Aristotle's Politics: Oligarchy and Democracy

1952 WordsNov 14, 20138 Pages
In Aristotle's Politics, he focuses much on the regimes of an oligarchy and of a democracy. Democracies exists when the free and poor, being a majority, have authority to rule, and have an equal share in the city. Oligarchies exists when the few wealthy and better born have authority and grant benefits in proportion to a person's wealth (1280a:10-30;1290a:5-10). Within each regime, there are the farmer, the working element and craftsmen, the marketing element and traders, the laboring element, the warrior element, the priests (Aristotle skips this sixth element but suggests this possibility), the rich, and the magisterial (1290b:40; 1291a:5-35). Within regimes are two distinctive classes and forms of government which are the…show more content…
We've now progressed into what causes constitutions to change. While democrats believe that all freeborn people are equal, oligarchs believe that inequality in wealth implies inequality as a whole. Thus, the well off and the poor engage in factional conflict (1301a:30-40). Revolutions can occur in two ways. Sometimes factional conflict is with a view to the regime in the sense that it will transform from one to the other, such as democracy to oligarchy and oligarchy to democracy. There also may be factional conflict concerning more or less, such as more or less oligarchic run or less or more or less democratic run. There also may be factional conflict with a view to changing a part of the regime, such as abolishing a certain office (1301b:5-20). Aristotle defines three causes of factional conflict. First, is a state of mind that leads someone to form a faction. Second, is what can be gained or lost in forming a faction. Third, are the causes of political disputes leading to factions (1302a:20). In democracies, factional conflict only arise between the poor majority and the few rich. In oligarchies, two sorts of factional conflicts arise, on against each other and the other against the people. In addition, there are eleven potential causes of constitutional change which can
Open Document