Petty

Classified in Philosophy and ethics

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What is democracy and how does it compare to the best regime?

Plato – Democracy is defined by the love of freedom, i.E doing whatever one wants whenever one wants. The people become a slave to their appetitive desires. He views this as a degenerate regime.

Aristotle- Rule by many for the sake of many on the basis of number. Not a good regime because it is not on the basis of merit or the common good.  Rule by the many poor for the sake of the many poor on the basis of their number.
Cicero- One of  “the good regimes”. He believes that democracy is good in itself because it preserves liberty.  And is

In accord w/ natural law

For the sake of a particular community


That is because democracy contributes to the mixed commonwealth state, which is considered the best regime.  Democracy adds liberty preservation to the equation. Democracy is on the verge of mob-rule. Rule in accord with natural law, by many,  for the sake of preservation of a particular people.  If democracy is unchecked, it has a tendency to degenerate into mob-rule which he believes is the worst regime because it is independent of any law or formal structure.  Democracy preserves the particularity of the people.

“Why is this regime the best”?


Martin: “Because it most fully meets the end of the city and political life, which can be identified in section 1.  If you explain what the regimes are, then explain the end of political life, you can say “it is THIS one, for THIS reason”. Do the same thing for democracy: THIS one for THIS reason”.

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