.
In Aristotle’s eyes the worst type of democracy is a Demagoguery, in which everyone’s voice is equal and

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